Data Helps Restaurants Battle Profit Loss

Hospitality Technology – As consumer confidence in the economy rises, more people are heading out to eat. While good news, restaurant owners remain focused on retaining sales and preventing profit loss. Analytics and exception-based reporting tools are integral to building effective, scalable solutions for detecting fraud. For years, restaurants have used analytics to both prevent and detect fraud, but now there are new tools to find information and alert operators to issues. Every modern POS system and integrated security system comes with a range of controls and includes some type of smart reporting. Ed Heskett is the senior area coach for Border Foods (www.borderfoods.com), which has approximately 200 Taco Bell franchises. He notes that the analytics department at Border Foods looks at the fleet at large scale and generates reports with a focus on underperforming stores.

Border Foods uses a Delaget (www.delaget.com) reporting tool and a location dashboard daily, which gives the company a snapshot/summary and alerts it to potential problems. According to SpeedLine Solutions, Inc. (www.speedlinesolutions.com), POS systems send an alert that can come in the form of a message or report when suspicious activity occurs. Every notable event can be tracked.

Being able to collect, analyze, and react to information in a short time span empowers restaurants to take action and address potential problems before they mushroom.

“Collecting transactional information for analysis in real-time is imperative for a successful loss prevention-oriented, exception-based reporting or BI platform for restaurant brands or franchise operators,” says Scott Langdoc, senior vice president and practice lead at Boston Retail Partners (https://brpconsulting.com). As the time between a loss or fraud event and its detection increases, investigations become more challenging. On-duty managers must leverage well-developed fraud analysis thresholds to address outlier events — especially staff-related issues — as quickly as possible.

“For many, the movement to cloud-based POS has helped make data available more quickly for loss prevention (LP) intelligence. Companies with traditional, on-premise POS systems must rely on faster POS transaction syncing to centralized systems to enable near real-time aggregation and analysis of local POS data for trends and exception-based monitoring,” Langdoc says.

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