These days, general managers need fast, accurate data to make business decisions that will help their bottom-line and ensure the guest experience isn’t affected by easy-to-solve problems.
The technology in a restaurant can help a GM optimize service quality and efficiency. And with the restaurant sales on the rise, all modes of service data should be available at a GM’s fingertips.
Here are the five most important POS reports for running a restaurant.
1. Forecasted Sales
An easy-to-read report showing the forecasted sales and labor cost for the day using real-time data compared to the actual sales and labor cost as a percentage of sales. This information helps the manager on duty make timely business decisions for the restaurant. As the day plays out, managers can see real-time variance according to the forecast. If the kitchen seems busy but sales are down, they can release some servers early to reduce labor costs. If the restaurant is generating more revenue than expected, managers can keep staff on to make sure the guest experience is not negatively impacted.
2. Speed of Service Report
This type of report helps GMs understand how fast orders are being processed from the front of the house to the kitchen to the expo or the drive-thru window. With this information, management can track and identify potential bottlenecks in serving guests. Speed of service can also be measured by item, allowing kitchen managers to find and address specific issues with the way menu items are being created and managed for both in-store and off-premises orders.
3. Scheduled vs. Actual Labor Report
This report compares the labor you have scheduled against actual labor for a specific date range. It also compares sales dollars against labor dollars. Understanding the variance of your labor-scheduling task will help GMs make better scheduling decisions going forward. If the actual labor is very different from what was scheduled, costs become unpredictable, service can be negatively affected and confidence in the upcoming work week declines.
Related: Restaurant operations: Lessons from a project manager
4. Future Orders Catering and Online Summary Report
As restaurant revenues continue to shift towards more off-premises channels like delivery, takeout and order-ahead, it’s critical to look at this report daily to understand how many orders need to be staged, what inventory needs to be ordered in advance and what level of staffing is needed to fulfill future orders. Catering/off-premise managers use this tool to plan daily orders. Kitchen staffing, prep and ingredient inventory all come into play with so many orders coming from outside the restaurant, making this report a powerful tool for improving the off-premises experience.
5. Employee Ranking
Today’s labor market is more competitive than ever. Attracting and retaining good employees is important to maintaining a positive guest experience and efficient operations. Employee Ranking reports help you understand who your best front-of-house cashiers and servers are so you can make sure they’re compensated and retained. Underperforming employees are identified as training opportunities. Ultimately, the future of your restaurant depends on the performance of your employees.