How to Use Technology to Measure What Matters

There’s an old saying: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

In restaurant management, “it” is generally illusive because there are many ways of answering the question, what matters to a restaurant?

Operationally, good leadership and a solid company culture matter. Logistically, having reliable vendors matters. In a customer service sense, having friendly and competent people working for you matters.

But what matters to a restaurant overall? That’s a question modern technology can help answer.


Typically, the treasure trove of data restaurants collect about their customers lead to valuable insights. These insights are generally directed at Key Performance Indicators (KPI) such as sales per labor hour, revenue available per seat hour, and table turn time.

But how would you measure something vague like server productivity? And, how does this affect other parts of your business such as scheduling?

You could do a basic output/input calculation to find out how productive your servers are, but would that really help you staff the best team for a busy Friday night?

Using data from high-level data flow technologies such as your POS system can help you see the volume of customers your servers help on a daily basis. They can also track the volume of sales and errors. Together, these metrics will give you a pretty good idea of how productive your service staff is.

Another aspect worth considering is performing Time-in-Motion studies to ensure your restaurant layout doesn’t hinder your staff’s ability to perform. Not only do you need employees who are proficient in their jobs, you need to give them the resources to be able to continue being productive.


High-level data flow technologies can also accrue a wealth of information that is pertinent to forecasting labor usage, sales, and inventory costs.

One problem many operators face is the use of multiple systems. Maybe you use one system for your POS, another for your inventory, and another for labor. What’s the problem here? Your systems can’t cross-reference each other, leaving you to do a lot of hard work when compiling and analyzing the data you’ve collected.

Software developers are well aware of these problems and have begun designing all-in-one systems for restaurant operators to tackle it. Some products include Lightspeed, which allows operators to order products directly through their POS system; Shopkeep, which tracks best-sellers and profit margins per item or SKU, and Vend, which helps operators automate discounts and promotions.

Team Building

You can’t have a successful business without a great team. There’s just no way around it. Whether your team consists of a single helper or an army of thousands of employees, every business owner needs a set of capable helping hands to ensure their business is run well.

Now, there aren’t any piece of technology that specifically help with team building. That is something that employees, managers, and operators to do on their own. But, technology can help sustain your business so that when employees go out for activities, operators won’t have to worry about whether or not the business will survive.



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