Have you ever 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 had to speak the words. Not only does this strengthen the relationship you have with your customers, but it also helps managers predict what supplies to order for the week because they have a good idea what will sell.
(Not to mention, reliable repeat customers are a cornerstone of a successful restaurant franchise.)
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could re-create this scenario across multiple locations within your concept? While you may not be able to identify every customer by name and guess what they’ll have for dinner (unless you’ve successfully steered them to your loyalty app!), you can still reap many of the same rewards by using restaurant management software that features predictive analytics.
Predictive analytics uses historical data to predict future outcomes and determine patterns and trends. When applied to restaurants, predictive analytics can become a powerful ally for increasing your bottom line. Think of it as constant collaboration between sales, inventory, scheduling, and other areas of your restaurant where data gathers.
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 both product and time, by using that data to streamline your prep process.
Inventory and waste variance 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 can make a big impact on profit margin.
Restaurateurs hate seeing food go to waste, as 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
Sometimes, certain menu items take off and orders for dishes go through the roof. 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 and ingredients are likely to be popular. This helps you stock up on inventory to prepare for the increase in sales. You can even use this information to base your future menu design on.
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 and automate tasks based on data, the more profitable your restaurant can 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 predicated on 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, get in touch with us!