How Can Business Intelligence Software Help You Market Your Restaurant Better?

Priyanka Bhadani11/16/2022

What is business intelligence?

Business intelligence (BI) is a process for turning data into insights that inform an organization's strategic and tactical decisions. It involves using technology to collect, store, and analyze data to help businesses make better decisions in all areas, including marketing, finance, operations, and human resources. BI can also be used to track and monitor key performance indicators (KPIs), such as customer satisfaction or product quality too.

How Does a Restaurant Gather Customer Data?

In the restaurant business, success is often determined by what your customers say about you. In today's world, it's what they say about you online. The proliferation of social media and its legion of followers has given rise to multiple avenues for comment and review. It has also given marketers a new opportunity to tap potential customers, making customer data a powerful recipe for success. With knowledge about their target groups, restaurateurs can make strategic decisions to attract and retain them.

Let's say you own a pizzeria. Using customer data, you determine that most of your customers are families with young children. Based on this information, you offer kid-friendly menu items and create a play area in your restaurant. As a result, you attract more business from families with young kids.

In short, customer data is essential for any restaurant owner who wants to take their business to the next level. So if you still need to collect and analyze customer data, now's the time to start! But how do restaurants collect customer data?

There are several ways they can do this-

  1. Collect data when customers make reservations. This can be done online or over the phone.
  2. Use POS (point of sale) systems to track purchase and sales data and gather customer information. Many POS systems these days can track customer purchase history, which can be valuable data for restaurants to have on hand. Purchase methods like credit and debit cards also offer insights into buying trends.
  3. Take surveys and feedback forms digitally. These can be placed on the restaurant's website or social media pages and offer customers an easy way to provide feedback.
  4. Most restaurants now offer loyalty cards or apps that track customer purchases and encourage repeat visits with rewards and discounts.
  5. Place comment cards on each table and encourage diners to fill them out before they leave. Or a customer satisfaction survey that customers can fill out after their meal.
  6. Run contests and sweepstakes that require participants' email addresses or other contact information.
  7. Host special events and guest lectures that require pre-registration.
  8. Although no restaurateur wants to hear complaints, the customer complaint register can be a goldmine of information if properly tracked and monitored.
  9. Make it easy for customers to leave reviews on popular sites like Yelp and Google+ by placing direct links on your website. Keep a tab on the responses and use the insights to improve the guest experience.
  10. Install Wi-Fi in your restaurant and offer guests the chance to sign up to your mailing list or loyalty program in exchange for access to the Internet.

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What is Customer Analytics?

Customer analytics helps businesses collect and interpret data about their customers. It is a sub-segment of data analysis that focuses on understanding customer behavior. It can include understanding how customers interact with a company's products and services, and what motivates and influences their decision-making. By understanding customer behavior, businesses can make better decisions about how to market and sell their products and improve overall customer experience.

Customer analytics can help drive a business to success by identifying trends in customer behavior. For instance, what are the peak times for dining, and which menu item is a chart-topper? These details can inform decisions about staffing, pricing, advertising, and other promotional activities. Analytics can use these datasets to track customer satisfaction over time and identify potential issues that may need to be addressed. Ultimately, by leveraging customer data, restaurants can make strategic decisions leading to improved operations and a better overall dining experience.

As an example, let's look at the fast-casual brand, Chipotle. In the months following the pandemic, Chipotle engaged the social media analytics firm NetBase Quid to study its online customer traffic. It did this to be able to develop better marketing initiates. Equipped with the insights culled by NetBase Quid, the fast-casual chain could identify the requirements of its guests and make data-driven sales and marketing decisions.

What BI Tools do Restaurants Use to Analyze Customer Data?

Some BI tools restaurants use include customer segmentation analysis, customer journey mapping, and predictive analytics. These tools help a business create a data warehouse and gain a deeper understanding of their customer's needs and behavior to improve their overall dining experience. For example, predictive analytics helps restaurants analyze customer data by looking at past behavior to predict future behavior.

Through data mining and business intelligence reporting, businesses identify patterns and trends, optimize operations, and make better decisions about pricing, promotions, and menu offerings. BI reporting can also help restaurants gauge customer satisfaction and loyalty and track competitor activity. Business intelligence dashboards come in handy to provide businesses with a real time view of key performance metrics that helps spot problems and take corrective action.

When it comes to analyzing customer data, restaurants have several different business intelligence tools at their disposal now. A customer relationship management (CRM) system is the most common and well-known of them. CRMs integrate with business intelligence software and allow restaurants to track important customer information, including contact information, purchase history, and preferences. All this information can be extremely valuable in understanding customer behavior and trends.

Restaurants also often use their point-of-sale (POS) systems to collect data on every transaction. This data can be used to track sales patterns and optimize pricing and menu offerings. Additionally, POS data can be combined with other data sources (such as CRM data) to get a complete picture of the customer experience.

Additionally, Google Analytics helps track website traffic data and can be used to understand how customers find a restaurant online and what they do once they arrive at the website. Similarly, social media listening tools like Sprout Social, Buffer, or Hootsuite can help businesses monitor social media channels for mentions of the restaurant, positive or negative reviews, or other relevant conversations.

