What Should Restaurants Measure Now?
John Oakes
CEO of Revenue Management Solutions

Historical and comparative data and information guide us, informing both near- and long-term actions. But in these times without historical precedent, we are left with the question: what should we measure now?

Information enables conversations—and solutions.

RMS CEO John Oakes offers this advice: start by carefully identifying every line on your P&L to identify where changes can be made, with particular attention to the top cost centers, including labor, food and real estate.

For operators with multiple stores, this exercise needs to be completed for every location and franchisee, along with an assessment of franchisee financial health, as possible.

Said Oakes: “With information that is universally accepted and available in real time—like the data RMS and its financial solution, metiRi, can provide—you’re able to work with suppliers, franchisee and franchisor to identify the problem and, more importantly, name the solution.”

In our current climate, he noted, the solution is restarting operations, opening dining rooms, and bringing back staff. Once you’ve pinpointed that, then you can find a way to solve and fund it intelligently by looking at your financial health.

Recognizing that some brands will have this financial data already gathered and some won’t, a financial solution like metiRi provides the foundation for intelligent analysis. For either case, RMS’s metiRi is a robust, fast and inexpensive solution. For a relatively small sum, metiRi can help franchisees benefit from better insights for more informed decisions and share data with franchisors to arrive at solutions much faster.

The solution also benefits senior executives. C-level users can categorize markets for multiple views and insights; they can also address the age-old challenge of bringing franchisees along.

“When you can access a complete picture, you can understand the franchisee’s challenges,” says Oakes, “you can anticipate their worries and address objections.”

The insights also allow you to make tough decisions like how to provide support and what guarantees to give—but based on data, he adds.

Conversely, franchisors can help assuage a franchisee’s concern when they may not be able to afford a proposed solution. The franchisor will have the information needed to help them understand all the levers that will impact overall success. Jana Zschieschang, RMS CMO adds, “With the data metiRi gathers, conversations with the franchisee become different. You can say, ‘We tested in a market that looks very much like yours, and the solution performed in these specific ways.’”

Customer care means convenience.

Restaurants and franchisees have a shared mission: grow the business and take care of the customer. According to an RMS advisor, who spent 25+ years with some of the largest QSR brands: “To take care of customers now, restaurants need to leverage convenience. Brands will survive if they have the relevant combinations of service, product and the right ways to get the product to the customers.”

These days and for the foreseeable future, the ‘right way’ seems to point to the drive-thru. Even when restrictions are fully lifted for dining in, not all consumers will be ready. In fact, a recent Harris Poll found that once government officials declare a decreased COVID-19 infection rate, only 41% of consumers said they’re likely to eat in a restaurant within 30 days.

RMS QSR clients have been reporting a marked increase in drive-thru traffic since the beginning of the pandemic. In fact, PDQ has seen a 40% growth in their drive-thru sales since the start of shelter-in-place orders. It makes sense then, that the ability for QSRs to succeed will directly correlate to their investment in drive-thru. “Right now, I’d spend 90% of any investment on drive-thru improvements,” said our advisor, “this investment will come back.”

Understand What Drives Your Business

  • RMS is an expert at providing data-driven answers to your brand’s questions to help drive sales and profitability in these uncertain times. We realize brands are widely different in their data collection. Whichever camp you fall into, RMS is committed to helping you navigate the days and months ahead. If you’re interested in understanding your brand’s true financial health, we’d like to help.