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When it comes to analysing their performance, we at Tenzo know that most restaurants rely on Excel, Google Sheets or Numbers to get an overview of their metrics. It’s a great starting point for becoming more data-driven. However, as businesses grow we know first-hand how frustrating being reliant on spreadsheets is. 

Our point of view at Tenzo is that to improve restaurant performance, frontline workers, not just head office, need to be empowered by data. The people who are making decisions every day, every hour have a huge impact on your business and it’s when they engage with the data that the magic happens.

Most restaurant businesses are acutely aware that they need to be looking into their data, bringing all the disparate sources together to see how they can improve their performance. Often, this means relying on spreadsheets to make this happen.

Here, we’ll break down what works well in spreadsheets as well as what doesn’t and show how Tenzo improves on the spreadsheet process.

The benefits of spreadsheets

  1. Free

Every computer comes with a spreadsheet application and Google Sheets is available to anyone who wants to use it, so there’s no upfront cost to using spreadsheets.

  1. Good starting point

If you’re starting your reporting journey as an independent business then it makes total sense to start using spreadsheets. As a 1 location operation, they may fulfil all of your needs and you have the time to put into them as well as the capacity to implement any insights garnered.

  1. Flexible 

You can build any report you want in your spreadsheet if you have the data. For example, if you want to compare your sales to your fridge temperatures you can (not sure why you would want to, but you could). 

  1. Easy to access 

The learning curve might as well be flat. Everyone is exposed to spreadsheets – while data manipulation takes some time to learn, it’s not a completely new tool to introduce.

What doesn’t work with spreadsheets

There’s no denying that spreadsheets can work as a first step. But we’ve seen that they can become increasingly frustrating as a business matures. 

Unfortunately, as businesses grow these spreadsheets become overwhelming. There’s too much information, too much data, and too little insight. The more complex they become, the less visibility you have and the less engagement you get. 

The thing is building all the spreadsheets is not simple and once you have a system that works, it’s hard to come to terms with throwing it away to introduce a new process. We understand that at Tenzo, but we believe that making that move means performance is improved. Why?

The challenges with spreadsheet-based processes

  1. Time-consuming 

Putting manual reports together takes a significant amount of time and is not scalable. Whether it’s GMs filling in end-of-day reports for head office, or head office preparing end-of-week reports for operations teams, the work needs to be repeated every time you want an update. It ends up taking the team away from what it is they do best just to do data entry. 

  1. Unreliable

With manual work comes the risk of human error, so often reports are wrong or separate versions need to be sent out causing a world of confusion. Additionally, these reports are usually one person’s remit so if they are ill or on holiday, the reports stop. 

  1. Static 

Things move quickly in the restaurant industry, and by the time spreadsheets are compiled they’re already frustratingly out of date. 

  1. Complex 

Overwhelmed by insignificant data, frontline workers can’t make heads or tails of the reports in the little time they have to review them, so they end up just going with what their gut says. 

By implementing Tenzo:

  • reports are automated so time compiling them is immediately eliminated; 
  • Tenzo is connected directly to your source systems (POS, labour tool, inventory tool) so no input errors, 
  • Data is automatically updated in as close to real-time as possible and 
  • we send the report to the person who needs it; 

solving the spreadsheet challenges. But, that’s not all. 

Benefits of a Tenzo-based process

  1. Always up-to-date 

Tenzo’s live integrations give you access to near-real-time data so your reports are never out of date. You can also rely on the integrity of the data as it comes directly from the source. 

  1. Nothing slips through the cracks 

If numbers go below or above a set threshold, we notify you. You are immediately alerted to issues before they become problems. There’s no need to dive through endless lines of data to find the issue.

  1. Be prepared for what’s to come 

It’s not only about knowing what happened today to make a difference to performance, you need to know what’s going to happen tomorrow. Tenzo harnesses the power of AI to give your team the confidence to order and schedule based on demand. 

  1. Everyone has what they need

We know that what the finance team want to see is different to what an Operations Manager does which is different to what a General Manager does. Every Tenzo user can have their own set-up to focus on the metrics that matter most to them. But crucially everyone is reading from the same playbook, speaking the same language. 

  1. No confusion 

We don’t leave you to fend for yourself. The whole team is trained on Tenzo so they can get started right away. New joiners? We can train them as well or send you all the materials you need to make Tenzo experts of your team. 

  1. Direction if you want it

We live and breathe hospitality – that’s all we serve. That means we see what works and what doesn’t. Benefit from years of collective experience working with top brands to understand what type of metrics and reports work best for your business as well as new processes like weekly operational plans. 

  1. Understand the context of your operations 

Qualitative is just as important as quantitative data. Get one email with all your GM’s daily reports alongside your sales, labour and inventory numbers to get the much-needed context for your data.

We understand that making big changes to established processes can be difficult, but we have a full team that’s able to coach you through it and share collective expertise of over a thousand locations as to what works and what doesn’t. 

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to find out more about how Tenzo can empower frontline workers and improve restaurant performance.

Looking to find out more?

We broke down all the ways you can approach your data strategy in your restaurant in our helpful buying guide.