Those business owners who operate more than one restaurant, (or who oversee multiple franchise locations or more than one sector brand), will come to discover that each and every mistake made can add up to the tune of millions of dollars each year. It all comes about from decisions made that stem from a decided lack of awareness of the business operation details and/or ignorance of the many technological products and services that are now available to restaurant entrepreneurs. In order to address such deficiencies and for leaders to be confident that their decisions are backed by actionable and accurate information, they must have easy access to user-friendly data.
Any busy professional will surely be put off by the old fashioned way of doing things, namely spending enormous amounts of time attempting to make heads or tails of the endless numbers of spreadsheets and the tedious reports that are not just mind-numbing but also unhelpful and seldom on the mark. Also important to mention is how those in leadership positions, the ones who act from a place of intuition or “gut feeling,” can fall short or completely miss the aforementioned mark since they have no data from which to make informed decisions in the first place. It is certainly high time that restaurant entrepreneurs catch up with leaders from other industries. They are wise to fully embrace the remarkably helpful business intelligence tools that are now so ubiquitously available to those who are bold enough to step into this new technological paradigm. Success is made all the more possible as a result.
What is Business intelligence?
Business intelligence (BI) is defined as a collection of various software applications that collect, analyze, and then exploit various findings in real time, as opposed to running one’s eatery on instinct, past habits, or via a myriad of convoluted spreadsheets and sleep-inducing reports. These tools help business owners to make more impactful decisions to ensure increases in performance efficiencies and, ultimately, to boost bottom lines. Ideally, BI ensures that one’s decisions are based in fact and actual data rather than on a feeling.
The various systems inherent in BI give restaurants an edge over the competition, including improving upon one’s own prior performance. This is due to software’s inherent ability to address issues simultaneously, in a far more timely fashion, and to then allow decision makers to enact smart solutions prior to any negative experiences on the part of a diner or bar patron. Who wouldn’t want a way to reduce those negative reviews on Yelp after all?
How BI Can Help Restaurants
The following are some of the benefits a restaurant owner can enjoy by employing what is increasingly becoming more accessible to smaller concerns (and this includes the software costs as well).
The Four “D.A.s”
Data Access– Having a handle on one’s day-to-day data can be decisive in improving how the overall business is run. Indeed, the mind-bogglingly copious amounts of data can easily overwhelm a company; the difficulty in properly managing so much of it is evident. This also includes the evaluation and processing of it all and, finally, the ability to derive smart conclusions. With good business intelligence software, all the above is far more easily facilitated. In other words, all the data gleaned from various restaurant locations, (should one operate more than one branch), is made usable due to it all being consolidated into one easy location for review, analysis and then action.
Data Accuracy– BI is the mechanism for restaurant management to automatically obtain accurate and up-to-date reports on performance and various invaluable demographic insights. BI replaces the crushing compilation of spreadsheet data that is often not only difficult with which to see the big picture, but also error-ridden to boot.
Data Action– Business intelligence enables owners to act quickly and decisively on any and all conclusions drawn from the daily, weekly or monthly interpretations of the data collected. As one responds speedily to a myriad of circumstances, dilemmas and crises, he or she is empowered to come up with better answers that positively impact the restaurant and allow for more effective tactics and strategies going forward.
Data (Problem) Areas– Any person who has run a restaurant or bar is likely far too familiar with fraud, thievery and, even more common, underperforming staff. These three problem areas tend to be overlooked, sometimes for long profit-sucking periods of time. Again, BI can come to the rescue with insight for the owner through the revealing of discrepancies and, hence, possible riff-rafery as well. For example, after one is shown comparison figures between purchases and proceeds, after being armed with the knowledge that BI affords, he or she can then take action to create an establishment that is cleared of both thievery and incompetency. Another example is how BI can enhance the ability to better negotiate with hospitality service vendors and suppliers. BI gives you all the facts necessary to keep an edge and to more effectively bargain with them.