Metrics matter. Understanding which ones you need 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 not only the focus of their annual initiatives – but to make those metrics important for restaurant managers too. Some operations lean on tools that help you stay on top of those metrics… but there are a LOT of tools. So, you need to choose the right tools for your restaurant operation. And make no mistake, that choice is paramount — it can really make or break your business.
The metrics that COOs are most concerned with can be managed and improved through the implementation of intelligent back office software. These key metrics touch four major performance indicators: Sales, Service and Experience, Safety, and Profit. You might break those out into the following sub-categories:
- Top-Line Growth
Service & Experience
- Employee Engagement
- Employee Productivity
- Customer Satisfaction
- Compliance Costs
- Labor Costs
- Food Costs
- Hourly Turnover
- Manager Turnover
What’s the No. 1 driver of restaurant performance?
We know from industry experience that managers are absolutely vital, and research from TDN2K, a leading restaurant industry research firm, confirms this. In a study, they found that restaurant manager retention is the single most important factor in running a successful restaurant. More important than product or concept or segment or size. Why? Because increasing the retention of restaurant managers drives cost savings, reduces employee turnover, increases customer satisfaction, improves revenue, and raises morale. But running a restaurant today leaves too many managers in reactionary mode and unable to consistently execute on even the basics of great product and great service. They’re stuck in the weeds … permanently.
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. But there’s a disconnect — most importantly, the fact that traditional back office platforms haven’t used Big Data to help in-store teams make better decisions to plan for expected and adapt to the unexpected.
Data rich, poor insights
Managers aren’t lacking data. In fact, it’s probably too much of a good thing. What managers need is data to do some thinking for them. They need all of that data – from in-store, near-store and above-store systems – to come together and help guide the decisions and make best-fit recommendations that improve the metrics that matter most to COOs. That’s where an intelligent restaurant operating platform comes into the equation.
Restaurant managers want data and alerts to take action:
- Drive consistency of product and service through training, menu and recipe management, and operational workflow.
- Help managers make better decisions by serving up actionable insights.
(Note: Insights are more than alerts. Insights guide the manager using actionable alerts as the manager moves through their day.)
- Control costs and improve margins with dashboards, vendor management tools, and POS integration.
- Allow more visibility into relevant data through reporting and alerts.
We use insights in our personal lives, why not in restaurants too?
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 the point of sale, wearables, yelp and other 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 — the actions — to the surface.
We already see the effects of data aggregation in our day-to-day lives. Think about how lost you would be without your smartphone. API developments allow your phone’s applications to play together, making your day that much easier. Your GPS application integrates with your calendar to tell you when to leave in order to be on time for your flight. These are insights possible through data aggregation and modular integration. Why shouldn’t restaurant technology do the same thing?