Thinking Defensively About The Profitability of Your Restaurant
Posted by Jim Kanir
on Wednesday, April 5th, 2017
We'd like to think restaurants that automate and integrate their back-office functions are forward-thinkers who understand that efficiencies produce profits. That's often the case.
But there is another angle that motivates some restaurateurs: defense! Sometimes people have to find a way to protect themselves from some of the universal land mines.
In a competitive environment customers are precious and so is every dollar they spend. Each garbage bag of food waste and each hour of an overstaffed kitchen are drains on profits.
The typical rolling 12 month turnover rate for hourly employees is over 100%. And not that much better for management at 50%+. There's a continual "learning mode" that increases temptation to improvise and put consistency at risk.
There's always a daily to-do list of critical back-office tasks. Using post-it notes and three ring binders will probably end badly as soon as someone forgets to check a temperature or check the dates on the prep.
You can probably think of 20 more scenarios that are potential pitfalls for restaurant profitability.
It's a common business tenet that "You can't improve what you don't measure". And by extension, "You can't prosper from activities you can't control". In the above scenarios there is neither measurement nor control. The answer is integrated automation. Automation takes the spreadsheet and guesswork away from error-prone 20-somethings. The integration is vital because of all the natural links among back-office activities such as inventory, recipes, scheduling and the like.
Certainly good food and service are restaurant headlines. But it's the command and control over the math (staff schedules, food inventory, analytics for predictable service levels...) that form the core of the successful restaurant model. For measurement and control, integrated automation!
That's really the only reliable way to make math work for you because integrated automation gives you current accurate data on all phases of the business. Count on it...