As ‘business intelligence’ has firmly settled into the world of software buzzwords, ‘deep learning’ and ‘AI’ has moved to steal the spotlight. There’s a truth in the hospitality sector requiring increasing amounts of data to make better decisions. The reality is, what we recognise as ‘modern’ tools have been available to food businesses for over a decade. Whichever you use, the new democracy of readily available data has changed the catering industry forever.
Measuring Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats
Historically, most caterers would identify a specific operational weakness and hence capture a narrow stream of data to tackle this – costs, sales, margin, even some customer behaviour. This, however, only really allowed a look backwards. It’s perfectly reasonable to make some decisions this way, but it’s reactionary and ‘fear of the unknown’ will cost a business time, money, or both.
With access to cloud storage and processing now easier than ever, the doors are staying open for businesses to analyse trends in real-time. Dashboards make complex, live analysis and forecasting easy to understand, and use. Now armed with this data, the days of complex venues and the larger contract caterers dictating market strategies are greatly diminished. Small operators are using intelligence to carve niche concepts. Perhaps here is where to pull out another buzzword; ‘disruption’!
Indeed, it goes hand-in-hand with the piece we wrote about incremental menu innovation.
Do ‘good’ data tools need to save time and money?
A kitchen management software provider should never guess the context of what’s important to you. Ultimately, it is for your business to decide which data points are truly helpful and important in driving growth.
Consider this recent ‘shopping list’ of module requirements;
- Identify Sales, Cost of Sales, Stock, Wastage, and Production for each branch
- Include a central production kitchen
- Satisfy our Finance department’s requirement to integrate with Sage Accounts
- Identify cost per kg/portion control for branches
Caternet is designed for businesses to track and manage operations; therefore, it has an extensive reporting function. Over 200 ready-made reports exist as standard. Which of the list was most important to the client? In this example, it was to map in a Chart of Accounts to mirror the structure of the third-party finance package.
Caternet has many years of working within the hospitality industry and providing real benefit to businesses. Get to know how we can help you with what we do.
Simon Topp is Group Sales Director at Zupa