When talking to customers about their use of TaholaCloud and the impact it has on the business, it’s important to look across the whole organisation, to understand the value each user gets as this is sometimes overlooked and often varies depending upon specific job roles. Greater value comes from TaholaCloud, when there is increased user adoption and it's use is embraced across a variety of business functions and not just one area in isolation.
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I recently met with Chris Fletcher, Retail Operations Director at Pieminister and Kate Rowlands, General Manager at Pieminister in Cardiff, to talk about TaholaCloud and the impact it's had on the business and to their individual roles.......
What impact has TaholaCloud had on the business so far?
From an operational point of view its enabled my area managers to get their data out in the mornings and so I’m a big believer of updating the areas every day to see how they are doing against each other and against the budget for our year. We still have a daily sales report through our EPOS, but TaholaCloud is much more intuitive, meaning it's much easier to get access to the right data at the right time. We now have our group site summary, where it shows all the Pieminster sites in one view and the users can take snippets of information out and distribute every morning to look at performance, which has really had a big impact to the business.
The data we can now get access to via TaholaCloud is more accurate and up to date than previous ways of working and so you can see exactly where you are for the period, week or the quarter, as opposed to other sources where we only got to see the data for that week. There is far greater value and insight that can be gleaned from seeing a wider date range, because we may have been up or down for the last few weeks and so being able to see the full picture, not just that week, is providing greater accuracy.
I think the depth of the information is key as well, we were discussing the advantages of having TaholaCloud the other day and Kate was talking about the fact, that she can now see her menu mix, which is a great benefit for her, when planning and ordering.
Also, if you want to increase sales, you can’t simply increase pie sales because everyone is coming in for a pie anyway, but you can see that your starters are a certain % and so you can push them as appropriate and get a better understanding of why you’re not selling them or where you are selling them, to push them in different places. Therefore, increasing spend per head and your overall revenue.
You can also see who is selling what, a particular member of my staff is very good at up-selling and so I can always see that they sell more pints compared to regular size glasses than their colleagues, without TaholaCloud we would not have had access to that data and level of insight.
Where do you think you have noticed the most significant changes since implementing TaholaCloud?
Use of the What if app for budgeting and special events is a real benefit, selling pies isn’t great in the summer and so by using the ‘what if’ capability in Taholacloud I can look at what happened last year and decide what changes need to be made, whether that be on price or product.
Also, as the company is starting to mature, the prior year data is very strong and so we can start to see if we are doing better or worse than on the previous years for seasonal menus. There are some really interesting details within ‘What if’ and also within the heat map, I personally use the heat map to look at performance on an individual site basis.
Tahola have been very flexible and responsive to our needs and the business overview within TaholaCloud has been adapted over time to suit the need of the users at Pieminister, with sales and discounts being key.
As a GM it’s really important for me that I can see what everyone else is doing and how they are performing. Being competitive myself, I also like to know how I’m doing compared to other GMs and sites. It used take so much more time to collate the data to encourage that competitive spirit between sites and we used to have to manually create and monitor competitions. Whereas now, with TaholaCloud if you want to look at who has sold the most deserts on a specific date for example, you can literally get the figures at the click of a button.
One of my waitresses has taken 21% of last months takings so far on her own, and she was amazed at how I even knew that. It really is very interesting from a GMs perspective, because I can now see who is performing well, where their may be a need for additional training and where someone might just simply be slacking.
Are there things you are able to do now that you never could have before, because it would have just been too time consuming?
From a board, directorial and analytical perspective, we are looking at adjustments and audit trail more than we ever did before. We are really digging into where our discounts are, where our voids are going, where our cash is going and we never had sight of that before.
Before implementing TaholaCloud we did it all manually and someone would have to build the dashboard every week, which often took two days a week to do, but now we have the data at the click of a button. We can now also look at discounts by employee, by sector, type of discount, by trend and so many more.
Are Marketing seeing an impact since TC was implemented?
Every month the Marketing team have a departmental meeting and I provide a couple of slides for them with data taken from TaholaCloud, one is based on adjustments and discounts so they can see what they are doing and if its working, the other is from a top line perspective, so that they can see how the sites are performing and who may need some additional marketing assistance. Before TaholaCloud was implemented, that used to take me about a day month to pull it all together, now it probably takes me around 45 seconds and I’ll do some commentary which may take 10 minutes, but the data is already there for me to access….I don’t need to manually get it anymore.
The Marketing team use TaholaCloud to look at specific events in the restaurants, to see which cities are not performing as well as others and therefore make adjustments in the marketing associated with them. Marketing were implementing lots of things daily and TaholaCloud has helped inform their decisions and validate ways of working.
How does TaholaCloud work for you on a daily or weekly basis, what’s different in terms of how you operate, what are you doing now that you might not have been doing previously?
Because we get bonused quarterly, I can look at things like labour, revenue and budget and I’m able to check day by day, week by week. Especially towards the end of the quarter to ensure that we are on or exceeding target. That information is readily available now, whereas before I had to keep a manual record of takings week by week and then add it all up and ensure that accounts were also inputting the right data in - as they were also manually inputting the data, now the right data is there for everyone to see.
Weekly and monthly competitions can be polled on a regular basis to see how everyone is performing, during our weekly meetings everyone gets told where they are and what they need to do. It’s also really useful as it allows us to see which pies have been the most popular, because sometimes there may be the belief, that something is working when it isn’t and then it gets wasted. I can now show the % of pies sold and guide on what we should be making more of. Now that I’m able to share that information directly from TaholaCloud it becomes much easier for us to act upon it.
I don’t think we have got 50% of what’s possible from TaholaCloud yet, there is still so much more we can do, this will change over time as user adoption increases and we take the time to really understand the power of TaholaCloud and how it can be utilised across the whole of the business, to uncover valuable insights that we can act on.
TaholaCloud is often overlooked as being able to add value to General Managers and I believe, that there is the misconception, that it can only add value at Director level. I believe we need to change this view and Kate is clearly testament to that.
Out of all the General Managers at Pieminister only around 75% actually use TaholaCloud and around 45% are using it as much as Kate and she’s probably in the 10% of GMs that use TC on a daily basis.
With this in mind, it's important to note that Kate’s results are better than everyone else this year. Now we cant’t say that’s down to TaholaCloud alone, but it has had a big impact and it also provides the ability for performance to be recognised far more efficiently than before.
Our GMs need more time to analyse the data, ask the questions, look at what they’ve done previously, before the doors open and they get on with their day. Instinctively most operators know their business, but in a board scenario TaholaCloud becomes really compelling, because you have the facts to say these are actually the sites that are performing well and these not so much. Giving you the actionable insight to adapt and change accordingly.
What is TaholaCloud for Hospitality?
TaholaCloud is a SaaS based analytics solution that manages key business drivers, and provides insight and intelligence without the cost and complexity of traditional approaches to Business Analytics solutions. It enables multi-site operators to make faster and more informed decisions in a streamlined and cost effective way, enhancing the turnover and margin at site level.
TaholaCloud for Hospitality has pre-built dashboards that have been ‘designed by operators for operators’, combining multiple data sources to deliver insight and ROI in an intuitive and user friendly way.
If you would like to find out more about TaholaCloud and what it could do for YOU and YOUR business then please get in touch:
Marketing & Communications Director