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Keith Egyed has been in the restaurant business his whole life. After working for the Burger King Corporation as a franchise manager for the Washington, D.C./Pennsylvania area, Egyed joined the Patterson-Erie Corporation as an operating partner.
Recently, Egyed and his team started searching for a new back-office solution with an effective sales reporting feature as their top priority. When they came across RTIconnect, they found what they were looking for and more. “RTIconnect has many, many more benefits for us than the sales information,” says Egyed. “RTI has a very good understanding of the restaurant industry overall and what we are trying to do.”
For Patterson-Erie and its 33 restaurants, transitioning to a new back-office could be a daunting task—but they reported a seamless transition. “The greatest part is that RTI was flexible,” Egyed says. “We wanted to walk before we ran, so we went from one restaurant to one district and at that point we said, ‘This is what we need; this has everything in it.’” The rest of the company converted to RTIconnect within a month.
In an industry that depends on small margins for success, efficiency is king. And in RTIconnect, Patterson-Erie has found “endless efficiencies,” Egyed says. He and his team have gained efficiency in labor scheduling, food cost management, reporting functions, and more. The office, Egyed adds, does not have to wait on restaurants to send information. “We can look at the information simultaneously, so I’m on the phone with a district manager and we’re looking at the day’s activity together.”
And not only is the information faster, it’s also accurate. “We’re looking at real-time data, and it has added credibility to our reports,” Egyed says. This speed, combined with accuracy, breeds efficiency. For example, after the inventory is completed, Egyed can view the complete numbers right away. “I can look at the numbers from my office at home, whether it’s a Sunday or a Monday.” This allows Egyed and his team to address problems immediately, rather “than waiting for it to take two or three days to find and understand and correct it.”
The efficiencies gained through RTIconnect have impacted the entire company, from the restaurants to the marketing department. At the restaurant level, eInvoices save managers time by automatically retrieving an electronic copy of their major food invoices. RTIconnect then verifies that all items on the invoice match the vendor’s order guide.
For Karla Mazza, marketing director for Patterson-Erie, the custom reports provide the flexibility needed to get the best information. Reports can be created within minutes, Egyed says, and can be as broad as a district perspective or as focused as a single product mix item. “We can create those reports individually and you really have more data than you know what to do with. You have everything at your fingertips.”