How restaurants in the Middle East can use data to enhance customer engagement

Restaurants don't use data enough, according to a speaker at the Caterer Food and Business Conference
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Panel Discussion at the Caterer Food and Business Conference. ITP Images.
ITP Images
Panel Discussion at the Caterer Food and Business Conference. ITP Images.

Restaurants can now use data to build customer loyalty, according to Sarah Hawilo, the chief executive officer of serVme, one of the speakers at the Caterer Food & Business Conference 2018.

According to Hawilo, restaurants don't use data enough. "Data is very important. Especially if your POS systems, loyalty programmes, and delivery app is all centralised. You can now even use data to personalise dining experience. The possibilities are endless," she added, speaking at the seventh annual Food and Business Conference held at Grosvenor House on March 6, 2018.

The future of industry is to be able to integrate data. The idea, according to Hawilo, is not to replace existing systems but to integrate data for managers to use better. For example, restaurants partnering with POS systems enables the automation of common and time-consuming tasks such as recording transactions data and the order history of each customer. 

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Restaurants can then integrate its diners' profile data across the group to address their needs and increase operational efficiency. 

The presentation revealed that data can also help restaurants reach its target diners, communicate and market directly to targeted diners with specific characteristics regardless of their geography. 

However, the most important takeaway for F&B businesses was that they can identify customer patterns by analysing data. "Data not only helps you recognise customer patterns and market trends by immediately by identifying each diner’s preferences but it also helps eliminate no shows by viewing the diner’s arrival habits," Hawilo added.

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