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Dave

With more than 30 years of experience in the restaurant and technology industries, Dave has deftly steered Mirus through its formative years as well as into its current growth phase. Prior to joining Mirus in 2000, Dave delivered more than $500 million in large-scale information services contracts for IBM Global Services. In addition, he previously served as the vice president for information services for the now Dunkin’ Brands, where he managed the information strategies and policies of more than 5,000 Baskin-Robbins and Dunkin’ Donuts locations. Dave holds a B.S. in Business Administration and MBA from Northeastern University.
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Recent Posts

An Alternative to Restaurant Back Office System

Posted by Dave

More than two ways to skin a cat...

In a previous post, I touched on the impact human behavior has on the deployment of a restaurant back office system. Many times the most difficult part of deploying a back office system is to get the managers to change their day to day behavior to fit the new system. If everyone doesn't use the system properly, it becomes garbage in - garbage out.

So, why would we want to start such a challenging project? Two motivations to deploy a back office system are improving process controls and automating repetitive tasks. In this post, I'd like to describe some alternatives to traditional back office systems. There are layers to this onion, and you do not need to view it as an "all or nothing" game.

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Topics: Restaurant Custom Reporting

Should You Change Your Restaurant POS?

Posted by Dave

It seems like an eternal question for many restaurant companies; should I dump the POS we use today in favor of a 'better' one? In our business, the POS is a fundamental system. Without a POS it is vitually impossible to run a multi-unit company. From out vantange point, it is also one of the most disliked systems. The churn in POS is not well documented but I think it is easy to say over 50% of companies choose a different vendor when their current POS reaches end of life. Shooting the POS vendor seems to be a popular sport among restaurant companies.

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Topics: Restaurant Operations

Negative Sales: What's Next for Restaurants?

Posted by Dave

The Data Is In

The word on restaurant sales has been out in the public for a while now. Same store sales are down for many segments. And for some of the most recent months, the industry overall is down.

Two factors lead to negative same store sales:  declining customer traffic, or customers spending less on each visit. It has been well documented that restaurants have been increasing their prices over the past few years. The National Restaurant Association measured price inflation at 2.7% in July 2016, while the average cost of ingredients fell -3.5%. The increased margin dollars have helped some restaurants cover the increases in labor.

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Topics: Restaurant Operations, Restaurant Finance, Performance

Controlling Restaurant Costs In A Tight Labor Market

Posted by Dave

Labor markets continue to tighten. "Applications have been below 300,000, a historically low level, for 64 weeks, the longest such streak since 1973" (US News & World Report 2016). For the restaurant industry, this is one of four major considerations when managing labor costs. This 'perfect storm' of conditions only happens 2 or 3 three times in a typical career, so if you are feeling the pressure, it is to be expected.

The four horseman challenging everyone today are:

  1. Low unemployment
  2. Reduced skills in the remaining labor pool
  3. Minimum wage increases
  4. Overtime rule changes affecting salaried employees

Let's discuss the first two of these challenges. We will touch on the others in later blogs.

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Consumer Profiling: Knowing More About Your Restaurant Customers

Posted by Dave

The power of consumer knowledge

Understanding your customers is a prerequisite to satisfying their wants and needs to increase customer satisfaction in restaurants. Typically we do not know who our customers are; their name, their email, etc. The lack of knowledge keeps us in the dark when constructing menus and promotions, and hinders our ability to measure whether we are satisfying our restaurant customers.

Consumer profiling based on purchase behavior is a technique you can use to see patterns to determine the various types of customers you have, and how you might better service them.

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Topics: Restaurant Performance

Restaurant Analytics - Looks VS. Functionality

Posted by Dave

Brains or Beauty?

What's more important, the way something looks and feels or the functionality and power behind the product? When you have been developing software for as long as we have, you hear it from both sides.

But it's important to find a medium, a middle ground you and your team can work with. Because at the end of the day, the combination of beauty and brains is what everyone is after!

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Why Restaurant Manager Theft Needs To Be Discussed

Posted by Dave

Restaurant Management Theft

The Elephant In The Room...

Theft, or loss, in the restaurant industry is everywhere. Lots of small, cash transactions are one factor that sets the stage for loss. Food that can be consumed at home is another. This is a touchy subject for restaurant companies, a reality that very few like to discuss.

Of all the discussions that are uncomfortable for restaurant companies, manager theft ranks near the top. At most companies, the manager is a key control point for finances. We empower them with unique access to money and data. One bad apple can do a lot of damage.

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Topics: Restaurant Loss Management

The Different Types of Restaurant Software Solutions

Posted by Dave

Introduction

A restaurant company has dozens of critically important, inter-connected processes. After all, restaurants are a combination of a factory and a retail operation rolled up into one. And, don't forget distribution. Delivery and catering are both growing revenue centers for many restaurant companies.

To keep track of all these processes without software solutions is a high-risk, low-reward option. A very smart team might be able to keep all the facts in their heads, but they would not be able to grow the business.  There aren't enough really smart people in the world to do all this work manually.

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Topics: Restaurant IT, Restaurant Performance

Restaurant Food Cost Controls

Posted by Dave

Introduction

Controlling food costs is essential if you are interested in restaurant profit margin. I'd like to discuss a few options for implementing controls over your food costs. In practice, there are many ways you can create a control. Let's start with a definition:

According to a website affiliated with the NRA, "The seven stages (of food cost control) are purchasing, receiving, storage, issuing, preparation, cooking, and service."

If you include retailing and selling under service, I agree. If your controls over food costs do not cover the activities of selling, or retailing, you are not seeing the entire picture.

Be careful when researching food cost controls. There are too many sites that think food cost control is simply the formula for calculating Actual Food Cost as a percentage of sales. While this formula is useful as part of a control, by itself it is simply a measurement.

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Topics: Restaurant Finance

Restaurant Performance Management - Comparing Alternatives

Posted by Dave

This is the third entry in a series of blogs designed to evaluate the pros and cons of two approaches to restaurant performance management.  In the previous entries we defined the terms Above Store Reporting and Enterprise Data Warehousing (EDW).

Both methods are appropriate for restaurant companies, and the best fit for any individual company depends on that organization’s culture and how much they drive the business based on data.

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Topics: Restaurant Data Warehouse

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