Last Updated:
November 2, 2023

Restaurant analytics: Top metrics to track and optimize to increase profits

Maximize your restaurant profits with data analytics! Learn which metrics to track and optimize for success. Get actionable insights now.
Restaurant analytics: Top metrics to track and optimize to increase profits
Pamela Romano
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Table of Contents

If you're in the restaurant industry, big data is probably a term you've been hearing a lot lately. But what exactly is it? And which information should you collect for your restaurant business?


A difficulty that many restaurant management teams endure is keeping an eye on several large data at the same time. It can be tough to choose which information is most vital. While it's necessary to have multiple sets of data, it can be complex to know which restaurant analytics and metrics are essential when making decisions. By constantly generating accurate reports, restaurant managers can utilize their business analytics to make more informed business decisions.


If you're looking to improve your restaurant's performance, then this blog post is for you. We'll go over some essential restaurant analytics so that you can get a clear understanding of where your business stands and what areas need improvement. With this valuable information, you'll be able to take the necessary steps to increase profitability, productivity, great customer experience, and product quality.

Organizing your restaurant

A new restaurant can get organized by first starting with the basics and then following up with a more in-depth analysis of the data sets. The basics include having an idea of what needs to be improved or scrutinized, tracking historical data such as sales, analyzing prime cost data, and making sure that staff is trained to the necessary level. By definition, restaurant reporting is examining the data over a set period to assess sales and profit. For example, a restaurant might compare this week's revenue with last week's or yesterday's numbers with today's results. Essentially, it provides an overview of the day to help improve earnings.


A more thorough analysis would include reviewing the menu, layout of the restaurant space, décor, ambiance, and atmosphere. Other important but less tangible areas of concern for restaurant operators are employee happiness and morale.


Restaurants need to work efficiently in their house operations with their guests and staff in order to achieve the desired goal of profitability, productivity, customer retention and improve products and services. It is important to note that success metrics are not just a number on a page. Instead, the restaurant's performance should be looked at as a whole to identify areas of potential business enhancements.

How does the restaurant industry measure productivity?

Productivity is one of the important KPIs for restaurants. It measures the total volume of food sold by a restaurant, as well as the number of guests served. Restaurants use operation metrics to measure their business growth and profitability on a monthly or yearly basis. These KPIs include profit margin, gross margin percentage, and average customer spending


  • Profit margin is the profit generated from sales data. It's calculated by subtracting the cost of goods sold and operating expenses from a restaurant's gross revenue.
  • Gross margin percentage measures how much of every dollar in revenue goes towards paying for ingredients, labor, rent, utilities, and other overhead costs - often expressed as a number between 0% to 100%.
  • Average customer spending is the average amount that guests paid per visit before taxes or other adjustments. Restaurants can also use this metric to measure how much a restaurant's menu prices are affecting their bottom line earnings.


A restaurant can track KPIs using the number of guests served or the amount of food sold each month. This restaurant data is used in conjunction with KPIs to identify strengths or weaknesses within a restaurant's operations, from staffing levels to menu items that aren't selling vs those selling out.


Track key performance indicators

By comparing various data sets, restaurant analytics unveil practically useful information. For example, a restaurant can use customer numbers or the amount of food sold to gauge progress each month.


This data is used in conjunction with KPIs to identify strengths or weaknesses within a restaurant's operations, from staffing levels to menu items that aren't selling vs those selling out.

Monitor customer feedback

Due to the nature of modern technology, more and more people are inclined to check online reviews and leave their thoughts about a restaurant. Fortunately, Google Analytics provides restaurants with detailed reports generated from various sources such as customer feedback surveys, Yelp scores, and social media comments. As a result, restaurateurs gain actionable insights that they can use to improve their business operations.


If restaurant owners want to create a strong connection with their customers, they need to be active on social media. With recent technological advances, it's easier than ever to keep track of all the data they need to run a successful restaurant.


Restaurants that actively monitor their ratings may identify patterns in negative reviews of unhappy customers, leading to solutions such as new menu items, staffing hires, or other changes to improve the dining experience and marketing strategies.

Accumulate guest data through payment methods

By collecting multiple sets of data from their cloud-based pos system, restaurants can monitor some information about their guests. The average preferred payment method will help determine which terminal a restaurant should use because it uses upgraded cards less often; this saves the restaurant money in the long run.

