Smart Restaurant Analytics For Your Kitchen
When discussing kitchen technology, we often describe the need for “smart solutions.” In other words, automated solutions that are easy to use, that integrate with your existing Point of Sale system and that streamline your kitchen processes. Indeed, ConnectSmart® Kitchen’s polished software and robust capability lend substantial gains in productivity and efficiency to any restaurant who uses it.
So, what makes these CSK solutions so “smart?” In three words: tremendous data potential. CSK has always been a powerful data collection machine, recording every kitchen process and storing it. However, data is only truly meaningful when users can efficiently harness it. Understanding what these restaurant analytics are, and how you can utilize them, is key to helping you strategize. Read this 5 point data series outlining some of the premiere data features, and how to access them, in CSK!
Speed of Service Data
From the first moment a restaurant integrates CSK with its POS, it’s tracking every action in the kitchen. So, each time a cook bumps an item from one phase of its order to the next, it writes a report of when the order started, how long it took to cook, how long it should have taken and how long it took to get the order from the kitchen out to the customer. These numbers are your “Speed of Service” and are a crucial metric for understanding your kitchen. CSK stores these records, sequenced by date, in a database for any user or administrator to access for later reference.
What makes CSK, and this speed of service data, so useful is its broad scope. It records hundreds of fields of data, painting a vivid real-time portrait of your kitchen activity. Furthermore, this data regularly updates, reflecting only those processes taking place in the kitchen, and not arbitrary predictions. Whether fielding in-house orders or off-premise orders, your data will reflect your performance. The idea is that anyone performing restaurant analytics, on or off-site, can pull up the speed of service data to get a perfect window into what’s going on.
Resource Management and Allocation
So it can generate precise, actionable data, but how can you strategize around it? CSK allows you to manage entree counts, historical averages, and set target times and percentage thresholds that update. For example, if your restaurant sets a goal for only 10% of your orders to take longer than 20 minutes from cook time to plating, CSK will indicate how well you’re doing in that effort.
When analyzing restaurant analytics, many restaurant owners notice that on days when their entree counts are higher (i.e., busier), they stray further from their target threshold. From this data, they can answer the question of where to invest in extra labor for their kitchen. They can tell, from smart and accurate reporting, when they’re most likely to incur high traffic and won’t waste energy when allocating staff.
CSK generates the kind of actionable restaurant performance analytics you couldn’t wrangle from paper tickets alone. It tracks not only the raw volume streaming into your restaurant from off and on-site but also monitors how efficiently you’re handling it and how you can improve.
Real-Time Order Status
Knowing your kitchen’s actions, item by item is helpful. By segmenting an order’s process, station by station, you can diagnose specific pain points or obstacles. By targeting a particular, segmented area, your tweaks to these perceived “problem areas” won’t disrupt efficiency through the whole process.
This kind of data also helps customers, whether dining in or ordering from off-site. When you understand, minute by minute, the processing of a burger, you can give a more accurate quote time. This quote may come through your delivery partners (who can add this precise quote time to their drive time quote) or directly through a website widget. In other words, you’re generating a quote based on actual cook times, the burger’s real stage in the process, and not an arbitrary guess as to how long it will take.
CSK provides user-friendly portals to this restaurant data too so that you can take advantage of them. Providing branded “icons” depicting the food’s journey and even outbound SMS texting to let off-premise guests know when an order is ready becomes a reality. Think of it like the arm of guest management that prevents wasted effort and unnecessary waiting.
Blending On and Off-Premise Dining
The modern restaurant can handle both on and off-premise dining and utilizes them both in their operation to thrive. With a growing number of guests ordering from off-site year after year and such varying entry points of customer interaction, a kitchen display system that can handle both methods of traffic is critical. Primarily, you don’t want one type of guest experience to negatively affect the other, nor do you want either to disrupt your kitchen flow.
CSK executes what’s known as “order throttling” to give off-premise diners the most accurate quote time, one that accounts for the current speed of service in the restaurant and not only the volume of orders. For example, if the restaurant is particularly busy at a particular time, the off-premise quote times will update and expand to reflect it. These guests know no different either. They get a quote to come and get their order, while CSK maintains the off-premise ideology: no waiting in line. What makes order throttling genuinely successful is that because it predicates these quote times on the in-house speed of service metrics, those guests placing orders within the restaurant aren’t negatively affected by the off-premise activity.
The Personalized Customer Experience
From the trenches, CSK certainly paints a living picture of your kitchen. When you start to understand its data potential, however, you’ll see it crafts a vivid portrait of your entire operation. When fully integrated with your front-of-house system, it’s recording everything that happens at your restaurant, from guest transactions to their wait times.
So, astute restaurant owners looking to analyze their performance metrics, as well as beef up their marketing and outreach efforts, will find it all in CSK. Via the company portal, they can access a historical guest book. Through that guest book, they can obtain guest histories, dates they visited, and even the check details for the day. It’s the type of customer data you don’t have to ask for but says the most about your guests.
Accessing restaurant analytics reveals much about your customers’ buying and spending habits as well as the frequency they visit your business. Do they usually come in to eat, or order from off-site? Think about what that can do for targeted outreach efforts or individualized promotions with that data! Those willing to ask for more granular contact info at the front-of-house, Email addresses, and contact info, and blend it with their CSK data, can assemble a hyper-specific customer profile for effective marketing campaigns. Couple this with personalized outreach tailored to your customer’s buying timeline, and you’ve enacted a data-based marketing initiative!
Data and your Restaurant
It’s one thing to collect data. What’s truly beneficial to your enterprise is making that data meaningful and usable. By maintaining a scrupulous accounting of every process that goes on in your restaurant, managing on and off-premise orders, and making those records accessible, a best-in-class kitchen display system like CSK helps you make crucial restaurant management decisions with informed data on your side. That’s a smart solution.
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About the Author
Dylan Chadwick is a Content Marketing Specialist at QSR Automations. He graduated from Brigham Young University with an English degree and journalism focus and loves to write about technology. When left to his own devices, he enjoys loud music, adorable dogs and documentaries about the aforementioned.