Analytics is the Key to Differentiation: Stop Crunching Spreadsheets and Spend More Time Delighting Guests

Oct 17, 2017

As an F&B Director, there are few things more fulfilling than when a new guest enjoys a meal and immediately afterward posts an online review inviting the rest of the world to enjoy the same memorable dining experience.

Creating lasting connections with your guests should be your primary goal, with increased profitability the expected result. But how does one begin taking advantage of the point-of-sale (POS) data generated, and leverage it to enhance the guest experience, better engage staff, drive more revenue and optimize operational workflows? Your F&B operations are already producing a rich mix of data, but do you know the potential value it has and how to work with it?

Only a small handful of F&B Directors understand how to fully exploit their data. Others are missing out on significant opportunities to make better decisions that improve the guest experience and increase profitability. At the end of each day, that data expires and a new day - with new opportunity - begins. What’s missing is the intelligent use of analytics, with the ability to draw new insights from the exceptions and trends formed by your data.

Why Reports Alone Aren’t Enough

POS reporting is a mature, well-appreciated business function. It can tell you what happened in a descriptive way. For example, that you sold 644 appetizers at lunch in the bar during the last 30 days at a specific price. Adding analysis to F&B reports, other critical insights are revealed: for example, that a single server sold four out of every five of those appetizers.

As the business matures in its use of analytics, operators can optimize these insights to suggest what will happen, for example: placing this bartender into a specific shift will result in twice as many specialty cocktail orders. The intelligent use of analytics helps determine the reasons why guests choose to patronize your business and identify the products, services, and the marketing communications content that will have them telling others all about their five-star experience.

Guessing Leads to Costly Results, Over and Over

Take the situation of fraud detection in bar activities or at the front of the house. A dishonest bartender might charge customers the regular price for a drink but ring it up for less on the POS system and pocket the difference, or void guest checks after the drinks have been served and paid for then later removed cash from the register.

It might be difficult for the director or manager to detect a high void or return rate without the help of POS system data combined with analytics—for instance, examining voids, comps, transfers, reconciling cover-counts, etc.—to highlight any deviation from standard operations or discrepancies when comparing numbers from other sources. Data that's mined and intelligently analyzed eliminates the risk of guessing what guests want. The use of analytics allows operators to make new decisions based not on assumptions or what their gut tells them to do, but on the facts.

Drive Revenue and Increase Profitability

Stop crunching spreadsheets in the back and spend more time out front delighting your guests. Analytics turns the data you’re already generating within your POS solution into a rich blend of actionable insights that empowers your staff, increases revenue opportunities and wallet share, delivers better guest experiences and lowers expenses. Understanding what activities generate optimal results, your staff will enjoy greater success and bigger tips, and you’ll build a more loyal crew.

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