Types of payment methods on the line:

  • Cash: Guests who prefer cash generally don't dine out very often, but when they do, their bill tends to be higher than average.
  • Credit Card: People who pay with credit cards typically have a lower tolerance for prices and may not visit your restaurant as often, but they're more likely to spend money on each visit.
  • Cash and Credit: These guests are known for being a little bit of everything - some prefer cash while others use credit cards or both. They may have different preferences depending on the type of restaurant, so it's important to be flexible in order to accommodate this guest.
  • Phone: People who pay with their phone at a restaurant typically spend less money than those who don't pay with their phone.
  • Online Ordering: Guests who order their food online typically want to save time and may not be as concerned with the prices or quality of the restaurant, but they're still likely to come back for another meal.
  • Loyalty Points: A restaurant's loyalty program will help the restaurant retain happy patrons and increase revenue by rewarding them for their patronage so this is an important metric to track, especially if it's a younger demographic that loves accumulating points or the next free meal.


Seamless and accommodating transactions should be available to all guests, regardless of their payment preferences. Different people have different preferences when it comes to paying for things - some like cash, some like debit or credit, and some even use mobile apps. In order to satisfy the needs of as many customers as possible, restaurants should make sure they offer a variety of payment options.


In addition, restaurants also need to collect pos data points to measure the average bill size, as well as mealtime frequency and duration - which are all important indicators for restaurant management when it comes to setting prices or menu items. Therefore, there's a better chance that guests will revisit.


Using analytics in the restaurant industry

Restaurant analytics can help improve performance and success for businesses, especially within the restaurant industry. The restaurant runs and manages success metrics which can provide beneficial data sets that, when analyzed, can help the business grow and make improvements to customer retention, products, and services.

Not only does restaurant analytics allow you to compare data sets, but it also provides context for your numbers so you can get a better understanding of what they mean. This is especially helpful for those who own or manage multiple restaurants.


Management interventions like reallocating resources, increasing training effectiveness, or managing food waste can all be used to achieve these objectives. It is a powerful tool, as it also gives information about overall food quality, percent of sales, average customer wait times, and others.

Managing these different restaurant analytics allows operators to identify changes to improve the dining experience and take corrective actionable insights as needed, which often translates to maximizing the restaurant's profitability.


Key performance indicators (KPIs) are metrics that track the progress of some key aspects of a business, such as a menu success and employee performance.


In restaurant management, KPIs typically measure sales volume and margins on food sales. For example, most restaurants use a

cloud-based POS system as a KPI because it tracks how much and what kinds of products are being sold in their establishment. Another way a pos system tracks is customer average purchase amount (CAPA). This monitors the total sales per customer and can be used to set prices for similar items or simply track how much revenue a business should generate from each sale.


To determine if an intervention or strategy has been successful or not, restaurant owners always rely on success metrics. The customer retention rate is one example and it captures how often guests return after their first visit. This number can be measured in different ways like months or years.


By understanding customer retention rates, restaurants can get a valuable overview of how often guests will make return visits to their restaurants. If this number drops, it could mean that the product quality or service has dropped, and a change needs to be made in order for consumers to come back.


How key performance indicators benefit restaurant business

The restaurant will more likely to find success if they invest its time in measuring the KPIs that matter most to the business. Depending on the type of restaurant and its goals, different types of key performance indicators may be more or less useful.


KPIs offer many advantages, but a few of the most profound contain:

  • Historical data can be used to benchmark current performance. Analyzing the restaurant KPIs using data points can help zero in on areas that need improvement. This, in turn, can help improve the restaurant's overall performance.
  • Goals become more achievable when the restaurant knows which KPIs to monitor closely. For example, let's say its goal is to increase sales by 20% in the next quarter. By utilizing the newly found KPIs, the restaurant can make sure that progress is being made and that the end goal remains in sight.
  • Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) can help restaurant owners better understand their business priorities and make more informed business decisions about resource allocation.
  • By tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) over time, businesses can see if they are making progress toward their goals. This is an essential tool for any restaurant business that wants to ensure its success.

What is the most common restaurant KPIs?

Restaurant managers need to track several important KPIs in order to grasp what areas of their business are suffering and require change. By gauging team and financial performance, restaurateurs can have a bigger picture and a clear understanding of how well their establishment is doing.

Below are some examples of restaurant KPIs and their benefits, choose from the list to combine with the existing tried and true restaurant techniques.


