3 Challenges Facing QSR Operators in 2021 & How to Solve Them

OneDataSource President and Founder Bruce Belvin
Bruce Belvin, OneDataSource Founder & President

Operating in a complex, evolving environment is difficult. Leaders in restaurant operations have been experiencing this a thousandfold since the beginning of the pandemic.

With little room for error and your margins depending on it, how can you improve store performance and profitability?

Below, we examine three major demands placed on multi-unit restaurant operators and what you can do to resolve them.

Restaurant Operations: 3 Challenges Facing QSR Operators

Aggregating data from your disparate systems using an above-store business intelligence solution can positively impact all levels of your multi-unit restaurant operation.

Challenge for Restaurant Operators

Making confident decisions that positively (and promptly) impact the bottom line

We are living in a time of data abundance and using that data to your advantage can mean the difference between stagnation or franchise profitability. At the same time, there are several obstacles multi-unit restaurant operations leaders face to access that data with speed – let alone get insights from it.

With data living in multiple systems, the way leaders across departments currently operate is to access each portal or system, gathering the data they need before moving on to the next. Then, once they’ve pulled all the data together, they must spend time figuring out the best way to present that data in a meaningful way. It’s no surprise that restaurant operations leaders are tired – not only of the wasted time but also the noise it creates when trying to effectively communicate across departments.

This lack of data visibility at the basic level into restaurant operations puts leaders in a difficult position to make decisions that positively and promptly impact the bottom line.

Solution for Restaurant Operators

Leveraging leading data indicators to improve tactical decision-making

Every department across the team has different needs. Operations needs daily, weekly and period performance metrics and exception reports to effectively lead. Accounting and finance need daily sales, labor, and cost data to inform leadership and influence decision making.

Dashboards for restaurants with a consistent and accurate dataset provides clear line of sight for both departments, diminishing the noise and speeding up the decision-making process. That’s all possible with modern, above-store business intelligence software.

MUY! Companies utilizes data and technology in nearly every aspect of their business.

“What oneVIEW has done is take our data and dissect it in a way that gives us back better information to make decisions,” shared James Bodenstedt, President & CEO of MUY! Companies.

James also stresses the importance of empowering people up and down the chain of command to make decisions. “Our district managers share that information with our restaurant general managers, and we use it to look at performance from the day before to make business decisions on what we’re going to do going forward.”

Challenge for Restaurant Operators

Improving same-store profitability

In a business where margins can be slim, increasing same store-store profitability can be a difference-maker. Though, that’s easier said than done, right?

Of course, operational excellence is a top priority. You want customers to frequent your restaurants more than competitors and have your best team members stay with you. The issue is that sales data isn’t the only gauge of how well a store is doing. It also won’t provide the necessary insight into how to boost performance. You need to get a pulse on the health of the store in every aspect, from sales to labor to customer experience.

Solution for Restaurant Operators

Store scorecards for performance reporting

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” The great Michael Jordan may have been referring to basketball, but it remains true across any field. Armed with the right intelligence, you can make adjustments that trickledown across the entire organization. We see sports analytics used to improve the quality of a team’s play. Why not apply the same methodologies to restaurant analytics?

One way to do that is through store scorecards, a measure of the performance of a store.

Scorecards provide your leadership team with the ability to find areas of opportunity based on weighted criteria that includes not only sales data from your POS, but also considers third-party sources as well as HR-related metrics. For example, direct customer feedback including complaints, cleanliness, accuracy, and speed can be applied. For HR metrics, those included in the weighted score may be around areas like retention and turnover.

The value of that data is clear. With a line of sight into every aspect of performance, your leaders can work with area coaches who can in turn work with store managers to smooth any friction across the business. The trickle-down effect means that every person across the team is working at their best to provide a better customer experience, resulting in improved profitability.

Here’s where technology comes in. Instead of going to different places to see reporting on different stores, all your data is brought together in one place. Modern above-store business intelligence software allows you to see top performers and areas to improve via intuitive, visual dashboards. That means you can operate nimbly, which is especially powerful in today’s hypersensitive environment.

“We grew from 30 restaurants to 72 within a 12-month span, so we were looking for solutions. We had a lot of data coming at us from point-of-sale, back-of-house, and other third-party software that we had, and oneVIEW was able to collect that data in one spot.

It gave us the ability to see information in real-time and make decisions much quicker and more efficiently than we did in the past.”

Steve Thompson, Owner/Operator at Primary Aim, LLC

Challenge for Restaurant Operators

Managing third-party delivery data

Over the past year, third-party delivery companies have been in the spotlight as people around the globe have been driven into quarantine. They’ve also been in the news with partnerships forming between delivery companies and major QSRs. An unintended result of combining multiple brands with several delivery companies and their POS is an extreme level of cloudiness in sales data. Why? Namely, each vendor and POS is a unique scenario.

First, let’s consider integrations. There are varying levels of integration depending on the third party with some having a tighter integration than others. Without a seamless standard, that means that it may take more steps for one delivery sale than another, opening the door for inaccuracy on the backend. Additionally, each delivery company handles sales numbers differently, making it even more challenging to track. While one may include sales tax or their markup in the numbers, another may only include one or the other.

The result of all the cloudiness means it’s difficult for those in restaurant operations to get accurate sales numbers.

Solution for Restaurant Operators

Integrated third-party delivery reporting

You don’t have to languish in a fog of data or log into an endless number of websites to manually run reports. Restaurant owners and operators need to have all the data that sits in separate systems readily available. Technology with integrated third-party delivery reporting makes that possible.

This type of technology consolidates data – sales, transaction counts, average check amounts, etc. – from all delivery vendors to give you visibility into the numbers. Plus, configurations make it easier to get a clearer picture of sales numbers across certain vendors. What’s more, configurations can be set at the store level, helping you more accurately calculate sales numbers. That means efficiency when it comes to reporting royalties to a corporate office.

See how oneVIEW can unlock the power of your data so you can operate efficiently and grow sales. Schedule a demo today.

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