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20 Restaurant Analytics Every Restaurants Must Track from Day One

Satheesh Kanchi
July 3, 2024
1 mins

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As a restaurant owner, you might already know that a lot of planning and elbow grease goes into making your restaurant a hit. Keeping tabs on those key restaurant metrics simplifies your job and pinpoints what needs tweaking. You must remember that tweaking just one thing won't skyrocket your profits. 

It's about closely monitoring all the restaurant analytics that count. These financial insights really help you manage your eatery wisely and squeeze every bit of profit out of it!

While there's a sea of data—from detailed cost breakdowns to customer behaviors—we've zeroed in on 20 key metrics that matter from the start. 

20 Essential Restaurant Metrics to Track

1. Cost of Goods Sold (CoGS)

Cost of goods sold totals the amount you spend making a dish. It includes all the cash that goes into the ingredients- such as meats, veggies, and spices. It shows you exactly how much you're spending on each dish on your menu. 


{CoGS}={Beginning Inventory}+{Purchases}−{Ending Inventory}


  • Beginning Inventory: Inventory value at the start of the accounting period.
  • Purchases: The total cost of additional ingredients bought during the accounting period.
  • Ending Inventory: Inventory value remaining at the end of the accounting period.

2. Labor Cost Percentage 

Labor cost percentage simply gives you a picture of the portion of your restaurant's revenue you use to compensate your staff. This adds up to the costs you use to pay for things like wages, taxes, and benefits for your staff.


{Labor Cost Percentage} = {Total Labor Costs}/{Total Sales}*100


  • Total Labor Costs: All salaries, taxes, and employee benefits.
  • Total Sales: Your restaurant’s total revenue.

3. Prime Cost

Prime cost is the sum of your COGS and labor costs. It combines the amount you spend on the ingredients and what you pay your team—your biggest expenses. Keeping track of your prime cost informs you about your spending—whether you need to cut down on your spending or it's going well.


{Prime Cost} = {Total Labor Costs} + {Cost of Goods Sold}

4. Break-Even Point

Break-even analysis is like a benchmark you need to hit with your sales. It helps you ensure you earn enough to cover your restaurant's expenses. These expenses range from everything from the spices in your kitchen to the labor wages. 


{Break-Even Point (in units)} = {Fixed Costs}/{Selling Price per Unit} - {Variable Cost per Unit}


  • Fixed Costs: The expenses that do not change. For example, rent and utilities.
  • Selling Price per Unit: The price at which each dish is sold.
  • Variable Cost per Unit: The cost that varies with the output level. For example, ingredients for each dish.

5. Net Profit Margin

Net profit margin, or just net margin, is like taking the pulse of your company's profitability. It tells you what chunk of your sales is actually turning into profit. Basically, it's how much money you're making from your total sales, shown as a percentage. 


{Net Profit Margin} = {Net Profit}/{Total Revenue}*100


  • Net Profit: The amount of money left after deducting all expenses from total revenue.

6. Menu Item Profitability

Menu item profitability, as you might have already guessed, informs you about the items acting as your best sellers, bringing in the most profit, and dishes that are wasting your investments. It helps you understand how much each dish costs to make and how much it's loved by your customers.


{Menu Item Profitability} = {Selling Price} - {Cost of Ingredients}


  • Selling Price: The price at which each menu item is sold.
  • Cost of Ingredients: The total cost of the ingredients used to make a dish.

7. Inventory Turnover Ratio

An inven͏tory tu͏r͏nove͏r rat͏io tells you the speed at which you're going through your ingredients relative to how much you're stocking up.

A higher ratio highlights that you're using i͏ngredients as fast as you're s͏t͏ocking it. That is great because it means less waste and fresher ingredients on the plate. A low ratio might signal overbuying or menu items not doing so hot.


{Inventory Turnover Ratio} = {Cost of Goods Sold}/{Average Inventory}]


  • Average Inventory: The average value of your inventory over a specific period. 

Formula for Average Inventory

{Beginning Inventory + Ending Inventory} / 2

8. Table Turnover Rate 

The table turnover rate informs you how quickly you can sit, serve, and see off one set of diners before welcoming the next. This pace-setting metric is crucial because the faster you can "turn" tables without rushing your guests, the more diners you can serve in a day.


Table Turnover Rate = {Total number of tables served}/ {Total number of tables available}


  • Total number of Tables Served: The total number of occupied and served tables during a specific period.
  • Total number of Tables Available: The total number of tables available for serving customers in your restaurant.
  1. Total Sales by Server

Total sales by server track how much each waiter sells during their shift. Measuring this metric brags rights and helps identify which servers are up-selling effectively and who might need a bit more training to boost their sales skills. 


Take, for example, Sarah brings in $1000 during her shift while Tom only brings $500. This suggests that Tom might need some training.

10. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Customer acquisition cost is the money you have to invest in attracting a new customer through your marketing and making them visit your restaurant for the first time. It helps you see what you pay to draw in a new patron. A higher customer acquisition cost suggests your marketing efforts are working in your favor. 


{Customer Acquisition Cost}= {Total Costs Spent on Acquiring New Customers}/ {Number of New Customers Acquired}


  • Total Costs Spent on Acquiring New Customers: The total amount spent on marketing and promotional activities to attract new customers.
  • Number of New Customers Acquired: The total number of new customers attracted during a specific period.

11. Customer Retention Rate

Do you know what the customer retention rate is? It's an indication that highlights how many repeat customers your restaurants have. It measures the percentage of customers who return after every dining experience.