Revenue per available seat hour (RevPASH)

Restaurant owners can increase profits by tracking this one key metric. RevPASH is calculated by dividing the total restaurant revenue for the period of time being analyzed by that same duration’s available seat hour (ASH) and then multiplying it by 100.


By definition, the "available seat hour" take into account the number of seats available during times when businesses are typically open.


The RevPASH data should be tracked on a weekly basis for each restaurant to see how well they are performing during that time frame. With this data, a restaurant can learn the most popular timeframes for guests and how well the current seating arrangement is working.

Additionally, a restaurant will be able to tell if they are using their space wisely, staffing efficiently, and selling items that make the most money. The higher the value, the more a restaurant earns from its given seating capacity.


In such a scenario, if a restaurant is using more available seat hours than the previous week but making less revenue per ASH, it may be due to customers ordering menu items that are lower in price. However, if they have had an increase in total revenue then there's no need for any changes because their RevPASH numbers improved as well.


When comparing RevPASH numbers from one restaurant to another, it is best practice for the same time period (week) and location of each restaurant. The metric should not be analyzed by different locations or over a long span of time as this could make results inaccurate due to fluctuating variables such as weather conditions, day-of-the-week trends, special events, etc.


The “holy grail” of restaurant analytics used to measure success is the RevPAR or revenue per available square meter. This metric takes into consideration not just sales but also seating capacity for a given restaurant location and ultimately provides an indication of how profitable a business might be in different locations.

Food costs percentage

The food cost percentage lets restaurants know how much it costs to make a dish versus how much they are selling it for. This number will tell a restaurant how much profit they are making.


Utilizing restaurant food cost percentages allows operators to understand how much each food item costs, as well as monitor overall spending. This data empowers them to make financially sound business decisions that will help optimize profitability.


For example, if production is too slow or there's not enough staff available to prepare food, costs will increase. A higher profit margin for a restaurant can be easily achieved by reducing the cost of ingredients without sacrificing quality. It's crucial to have reliable inventory management software to take daily stock of key items, and have a game plan to make sure a restaurant can get the most out of all the purchased products.


Most successful restaurants have a food cost percentage between 28-35 percent. Therefore, it is essential to manage food costs under control for the restaurant's profitability.

Labor Cost Ratio

The labor cost ratio is important to understand because it measures the percentage of sales that are attributed to labor costs. In other words, this helps the restaurant see how much its company is spending on labor in relation to its overall sales.


A high labor-cost ratio means that a company relies heavily on labor costs for its income. If labor expenses start to exceed profits, this can become an issue. A low labor cost ratio, on the other hand, indicates that labor is a small part of the company’s total expenditure—something which can be beneficial in terms of profitability.


Net sales

Sales show a business's success. They not only reveal how well a restaurant is doing, but they also affect other metrics, such as break-even points and gross profit.


Net sales is the cash received from customers for their purchases and includes tax and service charges added to a bill by restaurant staff. If a restaurant raises its prices and subsequently sees an increase in spending, it can then experiment with different pricing to see if the trend will continue. This is valuable information as it allows the restaurant to understand how much revenue comes from which customer groupings (e.g., breakfast vs lunch).


Average food and beverage costs

The restaurant's total food costs divided by its annual sales volume (expressed as a percentage) can demonstrate the restaurant's efficiency in purchasing, receiving, and inventorying food. Not to mention, it can help manage possible huge opportunities to increase profit margins when used in conjunction with other factors.


In such a scenario, if a restaurant's production is slow or there aren't enough kitchen staff available to prepare food, then costs will increase. If a restaurant's costs are higher than the average in the market, it may want to sell that type of product more. However, if its costs are lower than average industry prices, it might want to focus on better inventory management.


Customers per table

One measure that is worth tracking for restaurant managers is customers per table (CPT). This metric reveals how many people are seated at a given time, which tells them what their occupancy rate is throughout an entire day.


If CPT is less than the seating capacity of the restaurant, this means that a restaurant needs to add additional tables or seats. The goal is to set an average number of guests per day; depending on the size of the restaurant. If it exceeds this number, it's a good indication that the restaurant needs more staff members or additional tables and chairs.


If there are no reservations made for the following hour during peak hours (such as lunchtime) and if CPT drops below a set number of people, then something might be wrong.


This metric can help the restaurant figure out if they are understaffed, overbooked, or attracting the right number of guests altogether to maintain a profitable business model.


