It’s a Good Time to be in the Industry: Use Your Data to Make it a GREAT Time

Working in the restaurant industry isn’t for the faint of heart, which is why it attracts such great people. But the cyclical nature of the business can lead to heartburn and the current state of the industry is now causing indigestion for some operators. It doesn’t help that market data shows declines in grocery pricing while restaurant pricing increases– primarily due to upticks in labor costs and some commodity headwinds.

The 80/20 Rule

Remember when you first learned about the 80/20 rule? Focus on your most important customers. They bring you the lion’s share of your profits. True. Don’t get me wrong – CRM, loyalty programs and more are still CRITICAL for a restaurant’s success, but in today’s hyper-competitive world, we continue to hear senior restaurant executives expressing concerns about reaching their light and lapsed users. It takes more to convert those people into loyal, heavy users AND they’re harder and typically more expensive to reach with your message.

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The GOOD News: They’re YOUR customers

Thankfully, new solutions are arising. With POS data appended to robust customer profile information including demographic and psychographic details, it is now possible to identify AND communicate with users who haven’t opted in to receive any sort of communication from a specific brand or business.

ENHANCE the Way You Engage Your Guests

Now comes the fun part! Say you’ve identified a segment of users you want to target in order to increase their visit frequency. You then know specifically their demographic and psychographic characteristics, purchase behavior and visit frequency. So using this information combined with social, digital and offline targeting tactics, you can create messaging that is highly relevant to the ways in which they are using your brand (day of the week, daypart, order mode, product preferences, visit frequency). And since you also know their visit frequency, you can decide to target them after a certain amount of time and potentially with a coupon or discount to entice them back.

The Bottom Line on Data

ACTIONABLE data allows you to make OBJECTIVE, not subjective, decisions. Better understanding of your customers + better messaging + better targeting and a more efficient and innovative way to reach your customers = better marketing and ROI. All because of the ability to process, integrate, append and analyze your OWN data. And that’s why we at Fishbowl think it’s a GREAT time to be in the restaurant industry.

This blog was written by Fishbowl’s Mike Mirkil, Director of Strategic Accounts