There are two kinds of back offices in a restaurant. There's the one that's so uncomfortably crowded it barely fits the manager, a desk and a Blu-ray copy of Chef. Then, there's the virtual back office – this is the restaurant software system that literally creates the playbook and task lists for the manager on a daily basis.Read More
IT TAKES BACK OF HOUSE GUTS TO POWER FRONT OF HOUSE GLORY. LET US HELP.
This blog supplements our Resource Center content. We hope you visit often to learn more about how back office software can help your restaurant optimize food and labor costs and minimize waste.
This is our second post regarding some of the challenges of using spreadsheets to manage multi-unit restaurant food costs and inventory. Following are some common hurdles that our clients have had to overcome in the past, when using patchwork systems of spreadsheets and other “home grown” apps vs. a true restaurant back office solution.
- Don’t keep implementations a secret: A restaurant back office software solution affects many members of a company, and its implementation benefits from their support. Involve stakeholders early, and include updates on the implementation's progress in company communications.
- Don’t dilute the corporate focus across too many initiatives at once. Rolling out an all-new POS system, starting a remodeling plan, or tackling other broad corporate efforts will slow the implementation. Focus is the key to getting great results quickly.
- Don’t miss the opportunity to examine old processes while you're updating your systems. For example, evaluating storage locations may make sense while you're creating new inventory sheets.
- Don’t underestimate resources needed: Implementing enterprise software is a big job, and touches most everyone. There should be a team captain who drives the process (because if it’s everyone’s job, it’s no one’s job and won't get done). This person should have a dedicated team and budget to execute the implementation, and a corporate executive that he or she can tap for additonal help if needed.
- Don’t aim at a moving target. The restaurant back office solution is likely integrated with several other systems, and contains lots of data about how you do things currently. Changing your broad liner, menu, recipes, and other systems while you're implementing the system will dramatically slow the project.
The fastest implementations we've ever seen are devoid of the above 5 don'ts, and feature dedicated teams for tackling the implementation, supported from the top down by executives who are invested in seeing the project succeed. When that's the case, companies can be transformed in remarkably short order.
Within restaurant back office software solutions, enterprise reporting is designed to deliver the right information to the right people at the right time. The key to making sure the right people are addressed involves creating structured hierarchies, meaning, roughly, “which groups of people are authorized to see which information”.
Two key concepts in restaurant food cost management are 1) ensuring that all food is accounted for from time of order to use, and 2) ensuring that all food is utilized in an efficient manner. Following are a couple of tips that support those practices, and contribute to an effective food cost-control system.