Have you ever worked in a very small neighborhood café or coffee shop where you had the chance to serve the same customers day after day? If so, you probably got a good feel for what they would order. In some cases, you could have their order ready for them before they even made it to the counter. Not only did this strengthen the relationship you had with your customers, but it also helped the managers predict what supplies to order for the week because they had a good idea what would sell.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could re-create this scenario in a larger restaurant or even one with multiple locations? While you may not be able to identify every customer by name and guess what they’ll have for dinner, you can still reap many of the same rewards by using a restaurant management software featuring predictive analytics.
Predictive analytics uses historical data to predict future outcomes and determine patterns and trends. A useful tool for any industry, when applied to restaurants, this tool can become a powerful ally in bringing up your bottom line. Think of it as constant collaboration between sales, inventory, scheduling, and other areas of your restaurant where data could be gathered.
Using Predictive Analytics Can Limit Food Waste
When you have a good idea of how busy you will be and what guests will order, you can adjust your inventory to reflect the data. You can further reduce waste, of product and time, by using that data to streamline your prep process. Restaurant software applications can help by generating predictive prep models to eliminate prepping shelf stable items every day. Of course, things like salad greens may need to be prepped daily for quality and freshness, but small improvements across the board make a big impact on profit margin.
Restaurateurs hate seeing food waste, it’s the equivalent of flushing money away. When you have a guide to what will be consumed in a given week, the amount of food wasted can be drastically reduced.
Using Predictive Analytics Can Increase Sales
86-ing a menu item is embarrassing and disruptive to your entire restaurant. Sometimes, certain menu items take off and orders for dishes go through the roof and if you aren’t properly prepared, you can easily run out of inventory. Though some patrons will simply order a different item, others may order less or nothing at all. This results in wasted sales opportunities.
Predictive analytics can help you identify which menu items are likely to be popular. This helps you stock up on inventory to prepare for the increase in sales.
Using Predictive Analytics Can Automate Ordering
A predictive analytics system can tie directly into your ordering system. This reduces staff time spent on inventory and increases the efficiency and accuracy of your food and beverage orders. The more you can customize tasks based on data and automate those tasks, the more profitable your restaurant will become. Systems like Decision Logic use several different prediction methods for order accuracy. Ideal usage is calculated off menu mix (single use items and what you historically sell), whereas actual usage is going to predict off of what you typically go through in a week. Some systems even let you set up a reminder schedule for your low usage items, like kids crayons, that may not be indicative of menu mix.
Though it’s impossible to know what every customer who walks through your door will order, you can get a clearer picture of the future by using predictive analytics. If you would like more information on how Decision Logic’s Supply Chain and Inventory Control platform can help you maximize profits, please email email@example.com.