You know the food that leaves your kitchen hits the spot based on smiling patron faces. But when it comes to having an accurate pulse on diner preferences, reservations velocity, customer retention efforts, ideal menu layouts, proper staffing, and other operational priorities, you likely rely more on gut instinct rather than cold hard data.

That’s where your Point of Sale system comes in. Modern POS platforms like KwickPOS offer a treasure trove of metrics beyond processing payments if you harness them. The key is translating all that POS data into actionable business intelligence impacting decisions that lift revenue daily.

In this guide, learn how to:

  • Access and understand the goldmine of analytics living within your POS database
  • Ask the right questions matching data to priorities needing insights
  • Act on intelligence uncovered around menu curation, kitchen operations, front-of-house effectiveness and more

Let’s dive into the data well at your fingertips and how to leverage it advocating ongoing success!

The Untapped Power Inside Your POS Data

Legacy cash registers merely recorded transactions for reporting earnings at day’s close. Modern POS systems track infinitely more operational details like:

  • Total covers and average spent per guest
  • Average prep and cook times for each dish
  • Total hourly/daily/monthly sales totals
  • Server performance such as average turns
  • Frequency and reorder rates of every inventory item
  • Party sizes and volume at peak hours
  • Itemized deductions like discounts or voids

This represents just a snippet of available data. When combined across days, weeks and years, the numbers paint vivid pictures of every aspect from customer preferences to blocking bottlenecks limiting growth.

But data only drives better decisions if interpreted wisely. Next let’s identify where opportunities hide to ask pointed questions that data answers reliably.

Match Data to Key Restaurant Growth Questions

Think through metrics needing visibility that your POS collects surrounding:

Figuring Optimal Menu Offerings

  • Which 5-10 menu items make up 50-70% of sales? Focus extra prep there.
  • Which dishes barely sell or boast the worst food costs? Cut underperformers.
  • What globally trending flavors or diets are guests asking for unmet currently? Explore new offerings.

Kitchen Operations Productivity

  • During Friday rushes, which station struggles keeping up with appetizer/entree orders? Adjust capacity bottlenecks.
  • Are prep cooks correctly batching recipe ingredients for peak periods? Or over/under portioning?
  • How fast are tables turning at dinner? Slow turnover signals issues.

Server Performance

  • Do hosts evenly distribute party sizes across waiter sections? Imbalances stress and slow service.
  • What suggestive selling language or techniques yield highest avg checks? Train staff properly.
  • How do servers rank gratuity rates? Address outliers for improvement.

Cost Controls

  • Which high-usage ingredients see waste exceed acceptable levels? Re-train proper perishable handling.
  • Do happy hour promos or weekly specials translate into profit? Or merely erode margins?
  • Where does theft occur? Query voids closely tied to specific employees/shifts.

This overview provides a sampling of hard numbers replacing guesses boosting everyday excellence. Now act on the answers!

Making Smarter Moves Driven by Data

Analytics should ultimately fuel concrete actions applied restaurant wide. Like:

Menu Engineering Decisions

  • Feature perennial top sellers prominently. They lure customers while needing no seasonal rediscovery.
  • Cluster best selling add-ons nearest their associated meals. If fries rank high, remain close to burgers.
  • Limit lower performers to just lunch or dinner to avoid prep waste without fully relinquishing audience favorites.
  • Add globally trending flavors as daily features before investing full menu permanent placement.
  • Photograph beautiful plating for top dishes more frequently motivating social shares.

Kitchen Operations Improvements

  • Cross-train cooks across stations to alleviate rush hour bottlenecks discovered.
  • Schedule extra sauté cooks Fridays when apps/entrees obviously spike via hard data.
  • Create par levels and prep calendar guidelines to balance supply and demand avoiding under/over stocking.

Front-of-House Staff Coaching

  • Have hosts cycle bigger parties across all servers equally so sections stay balanced.
  • Require servers describe daily special ingredients accurately when tableside; track increased order rates following training to verify memorization sticks.
  • Capture and share video clips of top performing servers using effective suggestive selling phrases for peers to emulate.

The opportunities for data-driven management abound. Root decisions in hard evidence vs intuition so that as the marketplace evolves, your restaurant prospers relying on cold hard facts!

Other Analytical Insights Waiting for You

While we outlined common starting points for analytics adoption, don’t overlook other POS dataset treasures delivering managerial gold, like:

  1. Customer insights – Understanding your diners and their patterns helps tailor experiences converting them into loyal regulars.
  2. Reservation and Table Management – Optimizing seating so peak occupancy aligns with historical busiest nights.
  3. Delivery Economics – Assessing whether third-party delivery partnerships actually drive real profits after assessing fees, packaging and commission costs diluting margins.
  4. Happy Hour/Daily Special Outcomes – Which half price apps or discounted cocktails actually move the needle earning incremental profits justifying continuation?
  5. Seasonal Trends – When are slowest months? What main dishes sell best in winter vs summer? Do holidays boost average customer spend? By how much?
  6. Individual Location Performance – Quickly pinpoint which cafes or restaurants in your multi-store portfolio lag KPI targets needing intervention.
  7. Hourly Sales Breakdowns – Quantify hour-by-hour sales spikes so labor scheduling aligns appropriately to handle guest influxes.
  8. Payment Mix – Understand the transaction volume via cash, cards, mobile payments and emerging options like cryptocurrency when embracing next-gen POS capabilities.

The key is formulating questions that data within your POS answers reliably empowering moves aligned with commercial kitchen realities, rather than relying on hopeful guesses.

Act Before Competitors Do

Turning knowledge into power depends on your speed actually applying analytics, not just your capability gathering data. Prioritize 1-2 questions weekly that reporting insights addressed drive into action items improving restaurant operations.

Assign managers specific data-supported projects yielding P&L victories so that they grow accustomed leveraging POS reporting advocating decisions tangibly over the coming year. Outmaneuver rivals slow to embrace an analytical edge that data-driven restaurants claim adapting smarter today.

The satisfaction of full dining room tables and empty kitchen coolers remains impossible without accurately aligning operations to demand trends unique to your patrons. So tap into data behind the scenes advocating choices ahead of challenges before they surface. Don’t just glance at POS analytics – act fearlessly on what the data is whispering!


KwickPOS Will Boost Your Profits With Better Management and Higher Efficiency!

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