Average Check per Customer

The average check is a metric commonly used in the restaurant industry to help restaurateurs understand how much their customers are spending.


In a nutshell, a restaurant can calculate how much each customer spends on average by dividing a total check amount (including tax and tips) by an estimated number of guests. This can be measured daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. And if a restaurant can't calculate an estimate, then divide the total check amount by the number of customers. It can also be noted that the more data available to make this calculation, the more accurate it will be!


In addition to measuring the average check size per customer, also measure what percentage of the customers are spending at least 20% more than the average check size.


If more than 50% of customers are below the average check size, this could be an indication that it needs to increase menu prices or offer discounts for smaller orders. If a restaurant is slow, then try increasing prices or offering discounts for smaller orders in order to increase revenue.



80% of restaurant reservations are made less than a week in advance. Restaurants should make it easy for guests to either call the restaurant or book via third-party booking tools with flexible reservation policies and procedures such as availability on short notice.


A flexible reservation policy is key as it makes it possible for guests to book on short notice. For example, if a restaurant is running out of space but still wants people to be able to come in that same day, they can offer walk-in availability with a free appetizer or drink.


It should also be easy for larger groups to book reservations. If a restaurant is running out of space, consider using a staggered reservation timetable so that tables are available for groups. While a small deposit is useful too, as it ensures it won’t lose money if the group were to cancel.


Lastly, restaurants can use their loyalty program to incentivize people to visit more often as well. Most people will have a favorite restaurant they’d like to visit more often, but there are many things that might get in the way of doing so. If a restaurant can make it easy for them with discounted or complimentary future visits and loyalty points, then they can do better at retaining the guests who would otherwise be infrequent visitors.



It's important to manage cancellations in mind when developing a restaurant analytics strategy because they can either hurt or help a restaurant increase revenue depending on how many occur and what percentage of sales come from those guests.

  • If a restaurant has a small percentage of cancellations, then the lost revenue from those guests will not be significant, and canceling orders may actually protect its profits because it means less food is being wasted.
  • However, if there are high levels of cancellations that represent a large portion of sales (for instance more than 15% of total sales), then those guests may be costing a restaurant more than what they're spending.


In these cases, if a restaurant receives a cancellation from the guests, it's important to ask their employees for feedback so they can make changes that might increase satisfaction rates. Additionally, positive customer feedback looks good for the percentage of employees it represents, which is crucial for any successful restaurant.


Menu updates

As business evolves, so should the restaurant's menu to meet customer needs and preferences. A KPI that can be utilized to measure the success of a menu change is the percentage of sales increase for new items. This can be done by tracking the new items added to a menu and comparing their sales numbers against total monthly food sales.



  • Consider adding new dishes or items or substituting existing ones with more popular dishes in order to increase sales, and eat into competitor market shares by satisfying guests who might be shopping around for a place that offers what they're looking for.
  • Dig deep into restaurant data for the average customer, looking at location, gender, age range, and frequency of visits. This information can be used to determine which dishes are most likely to attract new customers and anticipate future orders or offer a good deal on old favorites that will still bring in revenue.
  • To measure success rates for existing dishes on menus that have been changed, keep tabs on the traffic and profitability after the change and compare them to the time period before.
  • If an item has more than 50% of its revenue coming from new customers, it is considered successful.

Percentage of tables served

Quite often, the best way to assess the efficiency of a restaurant's staff is by looking at what they are doing on any given day.


When calculating table service efficiency, the percentage of tables served is a key metric. For example: if 30% of customers leave without being seated because tables are not available to serve more guests in the restaurant, that’s an opportunity for improvement!


If a restaurant owner noticed that the percentage of tables served per waiter has been increasing steadily, but it is not translating into increased profits then there might be a problem. This might indicate that its service time is too long, for instance, or maybe it has an outlier who needs more attention.


Alternatively, if the percentage of tables served per waiter has been decreasing over time and yet they are seeing increased profits then there might be a problem with how a restaurant's staff is spending their time in ways other than serving tables.


Managing numbers is one of the keys to success. A restaurant manager should be tracking these KPIs that will help identify trends in the restaurant business and optimize how time and resources are spent on improving the efficiency of their staff. Additionally, it is also important to well manage and handle reservation-only dining or prime times with little staff availability, as limited resources often reveal the most significant areas of improvement.


Inventory turnover

Inventory management KPIs are performance indicators that give restaurant visibility into their stock levels and help them make decisions accordingly.


