The 5 Must-Track KPIs for Every Restaurant Owner

Running a successful restaurant requires a blend of gastronomical passion and sharp business acumen. One of the ways to keep your finger on the pulse of your restaurant’s health is by monitoring key performance indicators or KPIs. These are metrics that provide actionable insights into different aspects of your business. While various factors can influence your restaurant’s operations, here are the top five KPIs every restaurateur should keep an eye on:

1. Average Sales Per Cover (or Per Guest)

  • What It Measures: The average amount each guest spends during their visit.
  • Formula: Total Sales ÷ Total Number of Guests
  • Why It’s Important: This metric sheds light on your menu pricing strategy and customer purchasing habits. Witnessing a decline? Time to rethink your promotions or menu items.

2. Table Turnover Rate

  • What It Measures: The frequency with which tables are occupied and vacated.
  • Formula: Total Guests ÷ Total Number of Tables
  • Why It’s Important: A high turnover suggests good demand and efficient service. On the flip side, it could indicate that guests feel rushed. A low rate? Your guests might be enjoying their time, or there could be service inefficiencies.

3. Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)

  • What It Measures: The direct costs tied to creating the dishes and drinks you serve.
  • Formula: (Beginning Inventory + Purchases) – Ending Inventory
  • Why It’s Important: A critical metric for understanding profit margins. An unexpectedly high COGS can be a red flag for issues like waste, theft, or even supplier challenges.

4. Labor Cost Percentage

  • What It Measures: The proportion of your sales that goes towards labor costs.
  • Formula: Total Labor Cost ÷ Total Sales
  • Why It’s Important: Labor often eats up a significant chunk of a restaurant’s expenses. This KPI helps you assess your staffing levels against your sales, ensuring you’re neither overstaffed nor understaffed.

5. Net Profit Margin

  • What It Measures: A snapshot of your restaurant’s financial health.
  • Formula: (Total Revenue – Total Expenses) ÷ Total Revenue
  • Why It’s Important: This metric provides a clear picture of how much of your earnings remain after covering all costs. A high margin is always a good sign, but a low one suggests there might be underlying issues to address.

In Conclusion: While each KPI offers valuable insights, they should always be considered in tandem and in context. No single KPI can give a comprehensive overview, but together, they paint a vivid picture of where your restaurant stands and where it could head. So, roll up your sleeves, dive into these metrics, and steer your restaurant towards success!