Mike Allen is a believer in the “value menu," and not just on his restaurant menuboards. After struggling with a frustrating and costly back-office software system, the Florida operator replaced it with RTIconnect in his Wendy’s restaurants. The value-rich payback, he says, is more accuracy, more information, more convenience—and at a fraction of the price he paid before.
Owner of Allen Properties LLC, Allen switched to RTIconnect by Restaurant Technology Inc (RTI) as the back-office system for his four restaurants in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Jensen Beach, and Sebastian, Florida. Transitioning to a new system can take a few weeks, as software set-up, POS integration, and training are completed before a turnkey implementation.
“In our case, because we were already using a back office program that interfaced to our WAND POS system, RTI was able to install the software, interface with our POS, do the setup, and we went live just days later—all four stores at the same time,” Allen says.
“My old system was awkward to use; I frequently couldn’t figure out what to click to get what I needed. RTIconnect is so simple to use—it’s so user-friendly that we were able to use much of the program before our online training sessions. For us, the transition was quicker than anyone expected.”
The previous system, he says, was cumbersome to navigate and gave him little confidence in the variance numbers reported.
“We’re now able to navigate through the food cost module ourselves, where before we had to contact a representative of our old software company to make those changes and run reports. We had to call to get changes made to our count sheets, our inventory frequency, and the overall way we do our inventory. Now we’re able to go in and run all reports, manage our own users, and make incremental and instant changes to the food count sheet and adapt it to our inventory process.”
Having immediate access to variance and inventory information, he says, has enabled his operation to lower food cost by an additional three-fourths of a percent.
“We believe we now save close to $50,000 a year on our four restaurants,” Allen says. “Before, I had little confidence in our food variance numbers. Now I do. I have immediate access to variance information. If the variance is off, I can drill through (to a detail report) and see exactly where the problem is. I like the ability to make changes and see those changes immediately in my reports. If a manager makes an inventory count adjustment, that change is shown immediately—in seconds, not days. With RTIconnect, the difference is like night and day.
“We have 20 managers, and now I’m able to set up, delete, or modify all my users, where with our old company we had to call a representative and they would get to it sometime later. That was a big thing,” he says, “because if I put a new manager in a store and I wanted him to use the back office software, the other company had to add him. With RTIconnect, I go in and do it myself. In our business we have turnover; we can’t afford the delay.”
Another advantage of the move to RTIconnect, Allen says, is receiving automatic e-mail alerts on sales. RTIconnect alerts can be either scheduled or triggered by the occurrence of designated events. “I would have paid the software fee just for that.”
The cost of RTIconnect, he adds, “is almost half of what I was paying before. And we got more bang for our buck. I’m absolutely pleased. I rate the service excellent, I rate the knowledge of the RTI representatives excellent, and the software’s ease of use excellent. RTIconnect is a good value. At one time I thought my old system was good, but that was before I knew what RTIconnect was capable of doing.”