Restaurant Operators Make Big Data Small

Now restaurants have a growing number of tools to know so much more. Online reservation providers like OpenTable allow restaurant companies to keep a digital equivalent of customer notes that provide a stream of information about Mr. Smith.

Using third-party guest intelligence firms like Venga, multiconcept operators like Chait can integrate reservation data with point-of-sale systems across all of his concepts. That tells him Mr. Smith is a frequent diner, whether he’s tried the group’s other restaurants, that he’s a vegetarian who eats eggs, what he typically spends on wine, and whether he prefers dessert.

As a result, service can be tailored to the guest’s liking. There’s no need for Mr. Smith to explain at each of the group’s concepts that he’s a vegetarian who likes a certain style of wine service. They already know — and that efficiency frees servers to attend to other guests.

“The challenge is how do you use the information in ways that feel engaging?” Chait asked. “That’s very different from having a bunch of data and trying to make decisions on the back end. How do you harness this on a personal level to really make a difference?”

Customer engagement isn’t just the goal of high-touch, full-service brands. Some of the largest restaurant chains are tapping social media streams for information about their customers.



Read more via Nation’s Restaurant News