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How to Help Unlock Profitability with Restaurant PMix Reports

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Justin GuinnAuthor

Successful restaurant management is about more than just serving delicious food and providing excellent customer service. 

To truly thrive in a saturated market, restaurant owners and operators need to stay on top of their financials and make data-driven decisions that will drive profitability. One invaluable tool in this process is the product mix report, or PMix report.

Leveraging individual menu items sales data provided by PMix reports can help restaurant operators make informed decisions about menu analysis, pricing strategies, cost control, and successful food promotions, ultimately driving increased profitability for your business.


Restaurant Operator Insights Report

See insights from real restaurant operators which can help you benchmark your current and planned restaurant technology stack against your peers as we head into 2024 and beyond.


Defining and exploring the importance of PMix reports

Restaurant PMix reports provide valuable insights that can help restaurant operators make informed decisions about their menu and pricing strategies. 

A restaurant PMix essentially offers a comprehensive sales report of individual menu item performance over a given time period. They can offer insights into the dishes that your customers love and those that may not be resonating with them — showcasing customer preferences and allowing operators to access and optimize their sales mix and profitability. 

When it comes to PMix reports, it is important to ensure that your point-of-sale (POS) system provides adequate support for generating these reports.

Speak with your POS provider to ensure that your system can generate actionable PMix reports that meet your specific needs and provide the necessary insights to drive profitability. Look for features such as item performance analysis, inventory management integrations, and food cost and profitability measures to ensure that you have access to the most valuable data for your restaurant.

Utilizing PMix reports for menu analysis

One of the most powerful ways to unlock profitability with PMix reports is by utilizing them for restaurant menu engineering.

These menu mix reports provide valuable insights into the performance of individual menu items over a given time frame, allowing you to make data-driven decisions about your offerings. 

Operators can further enhance the effectiveness of this analysis by incorporating a common menu mix matrix classification that features Plow Horses, Stars, Dogs, and Puzzles. This restaurant reporting can help visualize a more comprehensive understanding of the performance of individual popular items on the menu based on high profit, quantity sold, and more.

Here’s a breakdown of that report.

Plow horses

Plow Horses represent the menu items that are consistently popular and contribute significantly to overall sales. These are the tried and true favorites that customers consistently order. PMix reports can help identify these top performers, allowing you to prioritize resource allocation to maintain their quality and consistency. Additionally, by understanding which items fall into this category, you can ensure that their availability is consistent to meet customer demand.


Stars are menu items that not only enjoy popularity among customers but are also highly profitable. These items have a high contribution margin, meaning they provide a substantial profit compared to their cost. By using PMix reports, you can identify the star items that are leading to increased revenue and focus on optimizing their promotion and presentation to attract more customers and further enhance profitability.


Dogs are menu items with low demand and minimal profitability. They can be identified through PMix reports as items that do not resonate well with customers. By analyzing this data, you can evaluate the viability of these items and consider necessary improvements or potentially remove them from the menu altogether. Streamlining and decluttering the menu can help optimize operations and maximize profitability.


Puzzles represent menu items with high demand but low profitability. These items may be popular due to their lower price points but have lower profit margins for various reasons, such as high ingredient costs or excessive preparation time. With PMix reports, you can recognize these puzzle items and assess their financial impact. This information can guide you in making strategic adjustments, such as increasing prices or suggesting more profitable alternatives to customers.

This framework enables data-driven decision-making for menu optimization, allowing you to remove underperforming items, amplify popular dishes, and ultimately enhance customer satisfaction and drive profitability.

Harmonizing PMix reports with plate costs to measure profitability

While PMix reports provide valuable insights into menu performance, it is also essential to conduct profitability analysis to determine which items are truly contributing to the bottom line. By combining PMix reports with plate costs calculations, you can gain a granular understanding of the profitability of each menu item.

Plate costs refer to the cost of ingredients and labor required to produce a specific dish. By analyzing plate costs alongside the data provided by PMix reports, you can identify the true profitability of each item on your menu. 

This analysis allows you to make informed decisions about restaurant cost control measures or menu adjustments that can further enhance profitability. 

By understanding which items are high-performing and contribute the most to your revenue, you can streamline your menu and increase overall profitability.

Optimizing menu pricing strategies with PMix reports

Strategic menu pricing is a critical aspect of restaurant profitability, and PMix reports play a crucial role in guiding these strategies. 

