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Restaurant Employee Contests: Fun, Profitable, or Both?

Posted by Chuck Bartlett on 8/22/18 9:06 AM

Whether you are a franchisor or franchisee you want each of your restaurant locations and its employees to make more money. Challenges being placed on already thin margins make it difficult to keep up with the increased demands from labor, food costs, rent etc. And in today’s competitive labor market the cost of locating and training new staff members just adds to the challenge.

If you’re a table service oriented restaurant and you’ve gone to tip pooling or even ventured into the no-tip territory you may have already seen a difference in employee motivation or lack thereof due to these policies where the excellent servers are now making less in tips while the mediocre server is pretty happy. So now you need to find other ways to put the spark back in your team.

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Topics: Restaurant Performance

Mirus User Conference 2018 - Explore The Power Of Your Data

Posted by Dave Bennett on 8/8/18 10:23 AM

This year we are pleased to be hosting the Mirus User Conference in our home town of Houston, and Everyone is invited! This conference is the best way to see how Mirus provides a powerful advantage to our clients for building customer satisfaction, increasing sales, and getting to the action plan quicker than is possible with spreadsheets or static reporting.

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Topics: Restaurant Custom Reporting

Questions To Ask Before Implementing Food Delivery

Posted by Dave Bennett on 8/2/18 11:18 AM

Is Food Delievery Right For Your Restaurant Business?

No topic is hotter in the restaurant space than delivery today. An amazing shift is taking place where customers want their favorite food, and not just pizza, delivered wherever and whenever. For me, delivery became a new reality and not just a fad when I saw McDonald's advertising during the recent World Cup matches that they would now be delivering food. This was no longer a test in a few US markets but now ready for prime time by a heavy hitter in the QSR realm.

There are people projecting that delivery will do to restaurants what Amazon did to retail. I think it is too early to tell for sure, and caution is wise. Nonetheless, I am seeing many restaurant companies testing delivery in select markets and many more are discussing it. However, before you make the decision to plunge into this new channel, there are a few questions you should ask yourself. 

Whose Customer Is It?

How are your customers going to request a delivery? Will you hire your own drivers and create your own e-commerce website, or will you use a third-party delivery service? The first option will take more time and money before you can start comparing to a 3rd party option. But, which alternative do your customers prefer?

Examples of restaurants who have built their own platforms include Panera and Domino's, and both efforts are considered successful, albeit expensive. It's simple, the customer goes to the brand website and orders. An upside to this approach is your customer sees only what you want them to see and their experience is directly connected to your brand. Another plus for this option is the ability to add other programs and services beyond ordering, such as loyalty and payment.

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Topics: Restaurant Profit, Restaurant Operations

The Brief History of Mirus Restaurant Reporting

Posted by Leslie on 7/27/18 2:44 PM

Mirus Restaurant Solutions is a leading provider of business intelligence and data warehouse services for the restaurant industry. The past 18 years have provided us with an enormous amount of educational experiences that have allowed us to fine tune and become the innovative company we are today. But just where did we come from and how has that shaped us? Let’s take a trip through time to see how Mirus began, what we’ve learned and how it’s made us who we are today.

The Beginning

It all started as a typical 1998 tech startup in Tampa, Florida. A small group of innovators lead by Brad Anderson formed The Sankaty Group. Like most offerings in the marketplace today, the product was developed as a solution to a problem. Anderson was working for one of his professors who had a consulting business. He was tasked with crunching a lot of numbers to help clients with menu engineering decisions. Using spreadsheets to get the job done proved to be extremely cumbersome. There had to be a better way.

So Anderson began to develop his own data warehouse product to make the task easier. When they weren’t playing softball, drinking beer or watching football the group was writing the initial code for what would become Mirus’ flagship product: Mirus Enterprise. The group was a unique blend of people from both the restaurant and technology communities with diverse backgrounds. In 2001 the Sankaty Group was acquired by Mirus.

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Topics: Restaurant Data Warehouse

Accessing Restaurant Data: One Company's Success Story

Posted by Kira on 7/13/18 2:11 PM

Too Much Data

Restaurant companies collect a lot of data on a daily basis from all the systems they have in place. How they organize, combine, analyze and distribute that data can have a big impact on the overall success of their business. Certain restaurant companies seek help from outside sources. However, some business intelligence and performance management software can be complicated and difficult to use and understand, using jargon that’s meant for IT professionals. This isn’t very helpful for a financial analyst, for example, who needs specific information and has to report to executives waiting for answers to pertinent questions.

