10 Critical Metrics for Benchmarking Restaurants

What is benchmarking restaurants?


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

You’ve always strived to create a truly unforgettable dining experience. From crafting delectable dishes to ensuring my guests receive top-notch service, you’re constantly hustling to make my restaurant stand out.

But in an industry as competitive as this one, simply putting in hard work isn’t enough. That’s why you always make it a point to benchmark my restaurant against others in the area.

Benchmarking restaurants will become an integral part of your business strategy. It helps me stay ahead of the curve and ensure that my guests always leave with a smile on their faces.

So if you’re a fellow restaurant owner looking to make a name for yourself in this industry, I highly recommend taking the time to benchmark your restaurant’s performance.

It’s the key to success in this cutthroat business!

Key Takeaways

  • Benchmarking restaurants allows you to compare your restaurant’s performance to industry standards, helping you identify strengths and weaknesses.
  • Monitoring front-of-house and back-of-house benchmarks is crucial for comprehensively understanding your restaurant’s performance.
  • Regularly reviewing and updating benchmarks enables you to set strategic goals and improve your restaurant operations.

Front-of-house restaurant benchmarks

The front-of-house is where your customers experience the heart of your restaurant. As a restaurant owner, you must ensure that this area operates efficiently and meets industry standards. Let’s dive into some critical front-of-house metrics that you should be monitoring.

Front of House in Benchmarking Restaurants

1. Revenue per seat

Your revenue per seat is one of the crucial front-of-house metrics representing how much money your restaurant brings in for each seat. The industry average in 2022 per seat is about $27 a seat.

How to Calculate Revenue Per Seat

This number will help you determine if your dining room generates enough revenue and whether you should expect customers to spend more or less than the industry average.

2. Table turnover rate

Table turnover rate is the number of times a table is occupied and vacated during a given period, such as a single dinner service. The average restaurant in a single dinner service turns a table about three times.

How to Calculate Table Turnover Rate

A high turnover rate indicates that you are serving more customers, which can lead to increased annual sales and customer satisfaction.

However, if your turnover rate is too low, you may need to examine factors such as menu pricing, service quality, or foot traffic to identify areas for improvement.

3. Employee Turnover Ratio

Employee turnover is a significant concern for most restaurants as it can lead to increased labor costs and decreased productivity. Employee turnover is expensive, costing up to $5,864 per employee.

To calculate your employee turnover ratio, divide the number of employees who left your restaurant during a specific time period by the average number of employees during the same period.

How to Calculate Employee Turnover Ratio

A high turnover rate may indicate workplace culture, management style, or compensation structure issues. Addressing these issues can increase staff satisfaction and retention, benefiting your restaurant operations.

Back-of-house restaurant benchmarks

The back-of-house is where the magic happens. It’s where your team prepares delicious meals, manages inventory, and keeps everything running smoothly.

Let’s explore some key back-of-house benchmarks you should be tracking to ensure your restaurant is operating efficiently.

Back of House in Benchmarking Restaurants

4. Food cost percentage

The food cost percentage is a key performance indicator that measures the total food costs of the ingredients used to make a dish relative to the dish’s selling price. The industry standard for food cost percentage is about 28-35%.

How to Calculate Food Cost Percentage

If your food cost % is higher than the industry standard, it’s essential to reevaluate your menu pricing, portion sizes, or ingredient sourcing to increase your profitability.

5. Inventory turnover ratio

The inventory turnover ratio is a critical metric that shows how efficiently your restaurant manages its inventory. The average industry rate is around 5.

How to Calculate Inventory Turnover Ratio

A higher ratio indicates that you’re selling inventory quickly, which can help reduce waste and improve cash flow. If your ratio is low, you may need to reassess your inventory management processes, menu offerings, or purchasing strategies to ensure you’re not tying up too much capital in unused inventory.

6. Prime Cost %

Prime cost is the combined cost of your total food sales, beverages, and labor. It’s a crucial metric for determining your restaurant performance. If your prime cost percentage exceeds 60%, it becomes increasingly difficult to profit from your restaurant.

How to Calculate Prime Cost Percentage

This will give you a percentage that reflects your prime costs. Keeping your prime cost percentage in check is essential for maintaining profitability and ensuring the long-term success of your restaurant.

7. Store Labor %

Store labor percentage measures how much your total sales are spent on labor costs, such as wages and benefits. As a restaurant owner, you should aim for your store labor percentage to be around 29%.

How to Calculate Store Labor Percentage

Suppose your store labor percentage is higher than the industry standard. In that case, you may need to reevaluate your staffing levels, scheduling practices, or employee compensation to bring your labor costs under control.

8. Cost of Goods Sold

The cost of Goods Sold (COGS) is the total cost of producing the food and beverages sold at your restaurant. The average COGS should be 30% or less, with 30% for food sales, 15% or less for nonalcoholic drinks, and a cost range of 18% and 40% for liquor, beer, and wine.

How to Calculate Costs of Goods Sold

Monitoring your COGS can help you identify opportunities to reduce waste, optimize menu pricing, and improve profitability.

9. Profit Margin

Your restaurant’s profit margin is the percentage of your total sales that represents your net profit. The range for restaurant profit margins typically spans anywhere from 0 – 15 percent, but the average restaurant profit margin usually falls between 3 – 5 percent. A higher profit margin indicates that your restaurant is more profitable and financially stable.

How to Calculate Prime Cost Percentage

10. Sales per square foot

Sales per square foot is a useful measure to assess how efficiently a restaurant is utilizing its space. The metric indicates the revenue generated per square foot of space available.

For full-service restaurants, the break-even point is typically between $150 and $250 per square foot, while counter-service establishments must aim for slightly higher returns, ranging from $200 to $300 per square foot.

How to Calculate Sales Per Square Foot

This metric can help you identify whether you’re maximizing your restaurant’s potential and provide insights into potential layout improvements or seating adjustments to boost revenue.

In Conclusion

Benchmarking is an essential tool for restaurant owners to measure their performance against industry standards and identify areas for improvement. You can make data-driven decisions that enhance your restaurant’s operations and boost your bottom line by tracking key metrics such as revenue per seat, table turnover rate, and food cost percentage.

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