“If you can’t track it, you can’t manage it,” says Denny Dyer, Brooklyn Bagels, Muskegon, Mich. He and his son, Trevor, own two locations (the second opened in January) and have licensed a third.
|Denny Dyer spent a month in Italy researching the design of his newest store in Muskegon, Mich.|
The 100 percent retail bakeries offer 32 varieties of bagels, 30 different muffins, coffeecakes, pastries, brownies and cookies, as well as cappuccino, latte, mocha and 11 types of coffee daily. “We do a couple hundred drinks a day at each store,” Dyer says. “That’s what really got me going on the POS system.”
Each location produces about 1,000 bagels a night, and Dyer’s goal is to only have 75 to 100 left at the end of the day. “We don’t sell any day-old products. We are looking for the customer that wants quality and is willing to pay for it. That’s how we built our business,” he says.
With a bagel/coffee shop, customers have almost limitless options for customization, with the cream cheese or butter on the bagels and syrups for the coffee. With the bakery’s POS system, the sales person can key in any combination of products, even the number of syrups added to a coffee, and the register is programmed with every price so the customer is actually paying for the customization. “Any combination the customer can dream up, it will ring up,” Dyer adds.
He has two full-time salespeople on the registers, and the system prompts the operator for particulars. For example, when a customer orders a cappuccino, the employee has to key in what size, what type of milk, what flavorings and even what type of whipped cream. Once an order is keyed in, it is either sent to the barista at the coffee bar or over to the bakery counter, where other staff members fill the orders. “We have people to take the order and others to fill the order because then you don’t have to reclean your hands,” Dyer says.
He has had the POS system in place for 2 ½ years, after spending one year building it. “I bought a generic POS system, and I’m not a computer geek, but I spent a year tweaking it the way I wanted it,” he says. “We still tweak it.”
The system allows the bakery to track all sales down to the minute. Dyer can use the system to see what his busiest hours are, what products are selling the most, and even what products are selling best at which hour. “You can track any button that you push. It not only tracks sales, but also employee time cards and payroll.”
POS and cameras work hand-in-hand
Along with the POS system, Dyer installed cameras throughout the bakeries. “We use our POS and camera systems hand-in-hand, and this really does wonders,” he says. The cameras allow him to watch what is happening at any time in the bakery, no matter where he is. He recently spent a month in Italy doing research for the new location, and he was able to keep tabs on what was happening in the bakery. Anywhere a wireless connection is available, he can tune into his bakery.
“Everyone says that cameras are great for stealing, which it does well for theft, but it does more for daily operations and labor costs. You can see who’s working and who isn’t; who’s productive and who’s not,” Dyer notes.
The two locations’ 35 employees are each given a list of duties at the start of their shifts, and they don’t leave until their tasks are completed. The POS system does not allow them to punch in early. Dyer has timed all tasks, even down to how long it takes to place bagels on a tray, so employees are only given duties they can accomplish during their shifts.
The tapes are reviewed every day to ensure that employees are staying on task. “If something is wrong, we talk to them about it to see what the problem is,” Dyer says. “Nine times out of 10, it’s our fault because we didn’t do our job. We didn’t train them properly, or we didn’t tell them the quickest way.”
Like most bakeries, labor and food costs are Brooklyn Bagels two biggest expenses. With the combination of the POS and camera systems, Dyer is able to keep an eagle eye on his bakeries to keep costs in check.