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October 22, 2018

9 Metrics Your C-Suite Needs to be Tracking and One They Don’t

Metrics trackingWhat you measure matters and with an abundance of data streaming from multiple sources, the c-suite needs to be able to focus on the metrics that can inform at the highest level. Keep reading for the top metrics and benchmarks that are most crucial to c-suite leadership; and what doesn’t need their attention.


Guest satisfaction

Operators have a vested interest in guest satisfaction, and technology gives us the ability to gather and assess this data more quickly. Guest overall sentiment can be tracked and measured by monitoring social platforms. Tracking customer satisfaction can tell you what your brand is doing well and help to identify problem areas such as service inefficiencies or food quality issues.


Repeat customer volume

Numerous studies indicate that value lies in customer retention. Repeat customers are typically larger contributors to overall sales. The more a customer returns, the higher their lifetime value becomes. Loyalty programs make it easier to track the volume of repeat guests and provide incentives for customers to return. Knowing how much of your business comes from repeat customers will give you an understanding of how best to drive guest loyalty.


Check out this infographic to learn more about guest satisfaction metrics tracked by top performing brands.


Comp Sales

Same-store or comparable sales is significant for c-level operators to track because these figures paint a picture of how existing units are performing independently, as well as compared to others. Reporting an increase in revenue on its own is often misleading because it could have been attributed by other factors such as opening new units. In this case, same-store, or comp sales could essentially indicate a decline. Tracking same-store sales over a designated time provides you a more complete picture to inform decision making.



Tracking current and historical traffic count data across all units will help guide resource and staffing decisions. A change in guest traffic can indicate several things, but most importantly, it signals that something needs to be addressed. Whether the change can be attributed to weather patterns, economic issues, pricing structure or decreased quality in food or service, identifying changes or trends in traffic data helps pinpoint whether something is amiss, or working well.  


Visit our Financial Intelligence (formerly Black Box Intelligence) page to learn how Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K) can help you track your comp sales and traffic and benchmark with the rest of the industry.



Compensation from hourly workers to top executives is essential to monitor on a regular basis. Additionally, benchmarking compensation data against the industry maintains a barometer of how competitively you are paying employees. Depending on your restaurant concept, whether you look at this data nationally, regionally or by DMA can vary. It is also beneficial to analyze this data over a variety of time periods to gain a full understanding of where you stand.


Total Cash for GMs

General Managers play a crucial role at the unit-level and retaining top talent in this position is a key driver of performance. Benchmarking total compensation for general managers against the rest of the industry can tell you how you stack up against competitors. Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K) research has shown that 35 percent of restaurant managers quit within the first year of employment. If managers for your brands fall under this statistic, understanding and tracking total cash for your GMs is a great place to start.


Employee and Management Turnover

Turnover metrics are helpful indicators of your brand’s overall culture and strength. Maintaining an understanding of your termination, hire and promotion counts as well as the length of time it typically takes to fill these positions will help you make financial and hiring forecasting decisions. Tracking these metrics on a monthly, quarterly, year to date, annual and rolling basis will vary based on your organizations size and how long it has been in business.


Try out our Turnover Calculator to reveal the exact cost of employee turnover in your restaurant.


Weather Data

Weather usually has an impact on your level of business, whether it boosts or hurts sales will depend on your concept. Monitoring current weather obviously helps management make staffing decisions, but for the c-suite, keeping track of historical data can provide deeper insight. Identifying trends and patterns in historical data and looking at how weather impacts your business will assist with sales and traffic forecasting.


Menu Item Retention and Profitability

Following menu item metrics will provide insight into what customers want as well as what they don’t. Understanding the profitability as well as the popularity of each item will inform marketing decisions to highlight menu items with higher return, for example, or incorporate more upselling techniques into server training.


What to Stop Tracking – Vanity Metrics

Page views or social followers may give you a broad idea of your brand reach, but what other insight are you getting from this information? Monitoring page views or impressions just for the sake of tracking doesn’t give you the full picture. Look past the initial metrics to find actionable information. Knowing the number of social followers you have on a social media profile is a good start, but it’s not a useful metric on its own. In addition to tracking views or followers, measure how much your followers are engaging and promoting your brand.


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