1. Better evaluate your server's performance
A clever way to track how your sales are going is to look at how your sales people are selling.
You can do this by running a report based on transaction data and organise it by employee. Use that data to do the following:
- See what the average check size and sales totals are per waitstaff
- Give employees incentive to up-sell and reward them for their hard work.
- See under performing staff and provide them with additional training or performance incentives
2. Find your most popular and profitable items
1. Generate a report and sort it by most purchased to least purchased items. This will show what your best selling products are.
2. Next, generate another report based on profit margin and sort it from highest to lowest. This will show you what your most profitable products are.
If any of these products overlap, you could use it as a promotion.
If products are costing you more than expected, you can look at ways to bring the costs down, or if they are not selling that well, you could remove them from your list altogether.
3. Learn about your customers and market directly to their preferences
If you are capturing customer data, let your customers know when you have something that they might like.
Did they order a salad? Send them an email to let them know about your new salads in the summer menu.
Are the wine drinkers? Let them know what wine to pair with their meal. Pairing a wine with a meal is one of the most profitable additions, and you could even offer a free glass to repeat customers who select your paired wine.
4. Find out when your slow times are and do something about it
Most owners know when the slow times are, and when it's going to be busy. These reports will help give you some numbers to back up your decisions.
How much does it cost you to stay open during slow times? If it’s costing you more to be open for breakfast time, it might be worth cutting the breakfast menu, and opening a little later. If it’s slow on a Monday, it might be better not to open on Monday at all.
If you have a mid morning or afternoon lull, it might be worth holding a happy hour or specials on selected items to get people in the door at those times. (Refer to point 2 for tips on which products to discount)
5. Stop wasting food
Stop it. Stop it, stop it, stop it.
Food wastage is a huge money pit for restaurants. On top of tracking wastage, you could run regular inventory reports to know exactly what you have in stock, what’s overstock, and what needs to be used up.
Run a special around the ingredients that you have too much of so that you can use them up quickly.
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