"We wanted to ensure that the system was always on the forefront of integrations with loyalty solutions and third parties."
Restaurant Management Challenges
- Siloed and manual reporting
- Lacking multi-unit reporting
- Inaccurate and unreliable inventory management system
- Lack of functionality to capitalize on reporting insights
Restaurant Management Solutions
- PAR Data Central integrated with Brink POS
- Punchh Loyalty
Restaurant Management Results
- Roughly $250,000 saved in one year through inventory savings and forecasting
- Over 2% improvement in food costs in just one year
- Over 1% improvement in labor costs through better forecasting
Cousins Subs is a family-owned fast-casual sub sandwich shop with nearly 100 locations across Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. With a mission to ‘Believe in Better™’, the brand has been dedicated to delighting guests with top-quality sandwiches while also supporting the communities they serve in. Since 2018, Cousin Subs has been leveraging PAR Data Central, an enterprise restaurant management solution, integrated with PAR Brink POS, an all-in-one cloud-based POS software, as well as the Punchh Loyalty Platform to accurately serve customers faster while also reducing their food and labor costs.
Prior to implementing Data Central, Cousins Subs experienced major challenges with multi-unit reporting, labor forecasting, and their inventory management system. At this point, the brand understood they needed to undergo a major tech overhaul. According to J.J. Grube, Cousins Subs Vice President of Operations and Finance, with the new system, Cousins Subs wanted to have the ability to compare multiple locations to uncover top and bottom performers, access forecasting reports that highlight inventory and labor challenges, and harness Data Central capabilities to capitalize on these insights. Additionally, the brand wanted its reports to be easily digestible to limit the amount of time operators spent researching and understanding them.
“Data Central has a positive ROI for us, just by looking at the impact on our inventory and our food costs. You get all the reporting you need to help better react to different situations.”
of Operations and Finance
Like most restaurants, Cousins Subs has been challenged to contain food and labor costs in this era of high inflation. Data Central’s innovative and easy-to-use restaurant management solution has helped the brand lower labor and food costs while delivering a more memorable and fulfilling customer experience. In the first year after the implementation of PAR Data Central, the brand saved roughly $250,000 through inventory savings. “Our food costs have improved by over 2% in just year one. We recently ran the last period and it was our best variance ever,” said Grube. “We ran a 1.4% variance versus our 1.85% target. Our labor costs have also improved by 1% through better forecasting.”
Additionally, Cousins Subs has been able to save valuable time when it comes to inventory reporting as Data Central has removed the need for hand-crafted reports. The brand’s old inventory system required operators to keep track of and write down stock counts with weights, then calculate them, which is a time-consuming task, often taking up to three hours. “With the Data Central portal, we actually have a calculator in the inventory function, so operators can just add it up right there,” said Grube. “Not having to write it down and then calculate our inventory saves us immense time.”
Moreover, Cousins Subs has been leveraging features like coupons and QR codes, scanned at the register, to not only reward customers for their loyalty but to also drive sales in stores. By using coupons and QR codes, Cousins Subs is provided with detailed data to uncover incremental sales from each use. Grube states that this data helps the brand make better decisions on future coupon offers, set sales goals, and determine which menu items will have the best ROI for these offers. “We now have redemption rates or incremental sales goals that we shoot for from coupon drops. The data helps us determine ROI for all coupons and supports our marketing objectives” said Grube.
By leveraging Data Central, Cousins Subs is provided with the features and functionality to win today and succeed in the future. Having access to daily inventory reports and data on food costs has helped the brand achieve important KPIs. According to Grube, “the biggest capability for us system-wide is the back-office cash management and the inventory functionality. That is where we see the biggest gains. 100% of our locations are using the portal for reporting to get their weekly DSR or if they want to look at PMIX.” These capabilities and features provide Cousins Subs with a clear view of customer behavior and preferences, forecasts for future sales, and the ability to measure costs and sales performance.
Cousins Subs also has plans to further leverage Data Central’s capabilities and features to take their operations to the next level. Per Grube, the brand wants to utilize shift trading and the Data Central portal feed to ensure the perfect mix of employees is available and active for any given shift, especially during high foot traffic periods, as well as the functionality for employees to understand their daily duties.
PAR Data Central integrated with PAR Brink POS has exceeded Cousins Subs expectations. Grube goes as far as saying “Data Central has a positive ROI for us, just by looking at the impact on our inventory and our food costs. You get all the reporting you need to help better react to different situations.”