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The 21 Must-Know Restaurant Metrics & How To Improve Them

The 21 must know restaurant metrics and how to improve them

Being aware of your restaurant metrics and understanding restaurant analytics are crucial for business success. A study by Deloitte revealed that restaurants employing data-driven strategies and leveraging restaurant analytics achieve a 10% increase in overall revenue compared to those that don’t.

To add to that, the current F&B landscape is more challenging than ever due to the intensification of competition and the increased dependability on delivery aggregators – both of which lead to ultra-slim margins. In this environment, restaurant analytics becomes indispensable as it makes every sale or savings percentage pivotal for business owners.

Leading with data, especially those derived from your Inventory Management Software, is far from straightforward. In the domain of restaurant analytics, overseeing a collection of bustling restaurants and maintaining stock control is exceptionally challenging. Data needs to be kept accurate, up to date, and easy to understand at all times.

And to make things more complex in the realm of restaurant analytics, what you’ll soon realize is that all metrics are related. A high variance may come from an inconsistency in portioning. An inconsistency in portioning may mean reviewing your recipe, which then leads to a review of your menu item’s price, and therefore your whole menu engineering strategy infused with restaurant analytics insights.

In this article, we’ll cover the key restaurant metrics you should know about, how to calculate them, what affects them, and how to improve them using restaurant analytics – all with the intent of shedding a light on restaurant operations and helping you run an efficient, profit-making business!

1. Why Restaurant Metrics Are Crucial

According to Harvard Business School, F&B operators that are data-driven are 5% more productive and 6% more profitable. Years ago, restaurants would grow their profitability by investing in their sales : launching a marketing campaign, joining a delivery aggregator (when the competition was low)… were part of the popular tactics, and with high margins coming in, improving a restaurant’s operations by a few percentage points wasn’t really the priority. But safe to say, today’s F&B landscape is quite different.

In a world that is more competitive than ever, especially in the realm of restaurant analytics, and where profit margins are slimmer than before, adopting a data-driven approach to cost reduction with restaurant analytics software has emerged as the way to go to increasing profitability. By looking within your business and using restaurant analytics software to understand its overall health, strengths, and weaknesses, you can now set a clear course towards higher profits.

Several common scenarios are frequently observed among restaurateurs who do not leverage restaurant analytics software for their decision-making. One of these scenarios is neglecting the monitoring of supplier price fluctuations through restaurant analytics software, and the subsequent impact it has on menu performance and, ultimately, profitability.

Did you know?

Prices for meat and protein sources can shift by around 5% to 15% over a few months. Factors like changes in demand, feed costs for animals, and supply chain disruptions can lead to such fluctuations.


In the challenging landscape of restaurant analytics, a restaurant owner might have initially priced a menu item based on the initial costs of the ingredients needed to make it. This price could have been calculated by considering the food cost percentage of that menu item, let’s say around 20%. However, several months later, due to continuous updates in supplier prices and perhaps not utilizing the benefits of restaurant analytics, the cost of these ingredients may have risen significantly, even reaching a food cost equivalent of 30%. Considering the other expenses this restaurant operator needs to cover, this situation could now mean that the dish is being sold at a loss.

By integrating restaurant analytics, monitoring supplier price fluctuations, and setting alerts when a recipe’s food cost goes beyond a certain limit, restaurant operators can stay on top of the profitability of their recipes and adjust portioning, suppliers, or prices in real time.

2. The Categories Of Restaurant Metrics

Having a systematic approach to data and performance evaluation is essential, which is where the categorization of metrics comes into play.

Restaurant Metrics : Categories


Operational metrics

These are tailored to assess the day-to-day functioning of the restaurant, diving deep into aspects like table turnover rates and kitchen efficiency, thereby ensuring streamlined operations.

Financial metrics

Financial metrics provide restaurateurs with insights into the fiscal health, from revenue streams to profit margins, guiding budgetary and investment decisions.

Customer-related metrics

They act as a mirror to customer preferences and feedback, helping establishments curate unparalleled dining experiences.

Marketing & Outreach Metrics

These evaluate the pulse and effectiveness of various promotional endeavors in this increasingly digital age.

Inventory & Supply Chain Metrics

These delve into the nitty-gritty of backend operations, encompassing stock management, procurement processes, and supplier evaluations to ensure quality and consistency.

Employee & Staffing Metrics

These can’t be understated as they provide a lens into staff performance, training needs, and morale.


Through this methodical categorization, restaurants can compartmentalize their vast data streams, offering each department or role a clear set of metrics to monitor, thereby driving efficiency and excellence across the board.


Now let’s deep dive into some of these metrics, understand what they are, how to calculate them, what affects them, and how to improve them.

