Do You Know the 3 A’s of Good Back Office Restaurant Reporting?

There are three important attributes of good reporting in any restaurant – and they can be categorized by three words all starting with the letter ‘A’.

  • Accurate
  • Actionable
  • Accessible

Let’s briefly touch on each one:

Accuracy – This might be the most obvious one but it isn’t always a given if you find yourself re-keying data from one system to another.  Also, if you are looking at the same data out of two systems, it always possible (and is frequently the case) that something is entered in the one that didn’t make it into the other thus causing the data to be off.  Restaurant365 helps eliminate this by reducing the number of systems needed to run a restaurant – it’s all in the same database.

Actionable – This has to do with when your people get the data.  Is it a day or two after the end of the period or is it a few weeks?  (heaven forbid it is a few months!)  Reporting becomes less and less useful as time passes.  And in a restaurant, there is a big difference between a day, week, or month.  Restaurant365 polls data from your POS nightly that creates your sales & labor accrual entries for you each day.  Managers enter or import vendor invoices and their stock counts in Restaurant365 at the store level each day.  So reports such as the Weekly Prime Cost report by Location can be generated on the morning after the end of your week!

Accessible – What good is a report or data if the people who need it, can’t get to it.  Restaurant365 puts this powerful back office information in the hands of the store managers.  They are the ones that can impact the restaurant the most.  They are the ones that can do the most with it – as long as they can easily get to it.  It’s about user adoption and ease of use as much as training.   Restaurant365 puts all this info in the hands of the store managers directly.

Morgan Harris  | Co-founder  |  Restaurant365

 

 

 

How Can Restaurant Accounting Software Help My Business?

I found myself in a conversation today with a restaurant professional discussing the merits and benefits of restaurant accounting software over generic accounting software.  The key difference is how it specifically helps restaurants achieve their objectives of:

1.  Protecting assets

2.  Identifying opportunities and trouble

3.  Increasing profitability without lowering customer service

What tool can help the restaurant business owner achieve these?  The answer is restaurant-specific ERP software such as Restaurant365. 

  • Precious assets such as time, inventory, & cash are monitored and controlled tightly
  • Trends, variances, and outliers are displayed clearly in easy to use reports
  • The system does the work of multiple people, thereby reducing administrative overhead 

Take you business to the next level with Restaurant365.

Morgan Harris  |  Co-founder  |  Restaurant365

What is a Restaurant Accounting ‘System’?

I often find myself helping CPA’s explain the value of having a restaurant specific accounting solution to their clients.  Why?  Mostly because QuickBooks is free.  And when compared to that, it’s very difficult to get a restaurant owner to spend money on something he is currently spending nothing on.  So, in an effort to paint the bigger picture, I often reply to my CPA friends in the following way (this is an actual email I sent out this morning to a CPA that is trying to win over a prospect with 3 restaurants):

Dear Jane (not real name),

I understand your prospect is pushing back on the cost of Restaurant365.  When speaking with him next, be sure to dive into the details of how his process works today. Once you add up all the time spent manually doing things that are automated with Restaurant365, it is actually going to save your client money.  Much of the savings comes from not having to re-enter data nor reconcile data from two pieces of software at month end.

Keep in mind that a ‘system’ includes: a process, the people involved (payroll $), and the software they use to complete tasks as part of the process. That entirety is ‘the system’. Once you add up what people are really doing, I am betting that their system today is much more expensive than a system using Restaurant365.

Kind regards,

Morgan

 

Morgan Harris  |  Co-founder  |  Restaurant365

Restaurant365 To Attend Annual Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in Las Vegas

Restaurant365 will be attending the annual Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in Las Vegas next week.  If you will be there, be sure to reach out to us and set up a time to connect.  In looking at the agenda, it is promising to once again be a wonderful conference.  Email sales@restaurant365.net to setup an appointment. 

