Having the right data at your fingertips will help you drive growth for your restaurants.

The restaurant industry has undergone a tremendous amount of abrupt change. The evolutions within the industry and the effects of the COVID pandemic have taken a toll on the hospitality industry. With all the new technology advancements and industry changes, having a central database to hold all your data is becoming increasingly pertinent for restaurateurs. The days of relying on spreadsheets and intuition for restaurant operators have become obsolete. Having real-time reporting data from your tech stack allows you to pull clear, actionable information to make timely, data-driven decisions.

Choosing a reporting system for your restaurants may seem overwhelming. However, once you’ve implemented an actionable brand-wide reporting system, you can easily access and analyze the data that matters most to your restaurants. Using an integrated tech stack for reporting and data collection, restaurant operators can use fact-driven reports to optimize operations and spend less time managing operations.

Proper reporting can help you identify everything from mistakes, inaccuracies, under-performing or over performing menu items or locations, employee theft, to labor scheduling, and so much more. Having the right data at your fingertips will help drive growth for your restaurants, so you can spend more time delighting your customers. Whether it’s identifying menu items that are not profitable, inaccuracies, inefficiencies, mistakes, inventory, or labor issues, or acknowledging well-performing locations and sharing best practices—having the right data at your fingertips will help you drive growth for your restaurants.

What problems can restaurant reporting data solve?

Optimize labor costs and staffing

Labor has always been a challenge for restaurant operators, and due to the recent restaurant staffing shortage, this issue is more pertinent than ever. When it comes to reporting labor, there are several reporting metrics a strong reporting system can monitor. Live daily numbers help monitor profitability as well as trends to ensure staffing levels are appropriate for sales volumes at the right time. Creating schedules based on sales forecasts, data, and trends, you can make sure your staff is optimally scheduled—saving money, reducing employee fatigue or burnout, and ensuring staffing levels are optimal for employee and customer happiness.

Secondly, you can ensure managers are following local labor laws, such as break times, and part-time vs full-time employee laws. An optimal restaurant reporting system should provide insights into your labor and staffing levels and allow you to optimize your restaurants accordingly.

Improve employee happiness and retention

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that quit rates in the foodservice industry hit 6.8%, compared to an overall quit rate of 2.9 percent during the great labor shortage. To combat the challenges of the great resignation, many restaurants have implemented new perks, raised pay, and implemented a variety of other measures to retain employees. The National Restaurant Association reports an average of $19.57 per hour for hospitality employees, a 13 percent increase from a year ago, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What does all this mean? As wages rise, and employees seek new positions, keeping employees happy is more costly and important for restaurateurs than ever before.

With accurate reporting, you can avoid over (or under) utilized employees. Restaurant labor technology uses your forecasted sales and historical patterns to determine how many people need to be working, when, and for how long. Managers can also check reports to ensure that employees are taking proper breaks and not being over-utilized. This keeps labor costs manageable and employees happy.

Identify theft or misappropriation of funds

Sadly, an estimated 75 percent of restaurant employees have stolen from their employer at least once. Accounting, bookkeeping, and inventory management software lets you track your cash flows, monitor profitability, and reduce theft.

A modern, cloud-based reporting system can dramatically improve your restaurant operations and give you insights into any discrepancies, so you can address them and move forward. The right software can provide easy-to-understand reports to help ensure that your inventory is going where it should—to the customers—and your profits are allocated to your business.

Limit food waste and improve purchase orders

Manually conducting inventory and food costs with spreadsheets and checklists is time-intensive and often inaccurate. Without intelligent insight, it’s easy to run into redundant purchasing, kitchen wastage, shrinkage, over portioning, and a wide variety of related issues.

By being able to properly analyze inventory and purchasing, you can reduce waste and unnecessary expenses.

Some possible examples include:

  • Identify potential shrinkage from over portioning or theft.
  • See which ingredients expire first and create accurate purchase orders.
  • Identify menu items selling poorly or with poor margins.
  • Reduce overall kitchen waste.
  • Intelligently order and plan based on data.

Proper reporting can help solve many of the day-to-day headaches that modern restaurant operators face. Choosing the right system to manage your restaurant operations can immensely improve your day-to-day work with an accessible integrated software. Easy-to-read reports allow you to make data-informed decisions about every aspect of your restaurant locations.

While the amount of restaurant technology solutions can seem overwhelming, a good reporting system will ease a variety of operational hiccups allowing you to focus on the items that matter most to your restaurants. Choosing the right system will save significant hassle, time and, ultimately, increase your bottom line.

Greg Staley is the CEO of SynergySuite, a back-of-house restaurant management platform. Greg focuses on facilitating better visibility and increased profitability for restaurant chains through the use of intelligent, integrated back-of-house technology. For more information, please contact Greg at greg@synergysuite.com.

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