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Data & Analytics | Operations

Five Ways Data Monetization Can Drive Revenue and Streamline Operations

When sales are down and traffic is stagnant the knee-jerk reaction is to go to marketing and ask for a big, bold idea. But there are also ways for operations and IT teams to work together to find ways to monetize data to drive revenue and streamline operations.

When sales are down and traffic is stagnant the knee-jerk reaction is to go to marketing and ask for a big, bold idea – LTOs, BOGOs, attention and media-grabbing menu items. More often than not, the tactic works. But here’s the question: is that a sustainable or predictable approach to delivering consistent same-store sales growth?

What are other ways other departments – operations, training, solutions, IT – could contribute to top-line revenue growth while streamlining operations and unit-level economics?

Before we look at the unexpected ways data monetization can help restaurant managers capitalize on revenue-generating opportunities, let’s level set on a few key terms we’ll be using in this and other blogs on the topic of data and analytics.

Intelligent Workflow

Intelligent workflow connects your processes, teams, business rules and data in a single, collaborative application to power successful operations. An intelligent workflow is built using line-checks, helpful documents, standard food safety procedures to name a few – it’s how restaurants drive consistent operations and franchisee compliance across the business.

Actionable Insights

What makes the intelligent workflow, intelligent? Actionable insights, which is simply connecting and correlating in-store, near-store and above-store data and serving it up at the right moment in a restaurant workflow or business process. Through machine learning, a back office platform uses Actionable Insights within an Intelligent Workflow to enable restaurant brands and their managers to prepare and perform in the face of a pretty unpredictable industry.

Let’s look at a few examples of Actionable Insights at work within an Intelligent Workflow:

1. Wage Benchmarks + Schedules + Actuals

About the Data: wage benchmarks are public knowledge. When you marry that with the projected scheduled hours and the actual hours worked, an intelligent back office platform can discern some interesting insights.

Actionable Insight: A store manager receives an actionable insight about an employee who is underpaid compared to peers with similar sales performance trends. Armed with this knowledge, a manager could set up a 1:1 meeting with the employee to discuss their future goals and later decide to give their employee a raise.

The Result: the manager may have just avoided unnecessary turnover, retaining a great employee that drives sales.

2. Spot Count + Projected Sales Volume + High Performing Specials

About the Data: Here we have your standard spot count. On its own it’s just a number and can indicate at-a-glance that you may be over or short – by how much is anyone’s guess. Unless … you combine it with projected sales volume and high performing specials pulled from POS data. That’s a pretty simple report to pull, but what if you didn’t even have to pull it?

Actionable Insight: A store manager receives an actionable insight that they have too much chicken on hand. The system uses projected sales volume and high performing sales numbers to serve up a recommendation to the manager that they should run a recent chicken dish that drove high sales because they were popular sellers. The manager also sees if they ran any promotion alongside the popular chicken dish and can run the same promotion.

The Result: Inventory management is a process or a procedure that helps control food and waste. When coupled with POS sales and marketing data, a simple spot count is suddenly both a food cost control (reducing waste of extra chicken on-hand) and revenue generating opportunity capitalized on.

3. Store Turnover Data + Projected Sales Volume + Scheduling Data

About the Data: Turnover. We all know how important it is to retain our employees. But sometimes, the day-to-day gets the best of managers and before you know it you’re short on staff and doubling down on group reservations. But with store turnover data married with projected sales volume and scheduling data, even the busiest manager is able to spot and prevent a potential scheduling catastrophe.

Actionable Insight: A store manager receives an insight that there will be a shortage of staff. The insight used projected volume, overtime numbers, plus the restaurant’s turnover trends to project that they will need additional staff on-hand to meet the projected volume of business.

The Result: Because they have line-of-sight into a future trend they could patch the issue quickly by calling in an employee from another store. They could also schedule a follow-up task to get the HR to discuss a career day.

4. Inclement Weather + Projected Sales Volume + Local Event + Scheduling Data

About the Data: Weather can change at the drop of a hat. Store managers need to know in advance when those changes are going to happen and how that will impact sales volume so that they can create or edit the schedule.

Actionable Insight: A store manager receives an insight when the current weather changes from sunny to a sudden squall (localized storm). She gets staff to prep the patio for weather, tells a server who was going to have overtime that day that they can leave and moves the patio servers inside to handle the increased volume because the baseball game was rained out.

The Result: Weather can put even the most seasoned manager in a defensive position. An alert ahead of time and an insight into their stores’ historical sales volume after last year’s game was rained out gives the manager a more accurate view into the situation and how best to handle it. Because they handled the mad dash in short order, they’re able to capitalize on other revenue opportunities – like a special on beers for anyone coming from the game.

5. Ordering History & Price + Reduced Vendor Price + Vendor Options

About the Data: Hunting and negotiating for the best price on food costs start off as the art of relationships. As store operations grow, finding the best price for the ingredients to your menu items requires a more rigorous system to manage your costs within a bigger supply chain. Having access to data like order history and price, current vendor prices (and the deltas) plus a list of vendors is critical to making quick decisions that could save stores thousands of dollars.

Actionable Insight: Your store managers are familiar with menu items that may fluctuate in price more frequently. Take eggs, for example. Using ad-hoc reporting and dashboard tools, the corporate office wants its managers to monitor this number and find alternative vendors with lower prices whenever possible.

The result: A notification is sent when a pre-selected vendor has a lower price. The manager can make an order based on sales projects for the next week at the lower price, reducing the overall cost of food.

Technically speaking, that last insight falls more under the banner of costs savings. It’s still easy to see how the number one or two variable cost in a restaurant – when optimized – can drive overall revenue across every single store!


Curious what kind of data you can connect to
generate actionable insights for your store-level managers?

In our latest eBook, read the six biggest challenges CIO and IT leaders face, and uncover the ways intelligent back office platforms can help connect, correlate and contextualize data so that managers can see revenue opportunities before they pass them by.

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