One thing restaurant managers are not short on is data. Think about how much of your day is spent pulling POS reports and analyzing the numbers from labor costs to average check amounts. It’s a numbers game and staying on top of them is often the difference between a profitable day and running into the red.
Here are three tips on how you can use those numbers to your advantage and improve key areas of your operations.
1. Balance Staff to Sales
Labor optimization is a constant battle every restaurant or bar faces. Your restaurant’s POS reports can help you decide when to cut and when to schedule extra staff. A restaurant management system that includes forecasting and historical sales projections is an asset and should be used to determine the baseline for predicting business peaks and valleys.
Historical data is a good baseline for what to expect on a daily basis but having real-time visibility into sales and current staff on the clock in both the FOH and the BOH needs to complement historical reports. This will help you make quick decisions on the spot or when you are making schedules.
2. Spot Issues Quickly
Keep an eye on key numbers in your POS reports to spot fraud. Know the high-risk areas like refunds and voids and look for patterns in time of day or abnormally high amounts over a time range. Comparing usage versus what’s being rung at the register is a good first line of defense against shrinkage, whether it’s from liquor pours or steaks missing from the freezer.
Talking about these reports at team huddles or company meetings lets employees know that inventory, voids, discounts, coupons, usage, and liquor pours are being monitored. Making employees aware that reports are pulled and analyzed on a regular basis is often deterrent enough to discourage skimming.
3. Decrease Waste
Food waste eats into your revenue. Great strides have been made to help restaurants be more environmentally conscious and give you options to compost or donate extra food, but using your restaurant reports to optimize vendor orders is an even better way to combat the problem.
Compare your usage with inventory levels and identify areas with large discrepancies. Pinpoint areas where you can cut down on the amount of ingredients you keep on hand. Having insight into all your locations may open you up to possible volume discounts as well.
Having web-based restaurant reporting capabilities helps hospitality industry owners and operators improve business operations. Visibility into your metrics — across all locations if you have more than one — like labor, inventory, and usage is just the start. Make it a habit to use POS reports to aid your decisions, and it will pay off in the long term as you streamline your labor costs, become alerted to areas of loss quickly and decrease food waste.