Restaurant owners and managers need to operate their establishments like a business. Does that sound odd to say? You probably are thinking “Well –that’s not big news! No kidding!” Hear us out though. A lot of restaurant owners still function by “feel”. What they ordered a few years ago, they still order. The staff they held a few years ago, they retain. The vendors they work with, they stay with. At some point you have to ask: When am I going to start making business decisions and how can I make sure they are the right ones?
Think of a stock broker. He or she knows the stocks out there. They study their performances carefully. They create projections based on that past performance. Hopefully they make the right decisions for their clients and make a profit. Profitable decisions can’t be made without intimate knowledge of the numbers. That takes data. They study stocks and collect data from numerous resources. Data is what gives them the power to make wise decisions.
The commonality between stock broker strategy and restaurant strategy is the need for useful data to make qualified projections and decisions. A restaurant can benefit from data collecting and analyzing the same way that other businesses can. Think of all the information that is gained in restaurant data collection.
Customers—information on their most common orders and which ones bring people back, what specials they value, what consistent requests they have, how long they stay, and how enjoyable their visit is
Waitstaff—information on how many waiters are needed during different shifts of the day and on different days, how long it takes to serve customers, how long their tickets are open, how many coupons or discounts they offer to customers, and what items are the bad at selling
Menu Optimization—how much food and what kind of food is needed, how to maximize storage space, how to maximize food and avoid spoilage, and inventory
Sales—amount of sales, amount of costs, amount of salaries and wages, fluctuation of sales throughout a given week, and overall performance of the restaurant for tax purposes
Your restaurant analytics are the wealth of information to help you develop your restaurant management into a viable and growing business force. Make the best decisions and push through to the next level of success.
Operating your restaurant as a business is critical. Having a method of collecting and organizing data is the next step. Be sure you have the tools needed to have data and analytics in front of you at a moment’s notice. Fact-based decision making will give you the confidence and authority to make the best decisions for your restaurant strategy.