A. Operational Metrics

Table Turnover Rate 

It gauges how often a table is occupied and then vacated during a particular time period. Efficient rates ensure maximum customer flow and potential revenue.

  Restaurant metrics : Table turnover rate formula  

How to improve it : Implement efficient seating plans, enhance staff training, and optimize menu design for quicker decision-making by diners.

What affects it : Staff efficiency, restaurant layout, and menu complexity.


Kitchen Throughput

It represents the speed and efficiency of the kitchen in processing orders. A higher throughput indicates a well-coordinated kitchen that can handle high order volumes.

Restaurant metrics : Kitchen throughput formula

How to improve it : Regular equipment maintenance, staff training, and optimizing the kitchen layout.

What affects it : Ingredient availability, kitchen equipment efficiency, and chef expertise.


Order Accuracy

It measures the percentage of orders correctly fulfilled compared to errors made. Accurate orders lead to satisfied customers and reduced wastage.

Restaurant metrics : Order accuracy formula

How to improve it : Implement order verification processes, utilize technology to aid ordering, and conduct regular staff training.

What affects it : Staff training, clarity of customer orders, and efficiency of communication channels. it

B. Financial Metrics

Sales Revenue

Indicates the total earnings from goods sold or services provided. It’s a primary metric to measure the financial performance of any business.

Restaurant Metrics : Sales revenue formula

How to improve it : Introduce promotional offers, optimize menu pricing, and enhance overall customer experience.

What affects it : Seasonality, local events, and market trends.


Cost of Goods Sold Food Cost

It represents the direct costs incurred in producing goods sold by a business, which includes ingredient and material costs. This is, without a doubt, one of the most critical metrics a restaurant owner should keep track of.

Restaurant metrics : COGS Formula

How to improve it : Negotiate better supplier deals, reduce wastage, and optimize inventory management.

What affects it : Ingredient prices, wastage, and inventory mismanagement.


Gross Margin

It is calculated by deducting Food Cost from total sales revenue. It shows the proportion of money left over from sales after production costs.

Restaurant metrics : Gross Margin formula

How to improve it : Increase sales revenue, reduce Food Cost, and optimize pricing strategies.

What affects it : Sales volume, Food Cost, and discount strategies.


Labor Cost Percentage

It evaluates how much of your revenue is spent on labor. It helps in determining staffing needs and optimizing schedules for profitability.

Restaurant metrics : Labor cost percentage formula

How to improve it : Optimize staffing during peak and off-peak hours, enhance employee productivity through training, and implement efficient scheduling.

What affects it : Wage rates, staff efficiency, and operating hours.


Food Cost Percentage 

The food cost percentage of a restaurant is the ratio of the cost of the ingredients bought to the revenue generated by the menu items sold, over a period of time.

Restaurant metrics : food cost percentage formula

How to improve it : Control portioning, stock the right amount of ingredients, increase control in the kitchen.

What affects it : Supplier prices, 

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C. Customer-Related Metrics

Average Spend Per Customer

Indicates how much each customer spends on average. It provides insights into buying behavior and menu pricing strategy.

How to improve it : Upsell and cross-sell, offer bundled deals, and enhance dining experience.

What affects it : Menu pricing, promotions, and customer demographics.


Net Promoter Score (NPS)

A measurement of customer loyalty and satisfaction. A high NPS suggests customers are likely to recommend the establishment to others.

Restaurant metrics : Net promoter score  

How to improve it : Enhance customer service, solicit feedback, and address concerns promptly.

What affects it : Overall customer experience, quality of food and service.


Customer Retention Rate

Measures the number of repeat customers over time. High retention indicates satisfaction and brand loyalty.

restaurant metrics : customer retention rate formula

How to improve it : Loyalty programs, consistent quality, and responsive customer service.

What affects it : Customer satisfaction, competitive landscape, and overall value proposition.

D. Marketing and Outreach Metrics

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Represents the cost involved in acquiring a new customer, taking into account marketing and sales efforts.

restaurant metrics : customer acquisition cost formula

How to improve it : Optimize marketing strategies, utilize cost-effective advertising channels, and enhance referral programs.

What affects it : Marketing spend, conversion rates, and competition.

Online Reviews and Ratings:

Indicates the public perception of an establishment. Good ratings enhance reputation and attract more customers.

restaurant metrics : Average rating formula

How to improve it : Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews, promptly address negative feedback, and maintain consistent quality.

What affects it : Customer experiences, responsiveness to feedback, and competition.


Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI)

Assesses the effectiveness of marketing campaigns by measuring the returns relative to the marketing spend.