By analyzing the data provided by PMix reports, you can gain insights into price elasticity – how sensitive customers are to changes in pricing. This knowledge allows you to optimize your menu pricing for increased revenue and profitability.

Menu engineering is another valuable concept that can be enhanced through PMix reports. By identifying high-performing menu items through these reports, you can strategically adjust prices to maximize their profitability. 

Additionally, PMix reports can help you identify items that have the potential to be more profitable with price adjustments. 

By leveraging the insights provided by PMix reports, you can set effective prices that balance customer satisfaction and profitability, ultimately driving increased revenue.

Leveraging PMix reports to identify successful food promotion ideas

Promotions and specials are an effective way to help increase restaurant sales and boost profitability. And PMix reports can provide invaluable data-driven insights to help you plan and execute successful promotions. 

Crafting compelling promotions requires a deep understanding of your menu's performance and customer preferences. With PMix reports, you can leverage this knowledge to create promotions that highlight your most profitable dishes or strategically introduce new items. 

The data insights from these reports enable you to make informed decisions about which items to promote, how to price them, and when to offer them to drive the highest profitability.

Streamlining restaurant labor costs with insights from PMix report

If you’re adopting a new restaurant POS system with PMix reports, consider whether there’s an employee breakdown function. 

Besides looking at sales per labor hour (SPLH) — a common restaurant labor cost calculation — operators can use in-depth restaurant PMix reporting to look at top and bottom staff members in terms of overall sales. This look should be able to highlight the food, drink, and modifiers they were moving, but then also break those sales down into a profitability measure. 

Such staff member profit attribution reports can unlock some interesting data points. 

For example, some of the "bottom" performers in terms of total sales volume may actually be more profitable sellers in the sense that they pushed high margin items. While the SPLH metric was lower for those “bottom” performers in this scenario, they can still contribute the same amount of profitability.

Irrelevance of the five elements of product mix for restaurant PMix reporting

When discussing the concept of the product mix, it's important to understand that the traditional five elements — product, price, place, promotion, and people — are not entirely applicable to your restaurant PMix. 

These elements certainly hold value in other industries, but the unique nature of the dining experience necessitates an alternative approach.

  1. Product: In a traditional sense, the product refers to the physical or tangible items a business offers. However, in the restaurant industry, the "product" goes beyond just the food. It encompasses the entire dining experience, encompassing factors such as ambiance, service, and presentation. The focus shifts from individual items to the holistic experience provided to customers.

  2. Price: While price is a critical factor when considering the affordability and value for customers, it's not simply about the cost of the food. Restaurants must take into account factors such as perceived value, menu pricing strategies, and competitive positioning. Price becomes more fluid, influenced by factors like supply and demand, ingredient costs, and desired profit margins.

  3. Place: The concept of place traditionally refers to the distribution channels or physical location where products are sold. In the restaurant industry, the "place" is the restaurant establishment itself and its accessibility to customers. Restaurants need to carefully select their location, considering factors such as convenience, target market, and competition.

  4. Promotion: Marketing and promotion play a vital role in any business, but the methods used in a restaurant context differ from other industries. Restaurants rely heavily on word-of-mouth, online reviews, social media presence, and creating a captivating brand image. The emphasis is on fostering a positive reputation and generating buzz through creating exceptional dining experiences.

  5. People: People are a significant aspect of any business, but they take on a different role in the restaurant industry. In this context, "people" extends beyond just customers, but also includes the staff who deliver the dining experience. The focus is on training and empowering employees to deliver exceptional service and foster lasting connections with guests.

While the traditional product mix elements provide a framework for understanding marketing principles, the nuances of the restaurant industry require a more tailored approach. 

Recognizing the unique aspects of the dining experience allows restaurants to create effective strategies that cater to the specific needs of their customers and differentiate themselves in a highly competitive market.


Restaurant Operator Insights Report

See insights from real restaurant operators which can help you benchmark your current and planned restaurant technology stack against your peers as we head into 2024 and beyond.


Let PMix help you find the right mix for sustained profits

In today's competitive restaurant industry, unlocking profitability requires more than just great food and service. 

Harnessing the power of PMix reports can help restaurant owners and operators make more informed decisions about their menu, pricing, and promotional strategies. 

By leveraging the information provided by PMix reports, you can unlock hidden profit potential, gain a competitive edge, and drive increased profitability for your restaurant business. Embrace the power of data and PMix reports to unlock the true profitability of your restaurant.

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