Then there's marketing automation software, enabled with machine learning and data analytics features. These help restaurants automate marketing initiatives such as social media campaigns, email marketing, and targeted ads. And it works well for businesses -- a study by Infosys recently estimated that 59% of consumers spent more if they rceeived personalized marketing messages.

These business intelligence reporting tools can be incredibly useful for analyzing customer data and understanding customer behavior. However, it's important to note that no single tool will have all the answers you're looking for; instead, using a combination of different tools helps uncover actionable insights into customers' habits and preferences.

What is Customer Engagement?

Engagement can be defined in myriad ways. However, at its core, it is about a meaningful connection between two entities. The connection can be emotional, social, intellectual, or physical. When two people or entities are engaged, it leads to deeper communication and understanding. The three pillars of engagement are watching, listening, and sharing.

Customer engagement involves a business and a customer. It has a business developing a relationship with a customer to achieve business goals. Businesses must understand customer needs in order to engage them and create experiences that appeal to them. The goal of customer engagement is to encourage customers to keep coming back or, even better, to become loyal advocates for the business.

There are many ways for restaurants to engage customers, but one of the most important is to provide excellent customer service. It means creating an enjoyable and hassle-free experience for customers at every touchpoint, from the initial purchase through post-purchase follow-up. Other common strategies include loyalty programs, personalized content, and targeted marketing communication.

The important thing is to remember that it's not just about getting customers in the door -- it's about creating a lasting relationship that will keep them returning.

In the last few years, digital platforms have created new opportunities for restaurants to reach and engage with customers. For example, most restaurants now use social media to build relationships. Social media and other online platforms allow restaurants to connect with their customers and create a community around their brand. It also encourages online reviews. Positive online reviews are a powerful tool to promote a restaurant and attract new customers. When customers post positive reviews about a restaurant on Yelp or Google, it helps boost visibility in search results and makes it more likely that others will choose to try out your place.

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How Can BI Software Improve Customer Engagement?

Starbucks Isn't a Coffee Business It's a Data Tech Company", proclaimed an article published in Marker in early 2020. Over the last two decades, except for two years -- 2009 (global recession) and 2020 (pandemic) -- Starbucks has seen consistent growth from $4.1 billion in 2003 to $24.61 billion in 2021. It must be doing something right. The coffee giant has long been using Business intelligence and data analytics to accelerate business transformation and growth.

It has used customer data to target ads and personalize the in-app experience for customers. Bluetooth beacons and other technology have been used to send customers personalized messages and offers based on their location within the store. The brand also uses data to examine and scrutinize customer behavior and preferences to improve its loyalty program and develop new products and services that appeal to its market. Data has also informed decisions about store locations (using its technology, Atlas) and store layout and operations, which has made the coffee shops more efficient and convenient for customers.

Starbucks is just one example. Business intelligence is vital for restaurateurs today, whether they run a small business or a large conglomerate. Integrating business intelligence (BI) into customer engagement strategies can help managers identify trends in customer behavior. With these insights, they can make informed decisions about their menus and operations. By understanding customer needs and preferences, they can improve customer service and engagement.

Here are ways that business intelligence software can help restaurants with customer engagement-

  1. BI tools can provide insights into customer behavior and preferences. Businesses use this information to make targeted marketing and promotional campaigns and customize experiences for individual customers.
  2. BI can help identify opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. The restaurant could, for example, suggest a complimentary side or drink if a particular customer always orders the same dish.
  3. Business intelligence can also help monitor customer satisfaction levels. This data can be used to make operational improvements, such as speed up service time and make changes to the menu.

How Can BI Software Improve Restaurant Marketing?

The success of a restaurant often lies in its marketing. And like any other brand, restaurants need to curate a marketing strategy that enhances their brand value.

BI (business intelligence) software is a must-have to create and sustain a successful brand and improve its marketing potential. Let's take geofencing as an example. Geo-fencing creates a virtual boundary around a real-world location using GPS technology. It helps businesses target mobile users within a certain radius of their location. Business intelligence software can help by providing insights on customer behavior and demographics within the geo-fence range and helping identify opportunities for targeted marketing and promotions.

The most efficient point of sale systems, like Plumpos, integrate seamlessly with various BI tools and allows business users to analyze customer data -- customer ordering patterns, understand what promotions are most effective, and predict which menu items will be popular.

With the right data-sets, they can determine the most popular dishes and design new ones that will appeal to their target market. All this information can be extremely valuable in helping restaurants fine-tune their marketing efforts and ensure they reach their target audience. In addition, BI software, like social listening tools, can also help restaurants manage their social media presence and track online reviews to plan online campaigns accordingly.


In the current business climate, competition is fierce. Diners have more choices than ever before and are constantly bombarded with advertising from different establishments. To stand out in this crowded space, restaurants need to use every available tool to reach and engage potential customers.

Business intelligence systems can be a valuable asset. By analyzing customer data, such as purchase history and demographics, businesses can gain insights into which marketing strategies are most effective with certain groups of people. They can also use this information to tailor their menus and promotions to appeal to specific audiences.

A plethora of business intelligence software provides restaurateurs with a wealth of information they can use to make strategic decisions about marketing, menu development, and much more. Leveraging these tools can help businesses gain a significant advantage over the competition.