Foodbuy Canada stands unwavering in its objective to drive the operational success of its members through strategic partnerships with expert service providers. Among these is Benchmark Sixty, a business with transformative potential for Foodbuy members. Through Foodbuy, you can harness the power of revolutionary and proven approaches to gain deep insight into your business to ensure long-term success. 

The Crucial Role of Benchmark Sixty

The foodservice industry faces a mountain of challenges with high labour and operating costs, increasing cost of raw materials, rent and utilities, all contributing to financial strain. Guests continue to demand impeccable service and consistent experiences. This, in turn, is placing immense pressure on staff and the need for staff training and the on-going challenge of staff retention. 

Jim Taylor, the visionary Founder and CEO of Benchmark Sixty, recognizes the pressure facing operators and is leading a mission to reshape the foodservice industry’s narrative. He says, “Workload management is an essential element that every restaurant business must focus on. Getting it right is a critical factor in achieving business success.”

Guiding the Industry Forward

At its core, Benchmark Sixty functions as a consultancy powerhouse with solutions tailored to the needs of restaurants and foodservice enterprises. The company is committed to bolstering profit margins by understanding data, implementing benchmarks, and using metrics to improve productivity. Beyond this, it helps organizations to look at their business from a different perspective, including how to mitigate stress and support employee well-being at work. Jim Taylor, Founder and CEO of Benchmark Sixty elaborates, “We offer real time recommendations to restaurants on how they can fast-track growth and improvement.”

A Progressive Shift

Distinctive in its approach, Benchmark Sixty employs a holistic methodology that analyzes various data inputs to swiftly spot opportunities and pathways for optimization. It is the only service provider in the hospitality space that uses a “growth strategy” mentality. The company goes beyond the norm of labour cost reduction or cutting corners to meet percentages. Instead, it uses a proprietary framework grounded in productivity and output enhancement.

Explaining how workload management can help restaurants, Jim highlights the three phases when it comes to workload management:

  • In the first phase, focus on two metrics: the ratio of Covers vs. Employee hours and Guest spending. Typically, as the ratio score increases, guest spending decreases.
  • In the second phase, analyze specific days to understand the relationship between cover counts and employee hours, providing direction.
  • The third phase, akin to sports leagues’ “load management,” safeguards your most valuable assets (your staff) from burnout.

Elevating success via data-driven insights

Taylor adds, “By conducting a data-immersive analysis of a business’ performance, Benchmark Sixty adeptly gauges overall business productivity and employee workload, thereby pinpointing precise areas for refinement. The bedrock of our strategies rests upon data-backed insights, which crucially inform future decision-making.”

Taylor further illustrates, “Harnessing data to quantify workload supports us in providing operators with necessary insights. For instance, we can pinpoint areas with excessive workloads and attribute them to specific issues. When workload surpasses a defined threshold, two consistent outcomes emerge; a decline in customer spending (unhappy customers) and/or an escalation in turnover, all intensifying profit complexities. Mastering workload measurement and its impact on your team’s well-being, guest experience, and business model can keep your restaurant ahead of the curve.”

Illustrating through a Case Study

Taylor provides a concrete example of their operational prowess, “We worked with an eight-unit quick-service establishment who primarily focuses on takeout with some limited in-house dining. We wanted to help them understand why they were experiencing declining profits. By systematically breaking down their data and analysing factors like spending and wages, we identified the underlying issue behind their profit decline. Even though there hadn’t been an official company-wide decision to raise wages, the average wage continued to rise across the board.

Collaborating closely with the general managers, Benchmark Sixty uncovered a common trend. Managers were scheduling overtime to help their staff cope with rising expenses. This  inadvertently drove up the total company’s average wage. Previously, the business measured labour cost percentage without a deep understanding of the impact to the bottom line. We guided them in recalibrating their wage structure, rethinking hourly scheduling, along with other adjustments. The result? An annual savings of a staggering quarter-million dollars.”

Sustained Engagement, Lasting Transformation

Benchmark Sixty engages with its clients on a weekly basis, actively analysing data, guiding them in measurement techniques, and providing metrics. This commitment underscores their dedication to sustainable transformation and continuous growth.

Empowering Excellence through Collaborative Innovation

By harnessing the innovative solutions and specialized knowledge of a host of partners like Benchmark Sixty, Foodbuy Canada empowers its members with the tools and insights needed to streamline processes, reduce costs, and ultimately achieve higher levels of operational excellence. 

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