Restaurant energy management and enterprise-level data analysis

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WhoopsCompanies now have access to more data about their business operations than ever before. The problem some face is how to better manage and analyze the data collected. For many businesses without the bandwidth or ability to utilize that data, it can feel like being trapped in a virtual library without reading glasses. Data management is also a problem for the restaurant industry, particularly for restaurant chains with multiple locations. How can energy, inventory and personnel be managed?  What numbers are important? How should companies respond to data trends? These are all big questions being answered by a growing number of software and data management service companies, including Powerhouse Dynamics and our SiteSage platform.

The old saying goes, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” In other words, there is great management power in data. With more information, a company can anticipate demand for products and services as well as energy needs, and can use this information to better manage inventory and personnel. In fact, many restaurant chains want to manage at an enterprise level by gaining better insight into the business as a whole, leading to smarter personnel decisions, inventory management, and energy consumption patterns, and ultimately to reduced costs. A fancy term for using data insight to manage an enterprise is ‘Multidomain Master Data Management’. Companies such as HotSchedules (formerly known as RedbookConnect) enable restaurant managers to control labor and inventory costs across a restaurant group. For restaurant energy management, SiteSage allows restaurants to monitor, analyze and control equipment assets enterprise wide. These tools have revolutionized the management of restaurants and reduced costs for businesses. Red Book Connect saves customers an average of 2% on labor and 5% on food expenses through their enterprise management system. SiteSage helps restaurants save anywhere from 10-15% on their energy costs and identifies equipment problems before they become serious (and costly).

Food and drink have been shown to cost around 35% of sales, labor cost is around 30%, and utilities cost around 5%, according to the Houston Chronicle. For every $100 in sales, that means $35 goes to purchasing food and drink, $30 to paying personnel, and $5 to energy costs. If a restaurant can reduce these three expenses by 2%, 5% and 18% respectively, the total savings could be over 3% of total costs. With margins of 3-9% of revenue at most restaurants, this could have a dramatic effect on the bottom line, boosting profit margins to 6-12%. Additional benefits can be gained through SiteSage’s equipment monitoring capabilities to reduce maintenance and service costs. According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), preventative maintenance can save between 12-18% over reactive maintenance, further increasing profit margins.

The second component to all of this is the mobile management of resources. Red Book Connect’s Chief Product Officer stated in a recent interview that mobile management of restaurant resources is the way of the future. Of the 50 million logins on their site, ¾ were from mobile applications. Moreover, mobile users login 10x more than PC users. We find that mobile logins outnumber desktop/laptop logins to SiteSage by 2 to 1. Clearly, restaurants are riding the wave of enterprise-level mobile data management and capturing the value in comprehensive labor, operations and energy data management. The trend is bound to continue and restaurants will want further data transparency and insight as cost savings are realized. With insight down to the equipment level and savings that drop directly to restaurants’ bottom lines, SiteSage is here to help!