Reporting gives restaurant owners the visibility they need to make smarter business decisions.
According to a recent survey, 78% of restaurateurs look at their metrics and finances every day - a 70% increase from 2015.
What are your food costs? Labor costs? Trending menu items?
Answering these questions in real-time helps savvy managers to streamline their operation, cut costs, and drive sales.
Say you review your profit and loss statement just once a week, though. This is understandable.
After all, the process of manually updating your Excel spreadsheet and creating reports is both a headache and a time-sink.
This gap in reporting, however, is where many restaurants lose the insights and subtle businesses opportunities they need to improve their profit margin and customer experience.
Restaurant reporting solutions make it easy to stay current with your operations, identify trends as they arise, and respond in meaningful ways.
You can track key performance indicators (KPIs), drill down on relevant metrics, and generate detailed reports for stakeholders.
When you know nothing is falling through the cracks, you can leverage this actionable data with full confidence to drive real results.
Three types of reports are essential to assessing your restaurant's health and to steering it toward success-
1. Labor reports
2. Sales reports
3. Inventory reports
Restaurant owners can use this article to learn how to create accurate and timely restaurant reports, plus which metrics and solutions can best enable success.
Staffing is the largest expense for restaurants and a pivotal factor in customer satisfaction.
This is because labor reporting lets you forecast staffing needs, which can both improve the customer experience and help to save money on payroll.
An effective restaurant labor report should include all relevant metrics for your employees. As you do payroll, be sure to tally-
Hourly employee wages
Salaried employee wages
Sick and vacation days
These numbers tell you who’s showing up, performing best, and lets you schedule in a way that optimizes for both sales and customer experience.
Remember to calculate metrics such as labor cost percentage.
According to HotSchedules, 89% of businesses say that labor percentage data offer the highest opportunity for savings.
Dividing revenue by labor costs for a given period shows you how labor is impacting profits. This percentage is a gauge of employee productivity, both individually and as a group.
From here, you can identify top employees but also focus on areas where the whole team needs to improve.
Labor reporting is also critical to reducing turnover. According to the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research, the estimated cost of turning over a single employee is $5,864.
This is a huge cost that’s best avoided, and reviewing labor reports is the first step to identifying your best workers as well as your underperformers. This way, you can provide additional training or coordinate the schedule in a way to minimize the impact of having to hire a new employee.
You can also look at your employee turnover rate to help you keep your best workers and to optimize the hiring process for retention.
Generating Labor Reports
The easiest way to run a labor report is to integrate your POS system with labor reporting software. This will give you a clear picture of how your staff interacts, let you track their performance, and show you where to adjust for savings.
Here are three types of labor reporting software that can save you time and money on labor.
1. Time Clock Software
Time clock software lets you track employee hours and attendance on a daily basis.
Prevent time theft and buddy-punching with a fingerprint login interface. Avoid costly overtime hours by setting alerts that remind employees when it’s time to go off shift.
Features like these keep your labor costs in check, plus offers a violations report to ensure your business stays compliant with labor laws.
Leading time clock software should offer-
Payroll Rollup Reports
Audit Trail Reports
For a free trial of time clock software, click here.
2. Employee Scheduling Software
Employee scheduling software allows you to create and publish schedules with ease.
Unlike paper schedules, these solutions give every employee instant access to their weekly hours. This saves you time and keeps staff happy. These apps accept and integrate schedule requests instantly, making scheduling as accurate, up-to-date, and painless as possible.
Leading scheduling software offers the following reports-
Daily Coverage Reports
Monthly Schedule Reports
Time Off Reports
Labor Stats Reports
For a free trial of employee scheduling software, click here.
3. Logbook Software
Logbook software lets managers plan for, record, and respond to what happens on-shift.
Have an upcoming event? Reference the events report for relevant notes about the client, menu restrictions, and requests. During service, the mobile app allows you to record and flag incidents that require later attention.
Gather and aggregate any feedback or incident reports, so when you have the full picture and the time, you can resolve any issues before they impact the quality of service.
Expect logbook software to offer-
Daily Logs Reports
Employee Journal Reports
For a free trial of digital logbook software, click here.
Sales are the cornerstone of your restaurant and so deserve careful attention. Increasing sales is the number 1 priority for nearly half of the restaurants that use automation, according to HotSchedules.
Regular and accurate sales reports offer loads of profitable information, most of which can be used to anticipate the needs of your customers and your kitchen.
In turn, this lets you bring up your bottom line and the customer experience.
According to research from Hospitality Technology, restaurants focus most on sales forecasting (60%) of all key KPIs.
Sales forecasting is critical because it helps you to avoid overscheduling and save on labor costs. Anticipating sales can also help you avoid overstocking, limit spoilage, and save on food costs.
Effective managers use sales reports to evaluate the health of their restaurant and to navigate the coming days, weeks, and months. Data clarity helps them make accurate forecasts, which allows them to plan their way to success with confidence.