Morgan Harris  |  Co-founder  |  Restaurant365

3 Reasons a Restuarant CFO Should Be Paying Attention To Cloud ERP

Why should a restaurant CFO be concerned about the deployment method of the software his/her team uses to collect and account for data?  There are 3 main benefits to Cloud ERP Computing that are directly in line with the overall objectives the CFO has responsibility for:

  1. Accurate and Timely Information
  2. Control Over Liquid and Perishable Assets
  3. Administrative Efficiency

A cloud based ERP accounting and operations solution such as Restaurant365 (www.restaurant365software.com) provides organizations with a whole new level of sophistication without added effort.  Having your data in the cloud enables you to gather and distribute information across your entire organization seamlessly.  Here are three quick examples of each of the benefits listed above:

  1. Weekly prime cost reports in the hands of the general managers at the stores enable them to stay within budget as they know how they are doing as the period progresses
  2. On-line manager log books require managers to account for and explain overtime, sales ticket exceptions, and food variances
  3. Nightly POS integration that auto-creates the daily sales journal entry in the General Ledger saves manual labor time

Learn more about how Restaurant365 provides multi-unit restaurant businesses with timely information, control over assets, and administrative efficiency at www.restaurant365software.com.

Morgan Harris |  Co-founder  |  Restaurant365  

Noticeable Excitement Surrounding Restaurant ERP

We are excited about the industry right now – based on the calls we are getting, it seems like there are an increasing number of groups wanting to get serious about or invest in ERP software for their restaurant business.  It’s a good sign when folks have time to think about that aspect of their business. It usually means they are seeing growth or planning for it.

It is exciting to see our customers spend less time on administration and more time on strategic endeavors.   Restaurant365 makes this possible through a series of integration points to your POS solutions, banks, and vendors.  Don’t get left behind on this wave of productivity and focus in the restaurant industry.  Get automated with Restaurant365. 

Morgan Harris  |  Co-founder  |  Restaurant365

Restaurant365 Visits SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza in Orange, CA

Our team stopped by our local SPIN Neapolitan Pizza location in Orange, CA today for lunch.  It was excellent.  The service was fast and friendly and I was definitely impressed with the atmosphere.  The server/cashier helped us navigate the menu and his recommendations were spot on.  I really like the service model, which is a blend of fast casual and full service.  Similar to the way our local Nordstrom Café does it.  You walk up and immediately place your order as if it were a fast casual concept but then you are treated to full service from that point on.  I like it because generally I don’t have much time for lunch and I like to get my food ordered as quickly as possible, but I like having a waiter make sure I am taken care of while I wait.  It’s the best of both worlds and I am willing to tip for it.

Restaurant365 Visits SPIN Neapolitan Pizza

 

 

 

 

 

Morgan Harris  |  Co-founder  |  Restaurant365

Restaurant Purchasing Logs Help Manage Cash Flow

Food & beverage inventory is cash on your shelves.  It’s necessary throughout the month to convert your cash into inventory so that your cooks have what they need to create the menu item you are selling to your customers.  But the ‘conversion rate’ (i.e. purchasing food) needs to be controlled tightly so as to minimize theft, waste, and spoilage that can occur from having too much food on the shelf.  Also, you can’t pay your bills with food & beverage inventory, so you need to keep your assets in cash as much as you can.  What is a simple method of controlling this?  Use purchasing logs. 

When your kitchen managers purchase food, they need to keep the spend during the week under an allotted amount (i.e. 33% of Net Sales).   If they track this by day, they are likely to hit their weekly targets.  If they keep it within budget for the week(s), they will be no surprises at period end.

Of course you won’t know your actual food usage until you count your inventory at period end but with purchasing logs, you give your managers a very effective way to control the ‘conversion rate’ of cash into food & beverage inventory.  With Restaurant365, the managers simply enter their food invoices directly into the Restaurant365 system.  By doing so, the system gives them a Purchasing Log as a % of their budget by day and week.  It also saves the accounting team the step of having to enter in the invoices as the corporate level.

