Demystifying a Restaurant CDP

Published On: October 6, 2022

The first in a four-part series on Making the Most of a Restaurant’s Data Management Platform.

“CDP! CDP! CDP!” – OK What Is It? (And do I need one?)

It’s no secret that data is powerful, but it has also become a commodity. Your guests are generating data everywhere; at the table, on your app, scrolling your social media, and simply existing in the digital world. So as a restaurateur – how do you use data? There is a lot of chatter about integrations, personalization, and the single view of the customer. At the core of all these incredible insights and actions is a Customer Data Platform (CDP) connecting all the data together. Simply put, a CDP is just one big, consolidated database where everything is connected.

Imagining A Guest’s Profile

First, let’s think about one of your guests. It is important to understand who they are, what they like, and what motivates them to make the move from being hungry to visiting your restaurant. Now imagine only using one of these guest attributes at a time. A CDP connects all the data together so you can make decisions with a full picture of your guest.

Here’s an example:

Demystifying a Restaurant CDP - Lana Example

In this example, Lana is generating data from eight separate databases or vendors.

All these data points have one singular thing in common: Lana. The core of a CDP is the guest, and the purpose of building a customer-centric platform is to join all of these systems together using the guest as the connector.

Putting Data Into Context

If we only had a view of one characteristic we may miss out on a big opportunity. For example, if the only information we had readily available was what Lana orders or who she is, we may miss that she uses a coupon every time she visits. We miss out on learning that this may be her largest motivation to dine.

Demystifying a Restaurant CDP - Putting Data Into Context

Additionally, when we have all the data on Lana centralized, we can see she’s visiting once a year, with a reservation for three – even though we know she is a single person. Perhaps this is a night out with friends to celebrate an occasion every year. If we know what her standard behavior is, there’s an opportunity to drive new behaviors, such as enticing her to order online by featuring a message with the steak and french fries. With all the information on Lana in one place, we can start to take a more personalized and effective approach to connecting with Lana.

Actions for Lana:

  • Test Urgency Email “New Limited Time Only Items.”
  • Find Lana on social media and drive engagement.
  • Convert Lana to an online ordering customer, showcasing how her favorite food can be delivered to her door.
  • Offer double points for additional visits outside her normal behavior.
  • Lana is in the area during the week, offer her a personalized lunch special.
  • Utilize a dashboard to track Lana and customers like her

Another great benefit to understanding Lana using your customer data platform is that you can quickly find other “Lanas”. You can find “Megans” who visit every Friday and only purchase a drink to go. Or “Steves” who religiously order from the gluten-free menu. With your CDP, you can create strategic and personalized experiences for your guests, without the headache of connecting data on your own.

I Have So Many Connections. Where Do I Even Start?

It is daunting to have six different data-generating vendors and connecting all your systems might feel like an impossible task. Luckily, restaurant technology partners like Personica are building really big data systems, connecting billions of rows of data, and making the results user-friendly and actionable.

Here’s a quick checklist on starting your “how” path to your own CDP:

  • Do I have an internal technology/engineering team that can build a CDP database & technology platform?
  • What technology do I have that generates data on my guests? What kinds of data is being generated?
  • What are the top three actions I want to perform having a singular view of my guest?

These may seem like intimidating questions and you might not have the answers. That is okay. Personica is a great partner to help take on this for you.



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