The company is one of the largest franchisee groups in the brand’s growing network.

Midwest-based SERVE Hospitality Group was founded in 2015 and already owns and operates 42 Tropical Smoothie Café locations. The company has always had a financially driven outlook on its business prospects—CEO Salem Najjar is a certified accountant, as are other CPA-trained leaders on the company’s staff. 

Despite that financial focus, SERVE was facing accounting challenges in three key areas during the early stages of its growth. First, SERVE was struggling to create timely and accurate financial statements and reports to drive critical business decisions. Tedious and inefficient accounting practices, such as tracking intercompany transfers, was consuming much of the accounting team’s time, and that meant location reporting wasn’t always correct. 

The company also found it didn’t have optimal visibility into daily sales and deposit figures, leaving the door open for possible theft or deposit errors. Ultimately, this was costing the company hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. 

For these reasons, Najjar and his team began searching for a restaurant accounting solution that would help the company grow more efficiently. The accounting team had something of a wishlist, too. “We were adamant about making sure that we found something that was first and foremost easy-to-use for accounting, and specifically restaurant accounting,” Najjar says. “We knew that as we expanded our hospitality group, got into other brands, or potentially created our own brand, we wanted to be lined up with a one-stop-shop solution, as I like to call it.”  

The company found Restaurant365, a cloud-based platform dedicated to restaurant success. At the time Restaurant365 was implemented, the franchisee group had 14 locations. The software meant the company’s accountant would save more than 100 hours once spent executing intercompany transactions, freeing them up to easily run numbers for all 14 of the locations. That same accountant had once struggled to manage the books for just six of the company’s locations. In other words, Restaurant365 ended up saving the company the $80,000 a year it would’ve cost to bring on another accountant. 

The software did a lot more, too—it gave the accounting arm of the company full visibility into store-level deposits and generated fast, accurate reports and data that allowed leaders to guide their decision making and verify the results. Though more intangible, these perks have been just as pivotal in helping streamline growth. 

“Out of the box, Restaurant365 is the best one-stop-shop solution in the market today, equipping restaurant owners with the right resources, all in one place,” Najjar said. “It’s the resource and solution we need to accurately and proactively record and monitor our bookkeeping and accounts payable.”

Thanks to simplifying SERVE’s operations while also providing swaths of clear-cut data, Restaurant365 has helped the franchisee group triple in size. Now with the 42 Tropical Smoothie Café locations across Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois, the ability to seamlessly add more stores into the solution has proven to be something of a growth accelerant. 

“Restaurant365 is a very easy, cloud-based system where we’re able to add a new location in a matter of minutes,” Najjar noted. “Previously, we used to stress about the amount of hours it would take to set up a new accounting record, GL accounts, bank accounts, and everything. R365 gives us the financial insight necessary to run our company in a profitable way.”

For more on how Restaurant365 can fuel growth, schedule a demo.     

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