6 Restaurant Data Trends To Follow In 2022

Data is leading the charge in 2022 as restaurants quickly shift to tackle the digital landscape.

For the past two years, technology has rapidly changed how restaurants operate – that trend isn’t likely to change much. Here are the key restaurant data trends in 2022. 

Across the restaurant landscape, owners and operators are grappling with the same issues; supply chain problems, staff shortages, higher costs, and the constant fight for limited customer attention. However, innovative restaurateurs are looking inward at their customer data to help them drive continued sales and revenue. 

As restaurants continue getting smarter with their data, they also open up opportunities to reduce costs, increase productivity, develop digital sales channels, and engage with customers more personally than they ever have before.

This year’s trends are all about harnessing the data restaurants collect, then using that information to streamline operations, create profit-driving menus, and connect with guests on a whole new level.

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The Right Data, At The Right Time

Knowing where your customer data comes from is the first step toward using it to grow your restaurant.   

Data is becoming table stakes in the restaurant industry, and from the moment guests walk through the door or visit your digital properties, they’re creating valuable pieces of information that can improve your operations. Understanding what your data sources look like can go a long way. 

 

Today’s restaurants are outfitted with advanced technology, including cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) systems that include online ordering, eCommerce outlets, loyalty programs, third-party applications (like delivery), and guest WiFi.   

Without an expert, making sense of this data is difficult and time-consuming, and to do it correctly requires access to the right tools, including a turn-key customer data platform (CDP).

A turn-key customer data platform unifies data coming in from a variety of sources, such as your POS, third-party apps, eCommerce, and guest WiFi,  to give you a 369-degree view of your marketable audience and customer profiles. These customer profiles can then be used by restaurants to do everything from menu optimization and engineering to create personalized and targeted customer campaigns.

But when the goal is to serve as many customers as possible, why is personalization so important? According to Boston Consulting Group, shifting only 25% of mass-blast spending to personalized campaigns has the potential to grow return on investment (ROI) by an astounding 200% if done correctly.

Turn-Key CDPs Create ROI in 30 Days

Retailers like Walmart and Amazon have invested millions of dollars into creating or acquiring comprehensive CDPs. It also means they’ve sunk millions of dollars into hiring data scientists, engineers, and analysts to help them maintain the platform.

The costs come with a major benefit, though. If these brands understand every customer and create profiles based on their purchase patterns, frequency, interests, and other factors, they can target those people with products and offers at the perfect time. 

Restaurants don’t need to make the same investment to produce a similar result. Platforms like GoGoGuest offer low-cost solutions that integrate seamlessly with many cloud-based POS providers, aligning their data with information coming in from other sources.

A good CDP provider is also capable of understanding a customer’s online shopping behaviors, in-store insights and to help brands extend their reach beyond their local market, while also including third-party delivery and reservation data to create comprehensive customer profiles.

A view on an iPad of GoGoGuest Customer Segmentation Builder

Personalization In A Post-Pandemic World

The days of mass-blasting emails to every subscriber on your list are long gone, but the good news is that personalization is a powerful tool with a ton of upside.

For years, restaurants have relied on one-size-fits-all emails that are unfocused, unsegmented, and unclear, resulting in poor results and confused customers. On the flip side, if a restaurant operator understands who their guests are and what, where, and when they’re buying, it’s easier to create personalized and scalable customer journeys.

Personalized offers should have a place in every restaurant’s toolkit, especially as more brands across multiple industries make the shift from non-targeted to targeted emails. According to BCG, personalized offers could create more than $70 billion in increased annual revenue for first-ever movers.

What does personalization look like for restaurants?

  • Offer promotions tailored to each customer
  • Dynamic pricing based on day, sales channel, or restaurant location
  • Personalized product mix and/or supply chain availability
  • Grow your brand’s first-party share of wallet 

When restaurants have a clear grip on their marketing and personalization techniques, they can delight customers across every segment and drive continued success, even during difficult times.

Restaurants Will Invest in Understanding Marketing Efficacy

In recent years, many industries have moved toward closed-loop reporting to help them identify and measure opportunities and improve ROI. For restaurants, being able to measure and manage marketing efficiency can make it easier to acquire, engage, measure results, and keep iterating.

For those who don’t know, closed-loop marketing aligns sales and marketing teams using data and analytics to develop real-time and automatic feedback loops – hence the closed loop. When done correctly, closed-loop marketing allows restaurant operators and owners to see conversion and revenue data associated with every campaign and program.

Having the right CDP in place simplifies the process because the platform unifies data from multiple sources, providing a 360-degree view of every customer, campaign, and purchase patterns.

With better data and insights, restaurants can take advantage of:

  • Personalized campaigns down to the product mix, channel and pricing.
  • Measure campaign performance beyond opens and clicks.
  • Re-target your most valuable audience
  • Expand your marketable audience profiles by understanding who is buying, where, what and when.

Measuring and understanding the results of every campaign for every audience gives marketing teams the power to influence menu engineering conversations, the product mix and offer alternatives while the supply chain is in flux due to the pandemic.

A graph with a customer on the center and a gear showing movement and personalization

Restaurants Will Align Their Cross-Functional Teams

In the same way a well-aligned kitchen produces consistently delicious food quickly and with few mistakes, aligning the marketing and operations teams will generate better ROI and operational efficiencies.      

 

When your marketing team works hand-in-hand with the operations team, it’s easier to see where opportunities are, including when, where, and what customers buy when they visit your locations.

 

As a result, owners can allocate resources when there is a clear, measurable ROI and eliminate the spray-and-pray marketing approaches that have been proven not to work well. Cross-functional teams can also identify markets with high-value audience profiles and then create marketing journeys that predictably scale and grow.   

AI Becomes Even Smarter and More Helpful

Artificial intelligence (AI) has pretty much permeated our society, and for the most part, we’re alright with that.

From chatbots and virtual assistants to kiosks and inventory tracking cameras, restaurants are moving from analog to digital. But with all that data, it can be difficult for restaurants to separate the wheat from the chaff. By making the most of machine learning, a subset of AI that allows machines to analyze data quickly, restaurants can make better decisions based on complete data.

Smart AI systems create opportunities for more guest interactions and engagement, better sales, streamlined menus, and optimized marketing campaigns powered by constantly updated data. The data allows restaurants to make changes on the fly, from offering promotions based on the weather outside to creating personalized email and SMS campaigns based on a customer’s location. 

AI is getting smarter and making the purchasing experience for guests better. According to Accenture, nearly three out of four consumers surveyed say having updated and detailed personal profiles would be helpful if it meant receiving personalized experiences and offers.  

The Future of Restaurants Is Data-Driven

No matter how many restaurants you operate, having access to relevant and actionable data makes it easier to identify opportunities and optimize customer marketing, operations, and sales performance.

GoGoGuest’s powerful customer intelligence platform unifies data from every source, providing insights to help restaurants learn who their customers are, how they engage with their brand, and how to market to them through email, text, and WiFi marketing. As restaurants learn to make sense of their data, GoGoGuest grows alongside them, allowing for better cross-functional collaboration without the massive investment needed to hire analysts, data scientists, and other professionals.

Don’t take our word for it. Read our CEO and co-Founder’s contributed content on Modern Restaurant Management.

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