Decluttering + Design Thinking = Beautiful & Useful Sales Reports

Decluttering + Design Thinking = Beautiful Things, and Beautiful things yield better results.

Its seems that there is a growing movement towards decluttering. Less is more. Minimalist is in. The name Marie Kondo will start to ring a bell to some as she has helped clients transform their cluttered homes into spaces of serenity and inspiration. Marie Kondo

This seems to go hand in hand with the design thinking philosophy used by designers to solve problems, complex processes, and find desirable solutions.  In fact, a school has sprouted in the famed campus of Stanford – the Design School.  What they teach is to utilize design to come up with very unique solutions to solve problems from the fintech space to food security.  The design does not just become aesthetic but also functional and results oriented.

Now, how the heck did we get into decluttering and design thinking when we are a restaurant management software! Well when you mix the concepts of decluttering and design thinking, you create beautiful things.

Beautiful spaces drive more traffic. Beautiful products sell more. Beautiful people win at beauty contests (well they have to be smart too!). In our case, beautiful reports make more profits!

What we found on the desks of managers was a messy pile of papers – many of them sales, image026 images

inventory reports, time sheets. Who really has time to read all the numbers? There is also the additional time needed to digest and analyze the numbers to make sense. Bottomline, there is number information overload! A clusterf&ck of numbers!

With design thinking and decluttering in mind, we want to beautify the numbers. Less rows and columns, less information overload, and instead, more digestible graphs and charts. We want to make managers have access to beautiful numbers because like we mentioned on top, beauty yields better results.

Below is our beautiful report. Below is something that will get managers/owners have better results. Amen.

restograph

 

 

Its time to unfriend and breakup with your spreadsheet!

Do you own a restaurant and still use spreadsheets for inventory management?

We all grew up learning to love Microsoft Office products – word, powerpoint, and excel.  I’m almost sure you’ve also already mastered most formulas and have created the mother of all spreadsheets.excel

But as time has passed and the digital era has taken over, it may be time to unfriend your beloved spreadsheet (of course in the context of inventory management).

Why do a way with something that you’ve been used to all these years? Why give up something you’ve mastered?

Well, the answer lies in why we pretty much don’t see a fax machine or the compact disc  – the technology change has made these obsolete.

So below are top 3 reasons why you need to break up with EXCEL now and automate your inventory.

  1. EXCEL has flaws flaws and more flaws.

Whats another word for flaws? Errors.

Let’s face it. The person entering the data is human and humans are prone to error. Especially if these humans aren’t excel rockstars and their main job is to cook, prep food, or help with customer service.

Another flaw is if you create a mega spreadsheet that connects to other worksheets and if you count, there are 45 formulas. Guess what the chances are of errors? Probably 50%!

Do you remember the time when you start entering numbers in one cell and when you review to columns on the next worksheet to find that the numbers seem to add up? How long did it take you to find where the error came from?

So you review your formula again and see that you missed a pesky plus sign or… some annoying though equally important equal (=) sign.

And one mistake can cause a ripple effect. Boom. Game over. Your life is a mess.

2.  EXCEL is needy and high maintenance.

Do you like being in a needy relationship? Nope. Didn’t think so.  2014-10-13-highmaintenance

Let me whisper to your ear a secret – excel is needy and high maintenance. You need to spend hours and hours updating your spreadsheet.

If you’re not updating it, you pull in your manager to update it. Was that the best decision? Your manager should be getting you more customers in the door and ensuring high customer service.

3.    EXCEL isn’t there when you need ’em.

Can you instantly check your spreadsheet to check your COGS? Nope.

Can you instantly check your spreadsheet for updated and realtime variances? Nope.

Can you see a running balance of your inventory? If you have multiple branches, can you see all your running balances of your stock in real time? Nope.

 

Hope we made a good case why you need to break up with Excel and start automating your inventory with Restograph!