You’ll want to track a full range of KPIs, such as-
Table turn time
Breakdown of all service types and payment methods
Equipped with these numbers, you’ll be able to lean into the wants of your customers. You’ll also be able to spot any past inefficiencies in order to prevent upcoming wastage and bring up your bottom line.
Equipped with the data, you can calculate your sale performance metrics, such as-
Break-even point - Shows you how much you need to sell on a given day, set goals, and to determine whether you can afford a big purchase.
Food cost percentage - Represents the difference between creating a menu item, including all the ingredients, and the gain of selling that menu item.
Gross profit - Totals your earnings after expenses and can help you identify where you’re most or least profitable.
Product Mix and Menu Reports
Product mix and menu reports show you what’s selling, what isn’t, and how each item is impacting your profits. Unlike a general sales report, you can track sales by item and by time.
This granular approach helps you to identify your top-selling items for any time of day or season. This makes it easy to offer customers a remarkable dining experience, and to drop any items that aren’t in favor.
Say that customers love your new hot wings recipe.
You’ll want to encourage staff to push this trending item, sure, and perhaps to create a dinner special such as Jerk Chicken that features this new sauce. This way, you get to maximize awareness for your wings, plus boost sales and your brand equity from this knockout creation.
Conversely, what if your most popular dish is declining in popularity?
A product mix and menu report will indicate clearly that it’s time to 86 this item or refresh the entire menu to drive optimal sales and generate word of mouth.
Of those surveyed, 90% of restaurant operators say that technology improves their efficiency and 73% of customers say it improves their restaurant experience.
Use sales reports, especially product mix and menu reports, to identify what will enhance the customer experience and invest more into what's already working.
Inventory reports let you determine the profitability of your restaurant in real-time. A profitable restaurant’s food cost should be 28-35% of revenue, according to the website Restaurant Report.
Food costs are the biggest expense for restaurants, second only to labor. This means that monitoring your inventory is critical to optimizing your operation.
Paying attention to costs in this way helps you to prevent spoilage and theft, to effectively cost your menu, and to avoid over- and under-ordering from suppliers.
A key metric is the cost of goods sold (COGS).
This is the cost required to create each of your food and beverage items, and it reflects the cost of your inventory during a given period. COGS is a large expense, so staying current with it can help you identify ways to save big.
For example, these figures might help you to negotiate better rates with your food distributor or to increase your margins by creating a more seasonal menu.
To calculate COGS, you’ll need to record inventory at the start and end of a period, but also when inventory arrives.
Here are two software solutions that simplify and accelerate the inventory reporting process-
Inventory Management Software
Inventory management solutions help you to streamline the reporting process.
Gone are the days of tallying stock with pen and paper then logging these numbers into Excel. Now you can track numbers via an app on your smartphone or tablet. All your records are immediately integrated with the platform, saving you and staff time on tracking food levels.
You can also automate orders from suppliers, set alerts for when you’re running low on key menu items, and track rates of spoilage and sales.
With a more predictable inventory, you’ll be able to reduce theft, waste, over-portioning, and overstocking. You’ll also be able to offer the consistent experience that restaurant goers expect.
Expect a robust inventory reporting software to offer-
Exportable Cost of Goods Sold Reports
Cost of Goods Sold Rollup Reports
Variance Rollup Reports
For a free trial of inventory reporting software, click here.
Food Safety Software
Food safety software ensures FDA compliance and secures the trust of restaurant goers.
Food safety is a key element of a restaurant's reputation and operation, so these can help you mitigate the risk of unforeseen and damaging occurrences.
Research from the Harvard Business School found that a one-star increase in a restaurant’s Yelp rating correlates with a 5-9% increase in revenue.
Use these apps to create food safety checklists, monitor food temperatures, and make sure every inspection goes as planned. This way, you can tick all the boxes and be worry-free.
Look for food safety software to offer-
Task Status Rollup Reports
Task Status Reports
Corrective Action Reports
For a free trial of food safety software, click here.
Your restaurant is only as responsive as its reporting process.
The more quickly you can address the trends and inefficiencies revealed by your data, the more quickly you can drive results.
End-to-end reporting solutions allow you to centralize your data and gain from these insights.
These apps integrate with your existing software, and so make it easy to increase your operational efficiency, profitability, and to mitigate risk.
For best results, refer to your restaurant reports often. You’ll find fresh insights about how to drive sales, improve customer satisfaction, and to move your business forward.
If you're looking for even more ways to help consolidate information about your business, in addition to our Zip Reporting software, here at Hubworks we also offer our Zip Shift Book solution. Zip Shift Book is the most streamlined business logbook on the market. Manage shifts with easy and keep digital records of any employee incident or commendation reports. Zip Shift Book is an efficient way to keep track of everything that happens during each shift; you can learn more about the software by reading our "10 Ways Task Management Software Will Transform Your Business" article, which is also on the Hubworks Blog.