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October 12, 2020

Restaurant Guest Data Outside The Four Walls

If you could make decisions for your restaurant business based on statistics and metrics rather than opinion and feeling, would you do it?

In order to know if any action is financially good for the restaurant, you have to calculate and formulate.

Today I am going to show you how to calculate the most important restaurant guest metrics.

What are the key metrics for guests and orders?

According to popular restaurant consultancies and vendors such as Toast, some key restaurant metrics include:

  • Customer acquisition cost – how much it costs to acquire a customer
  • Acquisition speed – what amount of time it takes to acquire a customer (journey)
  • Acquisition rate – what % of people become a customer after marketing/advertising
  • Customer retention rate – customer repeat rate
  • Average customer headcount – headcount during specific times)
  • Average cover – average check amount per customer
  • Guests per table – average people at a table
  • Revenue per table = average cover * guests per table

Knowing these metrics can give you insight into what initiatives and campaigns you should continue applying to your restaurant business.

So how do you get these metrics?

Usually, you can get some of these metrics from your POS system. However, your POS system can only track customers who actually made purchases. So it can only get metrics such as average cover and specific food/beverage sale items.

What about the people who knew about your restaurant, wanted to visit your restaurant, but didn’t get to the point of sale?

You can get numbers such as customer acquisition cost, acquisition speed, acquisition rate and retention rate if you create a report that links your marketing campaigns with your POS data.

Furthermore, it is also important to know the feedback from your customers.

You should have a feedback system and know what the metrics are of the feedback. This includes:

  • Customer satisfied with food speed – additional question in survey
  • Positive feedback from guests – 4 or 5 star ratings
  • Complaints per restaurants order – 1-3 star ratings
  • Tips from total collected

All of this can be done if you have a reporting system that records data from each person and each person’s visit/order.

In order to do so, you must collect the following data from your customers:

In order to get these KPIs, we need these pieces of data from customers:

  • Profile ID # – differentiator between people with same first/last name
  • First name – to greet the customer correctly
  • Last name – formal greeting and differentation between people with same first names
  • Birthday – can be used to give birthday offers
  • First visit/order date (Anniversary) – can be used to give anniversary offers
  • Most recent visit/order date – can be used to traffic people who haven’t been back past the average repeat rate
  • Total number of orders/visits – tracks loyalty of the customer
  • Coupons viewed – keep track of which offers are viewed
  • Coupons claims – keep track of which offers are claimed
  • Coupons used – keep track of which offers are redeemed in restaurant or online
  • Coupons expired – keep track of which offers expire
  • Online orders – keep track of which offers were used for online orders
  • Time from coupon viewed to coupon used – helps to know redemption speed, which is an indicator of how popular the coupon is
  • Spend for each visit – shows ROI for the campaign
  • Group size for each visit – compares group size for this campaign vs average
  • Private Rating for each visit – compares average rating for this campaign vs average
  • Public feedback for each visit – 

Once you have structured this data in some kind of database, then you can easily create formulas that will give you the metrics that were first mentioned on this page.

For example, you can get customer acquisition cost by using the formula:

Ad spend / (content used * group size)

And you can get customer acquisition speed by using the formula:

Content Used – Content Viewed

When you have all the data in your database and know all for the formulas for each KPI, you can then make a dashboard that will report back to you at any given time period.

How would you like it if you had a data analyst reporting your important customer acquisition data to you every day?

When you have your customer acquisition data, you can then tie it into your total restaurant metrics such as food cost, labor cost, utility cost, and finally gross profit, net profit, and EBITDA.

After calculating all of these metrics together, you can easily make a decision to continue applying specific marketing or advertising for your restaurant.

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Wilson Muh


Wilson Muh

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