Using Restaurant POS Analytics to Guide Business Decisions

Using data from restaurant POS analytics can help managers and restaurant owners make informed decisions and implement profitable strategies. With restaurant data and analytics, it is possible to determine areas of the business that perform well and those that need improvements.

Businesses in the restaurant industry operate on slim margins and must consider all the factors affecting profitability. Restaurant analytics and reporting involve the collection and analysis of information from all aspects of the business and its performance. 

An important part of restaurant operations is business intelligence (BI). Business intelligence includes the technologies and strategies that businesses use to analyze data. It provides current, historical, and predictive views of a restaurant’s business data and health. 

The major functions of BI include data mining, reporting, analytics, online analytical processing, and business performance management. It helps restaurant owners and managers deal with the issue of big data and make better data driven decisions. At the center of this is restaurant POS analytics and reporting. 

What Are Restaurant POS Analytics?

Restaurant POS analytics and reporting are slightly different. Restaurant reporting is looking at data for a given period. This could be comparing sales or revenues between two periods or using available data to make future projections. 

On the other hand, restaurant data analytics goes a notch higher by combining multiple sets of data for analysis. This helps in answering questions like why and what the data means. The aim is to draw insights into the ways you can improve the performance of your restaurant. Simply put, restaurant reporting provides information about the business while analytics provides insights.

Difference between restaurant analytics and reporting

The Benefits of Using Restaurant POS Analytics

The benefits of restaurant POS analytics lie in the identification of areas of improvement in a restaurant business. It helps in improving efficiency and driving profitability higher. 

Restaurant owners and managers gain insights into the operations and performance of the restaurant. Integrating restaurant analytics software into the restaurant POS helps in improving sales, cutting costs, deterring theft, improving employee productivity, and reducing fraud. A good restaurant POS analytics system should:

  • Provide a better understanding of the restaurant menu items and help in making better decisions.
  • Provide a better understanding of the clientele to help in creating a custom profile for customers.
  • Help in determining your best-selling items and forecasting sales.
  • Help in identifying the most or least profitable locations, for better inventory and staff management.
Identify Profitable Practices

Restaurant analytics software takes restaurant data, visualizes it, and presents it for easy analysis. It ensures clear analysis and presentation of the data for decision making. This allows restaurant owners to gain more insight into the performance of their business and make informed decisions. Other than providing a big-picture of their business, restaurant analytics also give in-depth snapshots of specific areas of your business. 

Related: 8 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Restaurant POS System

Useful Analytics from a Restaurant POS 

A restaurant analytics system can be built into restaurant POS systems. This could be an analytics app that keeps you up to date with real-time data on the performance of your restaurant. The report can be based on hourly sales, best-selling category, ingredients use, daily activities, and sales by item or by the cashier. Such reports allow you to determine the number of orders voided over a given period of time and the discounts or offers given. You can also tell the number of orders sent to the kitchen and the dollar amount collected in cards, cash, and tips. 

The range of analytics apps that you choose to have will depend on your type of business. You could have an analytics app that keeps track of your beverage inventory. Such an app will help you control dynamic promotions, manage your inventory in real time, and understand the dynamics of your market. You could also choose an analytics app that keeps track of all your purchasing, stock taking, food waste, and recipe costing needs. This way, you can streamline procurement, accounting, delivery, and profitability to your establishment. 

Analytics can come from restaurant pos system features that relate to reporting, accounting, and cash flow.

Restaurant Reporting

Restaurant reporting enables you to make sense of your restaurant data. Your restaurant sales and costs data are more than numbers when used in the right way. They guide in making business decisions and drive your business in the right direction. Restaurant owners and managers generate different kinds of reports for effective running of their business. Restaurant accounting and cashflow software play a critical role in generating the reports. 

Restaurant analytics and reporting help in keeping tabs on all restaurant operations. Good software will generate the following reports, among others:

  1. Sales Report: Comprehensive data on the total sales of the restaurant on a day. It provides insights into the total number of bills generated during the day and the discounts conferred.
  2. Inventory Report: Inventory report provides details about the opening and closing stock of each item in the restaurant on a day across all outlets.
  3. Labor Reports: Records data about the staff including labor expenses, shifts, and their forecasted needs. 
  4. Expense Reports: Records all restaurant expenses, including rents, phone, electricity, water bills, cost of inventory, staff salaries, maintenance of equipment, and miscellaneous expenses.
  5. CRM Reports: Provides data about customer orders, time and date of their visits, and the bills generated at the table. 

Restaurant Accounting

Restaurant accounting software automates the accounting function of a restaurant. Accurate financial information plays a crucial role in running a profitable business. Therefore, restaurants need to follow the right accounting practices. Although accountants have traditionally prepared financial reports, restaurant accounting software provides a more affordable and efficient way of booking. 

Good restaurant accounting software allows you to balance your books effortlessly and skep all the spreadsheet formulas. It also comes with seamless integrations with accounting systems like Xero and QuickBooks to provide simplified and easy accounting tools. Some of the benefits the software brings to a restaurant business include:

  • Real-time insights into the business finances
  • Clearly shows the account receivables and account payables 
  • Connects with other restaurant systems like the POS and payroll for seamless flow of information
  • Easily accessible at all times and from any place

Related: Ultimate Guide to Choosing Restaurant Accounting Software

Cash Flow Management

The cash flow management software keeps track of the cash coming in and out of the restaurant. It ensures that you have a steady cash flow to keep your business running. The software is particularly important to small businesses, which run on small profits. Restaurant owners and managers get to identify the financial stability of the business and cash flow performance. The software allows you to:

  • Monitor cash flows across different periods of time, including monthly, weekly, and daily
  • Connect and share information with other restaurant management systems and restaurant locations
  • Accurately estimate future cash flows
  • Export financial data to external systems for the smooth running of the business

Related: 20 Cost Reduction Strategies for Restaurants

Start Using Restaurant POS Analytics to Guide Your Business Decisions

Restaurant POS analytics and reporting tend to be intimidating to many restaurant owners. However, they play a critical role in the successful running of both the front of house and back of house operations. Although this can be achieved manually, a restaurant analytics and reporting system automates the whole process. You can gain insights into the performance of the restaurant and generate relevant reports at any time. This way, you can make informed decisions to boost the performance of your restaurant.

A flexible restaurant POS system makes it easy to generate analytics that can help you make better, more informed business decisions. 

See how Lavu’s top rated restaurant POS can help you gather the insights you need to improve your business. Download our Beginner’s Guide to POS Systems to get the full details on how you can use our POS to improve your restaurant operations.  

Scroll to Top