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Chuck Bartlett

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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

See ‘What’ Happens When You Use an Above Store Reporting System

Posted by Chuck Bartlett on 5/29/18 9:15 AM

Above Store Reporting

In today’s highly competitive restaurant marketplace, restaurant companies are slowly evolving and becoming more data-centric when it comes to decision making but it’s definitely a learning process. Part of the reason is due to changes in the way many newer systems (POS, BOH, etc.), are delivering Above Store Reports (ASR) on daily activities. OK before I go further on this, let’s go back to the beginning and then fast forward back to today.

I’m not going to go all the way back to paper and fax machines but for those that remember this tedious process, I’d be remiss to ignore its existence. With the advance of the Internet and computers, paper forms and faxes were replaced with reports being made visible by logging into the POS or BOH systems. One main difference between now and then is the early systems required you to login to each location individually before you could see any reports.

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Topics: Restaurant Custom Reporting

Restaurant Operations: Manager Expectations

Posted by Chuck Bartlett on 4/27/18 5:44 PM

No matter how many restaurant locations you operate, it’s likely that you have a set of ‘best practice’ directives used to keep your locations running smoothly. The question is - How well do your managers know what you expect of them?

Expectations

To put this into perspective, your restaurant managers are responsible for guest satisfaction, food orders, hiring, training, coaching and more. It’s important that your managers understand what you expect of them. You also need to keep in mind how important it is that you inspect what you expect of them. This action will help ensure that they’re planning and operating in line with those expectations. While you likely hired these managers because they have an inherent ability to connect with those around them, your restaurant managers will greatly benefit if they have easy access to reports that key on the metrics tied to your expectations.

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Topics: Restaurant Performance

Restaurant Reporting: How to use Product Mix (PMIX) Analysis

Posted by Chuck Bartlett on 4/19/18 4:15 PM

It seems like, since forever, that Product Mix or PMIX as it’s known, has been a staple in the restaurant arsenal for evaluating what’s selling and menu performance. And while, PMIX does deliver some interesting information like how many of x, y or z did I sell over a day, week, month, etc., it lacks the details needed to see shifts in demand, which makes it a poor choice to use when you’re wanting to make critical decisions about menu changes. For now, let’s look closer at what PMIX can deliver.

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Topics: Restaurant Finance, Restaurant Custom Reporting

3 Characteristics of An Enterprise Data Warehouse

Posted by Chuck Bartlett on 1/23/18 10:43 AM

Overview

Before we jump into the characteristics of an Enterprise Data Warehouse (‘EDW’) it might help to define what an EDW consists of. An EDW is a centralized repository that integrates data from various transactional, legacy, or 3rd party systems and applications that are used to operate and manage your business. In contrast to these systems, the EDW is built for analysis and retrieval of data rather than the upkeep of individual transactional records.

Ralph Kimball, one of the original architects of data warehousing and someone whose teachings we adhere to, provided a more concise definition of a data warehouse: “A data warehouse is a copy of transaction data specifically structured for query and analysis.”.

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Topics: Restaurant IT

Spreadsheet & Trust, Oxymoron or Truth?

Posted by Chuck Bartlett on 10/31/17 9:07 AM

According to Microsoft, there are 1.2B (that’s right, B for Billion) Office users today. Of that, roughly 750M use Excel. Wow! That’s a lot of number crunching going on.

Error-Prone 

But what’s even more interesting is that 9 out of 10 (88%) spreadsheets have errors on them – that warrants another Wow! That’s a lot of inaccurate information being used by companies. And depending on the data being reported it could have a significant impact on a company’s regulatory compliance, perceived health not to mention incorrect assumptions being made about strategy, marketing, etc.

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Topics: Performance

Should Restaurant HR Leverage BI?

Posted by Chuck Bartlett on 10/25/17 11:19 AM

Today, for many restaurant companies, the challenge of harnessing the myriad of disparate data generated by the systems (POS, BOH, ERP, etc.) used to operate and manage their businesses is just that, a challenge. And when it comes to the Human Resource (HR) department, well, they're no different - the reason being, data associated with different tasks such as hiring, job satisfaction surveys, training details and performance management reviews all reside in different databases.

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Topics: Restaurant Data Warehouse

Benefits of Consolidating Point of Sale & Back Office Data

Posted by Chuck Bartlett on 8/18/17 2:52 PM

"POS, Meet BOH"

In today’s restaurant space, the business of owning and operating a restaurant is more challenging and competitive than ever before. This means it’s more important than ever to leverage technology to your advantage and no better place to start than using your Point-of-Sale system’s (POS) sales data combined with your Back of House (BOH) to help more tightly control your two biggest controllable expenses – food and labor costs.

Looking more closely, restaurant food & beverage purchases plus labor expenses account for 60 to as much as 68 cents of every dollar in restaurant sales. The combined total is referred to as; “Prime Cost”, and it's at this crossroads where the battle for restaurant profitability takes place. Why, because you have the ability to control these expenses. Unlike your fixed costs (lease, utilities, insurance, etc.), you can directly impact your food cost percentage by more effective purchasing, product handling and menu pricing and your labor with tools to help with allocation, scheduling and overtime reduction/prevention. More on the labor from an earlier series of Blogs.

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Topics: Performance

Restaurant Above Store Reporting, Business Intelligence, Business Analytics - Aren’t they all the same?

Posted by Chuck Bartlett on 6/28/17 2:22 PM

Restaurant organizations are increasingly turning to data to help manage their operations more effectively, improve marketing, drive revenues, increase profit margins, ensure competitiveness and grow their businesses. Unfortunately, today, the most widely implemented solutions aren’t Business Intelligence (BI) or Business Analytics (BA) solutions. No, today, the vast majority of restaurant companies rely on reports generated by the very systems used to operate (POS, BOH, etc.), their businesses.

Why? In my humble opinion, there’s a lot of confusion around terms being used to describe what any restaurant company may be receiving when it comes to their reporting. There’s Above Store Reporting (ASR), BI and BA to name a few. While they each provide a means to an end, that end is very different in each case.

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Topics: Restaurant Custom Reporting, Restaurant Data Warehouse

Restaurant Customer Satisfaction - What Exactly Makes Your Guest Come Back?

Posted by Chuck Bartlett on 5/3/17 3:04 PM

What's CX?

According to Wikipedia, Customer Experience (CX) is the product of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship. This interaction is made up of three parts:

  1. The customer's journey.
  2. The brand touchpoints the customer interacts with.
  3. The environments the customer experiences (including digital environment) during their experience.

In addition to the focus on hiring and retaining staff, labor and food costs, customer engagement technology and winning the guest / customer through exceptional service are among the top priorities for restaurant companies that want to win the wallet and mind of the customer.

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Topics: Restaurant Operations

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