In the hypercompetitive food and beverage industry, restaurant operators are often subjected to a number of daunting challenges. Against a backdrop of rapidly changing customer demands and rising costs, technology has become more than a mere necessity for restaurants to adopt. It allows them to not only to stay ahead of the competition but also to remain in business.
Restaurants that have embraced technology are forcing change on how the industry operates, paving the way for the rest of the industry and reaping the benefits, including increased revenue and the ability to provide faster service to their customers.
Driving Revenue Growth and Cost Savings
From large-scale chains to family-run businesses, tight financial margins are age-old challenges restaurant operators must address, and this was no exception for Tender Greens. Since 2006, Tender Greens had established its presence as a go-to fine-casual restaurant that offers more than a meal. The multi-unit chain prides itself as a mission-focused dining venue with relaxed, eco-friendly dining spaces, making sustainable choices for fresh, locally grown food, and operating a culinary internship program for young adults coming out of foster care.
Looking to continue on the tangent of delivering a unique fine-casual dining experience to its customers, Tender Greens aimed to double its physical footprint and grow its revenue to reach $100 million. A key necessity in achieving this growth was replacing Tender Greens legacy financial software, which had numerous bottlenecks that made the platform unable to scale with the company's ambitious goals.
Following the implementation of an innovative financial management solution by Sage Intacct, Tender Greens achieved greater visibility into performance across its 31 locations and uncovered new insights into its operations. The ability to seamlessly integrate the technology stack with other applications meant that Tender Greens could enact more efficient financial processes.
Perhaps the most remarkable impact of the roll-out was Tender Greens’ ability to reduce accounting overhead – including salary and system costs – by over 20 percent, while growing its footprint from 17 to 31 restaurants. While the team reduced headcount by 1.5 full-time employees, it still had the capacity to handle double the number of transactions as the company continued to expand.
Getting the Most Out of Real-Time Insights
For businesses with a presence in multiple locations – such as Tender Greens, which is operating 31 kitchens across California, Massachusetts, and New York – having visibility into all aspects of their operations is imperative.
With Sage Intacct, Tender Greens managed to build out a robust reporting suite that gave executives real-time visibility into critical business metrics hosted on self-service dashboards, which could be easily customized and accessed at any time. This increased financial literacy for restaurant managers, executive chefs, and other key stakeholders across the business, specifically enabling restaurant managers to effectively track labor and food costs, average check prices for different meal types, sales per labor hour, and revenue for each restaurant.
The resulting efficiencies sped the monthly close by two days and eliminated months of accumulated time the team previously spent on report preparation. As a result, Tender Greens was able to generate new and valuable insights into operations, enabling the team to make quicker data-driven decisions through a centralized source.
This is specifically critical in the restaurant space, as it’s not only important to know just your typical labor costs, but also to hone in on more granular data in the timeliest manner. While it’s common to track the average check, how many guests come through the door, and what guests are ordering, this system enables organizations to utilize the most time analyzing the data they gather to actually implement effectively. Beyond these ‘four-wall’ metrics for each restaurant, implementing a financial management system provided real-time visibility into controllable costs such as packaging, utilities, cleaning supplies, etc.
Furthermore, following the implementation of a cloud-based financial management solution, Tender Greens successfully automated several repetitive tasks, thus minimizing the need for manual data entry while greatly improving accuracy. Team members were also freed up to focus on developing their skills and ultimately dedicate their focus to driving revenue growth for the business.