Outdoor restaurant sales are contributing significantly more to restaurants’ total revenue than ever before the Covid-19 global pandemic. Patio sales are crucial right now. With the weather turning to colder temperatures in most of the country, it’s important to optimize your restaurant’s patio sales.
Last week we discussed tips to help make guests and staff more comfortable so you can continue outdoor patio service as long as possible. This week, we’re going to discuss specific ways you can use Avero data to determine how weather affects your menu item popularity, customer traffic, and revenue. Let’s go.
Analyze Item Sales by Type of Weather
Knowing how different types of weather affect the number of customers you can expect on your restaurant’s patio, what they tend to order, and where your opportunities lie for generating the most revenue is really important when you’re trying to do the most with the least. Luckily, Avero can help.
Step 1: Check the weather forecast
Select Calendar in the top (light blue) navigation menu. At the top of the calendar, in the navy-blue bar select Month. The calendar will populate with any events you have created, the sales totals for that same day last year, and at the bottom of each day you’ll see an icon displaying the weather forecast.
Note the forecast on the day(s)/period(s) of interest.
Step 2: Run a trend report
Select sales from the left side bar menu and scroll down to select Item Sales. The report generator will populate. Fill it out from left to right starting with the Business.
Select the same month last year using the month check box. Or, you can set a specific date range you’d like to compare. Then choose a Revenue Center and a Meal Period (if applicable). In the Category box select Minor, click the Weather button and select the type of weather in your current forecast. (Note: you may need to click Metrics under the More Filters box on the right-hand side to expand your options.)
If this weekend will be clear, as in our example, select Clear under Conditions. You can also input temperatures you expect to see. We recommend selecting the Max/Min Temp or General Conditions. Click Go to generate your report.
Step 3: Sort your report by what matters
First, you’ll see a visualization of your data. Use the drop-down menu option at the top to change the minor category item. You can view gross sales and quantity sold of items in each minor category. Hover over one of the dots with your cursor. The exact quantity sold and the total revenue earned will appear in a pop-up box (as seen in the top right of the image below.)
You can also scroll down to see the itemized report. Sort your report in a number of different ways depending on what you want to learn.
- Item quantity: click on the column header Qty Sold to sort the list by the most-ordered items. Click it a second time to sort by the least ordered item. Quantity is only part of the picture when it comes to an item’s popularity.
- Item popularity: If you want to understand whether one customer ordered 5 glasses of chardonnay, or 5 people ordered one glass of chardonnay, use Item/Cover %. Click Metrics in the Report Generator. Select Item/Cover % and hit Go.
- Revenue contribution: Which items brought in the most revenue? In your report, click the column header Gross Sales to see the amount of revenue generated by specific items. Sometimes high-priced items that are ordered less frequently bring in more revenue than popular low-priced items. Make sure you know your costing and order appropriately.
Step 4: Take Action
With the information you’ve gathered in your report, you’ll be able to organize the menu and specials to take the action you want to optimize your patio sales. To reduce cost, focus on high-margin items and sort by popularity. Drive revenue by focusing on the most popular and highest revenue items. Drive covers by repeating popular specials. Run promotions based on items that performed well with similar weather.
We hope this article can help you predict and perfect your patio service for imperfect outdoor dining conditions. Next week, we’ll discuss how restaurants use Avero to create optimal schedules to minimize labor costs on a tight budget.