Another MURTEC has come and gone from sunny Las Vegas, and I think we can all agree that this was a great one. Technology has always existed in the restaurant world, but this year’s multi-unit restaurant technology tradeshow marked an interesting shift in how technology is being utilized. Of course, there has always been the tangible technology that has a visible impact on customer engagement and retention, but now restaurants are beginning to capitalize on the seemingly intangible side of technology: data.
According to a 2013 study from MIT, only 0.5% of data that is generated is actually used and analyzed. I think it’s safe to say that in the years since this study came out, this number has increased significantly but I also believe that the current number is still alarmingly small. As I said in the beginning, this year’s MURTEC event marked a clear shift towards focusing on the data being generated by restaurants and consumers alike.
As the restaurant industry continues to advance forward, more and more ways to analyze and capitalize on data will emerge. For now, here are two methods that multi-unit restaurant operators can use to better leverage their transactional and consumer data.
Two ways restaurant operators can capitalize on their data now...plus, one concept to keep an eye on.
There are many tools in the market that collect data and feed it back to you in the form of "pretty" graphs and charts. There are some applications that can actually analyze the data they collect and provide you with actionable insights to help improve your business. And there are fewer solutions that can do both. When it comes to capitalizing on your data, and getting the most value out of it as possible, you need the latter.
Imagine a solution that can provide restaurant managers with alerts sent directly to them that contain action plans and workflows to capitalize on sales opportunities, and also provide the C-Suite dashboards that visualize restaurant performance by any criteria they request? You don’t need to imagine this, because solutions like this exist.Connected Restaurants
This was a popular topic at MURTEC this year, and it is tied very closely to quality data analytics. After all, connected restaurants take the actionable insights from data analytics to the next level, while also providing new feeds of data to analyze.
At its core, connected restaurants are exactly what they sound like: making sure that all of the systems pertinent to the restaurant vertical "talk" to each other and share the same data for a seamless experience. This is especially important on the customer side of things because it gives you the ability to take all of the data about your guests and put it to work. Connecting your restaurants via smartphone apps, reservation systems, ordering kiosks, interactive websites, etc. allows you to tailor the customer experience for each individual customer. This not only improves customer satisfaction, but it can improve your bottom-line by using a guest’s past orders to encourage more purchases or increased visits to locations across your restaurant chain.Blockchain
Yes, that blockchain. For many, blockchain is still "that thing" that has something to do with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. While this is basically true in today’s world, the fact is that blockchain technology has the potential to have a major impact on many industries, including restaurants. I could go on for a while trying to explain blockchain, but for the purposes of this blog all you need to know is that at a conceptual level, blockchain is a way to accurately track a list of records.
The first way this will impact restaurants is the supply chain. Imagine being able to track every single ingredient for your menu from the source with 100% complete accuracy. Blockchain allows for this. Beyond supply chain, this technology can have a big impact on the way payments are processed, how loyalty programs collect data, and how you keep that data secure. As mentioned at MURTEC, this technology is still a ways off, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to educate yourself.
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