Is Big Data Changing The Restaurant Industry?

Big data is transforming the way we live and work, and the restaurant industry is no exception. Restaurants have embraced big data—data too complex to be processed by traditional software— to uncover market trends and customer preferences. From curbing food waste to tailoring customer menus, this data is altering the way the restaurant industry operates.

Personalize Customer Experiences— Improving the dining experience means using key technologies to gather big data. Digital tools such as kiosks, mobile apps, and table-embedded tablets offer convenient customer service. These devices also allow owners to mine customer information, such as order history, to personalize client preferences so that future experiences at a restaurant are tailored to customer needs. Other tools, such as data-gathering sensors, are placed around restaurants to determine how customers move around the space. These sensors can improve efficiency by collecting big data about traffic flow.

Collect franchise data— A franchise owner can track customer habits for hundreds of franchisees by using consumer management platforms such as Hubspot and Salesforce. These cloud-based services make big data collection accessible anywhere. By implementing these tools, an owner can gather data from various sources to zero in on ways to use the customer experience to make a brand more profitable. Software modules focused on customer engagement, offered by Restaurant Magic, can also monitor the client experience, helping franchisees improve brand awareness.  

Create customer segmentation— Customer segmentation is the process of dividing customers into groups based on similar characteristics. This could mean organizing customers by age, gender, marital status, location, and stage in life. Why is this important? Restaurant marketing requires segmentation to create targeted messaging. Doing this on a large scale, such as for franchisees, means relying on big data analytics.  

Deliver food effectively— More and more customers expect restaurants to participate in food delivery services. Big data analytics can help you manage that service by mapping out data about everything from traffic patterns to the weather. Equipped with this information, delivery drivers should be able to deliver a meal in a reasonable amount of time and maintain the food’s freshness.

Reduce food waste— Big data can tackle one of the most challenging concerns for restauranteurs: food waste. The restaurant industry generates more than 11.4 million tons of food waste each year at a cost of about $25 billion annually, according to ReFED. The environmental and financial effects of food waste can be addressed by centralizing and sharing sales data with suppliers. By connecting suppliers with sales, they can predict demand and determine how much food to source for restaurants. Using a management dashboard can help accomplish this.  

Restaurants can adopt big data to improve their operations, target marketing, and create better relationships with customers. New technologies allow restaurateurs to base their operational judgement not on anecdotal experience but on the data-driven analysis shared from software. The big data revolution has changed the restaurant industry and it’s here to stay.

Restaurant Magic Software has been providing advanced software solutions to the restaurant and hospitality industry for over 20 years. The robust Data Central Management Suite, the flagship product, is a powerful and flexible application that takes advantage of the latest technology trends to offer premier processing and analytics. With advanced forecasting, predictive scheduling and mobile technologies, Data Central has something for every problem. To learn more about Restaurant Magic Software and its products, call us at 1(800) 933-4711 or visit the website at