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Back-Office Overhaul Yields Gains for Arby's Franchisee
By Carter Miller, Partner, Bentley-Miller Corp.
When technology creates more work than benefits, it’s time for a change. With 20 Arby’s locations across several states, franchisee Bentley-Miller Corp. had a bottle neck in its back office. The software in place was putting an additional burden on labor, rather than alleviating it. Pulling weekly reports across all the stores in Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming was an arduous process, and making changes to the system took a great deal of time and effort.
The company chose to switch to RTIconnect from Restaurant Technology, Inc. and has significantly streamlined its reporting processes and improved the quality of data. Store managers track about 20 inventory items every day and depend on RTIconnect’s daily food variance, daily labor variance, P&L, and menu analysis to monitor operations. With increasing food costs, the ability to track where the restaurants stand every day is a key component of operations. RTIconnect helps to keep track, on a daily basis, of exactly where that efficiency is or the yields are and what needs to be addressed.
With RTIconnect a couple of boxes are checked, a button is pushed, and answers are provided right then and there. Schedules can be written much more quickly, and can be rewritten according to business needs and sales.
The software updates the corporate view after every user change. Items can be entered or changed, such as inventory counts, time punches, or purchases, and up-to-the minute numbers can be seen immediately.
In addition to using RTIconnect standard reports, the software’s Report Designer creates custom reports. Running consolidated reports for all locations saves time, plus they can be run at any time. That was not possible on the previous system. For people who don’t consider themselves computer savvy, the reports are still very easy to create, and the data required is simple to retrieve. Overall, Bentley-Miller managers have found the system very easy to use on a daily basis.
With locations across four states, the three district managers and director of operations rely on RTIconnect’s web-based reporting for remote access to store information. Each morning they view performance results and debrief store managers while reviewing their store’s sales and labor.
Thanks to regular updates to the software’s capabilities, the restaurants have started using the electronic invoicing feature that links to their primary vendor, SYGMA Foods. Now to receive an order it takes just one click, as opposed to keying in each item. Managers really appreciate that feature.
That kind of usability makes it attractive, but it’s the financial results that make RTIconnect successful. Using RTIconnect has yielded a more accurate food cost number by store and across units. Food costs have been brought more in line with the target by at least a point to a point and a half, and labor is much easier to control. There have also been substantial savings on labor, too, by approximately a point. With the ease of administration, the franchise has been able to grow and continue to add restaurants without adding much administration, also saving on costs.
RTI’s accounting software enables management to import store-level results from RTIconnect directly into the accounting, payroll, and general ledger programs. Finally, RTIconnect also interfaces with POS software from Radiant, providing a complete end-to-end technology solution.
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