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The Restaurateur: Restaurant Management Blog

Tips, tricks and hacks for a more smoothly running restaurant

19 Jul

By

76% of Your Customers Want This

July 19, 2015 | By |

If your restaurant has more than 20 locations, you’re probably already well versed in the new FDA menu nutrition labeling requirements. Even with the recently granted extension, on December 1, 2016, those restaurants will be required to include calorie information, front and center. But what about everyone else? If yours isn’t a big chain and you’re thinking of sitting this one out, you should think again.

US Food & Drug AdministrationAs far back as the early 1990’s the FDA has been targeting restaurants to increase their level of nutrition labeling. This latest regulation came as part of Obamacare, dictating “restaurants or similar retail food establishments with 20 or more locations to provide specified nutrition information for standard menu items.” It goes on to require that restaurants post calorie content “in a clear and conspicuous manner” on their menu, along with “a succinct statement concerning suggested daily caloric intake.”

The worry of course is that people will order less if they see the calories they’re about to order. In a 2009 Stanford University study conducted for Starbucks, researchers found that calorie labeling reduced the number of calories purchased by 6%. Customers achieved this by substituting a lower calorie item. That same study found that though calories decreased, total sales were unchanged and so too was profit.

A restaurant with calorie labeling might sell fewer french fries but sell more salads.

Apple with nutrition labelIf you’ve only got one or just a few locations, you’re off the hook on this new regulation. Think about this though: if they haven’t already, in 2016, all of your largest competitors are going to be providing this information to their customers. And most of those customers are going to appreciate it. In fact, 76% of people surveyed, said they thought calorie labeling would be helpful.

You don’t have to take my word for it. It’s easy to test this for yourself. For a week, give menus with calories labeled to half your tables. Give the other half non-labeled menus. Mark the tickets and see what happens to your average ticket.

Getting calorie and other nutritional information used to be a real hassle but not any more. We offer Whisk, a recipe management application that happens to have the USDA nutritional database built in. Drop us a line if you’d like a demo. In the meantime, be thinking about how nutritional labeling can work out to your strategic advantage.

 

Sources

US Food and Drug Administration. (n.d.). Overview of FDA labeling requirements for restaurants, similar retail food establishments and vending machines. Retrieved July 9, 2015, from http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm248732.htm

US Food and Drug Administration. (2015, July 9). Menu and Vending Machines Labeling Requirements. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm217762.htm

Health Eating Research. (2013, June). Impact of menu labeling on consumer behavior: A 2008-2012 update. Retrieved from http://healthyeatingresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/HER-RR-Menu-Labeling-FINAL-6-2013.pdf

Nestle, M. (2015, January 22). Food Politics » Calorie-labeling. Retrieved from http://www.foodpolitics.com/tag/calorie-labeling/

Harvard Law Review. (2015, May 9). Food labeling; nutrition labeling of standard menu items in restaurants and similar retail food establishments. Retrieved from http://harvardlawreview.org/2015/05/food-labeling-nutrition-labeling-of-standard-menu-items-in-restaurants-and-similar-retail-food-establishments/

Craig, B. (2013, July 24). Starbucks and King County menu labeling study food for thought – MenuTrinfo. Retrieved from http://www.menutrinfo.com/starbucks-and-king-county-menu-labeling-study-food-for-thought/

02 Jul

By

Why 4% of your sales disappear

July 2, 2015 | By |

I wish there was a way to sugarcoat this. What I’m about to write makes everyone uncomfortable and no one likes to talk about it; but it is time we did. According to statistics from the National Restaurant Association, about 4% of your sales are lost to employee theft.

Restaurant employees stealing

Mostly it’s small stuff that we all see: a plate of french fries here, a shot of tequila over there. Most the time when we see the little stuff, we just turn our heads the other way. We rationalize it as the cost of having employees…but it adds up. And then there’s the big stuff that we don’t see: bar tabs that aren’t rung up, steaks disappearing from the walk-in and inappropriate check voids. Have you ever thought about how easy it is to add a digit in front of a tip amount on a charge slip?

Your employees are constantly handling valuable food, alcohol and cash. You have to trust them, and yet not everyone is trustworthy. In fact, a recent study found that 75% of restaurant employees had at least seriously considered stealing from their employer. The reason is that it’s so easy.

Maybe 4% doesn’t sound like much, especially when compared to the approximately 64% of your expenses that are sunk in food cost and labor. Consider this: for the average restaurant location, 4% amounts to more than $27,000 a year. How does that feel?

How do you put a stop to it?

Without putting cameras in every corner of your place and spending your night in a dark room staring at monitors, you can still crack down on the problem. The key is to keep track of your inventory and compare it to sales. Your POS reports should exactly match what was removed from inventory. No guessing. No fudging. They should match. You can check these reports manually but there are better ways.

A good POS system, a good inventory system and the diligence to maintain that inventory really pays off. Of course, PeachWorks has an inventory system that we’d love for you to use, but the most important thing is that you do something.

Keeping a good inventory makes sense anyway. Knowing your food cost and maximizing your profit on every menu item is critical. If it can stop product from disappearing, however, it instantly pays for itself.

For example, we have a customer using our system who was able to track down a manager that was stealing. That manager was voiding checks after customers paid. “It took me about five minutes and I could pull every single check where that happened. And so, I mean, money wise right there, it will save you. It will pay for itself if you have just one manager doing something like that.”

