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Upserve, a provider of top restaurant POS, payments and analytics software, has released its inaugural restaurant industry report. The results include new, and often surprising, findings on hot-button labor issues like employee turnover and tipping, as well as data-driven food trend predictions for 2018.

This industry report is one of the only of its kind to be informed by restaurant big data, not simply survey responses. The findings are the result of an analysis of data pulled from thousands of restaurants and millions of transactions across the U.S.

Most importantly, these data (assigned individual Upserve Performance (UP) Scores) will help drive actionable insights for restaurateurs and their staff.

Here’s a taste of Upserve’s unique insights:

  • Menu Trends: Upserve conducted an analysis of 29 menu items predicted to be hot (from charcoal to poke), and charted their sales performance between 2015 and 2017 to help guide restaurateurs on what food trends are solid bets to add to their menus in 2018, and what can be ignored. An early winner? It looks like 2018 may be the year of the jackfruit. This tree-borne fruit billed as a “healthy and sustainable vegan meat replacement,” saw a 131 percent growth in popularity in 2017.

  • Labor Trends: Employee turnover is a constant concern for any small business; in the restaurant industry, it is like a revolving door. Upserve’s insights from Q3 of 2017 suggest ways to help restaurant owners manage this. The highest turnover was among roles like counter service/cashiers, and, it turns out, where in the country a restaurant is located can have a significant impact staff retention, too.


  • Tipping Trends: Aiming for a 40-minute table turnover time may help increase total revenue and tips. Servers can expect the highest tip from diners at this point, as the average starts tapering off the longer they stay at the table.


This industry report is one of the only of its kind to be informed by restaurant big data, not simply survey responses.


  • Loyalty Programs: Loyalty programs will continue to increase in importance. 57% of consumers are more likely to visit a restaurant that offers some type of a loyalty program.

The full report is available for download here.

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When she's not debating with her young sons about which Star Wars character is the best one, Carol Lin is likely to be ordering a Lychee martini and spicy tuna roll at her neighborhood sushi joint. She loves controversial (but delicious) foods like foie gras and haggis, and believes there’s few problems that a conversation over buffalo wings and cold beer can’t solve.
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