The Daily Rail: Are You Tracking These Four Key Metrics?

Thursday, February 23, 2017


Today's Specials: 


PODCAST: The Minimum Wage Increase Cometh, So…

While a Federal minimum wage boost isn’t on the horizon quite yet, more states and cities are taking it upon themselves to give their local workers a boost in pay. In this episode of Restaurant Unstoppable, the team provides seven ways to prepare for a minimum wage increase in your area.


LIST: Every Restaurant Stereotype According to Reddit

Every industry across the board has their fair share of stereotypes. Recently, someone took to Reddit’s Kitchen Confidential to ask, “So who are you in the kitchen people spectrum?”




Do You Have Puppy Leave?

Here’s a unique PTO for ya. BrewDog in Scotland (and soon to be in Ohio) is offering new puppy parents a week of paid leave for any new puppy or rescue they adopt. Why? It’s so employees can “take the stress out of” settling in with a new dog. They also expanded paternity and maternity pay for human babies, too.


Will You McMarry Me?

An Illinois resident proposed to his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day with a gift of her dreams – an engagement ring inside a 10-piece chicken McNugget. The girlfriend said she said instantly. Here’s some video for ya.


Wrong Restaurant!

This is a tad embarrassing. A French restaurant got slammed with business after it mistakenly got a Michelin star. The mix-up came about because two restaurants in France have the same exact name. One is fine dining; the other is described by the owner as a “small working-class brasserie.”



Why it matters to you: Are you tracking these four key metrics?

Technology nowadays takes a lot of the guesswork and “gut” out of owning and running a business. Despite advancements in technology it can be overwhelming to sift through all of the data for the most important insights. What’s just noise and what should you actually be tracking day-to-day and over time? has one answer with their four key metrics.

Number one is sales per labor hour. This key metric is based on a calculation of total sales per “full-time” (or equivalent) employee. This measurement examines staff productivity. The median (according to the NRA) for limited-service is $45/ hr. If you’re seeing lower than $45/hr, it’s time for some staff training. Average cover is the second metric mentioned. Again this is a staff performance measurement. Average cover is a great way to compare server performance. If someone’s average cover is lagging behind, perhaps they’re not providing guests with a great experience.

The author points to up-selling as the third metric. While we agree that each server should try to maximize revenue from each and every table, this metric should be pretty well covered by average cover. Upselling can also be a tricky slope, as an upsell isn’t always what’s best for the guest or their experience. Last, but not least, food costs is the final benchmark that should be tallied. If your best-selling item is also the highest cost (for you), you’re not maximizing profit. Business isn’t rocket science, but in our industry, we can use all the help we can get.



Why it matters to you: rising menu prices are driving away potential customers.

If your restaurant has seen stagnant growth or very minimal percent increase in its recent quarter, there may be a couple of reasons. Americans reportedly have been eating out less within the past year due to a hike in menu prices which are directly caused by rising food prices. According to a Reuters poll, more than 4,200 U.S. adults from Jan. 14 to 25 said they were eating out less often than three months ago. Of those diners, 62 percent said cost was the primary reason. The gap between grocery food prices and restaurants prices is at a record high.

These problems aren’t exactly a new revelation. The restaurant industry has experienced slowed growth in the past, but statistics have shown that grocery stores are not seeing great numbers either. Top food analysts predict the weak traffic in restaurants to continue this year which serves as an added incentive to stay up to date with fast-casual trends guests want.    



Why it matters to you: Stay abreast of business trends.

“Back in my day…” we’ve all heard the story, uphill both ways, yada yada yada. Generation gaps exist and will exist as culture, attitudes and the landscape of business changes. Labor shortages are currently an issue and chains are adapting new ways to attract and retain quality workers and managers. There are a number of factors at work here.

But, let’s face it, we’re going through a radical shift. It’s never been harder to be a restaurant owner or manager. As labor costs increase and automation becomes cheaper and more widespread, we’re feeling the pressure to do more with less and still maintain excellent service for guests. Don’t get left behind. Learn more about the “Great Generational Shift” that is already impacting our industry here.