It’s not just about money, either. Theft really comes down to respect and respect is at the core of morale at every business. Employees who trust each other and respect each other, also work well together. Stealing is never a sign of a good work environment.

Restaurant employee theft infographic

Click to download this infographic.

If a restaurant follows these practices, not only will they catch theft when it happens, they can prevent theft. If all of the staff know that these practices and tools are in place, those who were “just thinking” about stealing, won’t.

Theft isn’t easy to talk about but what’s harder to stomach is not safeguarding against it. It’s time to do something and we’d be happy to talk to you about it. Our restaurant experience is key; we’ve been in your shoes.

>>We’ve created an infographic about employee theft that you can download and print. Click here to download it.

 

Sources

http://www.speedlinesolutions.com/home/speedline_blog/postid/83/5-signs-that-an-employee-may-be-stealing-from-your-restaurant.aspx

http://www.southbendtribune.com/news/business/marketbasket/stopping-waiters-and-bartenders-who-steal/article_979ee82a-c0a5-52a0-b9f9-dfb071184785.html

http://www.calrest.org/employee-theft.html

http://www.restaurant.org/News-Research/Research/Facts-at-a-Glance

 

24 Jun

By

The traditional Buy vs. Build software debate – turned on its head.

June 24, 2015 | By |

Try it. Any online search you make today will yield hundreds of articles debating the pros and cons of buying VS building business software.

Buy & Build graphic

Restaurant Operations Managers, CIOs, and CFOs all need to weigh in on this important technology decision. Do you cross your fingers and hope to get most of what you need in an off-the-shelf solution? Do you invest in an expensive custom-build, or do you stitch together a patchwork of applications to meet business needs? The wrong decision could slow or even stall growth.

It’s not a new debate. What is new – is you no longer have to choose.

The best of all worlds – Buy AND Build TM

Try the search again – and what you won’t find much of are Buy AND Build results. Why? Because Buy AND Build is a new game-changing approach to business technology. It offers the best of all worlds by combining buy and build capabilities into one powerful platform. For the restaurant and retail industries (or any other industry with geographically distributed operations) – that platform is Peach.

If we talk about platform-as-a-service, we are often talking about cloud delivered solutions (not your hardware) and application building tools. What we are talking about with Buy AND Build is platform-as-a service – plus; a new model that integrates all of your technology resources into a comprehensive platform.

  • It is a core set of technologies and platform built to invite innovation.
  • It is a set of tools for building your own apps.
  • It is a suite of integrated apps specific to your industry that you can customize.
  • It is an ever-growing suite of management apps that you can buy a-la-carte.
  • It is an open invitation to developers to adding cutting edge solutions.
  • It is a platform built to adapt and scale.
  • It is a platform designed to easily integrate with third-party systems.

Three Choices

To make it simple, the Peach Platform allows you to Buy AND Build in three ways:

  1. Buy the platform AND build your own apps
  2. Buy some apps AND build your own apps
  3. Buy the apps AND build your own custom features

Peach was designed to give your management team the tools they need to meet the business drivers you face right now – and the ones you will face in the future.

Buy AND Build with PeachWorksWant to learn more?

 

 

 

Then, contact us to discuss your operation
Email: sales@peachworks.com
Call: 888-316-8861

 

 

 

 

18 May

By

Tying it all together with Square

May 18, 2015 | By |

What does a good workday look like at your restaurant? Maybe it’s the dining area humming with activity, a well-stocked inventory and a staff that just seems to know what to sell and how to sell it to make and keep your customers happy.

It’s magic when things just all work together, isn’t it?

But you don’t have to rely on magic or even luck to make this kind of perfect day happen…you just need a little well-connected tech to tie everything together.

Square01_Blog

That’s why we’re so excited to announce today that two of our newest restaurant management apps – POS Hub and Whisk – are now integrated with Square and its complete register service for quick-serve restaurants! Read our big announcement here for all the details.

This integration is just one more way PeachWorks customers can get really detailed insight into their business operations, keep everything running smoothly and – the ultimate goal – get more time back in their day: time that they could be using to make their businesses more efficient and successful, or to just enjoy their own lives.

Speaking of which…what would you do with a little extra time in your workday? If you’re at the National Restaurant Association Show, stop by Booth 6459 and tell us!

16 May

By

Smarter technology = smarter business decisions

May 16, 2015 | By |

It’s the middle of the lunch rush when you get a notification on your cell phone: Your patrons have already ordered so many antipasto salads that you’re starting to run low on this week’s count of fresh mozzarella. You contact your distributor to plan another delivery.

Mozzarella wrapped in proscuitto stacked high, uncooked

Meanwhile, another notification tells you that you still have a lot of prosciutto, and POS data shows it hasn’t been selling as well this week; you make your fig and prosciutto arugula salad this week’s special and notify your waitstaff to begin recommending it.

Two very common problems, both solved through smart insight…sound impossible? Not when you’ve got the right tech in place.

Today, we’re excited to announce that two of our newest restaurant management technology solutions – Whisk and POS Hub – are integrated with the market-leading Aloha and Micros POS systems. Click here to get the full details.

Through these connections, restaurateurs are able to get real-time data on what’s selling and what’s not – as well as what’s in stock and what’s running low. It’s the kind of insight that helps you make smart decisions for your restaurant and keep things running smoothly and profitably.

Sound good to you too? Contact us today to learn how to make smarter business decisions through smarter technology.

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