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Accessing Restaurant Data: One Company's Success Story

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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:

  • Not enough staff to put reports together
  • Computer processing limitations
  • Software deficits
  • Manual distributions and input errors

Restaurant execs without the support of a reliable reporting tool can get caught up and spend way too much time crunching, reconciling, mapping and processing data. Financial Analysts tend to become really expensive report generators. Eventually, the restaurant company can lose the most important aspect of a Financial Analyst...their ability to analyze the data.

Mirus client, Benihana, was one such restaurant company. Before integrating with Mirus, Benihana was frustrated with their reporting capabilities and was looking for a “One stop shop” that’s easy to use and would enable them to produce compelling dashboards and reports, provide faster report distribution and deliver information in real time, 24/7.

What Key Metrics Are Important?

For Benihana as in many other restaurant companies, as they gain access to more data, they continue to dig deeper. Some of the more important items include:

  • FOH Labor & BOH labor
  • Product Mix
  • Per Check Count /Per Entrée Count/ Per Guest Count
  • Menu Engineering
  • Fraud Prevention (including Comps and Voids)
  • Guest Complaints
  • Turnover
  • Hours of Operation/ Optimal Hours
  • Data Integrity

Benihana required timely, accurate data to check results. By implementing Mirus’s user-friendly Enterprise solution, Benihana began to evolve further. They were able to save valuable time, improve operations, find the anomalies faster and create a more streamlined process.

No Missed Opportunities

Data can present the biggest opportunities to a restaurant company. Being informed about sales discounts, product mix, promo success, P&L’s, labor (staffing, performance) and inventory is crucial. That data typically comes from more than one source (Point of Sale, Back Office (Labor, Inventory), Accounting, Guest Loyalty….and as restaurants evolve, they add even more systems.

If your company decides to seek more advanced reporting solutions the key factors in determining which one works for you should include:

  • A solution that automates data collection from any source and allows you to combine all your information
  • Share reports with key members of your team
  • Being able to analyze data to get the answers you need and take swift action

Using the Mirus platform alleviated the bottleneck of reporting on Benihana’s four unique brands. To quote Alex Gonzales, Director of Financial Planning & Analysis and Meredith Meisler, Financial Analyst at Benihana, “We evolved... from the Flintstones to the Jetsons”.


Thinking about changing your POS or any other data source system? If you do, what will happen to your historical data? Who owns it? You might be surprised...

About Mirus:

Mirus provides services in data management and solutions in custom reporting for the restaurant industry. We integrate and organize any data from any system for multi-unit restaurants. Since 1999, Mirus has helped measure and improve business performance.

Watch Mirus reporting demonstrations and client reviews on our YouTube Channel

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Restaurant Data Ownership

Topics: Restaurant Data Warehouse


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