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3 Keys To Analyze Promotions For Counter Service Restaurants

Posted by Dave Bennett on 3/29/18 4:14 PM

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.

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Topics: Restaurant Performance

What Comes First: Smart Data or Smart People?

Posted by Dave Bennett on 1/31/18 8:58 AM

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.

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Topics: Restaurant Performance

Weekend traffic boosts restaurants in December

Posted by Dave Bennett on 12/18/17 4:21 PM

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.

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Topics: Restaurant Profit, Restaurant Finance, Restaurant Performance, Performance

Restaurant Sales & Traffic pick up momentum

Posted by Dave Bennett on 12/13/17 9:05 AM

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.

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Topics: Restaurant Profit, Mirus Updates, Restaurant Operations, Restaurant Performance

Analyzing Restaurant Profits

Posted by Dave Bennett on 12/12/17 10:33 AM

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.

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Topics: Restaurant Profit

5 Hassles Every Report Writer Goes Through

Posted by Dave Bennett on 11/14/17 9:11 AM

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.

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Topics: Performance

Restaurant Traffic Was Spooked In October

Posted by Dave Bennett on 10/31/17 10:45 AM

Mirus Index Shows Decline

2017 has been tough if you are in the restaurant biz. With occasional signs of optimism slipping in every once in a while, the year has been a bust for most chains. Many of the companies who produce the benchmark numbers for the industry continue to mistakenly look at same-store-sales, and failing to draw justified alarm to the reduction in customer traffic.

I have been beating this drum for over a year now, and I am happy to say I do see signs that the traffic problem is getting mentioned more often of late. Here is the latest story from the New York Times on a possible cause of the traffic malase - overdevelopment  (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/31/business/too-many-restaurants-wall-street.html?smid=tw-share).

On a two-year basis through September, the Mirus Index shows a decline of -8.0% across all segments. The bad news is that October will be worse when all the numbers are collected.

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Topics: Restaurant Profit, Restaurant Performance

Restaurant Sales continue slump in August

Posted by Dave Bennett on 8/15/17 10:40 AM

The official numbers for July are now out and it was a bad month for restaurants sales, down by -4.7% according to TD2NK. I thought it would be good to take a mid-month check on the Mirus Index to see if August could be the month to turn things around. Based on the first 14 days of the month, the sales slump continues in August.

Same Store Sales in Mirus Index were positive in both Q1 and Q2 of 2017, and you can see the trail end of that in the chart above. The positive gains were declining in June, and July 4th was a great weekend, but by the middle of July the month to date numbers were negative and they haven't budged much.

All of this is focused on sales, but what about traffic? Q3 will be the seventh quarter in a row of negative customer traffic into restaurants. TD2NK measures that traffic fell -8.7% from July 2015 to July 2017. The Mirus Index has traffic down -2.7% at the mid-way point of Q3 2017. You can manipulate same store sales, but you can't manipulate customer traffic.

We will keep an eye on things, and keep you informed. If you would like to learn more about how you can get the Mirus Index every day, click on the button below.

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Topics: Restaurant Profit, Restaurant Operations, Restaurant Performance

Restaurants extend declines in July

Posted by Dave Bennett on 8/1/17 11:30 AM

Restaurant sales and customer traffic have been in decline for months, and July didn't help. While the results were not the worst in recent history, July extends several streaks that started at the start of 2016. Same store sales for July fell (1.2%) on (2.6%) less traffic. July was the first month this year that recorded negative growth in both numbers.

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Topics: Restaurant Profit, Restaurant Operations, Restaurant Performance

Restaurants see an Increase in Same Store Sales

Posted by Dave Bennett on 6/20/17 7:25 AM

For the past year, reports have been consistently detailing the decline in restaurant same store sales. Mirus reporting clients, as a group, have not suffered this fate.

Mirus Index is a same store sales performance benchmark of all the restaurant companies who use Mirus reporting solutions. For the past eight years we have routinely compared the Mirus Index against the more popular indices published by companies like Black Box Intelligence, MillerPulse, Restaurant Research, and others.

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Topics: Restaurant Profit

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