Recently, Mirus hosted an executive panel webinar presented by Burger King, Carl's Jr. and Red Robin Franchisees. They spoke eloquently about what spreadsheets were not showing them and what kind of BI solutions they currently use to drive revenue and examine data.
One thing became clear as they presented examples of how far they've come ever since they ditched the spreadsheets; they all manage their restaurant businesses by exception and achieve extremely successful results in both, finance and operations by doing so.
A Wealth of Information
The amount of data you have to manually examine about each unit every day determines how many units you can manage. Think about the amount of information you collect in a single restaurant every day. Let's say you have every item ordered that day, every guest check, every discount, every punch in/out of every employee, every receipt of materials, every entry in the log for deposits, etc. That's a lot of information!
So what do you do? Manage the exceptions. What does that mean, exactly? It's a type of business management that focuses on identifying and handling cases that deviate from the norm. Management by exception allows you to focus in and analyze all pertinent abnormalities in the data. It gives restaurant operators the ability to spot errors and omissions and ineffective strategies. It's the most efficient approach to studying your restaurant data. Look at the things that stand out. Look at the exceptions – who is canceling checks, who is constantly punching in early and leaving late?
Examining ALL the details would take all day (if you're lucky!) for a single store. It takes an area supervisor an average of 15 minutes to review the data and another 15 minutes to discuss with each GM. The area supervisor is expected to spend less than 30% of their time on Administrative duties. The average number of stores per area supervisor is between 5-7.
Management by exception is intended to cut back the load and allow managers to spend their time more efficiently in other important areas. It stands to reason that good and thorough management will lead to efficiency of business processes.
Beyond POS Reports
If up until now you've been getting operational reports generated from your Point of Sale (and other transactional systems, one at a time) it's time to investigate other alternatives. Multi unit restaurant operators can not afford to waste time, studying spreadsheets from each system, individually. Consider also that the information generated by the spreadsheet may contain mistakes due to human error. Now you're not even sure if you're looking at the right data!
Also, there are some reports that can't come from a POS system. Anything that combines data from two or more locations cannot be delivered in a POS system unless you have above store reporting capability. Issues such as cleanliness, Mystery Shopper Scores, training and Guest Satisfaction are a few that have a bearing on how well locations are performing operationally. When you can tie it back to sales and labor you get a more complete picture of what's going on as opposed to looking at any one in a vacuum.
Once You Are Able to See Everything
With a cloud based BI solution, you have the benefit of data analysis that compares the incoming stream of information from a Point of Sale system (and all additional systems) to an established set of data and pinpoints items that set off red flags. Once you look for the deviations and pinpoint the core issues, with Exception Based Reporting you can then make a proactive plan of action followed by a quick resolution. Working smarter can definitely improve your bottom line.
How do you analyze multi-unit restaurant operations?
Mirus Restaurant Solutions is a multi-unit restaurant reporting software used by operations, finance, IT, and marketing.
For more information, please visit www.mirus.com
If you enjoyed this blog, please share this post by using the social buttons at the top of the page and make sure to leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
For additional information on how successful operators are managing by exception, download the Webinar: The 3 things Spreadsheets Won't Tell You