"Damian Mogavero, a dining-industry consultant, has analyzed the data behind thousands of restaurants—which dishes get ordered, which servers bring in the highest bills, and even what the weather’s like—and found that these metrics can help inform the decisions and practices of restaurateurs. Ultimately, Mogavero believes that the data he collects is really a way to learn how to make customers happy. Mogavero recently wrote a book about analytics called The Underground Culinary Tour—which is also the name of an annual insider retreat he runs, in which he leads restaurateurs from around the nation to what he considers the most innovative restaurants in New York City, with 15 stops in 24 hours."
"Mogavero says that it’s not just restaurateurs who should take data analytics in the dining business seriously. He offers one particularly compelling reason that restaurant patrons should be interested too: so their favorite restaurants stick around. I recently spoke with Mogavero about his new book, the role of data in the industry, and how restaurants can survive in an era of extremely well informed consumers. A lightly edited transcript of our conversation follows."