Amid dining room closures, supply disruptions, and labor shortages caused and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants found the best way to survive—and thrive—is to always prepare for the unexpected.
“Events like COVID require restaurants to be able to pivot,” says Paul Fox-Reeks, vice president of product at SynergySuite. “Bottom lines in this industry are so tiny that a single decision can have a major impact. Being able to adapt, accurately forecast, and make data-driven decisions when these challenges arise is critical.”
Take labor, for example. The rise of strict overtime, scheduling, and break laws at the state and local levels made it difficult for brands to manage compliance, particularly for multi-unit operators with operations spanning state lines. Additionally, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, hiring and retaining employees was one of the biggest challenges in foodservice. Meanwhile, the supply chain has caused just as many headaches for operators in recent years.
“Not only is it difficult to recruit workers, but labor is forever changing,” Fox-Reeks says. “Additionally, sourcing products is complicated right now, but restaurants still have to control the budget despite limited availability doubling costs for some goods.”
With so many disparate challenges squeezing managers—and the bottom line—at once, it’s no wonder foodservice leaders are feeling intense pressure. Yet there is relief: software that can help restaurants navigate multiple challenges at once from one single platform.
SynergySuite is a full back-of-house suite that arms managers from the store level up to the head office with key insights on labor, recipes, and day-to-day operations updated in real-time, so leaders are consistently armed with the most accurate data they need to make crucial operational decisions. The platform provides insights into how to control waste and reduce costs on all fronts, including scheduling, inventory, and even managing the price points of the hundreds of ingredients and products necessary for foodservice operations.
"Our franchisees are now using SynergySuite to access data in real-time, about every 15 minutes,” says Kerry Leo, vice president of technology at Shipley Do-Nuts. “This allows each shop to see its own profit and loss, to take into account labor trends and inventory, and to manage like a business. At the same time, we’re able to monitor data across units for bigger trends and business intelligence.”
In addition to helping brands manage costs, Charles Watson, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe says SynergySuite has helped his company reduce the time leaders spend tracking these metrics with paperwork and spreadsheets.
“The SynergySuite system decreases a lot of time that was previously needed with actual paperwork and spreadsheets. That right there is a huge time and cost savings,” Watson says. “In this business pennies, make dollars. Every CEO in restaurants will tell you that. Those are points of profitability that turn into thousands of dollars. And that's the difference between having okay unit-level economics to great unit level economics—and that makes franchisees happy.”
Best of all, SynergySuite is laser-focused on the back of house, meaning it can provide a level of insight unavailable with other tools.
“We are true back-of-house experts prepared to help restaurants do what they do best—provide an amazing experience for their customers.”
To learn more, visit the SynergySuite website.
By Peggy Carouthers