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How to unlock growth internally

How to unlock growth internally

5th October 2022
6 mins read

Still recovering in the wake of the Covid pandemic, the hospitality industry is being dogged by a fresh wave of difficulties.

One could be forgiven for looking at these issues of:

  • Soaring costs: Food & Beverages, inflation, energy bills.
  • Scarce resources: Labour shortages, supply chain issues.

and seeing an insurmountable challenge.

So… how to keep up with growth?

Sometimes the answers lie inside your own organisation - in the form of data. But data without its interpretation wouldn’t be useful. Combined with analytics, however, it becomes a powerful tool to help you unlock hidden growth potential.

Let us talk you through the three major steps involved in shifting your focus to find growth in what you can control: optimising your business internally.

I - Accurate data

…begins in the back office

Mastering your data and analytics begins in the back office, by staying on top of your flow of goods (what comes in vs what comes out).

In: Procurement, Transfers In, Petty Cash
Out: Sales, Wastage, Transfers out

Understanding stock data is often an overlooked insight into how you can optimise your margins, and you can begin by ensuring the data is as accurate as possible.

Good data practice will include:

  1. Approving any purchases on a daily basis.
  2. Recording any wastage that occurs during the day.
  3. Creating new dishes on your tech solutions (both back office and POS), inputting specific pricing and measurement values.

…and ends with your sales

Further improve the integrity of your data with a solution that can integrate with your POS. Use real-time sales figures to automatically influence your stock take.

In the past year, we’ve seen an acceleration in the digitisation of operators’ offerings, as they got creative and started capitalising on multiple sales channels:

  • Conventional sales
  • Digital table ordering or Click & Collect: OneDine, MrYum, Sunday…
  • Third-party platforms: Deliveroo, UberEats, JustEats…
  • Sales aggregator: Deliverect, Otter…
  • Own online ordering system: Slerp, Flipdish…

Understanding this more complex flow of information will rely on ensuring accurate sales data.


By establishing a culture of recording flow of activity, and pairing this with aggregate solutions designed to improve the accuracy of your data, you position yourself perfectly to make the most out of analytics.

To achieve this, MEP aggregates these sales and integrates with your data to allow you to eliminate the guess-work and inaccuracy of data entry processing. It also frees you from the complications of distinct solutions.

MEP provides a single platform to integrate with and track all of your data.

II - Analytics-based insight…

…begins with gross profit discrepancies

Consider this example from Misenplace’s platform. There is a variance between the actual and theoretical gross profit of 5%.

How do you conduct effective analysis on your operations?

By comparing actual data with theoretical data, including cost of sales and stock-take.

Optimisation can begin by looking at actual vs. theoretical gross profit discrepancy to identify easily fixable shortcomings in back office processes.

…considers inventory issues impacting gross profit

Where is the variance coming from? Go about understanding the gap by comparing theoretical and actual stock-take.

Let’s take a simple example with two items: Lobster & Triple cooked chips:

Where is the £500 variance coming from?

  1. Wastage: 25 kilos of Lobster at £12/ kilo = £300 - Looks like the fridge broke down one night.
  2. Portioning: 20 kilos at £1.75/kilo = £35 - The database recipe outlines that chips should be 250g/portion and it seems that the team have been using 300g.75 g extra * 800 portions sold = £105
  3. Stealing: Looks like someone took 5 lobsters home - £60

Drill down to the figures for individual items to identify the causes of variation and thus potential areas for optimisation.

Calculating stock discrepancies

The 3 formulas on which the values are based are:

  1. Actual = Opening Stock + Purchases - Sales +/- Transfers - Closing Stock
  2. Theoretical = Opening Stock + Purchases - Sales +/- Transfers
  3. Variance = Actual closing stock - Theoretical stock

III -  Analytic insight goes further by…

…using your budgets

Here we see examples of each budget represented. As you can see, the sales for this period matched the budget.

Once operational inefficiencies have been identified and eliminated, one of the most vital things to consider in analytics are your budgets.

Fixing a budget for your:

  1. Net Revenues
  2. Cost of Sales
  3. Gross Profits

will provide all the insight you require to grow and optimise internally.

So why couldn’t the same gross profit be reached?

…engineering your menu

This is where menu engineering comes in.

Some of the key menu changes that you will make after implementing analytics-based software are likely to be based on:

  1. Individual product performance (your product/sales mix)
  2. Category product performance (how discrete categories are selling)

An effective analytics solution will draw on product cost and sales information.

This will highlight where individual product performance (such as low GP items) is affecting your ability to meet your budgets.

… understanding your product/sales mix

This example from Mise En Place’s analytics module compares two menu items.
  1. Weekly sales of £10,000
    - Lobster with 65% GP
    - Chips with 85% GP.
  2. Sales mix
    - Lobster represents 70% (or £7k)
    - Chips 30% (or £3k)
  3. Total Gross profit = £7.1k or 71%
    - Lobster gross profit = £4.55k
    - Chips gross profit = £2.55k
  4. Though lobster made up a much larger part of the sales mix, it did not bring in a proportional amount of gross profit.
  5. Lobster with 70% GP would increase the Total Gross profit by £350 or 3.5%.
    Though lobster made up a much larger part of the sales mix, it did not bring in a proportional amount of gross profit.

Insights like this can influence changes to your menu, promotions and product mix in order to meet your budgets.

… considering performance by category

Organising performance into carefully selected categories is also another way in which analytics can be used to help you understand your business better.

Breaking down your sales by product type such as lunch vs. dinner or sides vs. mains helps you to better apply your resources and understand customer consumption habits.

Misenplace’s analytics module offers customisable category choices, so that users can entirely individualise which categories they wish to compare.

Sometimes, all it takes is reframing how you look at and compare your information to make a big difference in your growth.

Take charge of your data to take charge of your growth

So what will following these steps mean for you?

You will obtain access to a large amount of high quality data and insightful corresponding analysis. Eliminate guesswork and set data-informed goals to optimise internally wherever possible.

Steering your business through these challenging times will require connecting and understanding every part of it, across your back office and all sales channels.

Got any questions? Contact us at contact@misenplace.ai