Restuarant365 is not only a time saver but a cash flow manager.

Morgan Harris  |  Co-founder  |  Restaurant365

 

3 Key Take-Aways From Attending The 2013 NRA Show in Chicago

We attended the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago this year.  For those who didn’t make the trip this year, I thought I would share the top three takeaways from attending.

  1. There is no substitute for a relationship
  2. Vendors are doing everything they can to help owners/operators
  3. The industry is undergoing serious change

I met and/or reconnected with a number of unbelievable people during the show.  The value of my new friendships is immeasurable.  I am talking about prospects, partners, customers, industry experts, and even competitors.  You just can’t overstate the importance of connecting with someone in person.

There were an insane number of vendors/suppliers who are doing everything they can to make running a restaurant more profitable, cleaner, easier, yummier, etc.  They all are trying to make the life of a restaurant owner/operator better.  It’s an incredible resource that every restaurateur should take advantage of.

I can’t believe the size and scope of the changes hitting the industry.  Healthcare reform, employee litigation, and technology are the big three that come to mind.  It really is incredible.  I felt good that our solution, Restaurant365 was making progress in helping keep our customers ahead of these changes.

For us here at Restaurant365, it was wonderful to have participated in such a great event.  We will be back next year for sure and highly recommend that if you are in the industry, you should be attending too.  Come meet us there!

Morgan Harris |  Co-Founder  |  Restaurant365

Top 3 Ways Software Is Better Than a Person – For Restaurants

The most powerful force in the world is delegation.  It is what enables ideas to grow into large enterprises that cover the globe and serve millions of people.  Whether you own/run 3 restaurant locations or 300+, your ability to succeed is dependent on your ability to delegate.  You can’t do it all.  So you have three choices: delegate tasks to a person, a machine, or a combination of the two.   You will need to consider a number of things when determining which delegation method is best for you, including cost, customer experience, mission statement, capabilities of current staff, pros and cons of people and pros and cons of machines etc.

Much of the analysis will depend on the owner’s style, budget, and staff.  To help with your analysis here are three ways in which a machine can be better than a person.

  1. Consistency
  2. Timeliness
  3. Cost

You can make the argument either way on each of these depending upon the situation but let’s be clear about the obvious elements of each.

  • Consistency – Machines/software generally don’t think.  It does the same thing over and over again and once a system is dialed in, it never varies.  It also never gets sick or takes a vacation.  There may be the occasional system outage but comparing this to the amount of time a human has outages, it isn’t even close.
  • Timeliness – Machines/software can serve up and share information instantly.  There is no need to wait for someone to gather the data, send it, etc.  When a system contains data, it is instantly available to all other users of the system.  Machines/software also can process and search large amounts of information quickly and accurately.  Some of the best humans can do crazy math and can recall every detail from years ago but nothing like a machine/software.
  • Cost – When you add up the real cost of a person v. a machine/software, there is no question that in most cases the technology is less expensive.  Remember one thing, the makers of machines/software take into account the ROI benefits before they go to the trouble of making the machines/software.  If it didn’t pencil out, you would not see be seeing it in the marketplace to begin with.  Remember when doing this calculation, include the cost of taxes, insurance, training, and general turn-over of people.  The additional costs of employing someone above their stated salary or wage is commonly referred to as ‘burden’ and when factored in, helps present the true facts of your analysis.

These are a few of the most important factors when deciding to delegate a task to either a machine/software, a person, or both.  For multi-unit restaurant operators, they need to regularly review their processes to ensure that the delegation choice they made is providing the best results for the desired outcome.   Restaurant365 is designed to help multi-unit restaurant owners work through and reduce the spend on human labor but also consolidate the spend on machines/software.  You could say it’s a win/win/win.

Morgan Harris  |  Co-founder  |  Restaurant365