4 Steps to Successful Goal Accomplishment

Everyone gets fired up at first but few actually reach their goal

The 2016 Rio Summer Olympics is just around the corner and we will once again witness the best of the best perform in their respective arenas. Many moments will be awe inspiring such as the 100ths of a second win in the 100 meter freestyle between Micheal Phelps and (place runner up here) It’s a 4 year preparation and for some once in a lifetime chance of glory. But practically no one asks how these supreme athletes get their goal of winning, much less representing as the best in their respective countries.

We submit to you that there is a surefire process that they take that even you can adopt to massively increase the probability of reaching your goals. We bring you a 4 steps process to reaching your goals:

When people say yes most of the time, they set themselves up for failure even before they lift a finger on a new project since they’re already failing to appropriate sufficient time and energy to it.

Rule # 1: Decide once and for all what your priority is and forget the rest (almost)

Ask the question: “How do we know we’ve won?”

The word priority comes from the 14th century Old French priorite meaning state of being earlier or first one above anything else. This was used to say only one before the next. It was only very recently during the late 19th century that it was extended to mean something plural such as priorities which was especially prevalent in the industry and business. In today’s stressed out world, everyone scrambles to get a handful of things done at the same time and accepts this as the norm. This leads over-committing to activities that result in stress and poor results.

One of the main reasons is people overcommit and say yes all the time without taking a pause to think what other activities will have to suffer to give way to another new commitment. When people do this, they set themselves up for failure even before they lift a finger on the project since from the get go, they’re already failing to appropriate sufficient time and energy to it knowing there are already a lot of other projects going on. The only way you can guarantee above average results without stressing you out is to set goals and work on them only one at a time. Then relegate other things as secondary which you will not commit to do or will schedule at another time. This means simply saying NO to any activity that do not help you bring you closer to your goal. There are wonderful ways to say no to lessen disappointment such as: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisabeth-saunders-medlock-phd/you-can-say-no-8-ways-to-_b_6497954.html. But be willing to accept the fact that your goal is more important than what other people feel about it.

Rule # 2: Set a plan through SMART planning and backward casting

The ubiquitous SMART moniker means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timebound and to me the 2 most important are Measurable and Timebound. Both answer the question: “How do we know that we’ve won?” Case in point is the perennial objective is how to lose weight. One great statement is this” I will reach at most 130 lbs. by December 31,2016. There is no skirting around this objective and if by so much you weigh 130.5 at that time, then you’ve known you’ve lost.

One of the best strategies for planning is backward casting, which means setting a goal in some future date and breaking them down to monthly and weekly goals then assign specific and time-bound daily activities that move you closer to the weekly goals.

“When you write down your ideas you automatically focus your full attention on them. Few if any of us can write one thought and think another at the same time. Thus a pencil and paper make excellent concentration tools.” -Michael Leboeuf

For example, if you want to trim down from 160 to 130 lbs. by October 30 which is 6 months away then you would write down monthly then weekly and get specific on the daily activities you need to do to achieve those weekly and monthly goals. The key is to set out time, and hour or two, to think through the plan and activities that go behind them and putting pen to paper. Writing objectives and activities down imprints these ideas and details in your subconscious and helps you remember what you need to do and most importantly why you need to do them. It gives you undivided focus and brings you back to the thinking process that made you write them in the first place. Finally, it helps you concentrate on your thinking which results in better quality ideas. These plans become your living document and checklist when you revisit these written plans at least once a week to see how you’re tracking.

Rule # 3: Protect the daily activities via time blocking

Time blocking means actually scheduling time on the calendar and using digital tools to remind you of exact times in the week you need to work on the activities that will eventually lead to completing the task at the end specified target date in #2. In my case, my target is to publish a book, which contains a compilation of 12 management articles by Dec 31, 2016. This means that I need to write and finish 1 article per month or 12 articles in 1 month. Let me ask you, which one is less stressful and more importantly, which one will have a higher probability of accomplishing the goal?

