Digital Innovation | Data Analytics | Restaurant Business

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How Restaurants Are Using Data to Sell More Food, Redesign Space and Enhance the Customer Journey

This is part of our ongoing “Why Analytics Matters” series, which looks at how BigData, Analytics and Cloud solutions can transform business. This month, we look at how technology is disrupting the restaurant business and how many are hustling to integrate technology into operations to improve the customer experience, optimize operations and stay ahead of the competition. Restaurant owners have long relied on instinct to run their businesses. Menu specials, marketing efforts, customer experiences were historically determined by intuition. Yet, the restaurant business is evolving. Today’s diners are connected to mobile devices and demand digital experiences throughout the customer journey, from the discovery, to making reservations, to ordering and payment. But digital innovation in the restaurant business doesn’t stop there. Data provides clear answers to a range of operational and marketing questions, i.e. how to design cook lines for maximum efficiency, how to reduce wait times and improve server success, how to optimize supply chains for better accountability, and how to design the dining experience for improved customer satisfaction. Restaurant owners that have integrated BigData into their businesses are seeing impressive results: increased sales, improved productivity, higher employee and customer retention. Bottom line, restaurants that resist digital innovation put themselves at a disadvantage in the highly competitive restaurant business.

How This Restaurant Chain Used Data to Design a Better Customer Experience via Inc

How This Restaurant Chain Used Data to Design a Better Customer Experience via Inc

Fast-growing Mediterranean chain Cava Grill utilizes data across their operation. From using sensors to gauge customer wait times, seating arrangements and sound levels, the restaurant chain has been able to optimize each location to improve customer experiences and back-of-house workflows. For example, using sensors Cava found that customers sit near windows on sunny days, helping them to optimize lighting. Sensor data also revealed that the ordering line tends to bottlenecks around the menu; an insight that helped Cava redesign the line and cut wait times by 10 percent. Using data, Cava also found that employees with long commutes preferred longer shifts; they optimized scheduling, helping them save $500,000 in productivity losses and retraining costs. For more on Cava, check out Fast Company’s How Cava Grill Uses Data to Redesign Restaurants.

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How Domino’s Put AutoMagic Pizza On Every Device via WIRED

How Domino’s Put AutoMagic Pizza On Every Device via WIRED

Domino’s is no stranger to digital innovation. The pizza chain was one of the first to offer online ordering. In fact, today, over half of Domino’s orders are made on a mobile device, just a few years after launching their app. Now, the company is pushing ahead with seamless through a range of ordering technologies; Domino’s AnyWare allows customers to order through Facebook messages, Amazon Echo, Apple Watch, smart TVs and more. The reason: Domino’s chief digital officer Dennis Maloney says, it’s part of Domino’s strategy to be ready for whatever comes after apps.

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Global Supply Chains Are About to Get Better, Thanks to Blockchain via Harvard Business Review

Global Supply Chains Are About to Get Better, Thanks to Blockchain via Harvard Business Review

Chipotle Mexican Grill experienced a very public and damaging E.coli outbreak in 2015. Chipotle had a problem; the burrito chain couldn’t pinpoint the source of the outbreak within its supply chain. New technologies like blockchain could offer the solution, write Michael J Casey and Pindar Wong. Blockchain allows more transparency within the supply chain, enabling companies like Chipotle to monitor suppliers in real-time. Blockchains allow suppliers and businesses to shared ata and better track and account for food items throughout the process, from where it was caught, to where it was packed, and ultimately how long it took to make it to the kitchen. For more, check out Blockchains Could Help Restore Trust in the Food We Choose to Each from The Conversation, which looks at startups developing innovation solutions.

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eXperience Marks the Spot for Digital Innovation via Hospitality Technology

eXperience Marks the Spot for Digital Innovation via Hospitality Technology

Three years ago, Bloomin’ Brands – a company that oversees several chains including Carraba’s Italian Grill – underwent a massive digital transformation. This piece provides restaurant’s with Bloomin’ Brands’ roadmap: How to get started, lessons learned and how digital technology fits into each aspect of the customer journey. First, the company started by developing an in-depth customer journey map. From there, they looked for opportunities to integrate technology across the entire customer journey. Examples include: optimized digital marketing efforts and allowing customers to make reservations and view wait times via an in-house-developed mobile app. Additionally, Donagh Herlihy, Bloomin’ Brands’ EVP of Digital and CIO, offers some lessons learned; for example, the company says their super-high app on-boarding conversion rate (85 percent) is thanks to personalized messaging.

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Starbucks Using Artificial Intelligence to Connect with Customers, Boost Sales via GeekWire

Starbucks Using Artificial Intelligence to Connect with Customers, Boost Sales via GeekWire

Starbucks may be one of the most innovative players in the food & beverage industry. They’ve long used data to enhance operational efficiency, design and locate new restaurants, and optimize their menus. Recently, the company offered insights into its latest efforts – utilizing artificial intelligence to streamline their marketing efforts. Take for instance, the company’s so-called personalization engine, a piece of technology that allows them to personalize promotions down to each individual. Previously, for example, Starbucks created about 30 email variations each week when communicating with its rewards members. Technology has helped them automate nearly 400,000 variations each week, helping to boost conversion rates. Additionally, Starbucks provides personalized offers within its mobile ordering and payment app to help boost average customer orders, and it says one day the technology may allow employees to offer personalized offers right at the front desk.

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Is your restaurant in need of a digital transformation? Team CLUTCH delivers innovative BigData solutions that empower restaurant owners. Let us help you better understand your customers, improve satisfaction, and grow sales with the right technology mix.

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