Furthermore, many of these BI alternatives aren’t capable of getting all the data from all the sources. Thereby only being partially helpful. So the Financial Analyst needs to fortify the missing information. He/she needs to piece the data together using the only other way they can think of: Excel.

Over time, especially as their business expands, they begin to realize this way of putting information together can not filter manual errors and is extremely time-consuming. Sometimes restaurant executives can spend all their time creating reports and be left with no time to review them. Additional challenges, as a result, can be:

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Topics: Restaurant Data Warehouse

Restaurant SaaS: Client's Rights

Posted by Dave Bennett on 7/2/18 9:57 AM

Treating Customers Right

Restaurant operators are great customers; however, there are some Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendors that are notorious for not treating them well. Change is accelerating in the restaurant business, as well as in the software solutions used by restaurants. Over the past decade, the way operators buy and access their software has changed.

Previously, a perpetual license model was used where the operator paid upfront for the software and had to keep it up and running themselves. Today, a subscription model is used where the software is hosted in the cloud and the operator pays one monthly fee for both the access to the software and the costs for keeping it running.

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Topics: Restaurant IT

Why Restaurant Inventory Should Integrate With Sales Data

Posted by Kira on 6/21/18 3:21 PM

We’ve talked a lot in these blogs about the importance of restaurant data and the fact that each system a restaurant uses houses a plethora of information. We’ve mentioned in the past that each solution can provide reports, but these systems do not communicate with each other effectively. Operators are forced to manually piece details together to get a more detailed and accurate glimpse into how their restaurant companies are performing. However, manually piecing bits of data together on a spreadsheet can be tedious and problematic. We often refer to this process as "Excel hell".

The goals for most restaurant businesses are the same, drive sales, improve and streamline operations, and keep customers satisfied and coming back. Let’s take a closer look, specifically into the importance of merging Inventory and Point of Sale (POS) data to achieve these objectives.

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Mirus Index: Restaurant Sales Rise In 2018

Posted by Dave Bennett on 6/14/18 2:07 PM

Improving Sales

As we head towards the end of the second quarter, it appears that restaurant sales are moving in a positive direction. Unless something dramatic occurs in the next two weeks, June will finish the first half of the year with 5 months of positive sales growth - only February has been negative this year. The current year to date Same Store Sales, as measured by the Mirus Index, is up 0.62%. Not huge, but at least positive, and the trend is improving. Same Store Sales for Q2 is up 0.82% so far and is up 1.8% for the first twelve days in June.

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Topics: Restaurant Profit, Restaurant Performance

Client Spotlight: How Good Smoke Restaurants Handle Reporting For Two Brands

Posted by Leslie on 6/13/18 12:14 PM

Our clients love us, and we love them right back! We're constantly amazed by their ingenuity and accomplishments. Their ideas and requests are what keep us on the leading edge of restaurant business solutions. Periodically we like to shine the light on our clients, their accomplishments and what they're doing to increase their restaurant profit margin.

Good Smoke Restaurant Group is a barbecue-focused restaurant company which owns and operates two well-known regional brands: Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q and Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. They currently operate over 50 restaurants and are poised for growth.

As a Mirus client for over 4 years they've added a number of integrations into their data warehouse including : food cost, inventory, scheduled labor, budgets, speed of service and on-line ordering.

I had the chance to sit down with Good Smoke's Reporting Analyst, Andy Short, to talk about how Mirus helps him manage all the data and reporting for two brands.

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Topics: Client Spotlight

The Difference Between Product Mix & Market Basket Analysis

Posted by Kira on 6/7/18 3:55 PM

First things first, what are the definitions of product mix and market basket analysis? What benefits do restaurant companies gain from using these two analytical methods?

Product Mix Analysis

Product mix is a tool restaurant executives use to make decisions about menu items. Product mix reports can show a restaurant’s top selling vs bottom selling items, the percentage of the overall menu, the percentage of overall sales for a day, week, month, etc. By studying these reports, restaurant executives can find new ways of reaching their customers through promotions, etc.  For example, a restaurant business can learn from a product mix report that chicken sliders were top sales last month. Offering a variety of sides and drinks that pair well with the chicken sliders would be a good way to increase sales. By paying close attention to costs the restaurant business can increase their profit margins also.

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Topics: Restaurant Custom Reporting

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