Thoughts From the Fast Casual Summit: Data, Analytics and Innovation in the Restaurant Industry
November 09, 2016
Last month I had the opportunity to attend the Fast Casual Executive Summit in Orange County, where I led an interactive “Brain Exchange” session about “Analytics as Assets.” This discussion was all about how QSRs are leveraging analytics to increase their trust with operators and automate key workflows, allowing them to dramatically improve margins. After the event, I sat down with Shelly Whitehead from Fast Casual for a Q&A session about some of the insights that were shared. Here are a few of the highlights:
- Analytics aren’t just beneficial for large brands. With respect to sharing data and analytics, some of the participants from larger organizations were surprised learn that the smaller brands were just as passionate and dedicated to innovation as they were.
- Correlation is key. Simply measuring and communicating metrics is not enough; there is an urgent need to understand why metrics move. By understanding cause and effect, restaurateurs can take better informed actions and create opportunities to innovate (e.g. If restaurateurs understand how a social media marketing campaign impacts demand and traffic, they can leverage data to drive smart menus and automate scheduling.)
- Think about your servers as end users. Most of the time, we think of the end user in terms of management, suppliers, partners, and those in HQ. But our discussion revealed lots of opportunities to deliver information to servers to help them optimize and maximize their individual tickets, which not only helps them individually but also drives success for the restaurant itself.
These are just a few of the insights from our full discussion. Restaurants today face serious challenges, both internally in the form of large increases in operating costs and externally from emerging business models from companies like Blue Apron, Munchery and others. However there are also massive opportunities for innovation in the restaurant sector, and the leaders I spoke with all commented on the value, business impact, and benefits of distributing analytics can have on their organizations.
To learn more about the possibilities of distributed analytics for restaurants, download How Big Data is Revolutionizing the Restaurant Industry: