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Paul van Vliet
Paul van Vliet | Applied Data Scientist, Civis Analytics

Over 80 percent of restaurants are turning to technology — everything from online payments to reservation and inventory apps to in-store ordering systems. But few quick-service operators are successfully harnessing the power of the massive amounts of data they collect through these channels.  

As new data pours into restaurants from all directions, QSRs need to recognize the value of data centralization. When customer data is collected, consolidated, and cleaned in a unified platform, it yields meaningful insights that lead to more informed, more precise decision making — decisions that set the stage for the products and promotions that build lifelong customer loyalty, the Holy Grail of the restaurant business.  

Still, many quick-service operators continue to let their data languish in silos, spread haphazardly across systems and locations. These QSRs run the risk of falling behind big chains like Chipotle Mexican Grill, which is deploying a comprehensive customer insights platform to organize, analyze, and enrich its data to better engage its millions of customers, or Jack-in-the-Box, which is taking the next step in its digital transformation by upgrading its customer data platform.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways unifying your data transforms your business — and why the future of your brand depends on it.

Manage and maximize your data

Typically, QSRs have multiple sources of customer data — traditional in-store POS systems, customer care centers, loyalty programs, mobile ordering apps, third-party delivery data, and more. Most organizations are struggling as the number of unique databases continues to grow.

Implementing a centralized warehouse for this data, with access and insights democratized across the organization, establishes a culture of frictionless, data-driven decision making. With the right data management platform, QSRs can easily import, manage, transform, analyze, and report on all their customer data, enabling both data scientists and non-technical stakeholders to quickly access findings; make more confident strategic decisions; and more efficiently collaborate across teams and departments.


Facilitate personalization

From Alexa to news reading apps, today’s consumers experience personalization across every aspect of their lives — and they expect no less from their favorite quick-service restaurants. 

By combining transactional data in your restaurants’ POS systems with online and offline customer information (e.g. loyalty program info, location data, consumptive behaviors, and more), QSRs begin to establish a 360-degree view of each individual patron. This perspective provides the clear, nuanced understanding of customer preferences (such as favorite menu items and times of day they like to visit) that enables you to create stickier, more seamless, and more personalized experiences across channels. 

Data that is fully centralized, accessible, and primed for personalization translates to customers who are more likely to:


Make a purchase.

Eighty percent of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that provides personalized experiences. (Epsilon)


Spend more.

Thirty-nine percent of quick-service customers say they would spend more at restaurants that offered personalized loyalty programs.


Feel greater satisfaction.

Seventy-four percent of customers grow frustrated when website content is not personalized. (Instapage)


Be more loyal.

Millennial brand loyalty increases by 28 percent if they receive personalized communication. (SmarterHQ)

Getting personal is a huge boon for your bottom line. A McKinsey study found brands that create personalized experiences are seeing revenue increases of 5 to 15 percent, as well as 10 to 30 percent boosts in marketing-spend efficiency.

Ensure consistency and collaboration

Centralized data means your entire team is on the same page. When silos are dismantled and all data is accessible, teams can share, collaborate, and create together, work toward common goals, and more easily meet and exceed the high expectations of today’s QSR customers. 

Oh, and all those trends and changes in your data? With everything in one place, you can stay on top of new information, and respond more quickly and decisively — you can even leverage data insights to proactively predict your customer needs and wants.

Cafe/bakery counter display with a chalk menu board on the wall.

Take the next step

Of course, discovering deep, valuable customer insights is impossible if you don’t have the tools and technologies to look at all of your customer data as a whole, on an ongoing basis. 

Whether you’re a small, mid-sized, or emerging quick-service chain, a customer data platform is not just something you should consider: it’s something you absolutely need to implement.

Person behind the counter of a coffee shop assisting a customer with checkout.

Ready to explore how data centralization can grow loyalty to your QSR brand?

Civis Analytics can help you better understand your customers and turn your data into insights that drive action.

Connect With a QSR Expert Today