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Restaurant Industry: A Diary of the COVID-19 Impact April 20

Posted by Dave

April 24 Diary Entry

For those who have been following my posts and articles, you have heard the news that the sales of the restaurant industry hit their lowest point at the end of March. Since then, sales have been improving slowly on a week-to-week basis. In recent weeks, the Mirus Index has shown an increase in sales on a same-store basis.

Since Easter, the rate of sales increase accelerated to about 16%, that is until a couple of days ago.

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Topics: Restaurant Profit, Restaurant Operations, Restaurant Finance, COVID-19 Restaurant Impact

Restaurant Industry: A Diary of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact

Posted by Dave

April 13 Diary Entry

The restaurant industry started the year 2020 stronger than any year in more than a decade, although the impact of Covid-19 was already working its way into the numbers. Between March 12 and March 16, city by city, state by state shut down the restaurant dining room. All of the sports leagues also suspended operations. Curbside, takeout, drive-thru and delivery were now the only service channels for restaurants. That is when it hit the fan. Since then, is there any good news?

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Topics: Restaurant Profit, Restaurant Operations, Restaurant Finance, COVID-19 Restaurant Impact

Restaurants: Building Your Own Data Warehouse Is Senseless

Posted by Dave

The restaurant business is complex, much more so than customers would typically believe. We have lived through an explosion of new software tools that help restaurant operators manage this complexity and in the process they have created a new dilemma; understanding it all.

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Topics: Restaurant Data Warehouse, Restaurant IT

Restaurants Celebrate Breakout January Results

Posted by Dave

According to the Mirus Index, January closed with the best sales and traffic performance since 2015. Traffic, in particular, has been an industry problem for most of the last 5 years.

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Topics: Restaurant Profit, Restaurant Finance, Restaurant Performance

July Restaurant Sales & Traffic Improve With Data

Posted by Dave

Mirus is happy to report that our clients, as measured by the Mirus Index each day, are outperforming both the industry averages, and the government's numbers in the 3rd quarter.

2019 is a pretty good year, so far. But, according to Black Box Intelligence's latest report on sales and traffic, both were negative for July (-1% and -4%, respectively). Both were also negative, albeit marginally, in June (-0.01% and -3.1%, respectively).

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Topics: Restaurant Profit, Restaurant Finance, Restaurant Performance

What's The Ideal Restaurant Discount?

Posted by Dave

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.

Strategic?

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

2019 Restaurant Business Predictions

Posted by Dave

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

Think You Know Your Restaurant Customers?

Posted by Dave

Analyzing Customer Grain Details?

For the most part, restaurants in the past have operated knowing very little about their loyal customers. There are some exceptions, such as pizza delivery concepts, where they have been collecting detailed grains like customer's full name and home addresses.

However, today with the increased competitiveness and shifting preferences of a new generation, it's imperative the restaurants understand all they can about their customers. If the goal is to keep current customers while also trying to attract new customers, you have to leverage the data your restaurants are producing. That way you can understand what's working and what's not.

Customer grain details in restaurant reporting can help you do just that. Watch the presentation below to learn more about customer grain and how your restaurant leadership can use the information to make better business decisions.

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Topics: Restaurant Marketing

The Changing Dynamics of Restaurants

Posted by Dave

The Past

According to a recent article, the top 10 oldest restaurants in America are:

  1. McGillin's OldeLouis' Lunch (1895) New Haven, Conn.
  2. Buckhorn Exchange (1893) Denver
  3. McGillin’s Olde Ale House (1860) Philadelphia
  4. Breitbach’s Country Dining (1852) Balltown, Iowa
  5. Tadich Grill (1849) San Francisco
  6. Antione’s Restaurant (1840) New Orleans
  7. Union Oyster House (1826) Boston
  8. Griswold Inn (1776) Essex, Conn.
  9. Fraunces Tavern (1762) New York City
  10. White Horse Tavern (1673) Newport, R.I.

To me, it is fascinating that these establishments are still going!

Most likely, today's restaurants evolved out of the Tavern where travelers could get a bed and a meal on their journey. I am sure that in the 18th and early 19th centuries most people would not think of paying someone to cook a meal for them. It required discretionary income and the 'middle class' would not evolve until later during the industrial revolution.

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Topics: Restaurant Operations, Restaurant Performance

Mirus User Conference 2018 - Explore The Power Of Your Data

Posted by Dave

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.

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Topics: Restaurant Custom Reporting

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