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Meaningful Metrics: Empower Restaurant Managers with the Right Data to Drive Smart Decisions

At every restaurant, metrics matter. Understanding which ones to care about can have a big effect on your bottom line. It’s up to operational leadership to measure them, monitor them, and make them align to annual initiatives — while also making those metrics relevant for day-to-day restaurant performance. Some operations lean on tools that help you stay on top of restaurant metrics, but you need to choose the right tools for the specific needs of your operation.

Meaningful Metrics

Destined to Fail

In today’s highly volatile market, managers and operators are expected to get results (often just to keep the lights on), yet many are not given the tools necessary to fully do so. A recent survey from Fourth and Nation’s Restaurant News reveals 59 percent of operators across America do not have any complex business intelligence, limiting insights to what can be gleaned from POS data, basic reporting, and/or spreadsheets.

Much of this data arrives weeks or even months after the fact, preventing managers from taking necessary measures to react to disruptions in real-time. When these situations are preventable with modern technology, the unrecognized profits should be looked at as waste.

Why are Restaurant Managers Still so in the Weeds?

In the last 20 years, restaurant technology has grown immensely. Innovations in data aggregation and reporting have ensured that operators have more information than ever about their businesses. They need all that data – from in-store, near-store, and above-store systems – to come together and help guide the decisions that improve the metrics that matter most to COOs. That’s where an intelligent restaurant operating platform comes into the equation.

Intelligent back-office software can manage and report back the restaurant metrics COOs and General Managers care about the most. These key metrics touch four major performance indicators: Sales, Service/Experience, Safety, and Profit.

You should look for metrics that give deeper insights into your restaurants’ operations and performances:

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Service & Experience: Employee Engagement, Employee Productivity, Customer Satisfaction

Labor optimization is the age-old question for every restaurant manager: when push comes to shove, should I save costs but sacrifice service and employee morale by understaffing, or do I opt for a better guest experience through overstaffing and dwindle down throughout the shift as needed? Analytics should minimize these decisions, aggregating POS data with external factors (e.g., weather, events, promotions) to give schedulers the most accurate demand predictions possible.

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Safety: Compliance Costs

How do local requirements affect how you schedule, prep food, and interact with guests amid COVID? A smart, constantly updating system should configure these factors into its analysis, giving managers the information vital to running efficient operations while staying compliant with the law and brand standards.

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Profit: Labor Costs, Food Costs, Hourly Turnover, Manager Turnover

How are COGS, other expenses, and inefficiencies cutting into your bottom line? An analytics platform worth its salt will provide insights into where operations need to improve, addressing concerns ranging from food waste to hourly overtime and ordering inefficiencies.

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Sales: Top-Line Growth

Ultimately, all tech investments, operational changes, and waste reduction strategies should be made in the name of boosting profits and growing the business. Analytics should give managers and corporate staff insight into profits, compared year-over-year, month-to-month, and however further granular you need to properly evaluate tactics.

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Restaurant Managers Want Data and Alerts to Empower Actions

Data is no longer about quantity. It’s all about the qualitative aggregation that comes from the volume, value, and variety of data collected through dashboards, vendor management tools, and POS/back-office integrations. Through data aggregation and integration into a single platform, managers no longer have to sift through the data — the back-office platform brings the insights right to the surface.

Data-based decisions create efficient operations — the sooner and more encompassing the restaurant metrics, the more managers know which operational weaknesses need improving. With real-time data and alerts, managers can respond to challenges or capitalize on opportunities in the moment, swapping waste for ROI.

Empower your managers through comprehensive data analytics that give insights to the entire picture at each of your restaurants, which combine with labor forecasting to give optimal labor scheduling based on expected sales.

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