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Restaurant Data Integrations - What To Know

Posted by Frank on 5/13/19 10:42 AM

What's data integration and how is it leveraged?

Data integration is a process in which heterogeneous data (finance, marketing, operations, sales, customer, mystery shop, cleanliness, inventory, etc.) is organized and cleansed into a data warehouse. It is leveraged when it's accessible through a platform that allows it to be leveraged together to form meaningful and actionable reports.

What are some challenges restaurants face today?

Restaurant companies are drowning in data about their customers, operational execution, internal business processes, finances, suppliers, partners, and competitors. Many can't leverage this flood of data and convert it to actionable information for growing revenue, increasing profitability, and efficiently operating the business.

Why? Well, there are multiple reasons, here's two that come to mind:

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Topics: Restaurant Data Warehouse

Restaurant Reporting & Analysis Are Not The Same

Posted by Chuck Bartlett on 4/16/19 12:06 PM

In this post, I want to examine the differences between reporting and analysis. Why? Because they're fundamentally different. Yet, I never hear, "we're doing all the analysis we need." No, instead I'm hearing, "we have all the reporting we need." And I'm quite certain they do - what with all the systems used to run a restaurant. It's likely that they and you have hundreds of standardized reports available and many are likely helpful at telling you what happened; e.g., how many of this or that item did we sell, what's our percentage of labor, what's our gross / net sales in this or that store, market, overall, what's our cash over short, etc. See, all helpful until you want to understand why the cash is shorter than you'd like, why that item didn't sell as you expected, labor in a market is higher or why that promo did so well but we wound up making less money.

To get an answer to the 'WHY' something happened requires you to perform some analysis and that requires a solution that can help you knit together the pieces needed to get at the underlying answer. So let’s start with a high-level definition of Reporting and Analysis.

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Topics: Restaurant Performance

Sizzler: An Approach to "Digging" into Restaurant Data

Posted by Kira on 4/5/19 11:34 AM

The competition in the restaurant industry is fierce. You need to make your brand stand out, apart from the rest. Bringing in consistent revenue is tougher than ever. Restaurant executives find themselves pondering a series of questions:

  • What steps do we take to make sure we stay ahead of the competition?
  • How do we assure the success of our marketing initiatives?
  • What are some tactics that help improve sales in our restaurant business?
  • Are our restaurants staffed properly for heavier and lighter traffic times?
  • How can we keep employee turnover down?
  • How can our employees help increase sales?
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Topics: Performance

Client Spotlight: Nothing Cool About Microsoft Excel

Posted by Leslie on 3/20/19 10:29 AM

Client Spotlight: Alamo Drafthouse

Alamo Drafthouse has been named the coolest movie theater in the world. Their mission is to provide good food, good beer and good film all in the same place. They currently operate over 40 locations and have more scheduled to open.

As a Mirus client for over 6 years they've added a number of integrations into their data warehouse including : ticketing point of sale, food & beverage point of sale, scheduled labor, guest feedback and weather.

I had the chance to sit down with Alamo Drafthouse's Integrations Manager, Jake Lawson, to talk about how Mirus helps him manage data and reporting for both the movie and food & beverage sides of his company.

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Topics: Client Spotlight

The Importance of Cleansing Restaurant Data

Posted by Kira on 3/5/19 1:21 PM

Data collection is important but the quality of data for a restaurant enterprise is key to ensuring that it is used in the most productive way. Inaccurate and outdated data can affect overall productivity. When multiple sources of data are getting pulled into one database, duplicate and/or erroneous information can be inevitable.

Data cleansing is the process of finding and correcting flawed information from your restaurant company’s database. The process is mainly used where incorrect, incomplete, or irrelevant details are identified and then modified, swapped or cleared out. Data cleansing is important because it improves the quality of your data and in doing so, increases productivity, while simultaneously doing away with potential expenses, and helping to improve ROI. Managing and ensuring that the data is clean can provide significant business value and making decisions without being able to weigh them against a strong, valid set of data can hurt a restaurant business.

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Topics: Restaurant Data Warehouse

Use Your Data To Catch Restaurant Labor Fraud

Posted by Chuck Bartlett on 2/26/19 12:27 PM

Restaurant Labor Theft

According to the American Payroll Association (APA) almost 75% of U.S. businesses are paying employees for time not actually worked. The APA also indicated that loss, due to time theft, can run from 4% to 7% of Gross Payroll. Assuming the APA estimates for theft are accurate and your cost of labor is running around the industry average of 30% then it would be safe to further assume that a restaurant with $1,500,000 (‘$1.5M’) in sales could be losing $18K to $31K per location on an annualized basis.

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Restaurant Employee Theft - Voids & Comps

Posted by Chuck Bartlett on 2/14/19 2:56 PM

Employees Learn Quick

Voids, Comps, and other means to adjust orders in process, just placed or delivered are a necessity if you operate a restaurant. Let’s face it, employees can make mistakes while entering orders just as customers can change their minds and now want a different item or realize they don’t have enough cash and now need to pay with a credit card. On the other hand, if you just tendered a customer's order to cash, you’ll need to void the order and re-enter using the new tender type.

Of course, these are just two of many examples where voids are a requirement. Comps on the other hand are used in the restaurant business when the wrong item was delivered or the customer was unhappy with their experience. While these tools are available to make corrections and adjustments as needed – your employees learn quickly that they can just as easily be manipulated to their financial advantage.

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Topics: Restaurant Loss Management

What's The Ideal Restaurant Discount?

Posted by Dave Bennett on 1/30/19 12:45 PM

On The Rise

Discounting in restaurants is on the rise, as measured by Mirus Index, and is about 30% higher than a year ago. Examining this trend, it looks like discounting started climbing in 2015 but was up and down until mid-2016. Since then the trend has been a steady increase in discounting, except for the traditional holiday spike in November and December.


The strategy of discounting is often debated among industry experts with some saying it is always a bad idea while others taking a more nuanced position that says discounting can be useful to achieve goals in specific situations.

We had noticed that Average Check has been increasing as well as Discounts. If you overlay the trend for Average Check against the Discount trend, you see that while discounts have gone up about 50% since the start of 2017, so has the Average Check, about 25%. Could the increase in discounts be related to the strategy of increasing prices?

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Topics: Restaurant Profit, Restaurant Operations, Restaurant Performance

Resolve To Whip Your Restaurant Data Into Shape

Posted by Leslie on 1/23/19 10:02 AM

The start of a new year means many people are focusing on getting in better shape. You may even be offering some healthier choices on your menu to meet the consumer mindset. Why do so many people vow to eat better in the new year? No doubt losing weight gives you more energy and confidence. As a restaurant executive getting your restaurant data into better shape can have the same effects on your business. Learn why you should resolve to whip your data into shape and how to successfully do it.

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Topics: Restaurant Profit, Restaurant Operations, Restaurant Performance

2019 Restaurant Business Predictions

Posted by Dave Bennett on 1/8/19 10:42 AM

What do you think will be the most popular restaurant business trends for 2019? I recently had the privilege to sit down with FSR Magazine to briefly discuss this topic.

We discuss four prevailing predictions:

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Topics: Restaurant Profit, Restaurant Operations, Restaurant Performance


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