Restaurant KPI Benchmarks and What to Make of Them

KPI – Key Performance Indicator

A Key Performance Indicator is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. Organizations use KPIs at multiple levels to evaluate their success at reaching targets. High-level KPIs may focus on the overall performance of the business, while low-level KPIs may focus on processes in departments such as sales, marketing, HR, support, and others.

Baker Tilly US, LLP

Baker Tilly is a leading advisory, tax, and assurance firm whose specialized professionals guide clients through an ever-changing business world, helping them win now and anticipate tomorrow.  Annual Revenue:  $789 million. 

Bloom Intelligence

Intelligence platform provides best-in-class detailed location-based WiFi analytics. In effect, Bloom allows you to benchmark your customer’s behavior. In detail, in real-time at your physical locations. Without delay, this data population occurs even if they don’t log into your guest WiFi!

Common KPIs:

  • COGS
    • Food Cost 29% of Food Sales
    • Beverage Costs
    • Liquor Cost 18-20% of Liquor Sales
    • Bottled Beer 24-28% of Bottled Beer Sales
    • Draft Beer 15-18% of Draft Beer Sales
    • Wine 35-45% of Wine Sales
    • Non-alcoholic beverages
      • Soft drinks 10-15%
      • Coffee 12-20%
      • Iced Tea 5-10%
    • Paper Cost 1-2% of Total Sales
  • Labor Cost
    • In-Store 28.7%
    • Payroll Cost 25-35% of sales
  • Prime Cost 57.7%
  • Rent 6%
  • Sales per Square Foot $250-$325
  • Check Average (Varies)
  • Employee Benefits 5-6% of Total Sales or 20% of Gross Payroll
  • Prime Cost 57.7%

Uncommon KPI

  • First Time Customer Return Rate (within first 12 months) 28.8%
  • Average Monthly Customer Repeat Rate 1.83 visits per month
  • Customer Attrition Rate 11.4%

Moral of the story?

  • Guidelines are just that.  Guidelines.  There are many ways to price your model, but ultimately, Prime Cost management is the be all end all.  It allows tremendous flexibility within to apply most pricing strategies – it is the one guideline that we do not balk at. 
  • Attracting new customers is great!  But, repeat customers are where money is best spent.
    • It is easier
    • It is cheaper
    • They already know your address and are here, talk to them!


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