The restaurant and catering sector is one of the largest industries which serves the expectations of millions daily. While everyone visits establishments like restaurants with their own sets of expectations, it is up to the players in this sector to ensure those expectations are being met.
To achieve these expectations, companies are increasingly turning towards big data solutions which helps them understand and deliver on the customer’s choice.
According to a report, more than 57 percent of small to medium enterprises have adopted analytics solutions, and restaurants are one of the top sectors embracing this change.
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Now as we enter the year 2019, here are some of the top catering trends which we are most likely to see:
1. Menu Personalization and Enhancement
One of the key use cases of big data in the restaurant sector includes menu personalization, which can in turn help drive up sales. Business owners depending on past data can estimate which food item or beverage is most in demand and hence ensure that their inventory is sufficiently stacked with the same items.
By analyzing reviews and ratings, they can see which items are being most consumed or are rated highest, while at the same time finding out what food items their customers didn’t like. This will help them decide what changes to make in the menu, while at the same time helping them revamp options and come up with better offerings.
2. Delivering Customized Dining Experience
Big Data can further help business owners identify their customer food preferences and a personalized customer offer based on this can be generated. This leads to customer satisfaction. Questions such as what to serve, when to serve, how to price?, etc. can quickly be answered with the help of big data solutions in place.
Push notifications and special offers can be forwarded to a user on occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries which will help raise profits as well as increase customer loyalty and engagement.
3. Improved Delivery Services
Big data analytics can provide insights into factors such as traffic conditions, which directly affects the delivery of food items. By using this, a customer can be notified of possible delays and exact delivery time which will not leave him waiting. Also, the insights would come in handy given there are certain food items such as pizza, which taste good if it is hot and fresh. Hence, based on the ideas obtained, the restaurant owner can ensure the rider takes the best possible route which takes the least time to deliver the order and increase customer satisfaction.
4. Better Marketing Efforts
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” – John Wanamaker
An effective marketing strategy relies on effective communication as well as sales. There is no point for businesses to market their ‘Freshly made Pasta’ to someone who loves Mexican cuisine. Big Data in such times comes off as a great help, given it can help segment customers and help businesses plan which demographics to target.
Analyzing factors such as average income, age, nationalities, as well as food allergies, can help you decide which offers to launch, when to launch, and finally predict approximate sales per dollar spent on marketing. If the number comes out to be positive, the campaign is fruitful or else you need to rethink your marketing strategy altogether.
5. Helps Streamline Operations
A restaurant tends to have a plethora of day to day activities starting from cooking to delivery, from serving to storing, and without a proper demand, supply forecast the operations may come crashing down. Based on an average day to day consumption, restaurants can stock up their inventories, since a shortage would be bad for business, and too many food items in stock would turn stale. They can further forecast revenues and can implement solutions which optimize operations and thus raise profits.
Big Data has helped the restaurant owners break the shackles which they were tied in for ages. It has further helped them break the common misconception of ‘average guest’ prevalent in the sector.
Many business owners believed that targeting high-value customers who pay more is the sign of success. However, upon analysis, it was found that in their effort to focus on high-paying customers, they are losing their less paying loyal customers who generate fixed revenue for these ventures.
Whatsoever be the case, big data possesses a number of opportunities for the restaurant and catering sector. With proper tools in place, restaurants and diners can run a more targeted marketing campaign which delivers strong conversion rates while at the same time increasing the operation efficiency of the establishment. There is not a shred of doubt that this new trend of data is here to stay.