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.
Topics: Restaurant Custom Reporting
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.
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.
Topics: Restaurant IT
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.
Menu changes occur all the time in the restaurant business. You might add an item or two, change the price of existing items, run a promotion, or limited time offer. All of these actions generate, hopefully, the consequences you intended. But, most of the time those actions cause other changes you did not expect. These are the unintended consequences. In this post, we give you three important things to consider when evaluating the effectiveness of a promotion.
Topics: Restaurant Performance
What Comes First?
Determining the reason why two restaurant reporting numbers are different can be a real challenge, like the chicken or the egg. In this era of big data, many restaurant companies are racing to improve their use and comprehension of the data they have locked up in their system silos. But, the question for this post is: Does data make people smarter or is it the other way around?
In 2017, same-store sales of all restaurants fell by -1.1% according to TD2NK and their Black Box Intelligence index. This index is computed on data from 30,000 restaurants, so it is a pretty good aggregation of data - about 5% of the restaurant industry. In this population, I think it is fair to say that some of the companies use their data aggressively and some do not.
Topics: Restaurant Performance
December continues to look like an important month for the restaurant industry. After years of poor or lackluster results overall, the first half of December has delivered positive same store sales and traffic, according to the Mirus Index.
Much has been written over the past two years about the dismal pattern of same store sales and traffic for restaurants. Traffic has been negative throughout this period, and sales have rarely been positive, and then only when restaurants increase prices.
Analyzing Restaurant Profits
Restaurants are changing the way they analyze profits and performance. New techniques for examining data are being used. New metrics are being calculated. And perhaps the most important change is the amount of data being examined every day, and throughout the day in some cases.
Historically, restaurants reported highly summarized data each day to manage the business. Sales for Lunch or Dinner, or sales mix for a day or week, or labor dollars as a percent of sales for the day are typical examples. Summarized data can mask operational issues, and it limits the depth of performance analysis you can conduct. For example, a daily labor metric could hide the fact that there were hours where too many employees were on the clock while at different times of the day staffing was insufficient to service customer demand.
Topics: Restaurant Profit
Why is it difficult to find and organize reporting data?
All you want is a factual answer to an important question you have about the business. It may take hours or days of labor to get all of the data put together properly. But you need to make a critical decision and you need the data to figure out the best course of action. To make matters worse, if you need to the data refreshed again in six weeks, it will take just as long to compile the data.