Big data & restaurants
By Shazia Rashid
11th May 2017

I’m a self-confessed foodie; I love going out and finding new restaurants to try. Just like most other customer driven industries, restaurants are utilising big data and analytics to understand their business and improve the customer experience.

So how are restaurants using big data to stay ahead of the competition?

Any of us that are looking for new restaurants to try always look at the reviews online, through sites like Trip Advisor and even social media. Any restaurant that wants to understand their customer’s likes and dislikes will be looking at these sites, but to really gain an advantage they will also be analysing them.  By pulling this data together restaurants can start to find patterns and can find a common cause for any complaints, helping them to understand their customer and ultimately improve the customer experience.

As well as using this external data to improve their customer experience, restaurants can also analyse their internal data collected during a customer’s visit. Restaurants that use technology to track their customer’s journey, such as when they booked, when they were seated, how long they spent at the table and even how much they spent, can analyse this to understand which customer are most likely to return, and if something happened that made them leave the table quickly. Doing this allows them to understand how each customer demographic interacts while at the restaurant. 

This data can also be used for targeted email marketing. When booking a table online many restaurants will need your email address to confirm, if you agree to be signed up to email marketing this can work in the restaurants favour. Again by tracking the customer journey the restaurant can send targeted marketing with specific offers or vouchers to their different demographics, ensuring they get repeat custom.

Big data is not just being used to improve customer experience; it is also being used in the kitchen. While doing my research for this blog I found that IBM researchers are creating a technology that will create recipes for you. The technology collects data from across the internet, looking at previous recipes, ingredients and region. It then uses its algorithm to analyse this data to create a new recipe for you to try. I’m not sure if I want my meal designed by a robot, but that’s probably the subject of another blog!

The amount of data collected by restaurants is only going to grow as more technology is incorporated into the dining experience. I look forward to see how restaurants continue to use this in the future to improve the way we eat out.

How do you think restaurants can use big data and analytics to improve your experience? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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This blog was originally published on LinkedIn. To read the original blog click here

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