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Restaurateurs need better data for new analytical efforts

Richard Jones Archive

In seemingly every industry, there are business leaders showing a keen interest in raising their standards for data quality so as to better understand their clientele. If you have more information on your customers than the competition does, and that information is accurate and reliable, you'll be well positioned to beat those competitors and lock down more sales.

Most commonly, this is seen as a key goal in the retail sector. Merchants are dead-set on gaining a better understanding of the people they're selling to. But according to the Washington Post, a new group of business leaders is showing a great deal of interest in data: restaurateurs.

The newspaper explained that eateries are using consumers data to figure out diners' tendencies - they can analyze when and where people like to eat out, and how much money they're willing to spend. Steve Uhr, director of operations at Tico, a restaurant on 14th Street in Washington, says that since his establishment began using more analytics, there's been a wait for a table almost every night. His restaurant isn't alone in today's climate.

"[Technology] is being used more frequently," Tico said. "There are systems that have been around for a while, but they're more efficient now, they're faster. They're more affordable, so I think they're being used more."

The "big data" movement is everywhere in business today, and it's not slowing anytime soon. Winston Bao Lord, founder of tech startup Venga, says it's no surprise that restaurateurs and other business leaders are looking to do more with data.

"The key is actually taking that big data and making it actionable," Lord told the Post. "That's why I think you're seeing consolidation in the industry. People realize there's a wealth of data out there, but restaurants need you to connect a lot of different dots to provide a complete, actionable picture."