KPIs are essential for inventory management because they provide valuable data about turnover, sales, demand, costs, process success, relationships, and more. Luckily, a restaurant can easily monitor KPIs using inventory management software.


Restaurant inventory turnover is calculated by multiplying the cost of goods sold and inventory. This KPI measures how much a company’s current inventory sells in one year, which helps restaurant managers know if they should increase or decrease their orders from suppliers. If the number is low, that could indicate higher costs associated with holding raw materials and food items for a longer period of time.


It is also important to track inventory time as it relates to KPIs and sales metrics. Restaurants that have too much inventory at the end of the day are also going to be more inefficient. For example, a restaurant will typically have a certain amount of food prepared at any given time; the more time that elapses between when it was prepared and sold, the less fresh and tasty it will be.


Speed of service

Eating out can be a great experience, but much of the time it is not. Customers are often dissatisfied with the speed of service times and how long they have to wait for their orders. A restaurant's customer retention rate will decline when customers feel neglected or ignored by staff.


  • Invest in new technology that allows you to track service performance to minimize the wait time for your customers, however, if you are constantly low on staff and have additional funds, investing in additional servers will ensure fast customer satisfaction rates.
  • Verify that there are enough servers on hand at all times, and make sure they’re communicating with each other about orders coming in. It's important that you keep an eye on your server productivity to assess this area.
  • If you have more than one server at your establishment, make sure that they are delineated by sections. This will help the staff to find their section and work more efficiently. When taking orders, don't forget about any allergies or intolerances customers have before proceeding with an order.
  • Train staff to be sensitive to customer needs and work hard to not disappoint them. It's important to let the customer know how long it will be before they get their food, so don't forget to ask them about any allergies or intolerances when taking orders.
  • Include a section of the restaurant where people can order takeout or delivery without waiting in line, if possible.


Receiving tips

By tracking important customer service KPIs, a restaurant can improve both its short-term operational efficiency and long-term profitability by recognizing issues that may have previously gone unnoticed.


One of the key indicators to track is tips received. The average tip for a restaurant in America is 18%, but some people may leave less or more depending on how they are treated, and if a restaurant has servers who perform better than others it could mean that their owners will make more money with higher tips.


If a restaurant owner sees revenue coming from tips, then tracking them is crucial to understanding how much revenue you are generating.

The best way to check tips received is by assigning a tip percentage for each server and adding it up at the end of the day or week/month depending on a restaurant's frequency.


Tips should be counted as an income type because they are considered wages for the servers, and when they are accounted for it should be included in the restaurant's overhead costs.


Menu pricing

The numbers on menus often have a psychological impact that can make diners feel satisfied with their purchase or disappointed at how much was spent without considering what else is offered throughout the menu. Knowing this, it is important to optimize prices for menu items and ensure that the dishes on the menu are logically priced.

  • Menu pricing should be consistent with what is offered in terms of quality, portion size, taste level, etc.
  • Keep customers satisfied by making sure each dish offers a good value as well as an appropriate price point of the food item so they don't feel cheated by the restaurant.
  • The numbers on menus should be logical and easy to calculate in order for customers not to have any questions about what they are ordering or how much they are paying.
  • When menu items seem too high, consider splitting a dish with someone else at their table instead of choosing an additional side item that would be cheaper.
  • Customers also need to know the amount of time a dish might take if it is not prepared quickly or if there are other considerations when ordering such as heating, etc.

Employee turnover

The turnover rate is the percentage of employees who leave during a set period of time. This is an important statistic for restaurants to follow because it can show how satisfied their employees are with their current positions. Additionally, this metric can also reveal how effectively management retains quality talent and provides opportunities for advancement.


To calculate a restaurant's employee turnover rate, divide the number of restaurant employees who quit during a period by the number of those still employed at the end of that same time frame.


A high employee turnover rate can be a costly issue for any restaurant owners when they factor in the time and money it takes to find, hire and train new staff.



Feedback and Complaints

Feedback and complaints are key sources of information for evaluating the quality of service provided to customers, which is critical in delivering an excellent experience that keeps them coming back. The type of feedback or complaint received by any business will also help them analyze how well employees are fulfilling their roles with the company.


The best way to improve customer service is by surveying customers about how well they were attended to and what improvements could be made in order for them to return. A restaurant may ask its customers to leave online reviews on its social media accounts or website or to fill out a comment card at the end of their meal.


