Beyond Restaurant POS Reports: Why Your F&B Operation Needs Insights-Rich Analytics to Grow

What is Restaurant Reporting?

We all know those jam-packed Excel sheets, don’t we?

What is Restaurant Analytics?

Turn raw data into powerful performance dashboards.

How Do Reporting & Analytics Relate?

Go from noisy data to actionable insights.

Why Analytics is Essential in the F&B Industry

Foodservice companies that use analytics can grow their margin by 8 to 10 per cent.
  1. Analytics provides operation-wide insights — if you’re responsible for dozens of outlets, you know how much of a slog it can be to pull up and analyse many individual reports. Not only is this a time-suck, but it also opens the whole process up to human-made errors. With analytics, you have a single source of truth for every outlet and every connected data set. Switching between outlet reports and insights — and benchmarking them against each other — now takes seconds instead of hours.
  2. It also democratises your data — with analytics in place, every F&B and location manager can access the same insights. As a result, the conclusions they draw — and the decisions they make — don’t depend on their analytical skills. And when your managers are on the same page, it’s easier to get them on board when big decisions are made. For example, suppose you want to push for expansion in a particular area. In that case, the idea will be easier to sell to both your VP of Finance and location managers if you can show that the surrounding outlets are profitable but are struggling to increase staff productivity and meet the demand.
  3. And it uncovers emerging trends — Apicbase’s analytics hub will pick up on hidden patterns in sales and customer behaviour much faster than any human could. Things like shifts in eating habits, upticks in sales for specific categories, customers coming in earlier, and similar. These patterns could be statistically insignificant and therefore ignored on an outlet-to-outlet basis. But, once data is pooled and analysed, they’re flagged by the system, and you can consider them when planning menus and shifts.

What Data Sources Should You Feed to Your Analytics?

As your business grows, more data sets will become invaluable to you.
  • POS data — your point-of-sale system is a treasure trove of information. Depending on how advanced it is, it can collect data on your sales, footfall, and customers, as well as data on gratuity, order types, and discounts. Some POS systems even track inventory data, although that information can be patchy and out-of-date.
  • This sales data can provide you with invaluable nuggets regarding your menus, and your analytics platform will heavily draw on it to give you insights into menu planning and menu engineering.
  • Inventory data — your inventory system keeps track of every ingredient used in your operation. It’s your first line of defence against erratic food costs — if you have a tight grip on your stock, avoiding waste due to overstocking, poor plating, or theft becomes much easier.
  • Most POS systems can be connected to the inventory system, which makes tracking your ingredients a breeze. However, Apicbase’s inventory module goes one step beyond, coupling inventory with procurement and tying it to automated costed recipes. This integration allows for real-time stock depletion of raw ingredients and keeps inventory variance under control.
  • Staffing data — for some operations, labour costs can dwarf food costs. For this reason, most chains use a staff scheduling system to optimise rotas. If you use a version of this system, connecting it to your analytics can provide you with valuable information. For example, you can benchmark servers to see who has the highest productivity during peak times… and then see if you can get that person to pick up your busiest shifts. You can also find your best upseller this way and get them to mentor other servers and share their sales tips and tricks.
  • Purchasing data — most operations don’t have a dedicated vendor management system. This is a big waste because the data you collect from vendors over time can lead to significant savings. Analytics software can take this data and tell you which vendor relationships to focus on — which vendors give you the best prices, deliver on time consistently, and don’t overcharge you through invoicing errors.
  • 👉 Apicbase procurement module does all that and more. Because it’s connected to your inventory module, the system keeps track of stock levels and warns you when ingredients fall under par levels. You can even set it up to generate purchase orders automatically — all you need to do is double-check the quantities and push send to email your vendors. 👈

The Importance of Both FoH & BoH Data in Restaurant Analytics

Integrated data on sales, purchasing, stock and menu performance put you in control of your business.
Stay on top of operations at each store.

Reporting is Great… But It’s Analytics That Gives You Control

Let Apicbase Take It All Off Your Plate!

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Geert Merckaert

Geert Merckaert

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I write about F&B Management Best Practices for Multi-Unit Food Businesses. My goal is to help you keep costs down, quality up and operations running smoothly.