“Welcome to another episode of The Restaurant Prescription™ Podcast a show dedicated to talking about ailments that plague the restaurant industry, we’ll serve the issues up on the plate, discuss the symptoms and we’ll give you the prescription for the cure.”
“This week we’re going to talk about how your Point of Sale system is a real gold mine of information just waiting for you to dig into and use to make better decisions in running your restaurant. It is sad that most restaurants do not take advantage of the reports and data that their system can offer. You have to not only know which reports are the most valuable, you also need to know how to turn that information into action that increase profits.
The big key here is focusing in on the RIGHT data. Many restaurant owners are not very effective when it comes to using the data that is generated daily from their point of sales system. There is so much great information buried inside those reports. You can become very successful if you know just where to dig for data!
To help me find a cure for this I am happy to welcome Allison Tetreault from Toast POS to the show. Allison is a graduate of Wheaton College magna cum laude with an English major and a concentration in Contemporary Media and Culture. She has been the Marketing Content Coordinator for AG Salesworks, the Content Marketing Coordinator for the QuotaFactory and is currently the Content Marketing Specialist for Toast POS in Boston.
Allison welcome to the show….
Toast is an all-in-one restaurant management system.
We’re the partially brown, partially golden, never totally finished piece of toast. Our software is never going to be perfect in our minds. There will always be new features we can offer our customers, and a million ways we can continue to innovate and improve. We are always striving to go above and beyond so any food service establishment looking to improve their operational efficiency and bottom line can take advantage of our software.
Allie on Toast:
The great thing about Toast is that it’s not just a technology that you buy and forget – or worse, buy and regret. It’s a restaurant management system that’s constantly evolving with the changes and demands of the restaurant industry. At the moment, one Toast system could replace 6 other technology systems: along with table-side payments, we offer integrated online ordering, robust sales and labor reporting, customer behavior data, gift cards, restaurant loyalty, enterprise management, and we’re adding even more customization every day.
Your Experience with the Ailment
“Allison, what is the effect of not having using the real power of reports from your POS system?
You’re missing opportunity to increase profits.
I’ll list my top 3 reports, but first of all, it’s important that all of these reports are available online, via mobile or tablet or any device that can have access to the Internet. It’s also important that they can be customized by time-frame, restaurant location, and specific menu items or people so that you can compare and contrast different reports.
1. Restaurant Sales Reports – Obviously this is #1. Restaurant sales reports are the cornerstone of your business. You need to see an overview of all transactions completed, including net sales, gratuity, tips, total guests, table turn time, and all service types and payment methods.
2. Labor Reports – The labor report should provide a summary of each of your employees, including labor cost percentage. That waitress that’s leaving? You can run a report on her real-time productivity to see if she’s slacking off during her last two weeks. You can also export payroll reports, pool tips, edit time entries, and compare her to your least favorite waiter to determine if your favorite waitress was as awesome as you thought she was. You can also take a look at retention rate – Eli Feldman, data can actually be a big part of your hiring process.
3. Inventory and Menu Management Reports – Track how your menu is performing with menu sales by menu type, specific item, modifiers, and more. For example, for a pizzeria restaurant this is super important so you can know which toppings are your most profitable. Inventory reports should help you determine not only which items are most popular, but which ones are making you the most money, based on food cost percentage.
How can a restaurant use that data?
1. Optimize Your Menu
• based on individual items sold, sales by server, and more.
• use menu engineering to determine your workhorses, puzzles, stars, and dogs – quick overview
2. Determine Hiring Strategy
• compare different servers’ productivity
• retention rate
3. Make the Most of Your Investment in POS
• Track how much money your POS system system is making you in terms of ROI – it’s an investment that should be paying you back
According to the NRA, remove manual errors by 1%, decrease bottom-line food and drink costs by 2%… these are small numbers, but if you’re making $500,000 annual sales, that’s 5-10,000 dollars in savings.
What’s one piece of advice you would tell your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to take ownership, take responsibility, and really own your projects. Your intuition is almost always right. Your gut is your most trusted advisor. Rather than focusing on stress – I used to work at Burger King and Subway, and stress was part of my life and actually the reason I got shingles at one point – visualize the future instead. Visualize the future you want.
If success were a recipe, what 3 ingredients would you say have to be in there?
1. Passion – We’ve all heard “follow your passions.” While I wouldn’t use that phrase, I do think that passion is important in anything that you do. Especially for the restaurant industry. And it’s interesting, because with the right motivation, passion can be manufactured, manifested. In fact, this is what great CEOs such as the one we have at Toast do. We’re all working towards a common goal – and that’s helping other people not ourselves – and that instills passion in everything we do.
2. Relationships – It’s so easy to burn out if you’re working alone. I’ve found that no matter what, it’s the relationships you make along the way that help you reach success. For example, one of our first Toast customers was Mei Mei, a food truck and now brick and mortar restaurant in Boston. They’ve been with us through all of our updates, and we’ve really created a relationship, a partnership with them where we can help them succeed by adding updates, and they can help us succeed by sharing their experiences with the platform.
3. Data-Driven Goals & Ideas – Goals are so important. While I don’t have a 5-year-plan necessarily, I do have goals for what to accomplish by the end of the year. I also have a to-do list that’s constantly evolving based on the goals of the team. No matter what you do, you should create goals, write them down, and look at them every day. We have reports sent to us every night; you can do that with your POS reports too, to track your restaurant’s success and set goals for annual sales numbers and things like that.
Any upcoming projects? Anything new happening over at Toast?
Until Jan. 1 of next year, we’re offering one module – restaurant loyalty, gift cards, or online ordering – free for one year.
Further investment in our platform approach – building out inventory and online ordering functionality (more is coming in that regard) plus, integrations with various tools for labor management and accounting
• Toast Homepage – toasttab.com
• Toast Demo – toasttab.com/demo
• Toast Blog – blog.toasttab.com
• Toast on Twitter – @toasttab
• Toast on Facebook – facebook.com/ToastTab
• Toast on Instagram – instagram.com/toasttab/
• Allie on Twitter – @aktetreault
• Allie on LinkedIn – linkedin.com/in/aktetreault
“ Thanks again to Allison for ways you can get from your pos sytem to increase profits and run your business smarter. Notes from the podcast and the links to all we discussed today can be found on the restaurant prescription website at www.therestaurantprescription.com. You can also find the podcast now on iTunes!
Running restaurants is relatively easy. It’s the human element that makes things complicated. Some people have a hard time getting excited about numbers. Especially in the restaurant business which is for the most part comprised of extroverts. Now do not fret. If you are a people person and not a numbers person, have no fear because you can hire someone with the opposite strengths of yours.
You just need to be able to extract the data hidden in your restaurant reports and pull out the figures that can have a big impact on your bottom line.
And with that we’ll sign off.