Avero recommends assessing the performance of your menu on a regular basis. It’s a best practice during normal times. With Covid-19 pushing restaurant sales to a historical low, it has never been more important to perfect your menu.
This week, we’re going to walk through the basics of using Avero to analyze the popularity and profitability of your menu items. If you have access to Avero, you may find it helpful to open the tool and follow along as we go. (If not, contact us for a personal tour.)
Last week, we discussed unique considerations you should take while assessing your menu during the pandemic. You can find our suggestions here.
Step 1: Set up a category sales report
In order to perfect your menu for Covid-19, or anytime, you’ll need a Category Sales Report. Start by clicking on Sales in the side bar navigation menu on the left. The menu will expand so you can select Category Sales from the drop-down menu. Once you click category sales, the Avero Report Generator will appear at the top of the page.
Step 2: Select your filters
Use the report generator to select your business, identify a date range, specify revenue center(s), and choose a meal period. We recommend choosing a single meal period for each analysis. Since Covid-19 has drastically altered normal business, we recommend choosing the Month-to-date option, or a range that does not include pre-pandemic dates.
Step 3: Choose your categories
Before you hit “Go”, click the blue “Category” button on the top right. You have three options including Global, Major, and Minor.
Global categories are the highest level and include Food, Beverage, and Other. Avero maps Global categories automatically, but other categories are determined by the way they are set up in your POS.
Major categories give you more detail within global categories. For example, within the Global Beverage category, you’ll see Major categories like Beer, Wine, and Liquor.
Minor categories allow even further categorization. Within a Beer Major category, you’ll see Minor categories like Domestic Beer, Bottled Beer, and Draft.
For general menu analysis, we recommend checking the box labeled All Majors categories. You will be able to drill down into specific items once the report has been generated.
Next, click the blue “Metrics” button in the top right section of the report generator. We recommend selecting the Item Quantity, Gross Sales, Average Item Price, and % Item Per Cover options to help you truly understand the performance of specific dishes within a category on your menu.
These metrics help you perfect your menu by determining item popularity. You can understand the popularity of your menu items by analyzing how much an item has sold at a certain price, how frequently the item is ordered, and how much revenue was generated from the menu item.
Item per Cover % sounds complicated but is really a distillation of the popularity of an item. Instead of looking at the total number of items sold, you are determining the percentage of customers that order this item. You may notice that some items, like a popular wine by the glass, have over 100% item per cover %. That means customers typically order more than one of this item.
Step 4: Run the report
Once you have selected the categories and metrics you want to analyze, simply click the “Go” button on the bottom right of the report generator.
You’ll see a visualization of the data at the top of your report. Scroll past the graph to see the figures in the report table.
You can easily sort your report to view the top and bottom performing categories. To sort by highest to lowest sales amount, click the “Gross Sales” column header. You can also view and sort by the percentage of total sales, or popularity (Item/Cover %).
Step 5: Drill down to capture more detail
In the “Category” column you’ll see Minor categories listed in blue. To the right, the Gross Sales column specifies the dollar amount each item generated during the time period you’ve identified. The % Total Amount column breaks down the percentage each category contributes to total sales.
The minor categories are hyperlinked so you can click on them for more detail. For example, if you click on Beer, you’ll be able to see all the types of beer you have categorized in the POS.
You can pin the report from any step to your dashboard by clicking the speedometer icon in the top right header section of the report (the navy-blue bar). If you’ve selected a “to-date” option in the date range field, you’ll see updated data in your report every day.
You can repeat this process for as many categories as you like. And you can pin up to 100 reports on your dashboard and delete them when you’ve completed your analysis. Email them to your managers or colleagues. You can print, export, and save them to your files. Whatever works best for you.
We recommend saving these reports to your ‘Saved Reports’ folder so you can analyze your menu regularly, or on the fly to check on the performance of new items. Once saved, you can run the report with one click.
You can also add weather metrics to see what sells best on a certain type of day. For example, you could analyze appetizer sales on cold rainy days to optimize menu options for a particular season. Or, select a special event and see which items trend and which items generate the most profit.
You can find more “how-to” support in the knowledge base in the tool. Simply click the question mark icon at the bottom of the page to see additional support topics and trainings. We hope you found this article on creating the perfect your menu helpful. Stay tuned for more Avero product tips or subscribe to the blog below.