How to Use Restaurant Data to Plan for the Holiday Rush

The holiday season is an opportunity for restaurants to attract guests looking for a place to celebrate it with family and friends. This not only raises your profits, but it also creates a whole new opportunity for you to get new customers who would keep coming back for more一holiday or not.

However, this busy season can also make things complicated for you and your staff, which can lead to an unsatisfactory experience for your customers. This is why you need to plan ahead and make sure that everything runs smoothly, both for guests and your employees, while also boosting profits.

When you’re formulating your strategy, restaurant data is the best place to look. While the data points you want to pay attention to the most will vary depending on your restaurant, four key metrics we suggest keeping a close eye on include the following:

Average Wait Times

When you're busy, wait times will naturally increase, but if this trend becomes regular, it can start to affect your business.

With data and analytics, you can obtain a report on the previous year's average wait times, as well as year-over-year trends. Keep an eye on past holidays, as well as the days and times when the average wait time rises.

Seating Efficiency

A high seating efficiency means that you are making the most of your space.

You can use historical data to forecast future seating efficiencies and make sure you have enough staff on hand to accommodate a larger number of guests. By doing this, you can avoid long wait times and keep your customers happy.

Inventory Management

Keeping track of yearly trends and product usage can help you anticipate how much to order and when.

If your restaurant serves alcohol, consider using software that tracks the number of drinks sold over particular periods. This way you'll know which beverages are most popular during the holiday season and be able to better forecast how many bottles or kegs you need for this year.

Menu Item Sales

Restaurant data can help you better manage your inventory during the holiday season. For example, if you notice that a particular dish is selling out quickly, you'll know to order more of that item. Conversely, if an unpopular dish isn't selling, you can consider removing it from the menu.

Preparation is Key

The holiday season can be a stressful time for restaurants, but you can always use data to prep your business for the holiday rush, and make your operations run as smoothly as possible. By taking the right steps and knowing what to expect ahead of time, you'll be able to create gameplan without running afoul of any health regulations or disappointing customers with long wait times or incomplete menus.