Integrated accounting systems can help operators scale for growth.
As restaurants begin to scale for growth, the need for cloud-based technology solutions that help operators organize and track data increases rapidly.
Efficiently managing items such as payroll, inventory, and scheduling requires an all-in-one solution made with restaurant challenges in mind, and it is essential that operators who are ready to scale for growth embrace cloud-based technologies that streamline accounting and operations in order to provide access to real-time, actionable data. Here, we look at the two major reasons restaurants need integrated, cloud-based solutions.
1. Managing Food and Labor Costs
“Sales and food and labor costs are the primary things that operators have some control over,” says Restaurant365 CEO Tony Smith. “So those are the key things that restaurants need to be able to track. However, challenges arise as you grow, especially if you have multi-unit groups. There becomes a disconnect between the individual restaurant and the home office, and some things that get tracked by one may be lost by the other.”
Because trying to track restaurant operations with two (or more) different accounting systems can create a delay in getting information back to restaurant managers within an actionable timeframe, many successful operators will integrate their accounting systems prior to scaling up the business. This helps to ensure that accounts are properly tracked and monitored from the corporate to unit levels. By doing so, operators can avoid the problems associated with messy mishandling of inventory and scheduling systems because everything will be consolidated into one place with customizable dashboards for relevant teams to view on demand.
“If operators don’t have the technology or tools to manage profitability and progress throughout the month, then it’s usually too late for them to fix things by the time they get a report back at the end of the month,” Smith says.
2. Maintaining Performance and Efficiency
When a brand begins to scale, it becomes more and more difficult to track operations by hand, and it’s a huge challenge for operators to make sense of the data input from multiple sources company-wide.
“As you grow, manual processes become a rat’s nest and you have to hire more people to try and work around it all,” Smith says. “If you don’t adopt automated technology, it’s really hard to grow.”
For example, manual invoicing can take weeks and go through multiple hands within an organization, so that it’s difficult to catch discrepancies with different vendor contracts and sales. In addition, profits can be diminished due to inefficient scheduling and the inability to properly track things such as overtime.
“Wherever you are in your technology adoption,” Smith says, “there is always an advancement that will help you to better keep your edge in this competitive industry. Adding technology that makes your restaurant units more efficient and provides better visibility—this allows your staff to spend more time doing what they do best, which is providing great service for customers.”