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Restaurant Employee Contests: Fun, Profitable, or Both?

Posted by Chuck Bartlett on 8/22/18 9:06 AM

Whether you are a franchisor or franchisee you want each of your restaurant locations and its employees to make more money. Challenges being placed on already thin margins make it difficult to keep up with the increased demands from labor, food costs, rent etc. And in today’s competitive labor market the cost of locating and training new staff members just adds to the challenge.

If you’re a table service oriented restaurant and you’ve gone to tip pooling or even ventured into the no-tip territory you may have already seen a difference in employee motivation or lack thereof due to these policies where the excellent servers are now making less in tips while the mediocre server is pretty happy. So now you need to find other ways to put the spark back in your team.

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Topics: Restaurant Performance

Mirus Index: Restaurant Sales Rise In 2018

Posted by Dave Bennett on 6/14/18 2:07 PM

Improving Sales

As we head towards the end of the second quarter, it appears that restaurant sales are moving in a positive direction. Unless something dramatic occurs in the next two weeks, June will finish the first half of the year with 5 months of positive sales growth - only February has been negative this year. The current year to date Same Store Sales, as measured by the Mirus Index, is up 0.62%. Not huge, but at least positive, and the trend is improving. Same Store Sales for Q2 is up 0.82% so far and is up 1.8% for the first twelve days in June.

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Topics: Restaurant Performance, Restaurant Profit

Restaurant Operations: Manager Expectations

Posted by Chuck Bartlett on 4/27/18 5:44 PM

No matter how many restaurant locations you operate, it’s likely that you have a set of ‘best practice’ directives used to keep your locations running smoothly. The question is - How well do your managers know what you expect of them?

Expectations

To put this into perspective, your restaurant managers are responsible for guest satisfaction, food orders, hiring, training, coaching and more. It’s important that your managers understand what you expect of them. You also need to keep in mind how important it is that you inspect what you expect of them. This action will help ensure that they’re planning and operating in line with those expectations. While you likely hired these managers because they have an inherent ability to connect with those around them, your restaurant managers will greatly benefit if they have easy access to reports that key on the metrics tied to your expectations.

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Topics: Restaurant Performance

3 Keys To Analyze Promotions For Counter Service Restaurants

Posted by Dave Bennett on 3/29/18 4:14 PM

Menu changes occur all the time in the restaurant business. You might add an item or two, change the price of existing items, run a promotion, or limited time offer. All of these actions generate, hopefully, the consequences you intended. But, most of the time those actions cause other changes you did not expect. These are the unintended consequences. In this post, we give you three important things to consider when evaluating the effectiveness of a promotion.

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Topics: Restaurant Performance

The Blurred Lines of "Restaurant Management Software"

Posted by Frank on 3/16/18 2:32 PM

Like many terms in the restaurant industry, "Restaurant Management Software" is widely used, creating a complex understanding of what it actually means. In this article, I'd like to briefly discuss why that is, explain what I have learned so far by studying its use in our industry and tell you how to get a clearer picture of what defines solutions that are classified as Restaurant Management Software.

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Topics: Restaurant Performance

What Comes First: Smart Data or Smart People?

Posted by Dave Bennett on 1/31/18 8:58 AM

What Comes First?

Determining the reason why two restaurant reporting numbers are different can be a real challenge, like the chicken or the egg. In this era of big data, many restaurant companies are racing to improve their use and comprehension of the data they have locked up in their system silos. But, the question for this post is: Does data make people smarter or is it the other way around?

In 2017, same-store sales of all restaurants fell by -1.1% according to TD2NK and their Black Box Intelligence index. This index is computed on data from 30,000 restaurants, so it is a pretty good aggregation of data - about 5% of the restaurant industry. In this population, I think it is fair to say that some of the companies use their data aggressively and some do not.

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Topics: Restaurant Performance

Weekend traffic boosts restaurants in December

Posted by Dave Bennett on 12/18/17 4:21 PM

December continues to look like an important month for the restaurant industry. After years of poor or lackluster results overall, the first half of December has delivered positive same store sales and traffic, according to the Mirus Index.

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Topics: Performance, Restaurant Performance, Restaurant Profit, Restaurant Finance

Restaurant Sales & Traffic pick up momentum

Posted by Dave Bennett on 12/13/17 9:05 AM

Much has been written over the past two years about the dismal pattern of same store sales and traffic for restaurants. Traffic has been negative throughout this period, and sales have rarely been positive, and then only when restaurants increase prices.

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Topics: Mirus Updates, Restaurant Operations, Restaurant Performance, Restaurant Profit

Client Spotlight: How Cafe Rio improved their business with their data

Posted by Leslie on 11/21/17 9:58 AM

Our clients love us and we love them right back! We're constantly amazed by their ingenuity and accomplishments. Their ideas and requests are what keep us on the leading edge of restaurant business solutions. Periodically we like to shine the light on our clients, their accomplishments and what they're doing to increase their restaurant profit margin.

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Topics: Restaurant Finance, Client Spotlight, Restaurant Performance

Restaurant Traffic Was Spooked In October

Posted by Dave Bennett on 10/31/17 10:45 AM

Mirus Index Shows Decline

2017 has been tough if you are in the restaurant biz. With occasional signs of optimism slipping in every once in a while, the year has been a bust for most chains. Many of the companies who produce the benchmark numbers for the industry continue to mistakenly look at same-store-sales, and failing to draw justified alarm to the reduction in customer traffic.

I have been beating this drum for over a year now, and I am happy to say I do see signs that the traffic problem is getting mentioned more often of late. Here is the latest story from the New York Times on a possible cause of the traffic malase - overdevelopment  (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/31/business/too-many-restaurants-wall-street.html?smid=tw-share).

On a two-year basis through September, the Mirus Index shows a decline of -8.0% across all segments. The bad news is that October will be worse when all the numbers are collected.

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Topics: Restaurant Performance, Restaurant Profit

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