Business intelligence

For those of you who do not live in the DC Metro area, let me take a minute and give you in layman’s terms a description of Initiative 77. Simply put, tipped workers in DC are paid a base wage of $3.33 per hour, and tips are expected to push earnings to at least the District’s minimum wage, which is currently $12.50 an hour. The employer is required to make up the difference if the tipped worker doesn’t earn at least the minimum wage. With the minimum wage scheduled to rise to $15 an hour by 2020, Initiative 77 intends to change the pay system so that tipped workers are paid the same as other workers by 2026.

Will restaurant owners be forced to raise menu prices? Will they find it necessary to reduce wait staff? Change how gratuities are collected? One idea I heard over the weekend, leverage technology. I found this to be very interesting.

First some statistics, according to the National Restaurant Associations (NRA):

  • The NRA reports that in 1955, the restaurant industry comprised 25% of the food dollar. In 2017 that number rose to 48% and should only continue to climb.
  • Restaurant orders placed via a smartphone or app is now over 6% of the total orders made in restaurants.
  • Lastly, 80% of restaurants are turning to technology.

Leveraging Technology

Now more than ever restaurant owners should be leveraging restaurant analytics to help them run their business successfully and efficiently. By leveraging a collection of data from traditional and digital sources inside and outside your company is a good place to start the discovery. There are many great applications which can help business owners of all sizes get started; you would be surprised how much data you already have. The question is, are you collecting and processing the data in a way that is useful to your business.

I am not a restaurant management expert by any means, but I do go out to eat 4 or 5 times a week. The message I want to convey is that in any industry data analytics should be a key part of your decision making. The New York Times reports that a growing number of mom-and-pop shops are using business intelligence (BI) software to track inventory, better staff their businesses, determine profit margins and achieve great customer insights. When it comes to big data, size doesn’t’ matter. In fact, the SMB Group estimates that 18 percent of small and 57 percent of medium businesses are currently using BI and analytics solutions.

Measurement leads to improvement! How are you using data to manage your business?

Karen Riordan, Vice President