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Improve Costs and Increase Savings Around Your Restaurant with Enterprise Restaurant Management Solutions

Published on September 7, 2023
By PAR Team

Restaurant brands are constantly seeking innovative ways to improve two crucial aspects of successful operations: costs and savings. However, every restaurant owner and operator understands that this is no easy feat, and ongoing industry challenges – like inflation, labor and supply chain woes, and food waste – will negatively influence these KPIs. Nonetheless, a proven way restaurant brands can alleviate some of these challenges and improve their bottom line is by leveraging enterprise restaurant management solutions like Data Central.

Data Central is a cloud-based enterprise restaurant management solution built for multi-unit restaurants. This restaurant management solution provides brands with a single source of truth for all data and harmonizes complex datasets to unlock better visibility across operations with deeper insights for smarter planning. With Data Central, restaurant brands can operate prosperously, relying on actionable insights delivered to users at all levels, from store to corporate.

Brands leveraging Data Central – like Cousins Subs, a family-owned fast-casual sub sandwich shop with nearly 100 locations – have been able to improve food and labor costs as well as savings through powerful forecasting, actionable food and labor insights, accurate and reliable inventory management, and digestible multi-unit reporting. From our latest case study and webinar, J.J Grube, Cousins Subs Vice President of Operations and Finance, goes in-depth on how the brand leveraged Data Central to improve costs, increase savings, and reach new KPIs. According to Grube, the addition of Data Central helped Cousins Subs improve food costs by over 2%, improve labor costs by 1%, and save $250,000 in the first year alone. Let’s dive into the strategy the brand took to achieve these results.

Actionable Food, Labor, and Sales Reports and Forecasting

With nearly 100 locations, it was a table-stakes requirement for Cousins Subs to receive reports highlighting various areas of operations – including sales, labor, and food – across their various locations. Per Grube, Cousins Subs was challenged to unify its data from different sources and to trust its accuracy. Data Central provides the multi-unit brand with a solution that ensures accurate insights and forecasting, which helps Cousins Subs make proactive decisions that improve their bottom line. By leveraging this enterprise restaurant management solution, Cousins Subs can compare multiple locations to uncover which stores are performing above and below par, access forecasting reports that highlight inventory and labor, and has the capabilities to capitalize on these insights. According to Grube, “one of the biggest reports that we use on a daily basis is the daily flash. The daily flash provides us with sales versus prior years, sales versus scheduled, discounts, traffic, paid-outs, refunds, and labor performance versus scheduled.” These reports help the brand understand how they are doing financially every day and ensure they can make better decisions that improve costs and increase savings.

Moreover, the reports Cousins Subs receives from Data Central have empowered the brand to properly forecast employee schedules as well as daily recipes. This ensures they always have the proper amount of stock at the ready and the right mix of employees every day to optimize staff performance, minimize waste, and improve food and labor costs. With Data Central, Cousins Subs is receiving a powerful forecasting engine that tracks performance, predicts demand, and suggests accurate food ordering. The reports and forecasting Data Central provides ensure the brand can focus on the metrics that truly matter and stay in control of every aspect of its operations.

Accurate and Reliable Food and Inventory Management

For any restaurant brand, improving food costs and increasing savings starts with food and inventory management, and Cousins Subs fully understood this. With Data Central, the brand is receiving the complete food and inventory management toolset. By leveraging Data Central’s powerful inventory and food management capabilities, the brand can access accurate inventory levels at any individual location, anytime and anywhere. With this enterprise restaurant management solution, Cousins Subs has also been able to optimize its supply chain with inventory and purchasing optimization, lower food costs with data-driven food costing and menu engineering, and produce fresher and faster food with Prep/Pull/Thaw/Cook sheets.

Additionally, Data Central has empowered Cousins Subs to save valuable time when it comes to inventory counts and reporting. The brand’s previous inventory reporting took nearly two hours to complete, primarily because reports were hand-crafted. Hand-crafted inventory reporting is a time-consuming task that no restaurant owner or operator wants to tackle. However, with Data Central, the brand has been able to “reduce the time to complete inventory to 45 minutes to an hour,” said Grube. Even an hour of saved time can go a long way and the brand can now focus more on the aspects that truly matter the most to its operations and provide guests with exceptional experiences.

The addition of Data Central into Cousins Subs tech stack has been everything the brand was hoping for and more. Grube explains that the savings the brand experienced in the first year was when they only had 20 restaurants. “Think about how much we are saving with 50 corporate restaurants or when you spread it out over the entire system that is using it, almost 100 restaurants,” said Grube. Data Central has helped Cousins Subs drastically improve their bottom line and has positioned them for success today and well into the future.

Interested in learning more about the strategy Cousins Subs took to improve costs and increase savings? Download the case study now or watch the on-demand webcast today!

Tiffany Disher, General Manager, MENU North America

Tiffany Disher

General Manager, MENU North America

Tiffany Disher, General Manager, MENU North America, an omni-channel ordering solution to futureproof restaurant’s growing digital sales needs. Before taking on this new role in January 2023, she was an integral part of Punchh’s growth story. She has advised hundreds of customers over the past eight years on their loyalty strategies both from a base program standpoint as well as ongoing marketing strategies. Before Punchh, Tiffany worked for Schlotzsky’s where she supported the brand marketing team by leading loyalty, eClub, R&D, Franchise advisory council and marketing analytics. Tiffany has her Bachelor’s of Science in Economics from University of Oregon and Master’s in Business with a specialty in Marketing from Baylor University. An avid golfer, hiker and mom of two small children, Tiffany spends her limited free time entering into baking competitions.