Plate IQ

Restaurant Sales up in March, But Industry Struggles

A stock report on a computer screen.

A research firm that tracks more than 120 restaurant brands found that while March sales beat February numbers by 2.5 percent, the industry continues to struggle.

Compared to the same month last year, March same-store sales fell 1.1 percent and restaurant traffic declined 3.4 percent, reported Black Box Intelligence. Moreover, compared to the previous year, sales were down 11 of 12 months. In 2016, while the S&P Index saw a jump of 17.6 percent, the stock performance of the Zacks Restaurant Industry index saw only a 0.1 percent uptick.

Owning a restaurant has never been easy or a sure-bet investment, but today’s owners are facing a storm of challenges. A recent survey by New York-based AlixPartners found that frequent restaurant goers are planning to cut back their dining out habits by as much as 13 percent. And as the job market improves, it’s getting more difficult for restaurants to hire and retain staff. About 80 percent of restaurants have offered increased compensation to recruit labor, according to a recent industry survey by People Report.

There are many costs that are beyond restaurant owners’ control. They have to adapt to changes in the law (recent state and municipal minimum wage increases, for instance), the whims of landlords while negotiating lease renewals, and fluctuations in food prices. And it’s often difficult to pass on rising costs to customers.

This means that it’s vitally important, now more than ever, to streamline the costs that restaurant owners can control. With Plate IQ you can do just that, automating the cumbersome and labor-intensive tasks of processing hundreds of invoices and dozens of vendor payments each month. Meanwhile, Plate IQ offers real-time insights into restaurant expenses, making it easy for owners to scale their businesses.

For example, Plate IQ alerts users to price changes for the ingredients and supplies they order most, allowing them to adjust pricing or look for replacement products. Plate IQ also provides market pricing benchmarks for restaurants, letting them know when they are overpaying for certain goods.

“Plate IQ has helped me monitor what I’m spending every day, rather than waiting for financial reports from my accountant,” said Darren Matte, owner of San Francisco Bay Area restaurants Per Diem and Danville Farmer’s Almanac. “Both restaurants have been able to lock in lower prices with vendors for thousands of dollars in savings a year.”

Plate IQ

Plate IQ

Plate IQ is an automated accounts payable solution that helps restaurants save time, improve the accuracy of their data, and gain insight into their expenses by automatically extracting data from uploaded invoices.