Let's say last month, you had 100 first-time diners. This month, 30 of them came back. That gives you a customer retention rate of 30%.

12. Employee Turnover Rate

The employee turnover rate in your restaurant measures how often staff members leave and are replaced. So, a low rate suggests a pleased, coordinated staff contributing to your restaurant's success. Whereas, a high turnover rate may affect service flow and incur training expenses for your restaurant. 


{Employee Turnover Rate} = {No. of Employees Departures}/{The Average Number of Employees in That Year}


  • Number of Employee Departures: The total number of employees who left during a specific period.
  • Average Number of Employees in That Year: The average number of employees working during the year.

13. Food Cost Percentage

Food cost percentage is the amount of sales spent on ingredients that go inside your menu-making. It helps you assess and find out the right price for your cuisines so that your dish is both profitable and affordable for customers.


{Food Cost Percentage}={Total Food Costs}/{ Total Food Sales}*100


  • Total Food Costs: The total cost of ingredients used.
  • Total Food Sales: The total revenue generated from food sales.

14. Gross Profit Margin

Gross profit margin shows how much you retain from sales after accounting for the cost of ingredients. It's a much-watch metric that educates on whether your menu prices are working in your favor or they need a tweak. 


{Gross Profit Margin} = {Sales} - {Costs of Ingredients}/{Total Sales}*100

15. Revenue per Available Seat Hour (RevPASH)

RevPASH is a handy metric that measures how much each seat is making for you by the hour. It figures out how well each seat of your restaurant is paying you off during peak times.


{RevPASH} = {Total Revenue}/{Available Seat Hours}


  • Available Seat Hours: The total number of seat hours available for serving customers.

16. Average Customer Headcount

Average customer headcount is simply the average number of customers who visit your restaurant each day. The more the visits, the higher would be your profit.


{Average Customer Headcount} = {Total Customers}/{Number of Days}

17. Overhead Rate

The overhead rate helps restaurant owners determine how much money they're spending to keep their restaurant earning a living. This rate includes all the costs you spend and get nothing in return, such as rent and utilities. 


{Overhead Rate} = {Total Overhead Costs}/{ Total Sales}


  • Total Overhead Costs: The total costs for overhead expenses, such as rent and utilities.

18. Contribution Margin 

The contribution margin is the profit per dish after the cost of ingredients. Once you know how much each of your dishes is capable of earning for you, you can price your menu items rightly to make a good profit.


{Contribution Margin}={Selling Price} - {Cost of Ingredients}

19. Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA)

Wondering how much money your restaurant is earning, in a nutshell? EBITDA is the best approach to find out your earnings before expenses. It helps you understand the basic profitability of your restaurant.


{Net Income} + {Interest} + {Taxes} + {Depreciation} + {Amortization} = {EBITDA} 


  • Net Income: The profit remaining after all expenses have been deducted.
  • Interest: The cost of interest payments on any debt.
  • Taxes: The total amount paid in taxes.
  • Depreciation: The reduction in value of assets over time.
  • Amortization: The gradual reduction of debt over a period of time.

20. Strategic Product Placement

Strategic product placement in a restaurant is about putting your star dishes at the front and center of your menu or eye-catching table displays. This tactic catches your guests' attention and persuades them to order high-profit items.

Here's a Simple Approach

List your dishes by profitability and popularity. Prioritize these "star" items in prime menu real estate, like the top of the page or in a special box. Doing this will attract your customers' interest in the dishes that make the most of your profits and work well for your restaurant. 


Each metric this blog covers tells you about your restaurant's financial health. These 20 metrics are your toolkit for smarter decision-making. You must take care of everything- from what dishes to push to managing staff efficiently to keep your restaurant thriving. OneHubPOS makes it easy for small restaurant business owners to manage their operations and track their finances. Interested in how you can streamline your restaurant's success? Try OneHubPOS at $1 today and see the difference it can make.

How do I figure out how much to charge for food?

Pricing is a balancing act! You need to cover your costs (including the food cost per portion) while offering a price point that feels valuable to your customers. Consider factors like competition, target audience, and the overall dining experience you create.

What tools are available for tracking food costs?

Food cost calculators are great for initial estimates, but consider restaurant management software for ongoing success. This software tracks inventory, automates cost calculations, and generates reports to identify cost-saving opportunities.

Can I use a food cost calculator for different types of cuisine?

Absolutely! Many online food cost calculators can handle various cuisines. Look for tools that consider ingredient types, portion sizes, and even regional pricing variations.

How often should I calculate food cost percentage?

Consider your food cost percentage your restaurant's financial fitness tracker. It's the total cost of recipe ingredients divided by your total menu sales. Ideally, calculate this regularly, like weekly or bi-weekly, to monitor profitability and adjust pricing or portions as needed.

What is the standard costing model?

The standard costing model is like a recipe for consistent pricing. It uses historical data and market trends to predict ingredient costs, allowing you to budget, purchase, and maintain profit margins even when prices fluctuate.

What is food cost per portion?

Food cost per portion is the actual cost of creating a single serving of a dish. It considers all ingredients, including spices, garnishes, and even waste!  This number helps you understand your profitability and set menu prices effectively.

Satheesh Kanchi
CEO & Founder - OneHubPOS

Satheesh Kanchi is the Founder and CEO of OneHubPOS, He is the restaurateur behind several popular Indian restaurants in California and India. He started his career as a technology CEO, bringing that same level and learnings innovation and drive to the restaurant industry.

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