How Multi-Location Restaurants Can Use Data to Increase Revenue & Improve Operations

By Raubi Perilli

      Feb 24, 2021     Solutions    

Running multiple locations for a restaurant brand requires a lot of juggling. You have staff, inventory, marketing, and dozens of other tasks to oversee and monitor.

With so many elements to keep an eye on, you need something to help you get a bird’s-eye view of what is happening at each location and how it compares to other locations. Thankfully, you can do that with data.  

Multi-location restaurants can use data to better monitor and manage each location and gain insights that increase revenue and improve operations. Let’s look at how.

#1) Identify top menu items across each location.

A point-of-sale system (POS) at a single location can help you get sales data about one particular restaurant. You can see what your top sellers are and also identify the items that don’t sell well and could potentially be removed from the menu.  

A POS system is even more powerful when you connect it between each of your locations. When a multi-location restaurant can review sales at each location, you can identify top-selling and low-selling items across the restaurant group as a whole. This can help you decide:  

  • What items to permanently remove
  • Which items to spend money promoting
  • Which items may need to be removed from one location while staying on at another
  • What new menu items you could add that are similar or complementary to your existing best sellers
  • What limited-time offers might work for your brand as a whole

#2) Connect customer data across all locations.

Customer data is a powerful marketing tool. When you know who your customers are, how to reach them, and what they like to buy, you can craft effective, personalized promotions. But for multi-location restaurants, it's practically impossible to use customer data if restaurant information is not synced across all locations.  

With the right customer data platform, each location can use one central system to track customer data such as name, phone number, email, and purchasing habits.  

By being able to track customer data across all locations, each individual location will be able to run synced customer loyalty programs and create better personalized marketing promotions for customers within their database.  

#3) Identify customer habits at specific locations.

Data that shows how customers act at each of your locations can offer insights that boost your profits and improve your operations.  

You can look at individual store data and compare it to other locations to learn about customer behaviors. Look at the data, and ask if customers are: 

  • Using the online ordering system?
  • Making reservations online?
  • Calling to make reservations?
  • Ordering take-out?
  • Using delivery apps? Which ones?

Answer these questions for each location. Consider what each location does differently that may lead to different results and how trends should trigger changes to how you are doing things.  

For example, if one location has 50% more online orders than all other locations, you may consider highlighting online ordering on that location’s webpage or running a paid campaign promoting take-out. Conversely, if one location has 50% less online ordering than all other locations, you may want to look into operations and see if a poor online ordering experience is the reason for the low number of orders.  

Related: How Can I Optimize My Brand's Website If I Have Multiple Locations

#4) Use customer feedback to identify high and low performing stores.

Just as you can use trends in customer behaviors to identify potential opportunities or disadvantages at restaurant locations, you can also use customer feedback.  

Customer feedback across multiple locations is a great way to get a read on how each store is performing compared to others. You can look at review sentiment at each location to see how well each store is working for customers.  

For example, when you use Google My Business for multiple locations, you can compare ratings across multiple locations and identify top-rated restaurants. It might be worthwhile to talk to the managers and team at high-rated locations to see what they are doing right and how they are able to generate reviews and impress customers.  

On the other side, you may want to investigate restaurants with low-rated reviews to identify issues that may be leading to low customer satisfaction. Look at the details of poor reviews (such as late deliveries, cold food, bad services, etc.) and discuss with teams at the restaurant to see where there is a disconnect and how you can improve performance.

#5) Decide where and how to spend advertising dollars.

Gaining data into customer behaviors, store performance, and best and worst-selling menu items can provide powerful insights to manage operations – and define your marketing strategies.  

  • When you know what sells at a specific restaurant, you can create marketing campaigns around those top items and use location-based marketing tactics to promote it to customers near that location.
  • When you know the ways customers like to interact with a restaurant location, you can run promotions based on those engagement habits and promote it through each location’s individual webpages and social media profiles.
  • When you know that a store is not performing well, you can turn off paid ads until the operational issues are worked out.

These are just a few examples of how you can use data from multiple locations to identify marketing opportunities for your brand. When you can get a high and low-level look at each of your restaurants and how they compare to others, you will be able to come up with countless ways to promote your locations and offerings.  

Related: Succeed at Multi-Location Marketing by Following These 7 Best Practices

Build Better Data Systems for Your Multi-Location Restaurant

Do you have a data system that connects all of your restaurant location data? Are you left pulling data from multiple sources and piecing it together manually? Or worse, do you not have any data at all about your locations or your customers?  

MyArea Network is here to help. See how our team of data and regional marketing experts can help you create one database for all of your restaurant locations, and help you understand how to read the data to uncover ways to improve both your marketing and operations.  

Start using data to grow and improve your multi-location restaurant brand. Request your free consultation to talk to our team today.