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Building Better Menus
MenuWorks' Blog

Your Metrics Matter

MenuWorks Laminated Restaurant Menu PrintingRestaurants are a business. Like any business you have to watch a lot of metrics to manager your restaurant to success. More studies will list four areas as the key metrics to monitor. Those are sales, customer service/engagement, safety and profit.


Tracking top line sales growth and what impacts that sales growth is critical. Beyond just watching the top number, breaking down your sales metrics can affect your business revenue. What menu items are top sellers? Are the top sellers also your top profit areas? If not, how do you influence the customer buying decision process to select higher profit items? Do you need to consider updating your menu items or the menus themselves? Are you using menu optimization to drive customers to your most profitable offerings? Tracking what’s selling and what’s not selling, as well as profit by menu item can be important to planning your business growth.

Customer service & engagement

Like any business, there are four things you can do with a customer: win, keep, grow and loose. Your level of service and staff engagement can affect each of there. Employee engagement with a customer often depends on the level of training and management. Customer service experts for years have upheld the theory that, if you give an employee the right tools, the education to use those tools and the right environment in which to use them, they will succeed. If they succeed in their job of servicing the customer, your restaurant succeeds. Another area to monitor is your staff’s productivity. Being nice to a customer if great, being nice AND efficient is better. Training and managing your team on good customer service tactics can not only increase their engagement and productivity, it can increase over all customer satisfaction. There’s an old customer service adage that says, “if a customer has a good experience they tell three other people, if they have a bad experience, they tell 27”. In today’s world of social media, Yelp and Google reviews, that 27 number can easily be multiplied.


This may sound like an obvious point; however, safety can never be too important. Setting up tracking processes for monitoring employee safety can help protect your team and your customers. Just like training your team for superior customer service, they should be trained in safety procedures. This not only protect the staff and patrons, it can also protect your company value. Safety can cover food preparation, table cleanliness and even the use of anti-microbial lamination on your food and bar menus to reduce the growth of bacteria.


A recent article in Restaurant News magazine noted that restaurant profits are mainly impacted by labor cost, food cost, hourly turn and manager turn. According to a report by TdN2K (a leading restaurant industry research firm), “Management retention is the single most important factor in running a successful restaurant – more important than product or concept or segment or size.” Managers, like any staff, need to provide the correct tools, continuing education and working environment, in order to be effective. And, like any staff member, they must be monitored for the productivity and efficiency. As Jim Collins noted in his book Good to Great, “get the right people on the bus”.


It’s been said over and over, if you’re not monitoring it, you can’t manage it. Restaurants can bury themselves in data or may be working with none. Tracking the right metrics and acting on the data can increase revenue and overall business growth. Using your data to modify your marketing and menu design tactics can play an important part.

About MenuWorks®

MenuWorks® was founded in 1994 with the mission of providing independent restaurant owners with affordably priced menus that were creative in design and unique in construction. Today, we offer a full turn-key experience that is unique to the market that can assist with all your menu & restaurant marketing needs. Our customer base now includes independent restaurant operators, multi-unit & franchise restaurant groups, hotel properties, and ad agencies located in the US, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. From building and developing your brand, to maximizing menu profits, our team of consultants is here to help. Call us at 864-877-7007 today!


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