Cogent to Host Restaurant Executive Event… Right Business! Right People! Right Direction!

Let me guess… You’re swimming in data, but…

  • You don’t know which managers are helping you or hurting you… or, more importantly, which ones to hang on to
  • You have to wait until weeks after the close of a month to know your comparable food, alcohol, labor, and unit traffic numbers
  • You are struggling to identify patterns between the above comparables and other numbers in your business

And, for restaurant executives, the pressure is not just within, but there are market pressures that are worth considering as you chart your course and make decisions. At the People Report/Black Box Intelligence Best Practices Conference for the restaurant industry in November of 2011, market research showed that…

  • Year over year same store restaurant sales are flat.
  • Year over year sames store restaurant traffic is down 3%.
  • Management and hourly costs are increasing.

In Cogent Company’s experience, these same executives who are awash in data, are struggling to make use of that data in a way that impacts day-to-day operations. Cogent Company has been evaluating solutions to help restaurant industry finance, HR, marketing, and operations executives, and on Thursday, March 22nd, Cogent will gather a group of restaurant executives together to demonstrate a solution that highlights several of these innovations. These innovations are focused on helping restaurant executives use analytics to compete in a new and different way.

We are thrilled to have Bill Schaffler joining us for this March 22nd session. Bill Schaffler, CFO/CAO of People Report and CFO/COO of Black Box Intelligence, will be speaking on restaurant industry trends in the first quarter of 2012. Recognized by the industry as savvy and trusted research partners, People Report’s HR-focused research and Black Box Intelligence’s financial research have evolved throughout a period of increasingly competitive business cycles to provide the information, insight, and best practices that its member firms need to grow and thrive. “We’ve enjoyed our relationship with People Report and Black Box Intelligence over the last few years. The innovation they have driven into restaurant analytics is changing the way executives think about their businesses,” said Marc Hoppers, co-founder, President, and CEO of Cogent Company. “Bill and his teams have earned unsurpassed recognition as experts in restaurant operations and finance.”

The event will be from 11:00am to 1:00pm at the Tower Club in Dallas, TX, atop Thanksgiving Tower at 1601 Elm Street, Dallas, TX 75201. The following will be the agenda for the session:

  • 11:00a to 11:45a… Networking and Lunch
  • 11:45a to 12:00p… Welcome and Introduction
  • 12:oop to 12:15p… Bill Schaffler, People Report/Black Box Intelligence Restaurant Industry Update
  • 12:15p to 12:45p… Cogent Analytics Solution Overview
  • 12:45p to 1:00p… Q&A and Discussion

The solution demonstration will highlight an innovative approach to data analysis and visualization using data from a fictional restaurant, The Sandlot. The Sandlot faces many of the same challenges that restaurant, retail, and hospitality executives face… lots of data in which to find meaning. In The Sandlot, you will see how we’ve attacked the problem by creating a solution that allows an executive or operator to not just drill down through the data but ask questions across the data, as well as to compare itself against industry benchmarks. “The solution we’ve created is not one that is prescriptive in terms of what it tells you… of course, you could use it like that,” said Eric Lakey, Cogent Company Vice President and leader of its Advisory Services Practice. “We believe that the best analytical solutions are ones that you can ask questions of and gain new insights in the answers.” Cogent Company’s innovative solution is built on a SQL Server database that sits in Microsoft’s Azure cloud solution. For its analytical and visualization horsepower, Cogent Company’s solution is built on QlikView, also running in Microsoft’s Azure cloud.

While this session is intended as a deep dive into the analytics that might help a restaurant operator improve insights into their own business, the overall analytical approach, the technology platform, the integration of a big data analysis, and the visualizations will intrigue executives from any industry. While there will be obvious benefits for the technology executive, this session will be heavily tilted toward the business executive.

Space is very limited for this exclusive event. For more information on the event or to arrange a discussion of this innovative solution, contact Memory Bobbitt at