Restaurants and those who open and manage them are resilient. How resilient? According to the National Restaurant Association, nationwide restaurant sales are expected to reach a staggering $997 billion in 2023—just a few years removed from a pandemic that turned the industry upside down.
Despite a challenging past and an uncertain future, enterprise operators’ surest path to sustainable success is growth. Yet growth is no easy feat. The biggest hurdle is not only expanding a brand’s footprint, but intelligently scaling the underpinning formula of the business—specifically finance, accounting, and operational systems—to ensure consistently improving guest experiences alongside continually growing margins and profits.
“Today, we’re seeing the franchise and enterprise operators that are most successful in generating meaningful growth are those that opt for an integrated, restaurant-specific software platform that automates administrative work and regularly provides accurate data to help operators make fast, profit-driving decisions in any situation,” says Lisa Hoyt, enterprise sales leader with Restaurant365.
To grow, operators need a dynamic, constantly improving platform that connects to and builds an ecosystem of all its vendors, whether that’s produce suppliers or service providers. With complete access to all relevant information, store-level managers and above can be confident they have an accurate, real-time picture of the business at any level. This saves back-office teams time to focus on more valuable work and provides everyone with the data they need to make growth-driving decisions.
Seamless integration between the restaurant, its end-to-end software platform, and its myriad partners is the fuel that keeps the engine humming along. For Wichita, Kansas-based Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, integration between its management platform and sales technology was instrumental in helping it grow to 448 locations in merely six years.
“By connecting to the POS with two of our largest vendors in an electronic data interchange (EDI) format, we’re able to automate many of the steps in our daily processes,” says Bill Valentas, CFO of Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. “This allows us to close the books faster at the end of a given period because we’ve been keeping up with them daily. Every day that we can accelerate a close process gives our operators more time to look at their numbers and understand where they can make improvements.”
Streamlining those critical yet administrative tasks helped Freddy’s expand its corporate-owned footprint from 11 to 31 stores without adding additional accounting overhead—while reducing its combined food and labor costs by anywhere from two to five percent per store.
“That helps us pay for the Restaurant365 platform,” Valentas says. “It’s always exciting when you see ROI with an accounting platform.”
The benefits of integrated accounting as part of a Restaurant Enterprise Management platform also carry into operations. Here, the accounting team’s role shifts from data management to analysis, while managers are equipped with accurate information to make margin-boosting decisions on the fly.
Operation teams and managers review labor and food costs weekly on a store-by-store basis and meet with corporate to review those numbers monthly, along with the rest of the P&L.
By Davina van Buren