Restaurant metrics : return of marketing investment  Formula

How to improve it : Track marketing campaigns closely, A/B test strategies, and target high ROI channels.

What affects it : Marketing strategy effectiveness, market trends, and brand recognition.

E. Inventory and Supply Chain Metrics

Inventory Turnover

Shows how often inventory is sold and replaced over a specific period. High turnover indicates good sales or efficient inventory management.

restaurant metrics : inventory turnover rate formula

How to improve it :  Implement just-in-time inventory, optimize menu based on inventory, and improve forecasting.

What affects it :  Inventory turnover rate is influenced by sales volume, inventory management efficiency, product seasonality, pricing strategies, and external economic factors. Effective management of these aspects ensures optimized stock flow and replenishment.


Wastage Rate

Measures the amount of inventory wasted due to various reasons. Low wastage indicates efficient operations.

Restauant metrics : wastage rate formula

How to improve it : Efficient inventory management, employee training on portion control, and timely promotions for items nearing expiry.

What affects it : Ingredient shelf life, sales forecasting accuracy, and storage conditions.


Supplier Lead Time

The time taken for a supplier to fulfill an order. Shorter lead times enhance operational efficiency.

restaurant metrics : supplier lead time formula

How to improve it : Maintain strong supplier relationships, have backup suppliers, and optimize order frequency.

What affects it: Supplier efficiency, external disruptions, and order volume.


Variance Percentage

It’s the difference between your actual and theoretical cost.

Restaurant metrics : variance percentage formula

How to improve it : see which item has high variance when counted. For example, if you experience a high variance in chicken, you should look into which recipes use chicken. Look into the analytics of your recipes and see if the portioning is correct. Perhaps that recipe is said to be needing 200g of chicken, when in fact 300g are required. This is maybe why chefs have been putting more than initially intended.

This might mean that you need to review the portions in your recipe, or the price of your menu item.

What affects it : Portioning, kitchen control, recipe prices.

F. Employee and Staffing Metrics

Employee Turnover Rate

Measures how often staff members leave and need to be replaced. Low turnover indicates job satisfaction and a stable workforce.

Restaurant metrics : Employee turnover rate formula

How to improve it : Enhance workplace culture, offer competitive compensation, and provide growth opportunities.

What affects it : Workplace environment, market wage rates, and job satisfaction.


Staff Training and Development

Indicates the frequency and quality of training programs. Regular training enhances staff performance and service quality.

restaurant metrics : staff training and development index formula

How to improve it : Regular training sessions, create a feedback loop for continuous improvement, and provide growth opportunities.

What affects it : Budget allocation for training, employee feedback, and industry advancements.


Employee Satisfaction

Gauges the happiness and contentment of staff. Satisfied employees contribute positively to the business environment and customer service.

restaurant metrics : Employee satisfaction  rate Formula

How to improve it :  Foster open communication, offer rewards and recognition, and ensure work-life balance.

What affects it : Management practices, team dynamics, and workplace conditions.

Understanding, measuring, and acting upon metrics from each of these categories helps F&B operators holistically gauge performance, pinpoint areas of improvement, and craft strategies that drive growth and profitability.

3. Conclusion

In the rapidly evolving landscape of the F&B industry, where margins are incredibly thin and competition grows fiercer by the day, the importance of data-driven decision-making and restaurant analytics software stands paramount.

Numerous metrics, enriched by restaurant analytics software, can be used to assess a restaurant’s health, from operational metrics to customer satisfaction. And although they seem to be divided into separate categories, they are intrinsically linked. It is a restaurateur’s responsibility to understand the relationship between each of these metrics and find the right operational balance to keep their food business growing with the aid of restaurant analytics software.

Although sheets and pen-and-paper methods may help you gain a regular overview of the health of your restaurant, having real-time access to each of these metrics, facilitated by restaurant analytics software, can empower operations directors and general managers in taking real-time decisions that rectify the operational balance at an earlier stage (vs leaving it for the end of the month). This is why restaurateurs should consider inventory software management that includes data & analytics features specifically tailored for restaurant analytics software.

4. About Supy

In the Food & Beverage industry, amidst the importance of restaurant analytics and restaurant inventory management software, Supy emerges as a paramount tool for operational precision. With its advanced inventory software management tools, including restaurant inventory management capabilities, and built-in dashboards, Supy delivers complex metrics such as the inventory turnover and inventory turnover ratio, enhanced by restaurant analytics software. The intent is to deliver real-time, accurate, easy-to-understand data to operational managers and restaurant owners. Simply put, in the world of restaurant analytics software and inventory management, Supy is the compass guiding F&B establishments towards informed and sustainable decisions.

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