Using Big Data to Build a Restaurant Marketing Strategy

Build a Restaurant Marketing Strategy

Big data is a buzzphrase that promises to revolutionize the way we sell products and services, help us understand customers better, and optimize marketing campaigns. But have you considered the role of big data in your restaurant's daily operations?

It’s no secret: restaurants that engage in active analysis of their customers and operations perform better than competitors who neglect to do so. Information and communication technology have made great strides in recent years to provide a wealth of useful data and tools in the quest for higher revenue.

Big data comprises traditional and digital information sources collected from inside your business and from external factors. The numbers are gathered, compiled, and analyzed to be used as a basis for a wide variety of business decisions, including your restaurant's marketing strategy.

How can Big Data help my restaurant?

Big Data is made up of both structured & unstructured data designed to answer two major questions: "what?" and "why?"

The “what?” comes from structured data, which makes up the majority of information a business collects on a daily basis. This includes detailed reports from POS systems on product sales, financial and accountancy data, and product prices and availability. The result is a lot of data that can be used in figuring out how to acquire and keep new customers.

This is where the “why?” comes in. It takes the form of unstructured data. This information is usually comprised of data sets from outside the business, including customer feedback, reviews, feedback from social media, and demographic data gathered from loyalty programs and newsletter signups (i.e. names, emails, and locations). The task is to answer why certain menu items are selling well or not as well as measuring the performance of specific marketing campaigns.

Big Data has many applications in a restaurant. In a small-to-medium sized business, it really helps with marketing. Below, you’ll find a few different ways that Big Data can help you to create an insight-driven marketing strategy for your restaurant.

1. Customer acquisition

Demographic data is a great place to start when creating marketing campaigns, but simply analyzing one data set isn’t enough. When that campaign is combined with social media behavior and customer feedback, you start getting a clearer picture of who your customer is.

Understanding who your customer is based on the data will allow you to get a full grasp on what type of person you should be marketing to. This will help you create more targeted, purposeful, and effective marketing campaigns from your big data so that you can acquire more customers for your restaurants. This is vital to creating enticing and personalized marketing messages that truly convert your marketing dollars into paying customers.

2. Customer engagement

This stems back to the first point of truly understanding your customers. When this is accomplished by your restaurant, engagement is easy. You'll build a fitting brand for your establishment and will adopt a more fitting marketing strategy derived from the conclusions from your data.

3. Customer loyalty

Analyzing big data to understand behavior is essential in building customer loyalty. The ability to anticipate actions such as repeat purchases or non-returning customers allows you to react accordingly to either reward loyalty or entice customers to return with a relevant promotion or offer.

Not only does this incentivize your customers to make more frequent visits, but it's a simple way to track each individual customer's purchasing patterns, which can give you astounding insight for your restaurant's marketing plan.

4. Customer segmentation

Big Data helps your restaurant define a clearly segmented customer base. It will allow you to distinguish between demographic information, customer location, purchase patterns and history, and much more. This information can be used to craft extremely precise recommendations, promotions, or other offers, and it can help anticipate customer demand and preferences.

When developing a restaurant marketing strategy, this will help you determine which segment to target.

How Do You Use Big Data for Your Restaurant?

The applications for Big Data are far-reaching and don’t stop at marketing. Large chain restaurants, as well as smaller businesses, have applied the analysis of Big Data to aid in operational challenges such as menu creation, customer service, food production and demand, and location planning - all with staggeringly positive results.

Although the percentage of restaurants using Big Data and analytical solutions is still fairly small, it’s only a matter of time before there’s a big shift in how data is used to influence the way we operate and make business decisions.