YO! Sushi is using business analytics software from IBM to help improve sales and streamline operations at its restaurants.

YO! Sushi brought the Japanese "kaiten" sushi bar - which delivers food to customers via a conveyor belt - to the UK in 1997. It now has 68 branches in the UK, Ireland, Portugal and the Middle East.

Using IBM business analytics software YO! Sushi can more effectively monitor sales targets, revenue and customer promotions at its UK stores.

For instance, by identifying best-selling sushi dishes, restaurant managers can place more accurate orders which avoids food waste. YO! Sushi says it can also analyse sales trends for individual types of food to increase the most popular and profitable lines.

The software is also being used to improve customer service during busy times by ensuring the correct numbers of staff are working the right number of hours in its restaurants.

“The IBM system is able to decode complex data into a form that can help forecast sales trends that have a real impact on how YO! Sushi operates,” said Billy Waters, IT Manager at the company.

“More accurate sales projections are able to deliver more visibility of sales in individual stores. This allows us to track guest habits and plan our price and product promotions throughout the year, taking into account quieter periods and peak sales times,” said Waters.

The YO! business analytics system is powered by IBM Cognos business intelligence software, with maintenance provided by IBM business partner Change ++.