Food, drink and hospitality: 3 ways to add value through data

Whether it’s online ordering, menu customisation, or an innovative new use for data, it’s time to understand how to put your data to work in the digital age.

If you want to add value for your customers, data is a powerful tool. It can bring insight and agility to decision making at every link in the supply chain, allowing you to respond to demand quickly and beat the competition.

Understanding what you want to achieve with your data is a vital step on your data journey. Once you know what you want to get from your data, setting up the processes and governance you need can be a more straightforward process, with clear targets to work towards your data goals.

Here, we look at some of the key opportunities for food, drink and hospitality businesses to use data to add value to their offering – and how they need to get their data ready to take on the challenge.


One of the biggest perks of data in any industry is being able to offer an experience tailored to your customers – whether that’s consumers or other businesses.

In the food and drink sector, customisation doesn’t just represent a ‘nice to have’ experience for diners and consumers: it enables you to offer a truly useful service, one that gives you a real competitive advantage.

For people with dietary requirements, being able to select a pre-prepared menu that excludes the foods they can’t eat is increasingly becoming a deciding factor in where they choose to spend their money.

You can also use your data to decide what customisation to offer. Noticed an uptick in vegan and gluten free orders? Add a combined vegan and gluten free menu to your website – and tailor the dishes you are offering to reflect this demand.

Further up the supply chain, customisation is also a valuable offering for suppliers and manufacturers. By using supply chain data collated at point of order, suppliers can offer a more tailored supply process, recommending new products based on trends.

Customisation can also enable suppliers to improve buyer confidence when it comes to those allergies and dietary requirements mentioned above, curating order lists filtered by ingredients or allergens and create a smoother, more reliable process for buyers.

Stock and ordering

With the right data – and processes – in place, restaurants, cafes and hotels can streamline stock ordering. With master data technology keeping track of what dishes are selling, what ones aren’t, and any additional extras being requested, automated orders can accurately reflect customer (and kitchen) demands. It not only saves on time and manual effort, but also reduces waste food and costs, as only the food that is really needed is ordered.

For suppliers, data makes responding to these fluctuating requests easier – and faster. If working with buyers in several businesses and locations, in particular, suppliers can collate data on order trends, seasonal demand and dietary requirements in particular locations, to predict future ordering patterns and respond quickly.

Adding Value

Value-added features

Online booking, table ordering via app, takeaway delivery... digitisation is changing customer expectations, even for the smallest local restaurants. In fact, with the rise in apps like UberEats and Deliveroo, app services are, for many businesses, becoming more lucrative than bricks and mortar locations – if they have the data in place to support it effectively.

Adding bespoke features via data isn’t limited to consumer facing food businesses. Automation, self-service ordering and personalisation are all options that suppliers can bring to the table, too, bringing greater value, control and cost efficiencies to customers in the hospitality sector.

Data quality

But data is only a ‘value-added’ differentiator if you can be confident in its quality and consistency. If you haven’t followed a rigorous data governance and data quality process, your data dreams could turn into a nightmare, with value-added promises failing to deliver as they should.

To find out how Comma have helped clients in the food, drink and hospitality sectors to add value through data – and avoid costly mistakes along the way – through Data Quality, Data Governance and a whole host of other data services, call us on +44 1926 911820. One of our experts can talk through your strategy, and what we can do to help.