In order to get an accurate idea of customer experience, be sure to track all feedback and complaints received, whether they are positive or negative. A restaurant business can use this information to make changes that will improve the customer experience and encourage repeat business.


Suppose a restaurant owner is incapable or unwilling to mend an issue that was brought up. In that case, it might be time for the company to review its employee's training, policies, and procedures.


5 important KPIs for day-to-day operations:

  1. How well the restaurant is treating customers: Did they feel welcome? Were their needs met in a timely manner? Will they return as a result of this experience? The system will help guide employees to provide the best service possible while also helping identify any problems with policies or procedures.
  2. The restaurant's cleanliness and upkeep: Did they notice unclean utensils? Was the food fresh due to an employee forgetting about it in a pot of boiling water on the stove for 45 minutes? Feedback and complaints will help assess these metrics as well.
  3. How many customers are eating: Did they order a salad but only pick it up? Were they too busy to stop and eat their meal? Feedback can help identify these cases of lost revenue, in addition to helping the business better understand consumers' needs.
  1. 4. The quality of food served: Was the customer expecting more from the dish they ordered? Feedback and complaints will help identify where the restaurant is falling short in terms of quality.
  2. Quantity: Did the customer find that their meal was too small to fill up or did they feel like there wasn't enough food on the plate for what they paid for? These are all issues a business can address with feedback, either by improving the food or re-examining policies on what's offered for a particular price.


A customer complaints metric to evaluate is based on:

  • The number of Complaints Received Recently (last 30 days)
  • Average Customers Affected by Each Complaint in the Last 30 days, or last year for trend analysis


The key to success in restaurant analytics boils down to listening, understanding, and acting upon customer feedback and complaints. This type of data is crucial when it comes to the quality of service delivered to the customers as well as identifying trends that can help improve your business. By monitoring your social media pages and online reviews, you can uphold a strong reputation for your restaurant business.

Workplace safety

Workplace safety is an important part of restaurant management because it helps with the improvement of workplace safety, restaurant reputation, and the reduction of hazards.


This is done by checking the fire extinguishers as one example or inspecting for any possible hazards in the kitchen. It also includes making sure that a restaurant's employees are compliant with the company's safety and cleanliness policies and treating the equipment with care and safety.


It's important to remember that employees are the key to success. A restaurant manager needs to make sure he or she is doing all they or can for his or their staff in order to achieve a higher level of performance and satisfaction, which will lead them back to your business and your success.


This includes things like being supportive when there are problems on the floor, creating a comfortable work environment, and giving the employees a voice in suggestions they may want to improve.


Consistency and quality

Restaurants fail because of issues with consistency and quality in their service and their menu, or lack thereof. For restaurants that employ analytics, these data points can steer management decisions towards improving both areas for better performance overall.


POS data can show how many complaints an establishment gets about its food quality or inconsistency, and menus might have key indicators to demonstrate how well-curated they are. With this data, the management team can then evaluate what changes will have a more positive outcome for the restaurant's bottom line.


By creating a plan that all cooks in the restaurant follow, management can ensure greater consistency with quality. They should have standards for how each dish should taste as well as knowledge of which ingredients are needed. This will help educate cooks on proper procedures when making specific dishes.


For staff to provide quality service consistently, they must be trained. There are various ways to train them, such as demonstrating how to deliver quality service and providing a practice session with feedback.


Training also means allowing staff to provide and critique each other's services as a form of quality control. The management team should also have a set of standards for how the service should be provided, such as what etiquette to use in different situations and how to handle complaints from customers.


Because consistency and quality in their service and menu are so important to the success of restaurants, it is logical that these events should be monitored closely.



