I often do my best thinking on my bike ride home from work when I’m really tired. One night I had a thought come to me that I wanted to share with the management group. When it comes to the daily reports, we all know the primary purpose is to give our bosses a picture of the day in terms of sales and service, as well as our team (FOH managers) and the BOH team (chefs) an idea of what the day was like and anything interesting that happened.
My thought was that the secondary purpose of the daily report is to create a record we can look back to next year. We are writing these reports for our future selves, so that next year we can better anticipate what will happen. When I write reports now I am trying to encode interesting information (what was the weather like, what times were the peak busy times, what causes (large orders) lead to what effects (traffic jam of to-go orders)… so that next year I will be able to have even more detailed information to make predictions.
By using a consistent email subject line for these reports, it will help you access them easily next year. For example, I just used Xoco Wed 9-17-14. All I have to do is search my sent emails for “Xoco Wed” in quotes, and it will bring up all the reports I emailed out on Wednesdays, and then just scroll back to the day I want to look at.
The restaurant business is highly cyclical. For Xoco Wicker Park in particular, coming around the year for the first time, encoding in the reports information about what the weather was like, when the peaks were, what was selling, etc, will really help you next year. The better information you have, the better you will understand the numbers… and you will be able to make better pivots to ratchet up the sales!