By breaking down a seemingly major goal into bite size accomplishments over time such as writing 1 article per month starting January, you will have a 50% chance of reaching your goal. The next 30% improvement rests on setting specific time slots in your daily or weekly schedule as to when an hour or two will solely be dedicated to this goal. So a 12,000 word book requires me to write 1000 words a month or 250 words a week or 50 words per working day (Monday to Friday). Now 50 words a day doesn’t seem a lot doesn’t it? The beauty of the technique is that the broken down figures tells your brain that the gargantuan goal is actually achievable and easy which in turn, motivates your brain to actually take the first step.

RULE # 4: Measure & reward along the way

Sometimes you get derailed at some point during the project time span due to uncontrollable events. But most of the time, you get unmotivated due to other interests that will inevitably tempt you to miss your daily task. One effective solution to stay on track is to pin up a scoreboard that can easily be seen daily as a reminder to the percentage done and number of days that has passed. Then, assign small rewards that can be experienced immediately after the goals are achieved such as getting your favorite latte or fruit shake. Using the classic Pavlovian technique of conditioning, we trick our brains to be conditioned to follow through on as task because we know that an instant reward is waiting at the end.

Now you may ask, “Can I apply a larger reward if I complete a bigger but more difficult task?” The answer is no. Starting a new routine immensely decreases the effect of habit forming which give cadence to the brain and hardwires it to follow through every time you see the reminder of the daily task. Further, interrupting with a new routine “resets” the brain back to the first day when you started the task. The likelihood of success then diminishes and the initial effort of getting used to the initial routine was put to waste.

The reality is that there will be days that you will not be able to follow through the daily task but the trick to getting back on track is to forgive yourself and immediately get back to where you left off.

Interrupting with a new routine “resets” the brain back to the first day when you started the task.

BONUS TIP:

While it may be easy to create your dashboard, getting the habit of looking at it everyday to track your progress isn’t. Fortunately there are web-based software available that you can use to set up your dashboard & send you reports everyday. If you are a restaurant manager for example, an innovative web based solution is Restograph: www.restogra.ph. Restograph allows restaurant managers and owners to see actual sales and trends real time, in order to make decisions to improve restaurant performance.

The 5 rules of using data to make better decisions to achieve your specific business goals

Data is the root of all decision making

5-rules-of-using-data
Rule # 1: Get high quality data.
Notice that I didn’t say use high quality data, but get high quality data. Many a product, brand and business owner are flying blind on past and current performance and even if they have data they’re outdated, inaccurate, thus making them irrelevant and useless. Getting high quality data involves first getting it from trusted sources. Paid research companies such as Euromonitor have been raking it in over the decades because of the lack of trusted sources. Today we have the internet as a source of getting free public data on the macro level which makes Euromonitor, who charges exorbitant fees, less attractive.

Read more The 5 rules of using data to make better decisions to achieve your specific business goals

Our first restaurant analytics workshop

our-first-restaurant-analytics-workshopThe combination of food and analytics certainly does not make for an appetizing recipe. However, we believe that by making data-crunching more palatable and easily digestible for restaurants, it gives owners a better understanding of their operations.

Restograph provides business intelligence and data analytics solutions for restaurants. It unlocks the trove of data stored in the POS and transforms this information into easily readable trends and projections. Since Restograph is specifically built for restaurants, it presents data in such a manner that restaurant owners and managers can easily discover value-adding insights, make data-driven decisions, and quickly solve problems that are unique to the restaurant industry.

Read more Our first restaurant analytics workshop

Restograph hosts its first Restaurant Data Analytics Workshop

Restograph-Event

Today, Restograph, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform that specializes in restaurant data analytics, announced that it will host its first Restaurant Data Analytics Workshop. After 6 months since its launch, Restograph has decided to create an event to inform and educate restaurant owners on how they can transform their POS data into readable trends and projections that will help them strategize better and grow their businesses.

Read more Restograph hosts its first Restaurant Data Analytics Workshop

6 Ways Your Staff is Stealing From Your Restaurant Right Now (and how to prevent it)

Theft in a restaurant is a common occurrence. Left unchecked, it will run you dry and leave your restaurant in a dark and lonely place.

Read more 6 Ways Your Staff is Stealing From Your Restaurant Right Now (and how to prevent it)