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Blog | Data & Analytics

Is Your Restaurant’s Business Intelligence Tool Enough?

Business intelligence software delivers data up to above-store leaders – but is it really helping store-level restaurant managers?

What’s the value of a single point of data? What’s the value of several pieces of data? On their own, they can be revealing of a single point of success or an opportunity for improvement. When combined and correlated with business intelligence tools, the data can show broader trends, seasonal fluctuations, and overall business impact – to name a few.

We touched on some of the key metrics that every COO and restaurant manager needs to monitor in an earlier blog. These are obvious metrics like labor costs, food costs, turnover rates, training budget, same-store sales and how that’s tracking month-over-month, year-over-year and from similar store to similar store. We also made the case that restaurant key performance metrics are great to monitor, and to the trained eye can indicate very clear opportunities to improve.

But what if you give an untrained eye a whole lot of data? Even if it’s delivered in bar charts, graphs or percentage increase or decrease – an unseasoned or untrained individual may not be able to see the complete picture or make strategic decisions.

All too often, this is what happens to store-level restaurant managers. They’re on the hook to deliver a lot of data up the food chain and are also on the receiving end of a lot of data.

And this is the challenge operators, area directors, and regional leaders are up against: how can you take all the years of experience you have crunching the numbers into strategic decisions and help your store-level managers to the same, consistently?

To understand the challenge, let’s look at the business analytics and business intelligence landscape.

What is Business Intelligence?

Emerging and established restaurant brands have already advanced past a metric-by-metric view of the business performance thanks in large part to Business Intelligence systems.

Business intelligence leverages software and services to transform data into actionable intelligence that informs an organization’s strategic and tactical business decisions. It is what enables an organization to collect, analyze and present an analysis of data. (source:

But Business Intelligence Tools are Not Enough Anymore

BI tools access and analyze data sets and present analytical findings in reports, summaries, dashboards, graphs, charts, and maps to provide users with detailed intelligence about the state of the business. BI tools work well for above-store leaders looking at the business over a period of time to understand trends, predict outcomes and steer the organization. They have less impact on a busy restaurant manager who loves providing hospitality to guess and running a successful business – not playing data scientist all day.

How to Contextualize Business Intelligence to Help Managers Make Better Decisions

Intelligent Workflow connects the tasks, teams, processes, and data in a single application. The standardized workflow guides managers through their daily line checks and tasks. Multiple collections of data are combined and contextualized to alert managers to issues or opportunities and provide intelligent recommendations to not only solve the problem but to do it in a way that controls costs and maximizes revenue opportunities.

Throughout the course of the shift, a manager could receive insights that:

  • Tell him the weather is changing and that an afternoon thunderstorm is going to reduce patio sales.
  • Tell her that she has extra steak on-hand based on projected sales volume and then offer up suggestions for best-selling menu items and specials to run that evening.
  • Alert shift leaders that they’ve scheduled a server to close and to open with not enough rest time in between shifts.
  • Those are just a few of the ways business intelligence and intelligent workflow work together to help great managers make smart business decisions on the fly.

Armed with an intelligent insight that spots problems before they occur, managers have the opportunity to make more informed and strategic decisions that positively impact both store performance, employee productivity, top-line revenue growth and customer satisfaction.

Why is it so important to enable restaurant managers with intelligent insights?  

Read our most popular eBook to date to find out. 

Download Our eBook: The Restaurant Industry’s Hidden Moneyball Metric

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