Lebkov & Sons
Lebkov & Sons is a true family business. Grardie Akkerhuis opened the first branch in Leiden in 2002, and you can now enjoy their homemade, fresh and honest products at seven spots throughout the Randstad area. As it turned out, entrepreneurial spirit runs in the family, with Eva joining the company her father started before graduating secondary school. While Grardie has his eyes firmly trained on the big picture, Eva loves numbers. She uses data to improve the company’s performance and wants to inspire other business owners to do the same. We asked her: Why is it so important to be data-driven?
More efficient procurement, less waste
"Data give you so many starting points to take your business to the next level in a targeted way," Eva begins. “It lets us track exactly how many tuna salad sandwiches we sold at each branch on any given day and in any given time slot. Based on that information, I can calculate exactly how many ingredients we need to buy for each branch. Since we’ve adopted this approach, we’ve been able to procure raw materials a lot more efficiently. It has made a massive difference, especially because we work with lots of fresh, perishable products. Moreover, we’ve cut down on waste by 75%, in line with our goal to keep our footprint as small as possible.”
What can different branches learn from each other?
“By comparing our different branches, we can easily zoom in on their results. What is the average turnover per branch? How is the turnover spread across the various days of the week and hours of the day? What is the average turnover per order, what are the biggest sellers in every branch and how can we explain and learn from any differences and similarities?"
Forecasting and menu optimalisation
"We also use data to optimise our menu. Reporting and analysis tools like booq BI provide us with actionable insight into what percentage of total turnover comes from a particular category and, for example, insight into the 10 most valuable items. The next step is to see whether we’re making a good margin on those items, and if it turns out that we’re not, it’s important to do something about it.
We always look closely at forecasts before deciding to expand the menu. We’ll always offer a new sandwich as our ‘sandwich of the week’ first. If the data show that it’s popular, we’ll add it to our standard menu. We’re constantly looking to strike the right balance between sales and margin and optimising our menu."
Useful info for future branches
"We can even use the information on the performance and revenue breakdown of our various branches to determine where to open our next branch and what type of branch it should be. After all, not all our branches are the same. One of them is focussed on to-go customers, while the other is geared towards customers who want to eat in. So when we see that 50% of turnover generated by the Utrecht branch comes from coffee, we can conclude that we’d be able to make do with less space and a smaller menu if we were to open a similar branch, helping to reduce costs and increase profitability.”
“Insight into sales figures serves more practical purposes, too. Knowing that we sell an average of 18 tuna sandwiches in Leiden on Wednesdays, 90% of which are sold between 12:00 and 14:00, tells us exactly when to prepare them. Not only does it mean that guests won’t have to wait, it also ensures that our products are as a fresh as can be.”
Scheduling the right number of employees
"And because I know how sales and crowds fluctuate throughout the week, I can also schedule the right number of people at all times. If I see that the total number of sales is increasing, it tells me to schedule more people to provide the right level of service, quality and speed. Especially when the weather forecast is good!”
Tracking actual results
"A good Business Intelligence tool like booq BI makes it easier to see the effect of promos. When we promote certain juices, booq BI makes the outcome as clear as day, helping us determine whether a discount campaign for UberEats or Deliveroo actually pays off."
What is your advice for other business owners who are looking to become more data-driven?
"Keep it manageable! Start off by taking a close look at your daily sales. Are you selling products with a good margin, or could a menu change be worthwile? How much stock do you really need? Can you make your procurement process smarter? These findings make targeted important optimisations possible, paving the way for future improvements.
Because I’m fascinated by data, I started making Excel files to track our results and calculate exactly what we needed in each branch. Thanks to booq BI, it now takes less time to spot trends in the data and act on them. It helps us make decisions based on facts rather than assumptions - and slow and steady wins the race.”
About Eva Akkerhuis
Eva loves numbers and the human brain. After specialising in Economics and Society at secondary school and graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Pedagogical Sciences, she opted for a Master’s degree in Brain & Cognition in Society, which included a bit of coding. She harnesses her knowledge and the data at her disposal to make Lebkov & Sons more efficient, sustainable and profitable. "The good thing about booq BI is how adaptive it is. When I zoom in on daily turnover, all the graphs and tables are synced immediately, making it easier to find the right info.”
About booq BI
Lebkov & Sons uses booq BI for data-driven management. booq BI is the Business Intelligence tool of the booq Platform. booq BI presents all data logged in booq POS in tiles with clear graphs, diagrams and trend lines. booq BI has several standard dashboards, each showing information on periods, branches, products and employees. Want to dive in even deeper? Simply zoom in and watch all the other tiles sync up accordingly. Every booq user gets free access to booq BI Basic.