Key restaurant success metrics to jot down

  1. Customer retention rate - is how many customers return visits within one year; it measures repeat business and customer loyalty by dividing the number of returning customers by the total in that same year.
  2. Average customer lifetime value - is the average revenue a company generates from each of its customers over their duration as customers, which is calculated by taking the average of the total revenue generated from all customers in the same year and dividing it by the number of "new" customers that were acquired in that same year.
  1. Repurchase rate - measures brand preference and customer satisfaction based on how many customers return to the restaurant within two years divided by the total number of entries.
  2. Lead time - the lead time report uses the restaurant’s labor and inventory data to calculate how long it takes to fulfill an order. The lead time is the time elapsed from when an order is classified as a work order until the item arrives at the customer’s table. It monitors items that are taking up the most time or resources and helps a restaurant improve productivity, dining experience, and product quality.
  3. Average ticket size - one key metric is the average price per customer. This can be an indicator of whether a restaurant's food quality or value is resonating with customers and it also helps them understand the overall product pricing strategy. They can calculate the average ticket size by dividing the total sales by the number of customers.
  4. Customer satisfaction rate - uses a survey where customers provide feedback about their experience on-site and score the restaurant. This includes any comments left or ratings given for specific items. It can not only help a restaurant understands its customers’ thoughts but also identify areas where more attention is needed.
  1. Profit margins - is the percentage by which revenues exceed expenses and can be calculated as net income divided by expense, or alternatively, sales revenues minus all costs. This is, more specifically, calculated by dividing the net income/revenue from the last month (YTD) by food cost for that same period.
  2. A feedback score - is the likelihood that customers recommend the restaurant to others, based on their experience. It can be calculated through feedback score by dividing the number of reviews that are rated as a five, four, or three and multiplying it by 100%.
  3. Cost of goods sold - is how much money was spent on ingredients to create each dish served, which includes not just food costs, but all costs that went into the preparation of that dish. The food costs can be calculated by dividing the cost of all ingredients, including any delivery fees and other miscellaneous costs to prepare it. The labor expense can be calculated using an employee’s wage rate times their estimated hours spent on preparing that specific menu item.
  1. Marketing and promotional expenses - a company wants its investment in advertising to be proportional to how many new customers they acquire for that same period. These are calculated by using the total amount of money spent on marketing divided by the number of customers acquired.
  2. Payroll percentage - an expense that can be calculated by dividing the total wages and salaries to pay employees in a given period of time (for instance, last week) by the restaurant’s net income for that same period.

The Monthly Reports for Restaurant Owners

A restaurant's KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) rely on its monthly restaurant reporting package to pull data from in order to produce accurate reports. Not only are labor and cash reports crucial, but performance reports overall give you an idea of how your business function. The following reports from which big data can be gathered:

  •      Income Statement & Balance Sheet
  •      P&L by Month, Quarter, and Percent of Income
  •      Income by Customer
  •      Sales Tax

How do restaurants store data?

Restaurant data is collected from one or more point-of-sale systems, customer experience surveys, google analytics, and other software sources that generate the actionable insights that the majority of successful restaurants use to evaluate performance. This information can be used to improve operations and maintain profitability by tracking key metrics like sales volume, labor costs, reduce food waste, product quality, menu prices, and competitor benchmarks.


Some data storage examples are:

  • Spreadsheets: they are a good way to monitor and manage restaurant analytics and data, as they're simple to use. However, if a restaurant owner has a lot of information or wants to graph their numbers for more detail - spreadsheets might not be the best option. I.e. With Excel's graphing capabilities, business owners can easily create charts that illustrate how sales volume, for example, changes over time.
  • Sale system: A pos system is typically the most effective method for tracking restaurant analytics and metrics. The data they collect is then stored in a database, which can be used to create graphs and charts with various analytics tools.
  • CRM: Customer relationship management software can also be advantageous in storing restaurant performance metrics. CRMs allow business owners to organize customer information by location or social
  • Inventory software apps: Inventory software apps are another way to keep an eye on restaurant metrics with customizable reports. Some examples include tracking restaurant POS systems, purchase orders, inventory, scanning invoices, calculating consumption, overstock and understock analytics, and more!

Thriving with Restaurant Analytics

Consequently, by tracking and managing restaurant data, key performance indicators, pos, and other success metrics can be optimized to positively impact revenue and help manage a huge opportunity.


Not only will analyzing big data make a restaurant more streamlined and can save money, but it also gives a bigger picture of all aspects of the business operation as a whole. With this, restaurant operators can see what generates income and where there's potential for growth, making their restaurant business more successful.


Along with this, optimizing a restaurant's data and operation is vital to success, and part of that process includes effective management. Good restaurant management can also help spot trends that could bring a huge opportunity, as well as improve daily operations. The restaurant can find success by focusing on three things: quality and consistency during the product and service lifecycle stage, and keeping up with industry trends.


Ultimately, tracking important restaurant analytics can help make data-driven decisions that will accelerate any restaurant business growth. Harness the potential of restaurant analytics to see your ROI soar, a clear sign of your restaurant's financial strength.


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