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The 2023 Restaurant Ops Report by Crunchtime found that 96 percent of operators are planning unit expansion over the next year and a half. With growth being a top priority, controlling food costs and optimizing labor are two critical areas that operators should focus on for the success of any restaurant.  

The report revealed that food costs average around 35 percent of the restaurant’s total budget, and 84 percent of quick service restaurant respondents aim to reduce food costs, indicating the need for better control in this area. “A lot of folks don’t have the tools to know what costs are, or should be, in a store in a given month, especially at the item or ingredient level,” Pete Schott, senior director of product marketing at Crunchtime, says. “There is a lot of opportunity to get smarter and uncover more data around what costs look like.”

Crunchtime offers a solution that enables operators to harness the power of data to better understand food costs and improve profitability. Crunchtime’s inventory management product provides real-time insights into inventory management, helping restaurants optimize purchasing decisions and reduce waste. “We’re able to give operators better visibility into costs,” Schott says. “They will know if there’s an imbalance in their selling versus their spending and decide whether to talk to the vendor about pricing or address an internal issue like food waste. They just have to have the right tool to have those conversations.”

Whether or not a restaurant plans to expand, scheduling the correct number of employees each shift is critical to reducing labor costs and improving efficiency. The Restaurant Ops report found that 38 percent of quick-service restaurant shifts in any given week are understaffed or overstaffed, emphasizing the growing complexity around labor scheduling. 

Crunchtime has the ability to predict labor needs based on past data and real-time insights. The platform ensures businesses have the most efficient number of employees scheduled for each shift. It also automates labor law compliance by alerting managers to potential violations, helping them stay in line with regulations. This reduces the risk of legal issues and improves employee satisfaction. “There’s a lot that rests on managers’ shoulders,” Schott says. “With Crunchtime, they won’t ever accidentally schedule someone over 40 hours a week, and it will ensure you pay them the correct overtime wage and any required premiums.”

Crunchtime’s data analytics capabilities provide valuable insights into restaurant performance, allowing operators to identify stores that excel in various areas and those that need improvement. “System-wide reporting shows which stores might be at risk or which are doing well on food safety or cleanliness. You might see that one franchisee has a few stores in Florida that are really killing it. Now you can celebrate those stores and use them to teach others.” According to the report, quick-service restaurants estimate that improving operations execution could increase sales by an average of 22 percent.

Managing operations efficiently is crucial for the success of every restaurant. Crunchtime’s platform offers insights and solutions to everyday challenges, enabling restaurant operators to optimize employee performance and reduce costs. 

Visit the Crunchtime website to download the full report and improve operations

By Olivia Schuster

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