VRG Views: Data

Integrating data use can seem like an enormous mountain to climb, especially for a company with a history of going with its gut. At VRG, we understand the pain of that transition -with over 50 years of experience under our belt, moving to a business model utilizing more data driven decision-making has been a long process according to Michele Scotto, Vice President of Corporate Development, and Ryan Juliano, Senior Business Analyst. “I don’t want it to seem like we weren’t using data in the past,” Scotto says, “we were, but today, we have the data and we [also] know how to slice it and dice it. We have the systems…and so, while a decision may take a bit longer to come to now than in the past, we can [be certain] on what we’re doing because we’ve tested it and the data has proven we’re moving in the right direction.” Juliano explained that in the past, VRG was using different metrics throughout various stores, but has made a major shift:We’ve moved into more of an enterprise system…now we can look at things from the top down… [which is] more efficient, given our size.”

Though guiding from example with data as a background metric has been successful for VRG in the past, a shift in the technological landscape has changed pace of data collection and allowed information to be more readily available. This pushed our Corporate Development team to move forward with an overhaul in processes. According to Juliano, “[VRG] now has processes in place from start to finish…come up with the question, design a test around that question, collect the data, and observe. We’re able to find things we never would have known before…and not only do we hopefully get to the answer we were looking for initially, but…we also get information we can use in the future, to design further tests and make future choices.”

What does this all mean? A tangible example comes in the form of VRG’s safety program, which will be featured here on our site, as well as on LinkedIn, in April. Juliano explains, “When we were looking at stores, [it had been some time] since we had looked at processes that could increase efficiency and decrease injury. We found [the approximate cost] of a cut in the kitchen from looking at the data we’d collected and were able to procure a piece of equipment to aid in that process, which cost about half the price [of a cut]. So, not only are our restaurants safer, but the equipment pays for itself if we decrease injury by that one cut per store.” Overall, data has been an incredibly useful, company-changing tool for VRG – from helping with cutting back on injury, to understanding our Guests and their buying behaviors -- and will continue to be a huge player in the framework of our organization.