Why BOH and BI Solutions are NOT the Same
I've spoken to many restaurant executives about performance measurement and restaurant data analysis across their franchises. When we address the topic of restaurant BI, more often than not I hear them admit that they're simply sticking with their Back of House solution. This would work fine if BOH solutions were the same as BI solutions.
It occurred to me that we should probably discuss the difference between back of house systems and restaurant business intelligence solutions because they are definitely not synonymous and knowing the benefits from one to the next (and utilizing the right tools as your business grows) can mean the difference between mediocre and through-the-roof returns on your restaurant profit margin.
Back of House Systems
These collect the restaurant details that the customers don't usually see, such as:
- Inventory management
- Menu management
- Controlling labor & other costs
- Restaurant Food cost and Beverage cost
They are transactional systems. Their primary purpose is to record the business activity that goes on in the restaurant. Whether it is the production of food in the kitchen, the restaurant ordering food and getting the invoice, or the employee punching in and out. They record every piece of business that happens in the restaurant.
Business Intelligence Solutions
Restaurant Management Business Intelligence software is a different animal altogether. With fewer units you can still manage with solely the BOH solution. But once you begin to expand, your BOH solution will not be able to supply you with the complete and thorough BI that you will need to develop and grow. Now that you're looking to stay on top of more advanced processes and with a larger amount of locations, you just can't use the same systems to maintain successful restaurant operations. With advanced BI tools you can:
- Drill down to the last detail across all of your units to detect fraud or hone in on the overtime problem
- Show each management's team how they stack up against the other stores in your chain
- Rate how you measure up against the competition
- Use existing data to forecast future progress and growth
BI solutions collect information from a number of systems which include the POS, BOH, Guest Loyalty and Speed of Service. They are analytical systems, meaning they compile the information captured by the transactional systems, enabling restaurant operators to study it more easily. The information collected is not often useful until it is organized in such a way so that it will make sense. And key analytic performance is the speed with which huge quantities of data are collected and displayed for ease of interpretation.
The valuable element here is that the BI system combines all the data from all of your restaurant systems and enables you to create customized reporting for all of your locations in a single report (Hopefully you're not still using spreadsheets to study and glue all of this information together).
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What Are Your Thoughts?
Do you agree with me?
Can you see how in your own restaurants there are strong differences between you BOH and BI platforms?
Mirus provides decision makers across operations, finance and marketing with actionable intelligence. Our analytic software consolidates transactional information and a host of other data sources to measure and improve restaurant performance. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Mirus is a recognized leader in restaurant business intelligence.
For more information, please visit www.mirus.com