Measuring success or failure of a system that improves decision making is challenging in many respects. But, the Same Store Sales (SSS) metric can be useful, especially when applied to a long period of time, and across thousands of restaurants. SSS is caluclated as a percentage change from last year to this year, and only uses locations that are open for both years.
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.
What is a KPI?
Before we delve into our KPI discussion, let's discuss what exactly is a KPI?
A Key Performance Indicator or "KPI" is a measurable business metric used to evaluate factors that are crucial to the success of an organization. A set threshold is used to gauge whether a KPI metric is performing better or worst than your threshold.