How can you improve profit and win in a competitive market?
Where to begin
First you must discover and know your numbers: the measurements that create a comprehensive picture of your business’ vitality. Since profit is the result of sales minus costs, understanding the current state of your data and drivers is the first step in making improvements. From this baseline of current performance, you can develop sound strategies and implement tactics to tweak both revenue generation and expense containment or reduction. Knowing your starting point allows you to identify what is and is not working as you move toward optimization.
Find your sales and costs in dollars and percentages. Annual company-wide sales, average annual sales per unit. Break it down further: per month, per week, per day, per hour by daypart, per employee by department. Then there’s the average sale percentage of catering, to-go and retail, along with labor costs, food cost and non-food expenses as a percentage of sales. The deeper you dive, the better the data, the better the diagnosis and the better the decision.
Staff vs. Sales
When you evaluate the performance of FOH employees, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) recommends going beyond subjective measures. For example, does your full-time equivalent employee in your limited-service restaurant generate median total sales of $45.33 per hour? That’s a practical goal. In a table-service operation, most operators track “average cover,” or PPA (per person average). Some operators also track GCA, or the average sales per guest check/table. The smartest operators also track food server upselling, errors, discounts and comps as a percentage of total shift sales. A single platform to manage data through your POS gives you answers to the questions you select.
Staff vs. Food Costs
Back of the house, there are other useful numbers to track – numbers that can help you identify problems and provide more training if necessary. Cooks may be portioning incorrectly, wasting food with spoils or over-trimming, or not charging for all items sold or added after the original sale. Tracking food and beverage usage by category will allow you to better identify specific problem areas. It is also useful to pinpoint shifts where waste is higher than average or cost for a specific item seems excessive. Or when food simply disappears. Overall, a food cost (aka, cost of goods sold) of 28% to 35% is the accepted range for profitability depending on the type of restaurant.
Don’t forget non-food…
Want to know how much you’ve saved over a year by purchasing all non-food supplies from Shamrock Foods? Must-haves like napkins, prep gloves, to-go containers, can liners and cleaning chemicals: All these necessities can impact your bottom line. New technology allows you to customize reports to select and organize the data categories you most want to track. Food and non-food expenses alike should be tracked as a percentage of sales/volume.
…and sales details
A really good POS can also provide useful insight on in-house orders, plus revenue generated by to-go orders vs. delivery. Maybe you need to adjust your prices to make a profit. Will you track data from online orders, phone orders, slow-daypart sales, or LTOs? Though it might seem overwhelming at first, the knowledge is worthwhile and the data-gathering and data-crunching are far easier with technology.
Bonus: Social Media
Know and use the metrics available through every platform you use for your operation.
- Ads on Facebook and Instagram are scored re: positive and negative interactions.
- Your account home on Twitter shows top-performing tweets, and you have access to dashboards for retweet/ like/reply activities and audience insights.
These incredible, no-cost online services are available to Shamrock Foods customers to help you manage your operations.
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