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Should your restaurant share it's sales and data with other restaurants?

Updated: Dec 21, 2018

Skrible Inc gives you three reasons why you should want to anonymously share your restaurant sales and data with other restaurants within your competitive grouping.




If you didn't stop at the title and you're reading this.... bravo for your sense of adventure and bravery! The idea of a private restaurant sharing its sales and data with other restaurants is unheard of and very questionable when you consider how tech companies like Facebook and Google have been recently called before Congress over the issue of data privacy. However, in all fairness, the Facebook and Google situation is probably more about the 2016 election versus data, so we'll omit that from our conversation.


Before we can begin to make our case for your restaurant sharing its sales and data, I think we should try to understand why sharing is something you might be hesitant to do.


Sharing data between potentially direct and indirect competitors isn't a chapter in most business school text books so we don't believe that there's ever been a very long term serious discussion about it, therefore we took to the streets and began asking restaurant managers/owners questions and we concluded the following.

  • At a very early age we're taught...."do not talk about how much money you make!" This little piece of advice was ingrained in you long before you became a restaurateur and has stuck with you till this day.

  • The arrest of high profile people for insider trading has help to reinforce the idea of not sharing information and in some cases, appears to have become apart of our subconscious decision making.

  • The most obvious reason is probably the fact that we don't want to give up our competitive advantage and/or share information that could help our competitor or promote competition.

Shared data between potentially direct and indirect competitors isn't a chapter in most business school text books but maybe it should be!

During our research we figured out that most restaurants never thought of sharing their data so they didn't have a strong opinion on the manner, however their initial thought was that it's just something that they don't believe should be done. At the same time almost all of the restaurants we spoke with would be interested to see sales and data from other restaurants.


Here's three reasons why we think you should be excited about confidentially sharing your sales and data with other restaurants who are within your competitive grouping!


[First we'd like to clarify that shared data is strategic and isn't meant to be an open source for all to see. Sharing data within your competitive grouping and remaining anonymous is the suggested method.]


Get over the fear of competition, your market is huge!

I live in a metropolis with 7 million people and 14 thousand restaurants. That means that everyday of the week your restaurant has the ability to attract 7 million customers. Yes, I know that not everyone lives in a city with 7 million people however the restaurant to population ratio remains consistently at .25% from market to market which means that the market is huge regardless of your population. But what does this have to do with sharing sales & data? There's beyond enough customers to go around for everyone. You just have to make sure that you're staying competitive and one of the best ways to do this is via shared sales & data.


Easily identify market trends -vs- unit trends!

Customer, customer, customer is and always will be the most important asset to any business. Take care of your customer and everything else will fall into place. But even your customer service needs to be checked. No problem, you've got comment cards and rating review sites that help with that. The only problem with the review sites is that most people don't bother to visit them, they just stop coming to your restaurant and more often than not, you won't know how bad the problem is until its too late. This is where shared data and a competitive analysis can help. By sharing data you can easily see the difference between negative trends in your competitive market versus a negative trend that's only affecting your restaurant.


More locations mean access to more data and ultimately greater insight.

I can't begin to stress the importance of data and how understanding data can be the most important factor that separates the restaurants that grow from the restaurants that struggle or simply survive. Restaurants that collect, use and rely on data will have a better understanding of their customers and a clearer path to profits. With data, restaurants can clearly understand when a problem exist, when a situation is normal or when an action should be taken.

Independents, micro-chains and small to mid-size restaurant groups can create the greatest advantage ever by confidentially sharing their sales and data within their competitive grouping!

Large chain restaurants use data consistently to succeed, grow and stay ahead of the competition which is part of the reason their failure rate is significantly lower compared to their smaller counterpart who have a tendency to utilize data less frequently.


In short, your restaurant should be measured by more than just your bank account, weekly summary and monthly p&l. Having the ability to benchmark sales, analyze trends and use data to improve overall insight is just a few of the reasons why sharing your restaurant sales and data can be best decision your restaurant ever made.


To start anonymously sharing your sales and data be sure to visit us at www.skrible.co


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