Back-Office Tool Keeps Nick's Pizza & Pub Rolling in the 'Dough'

In 2010, Nick's Pizza & Pub will be celebrating 15 years of being one of America's most loved independent pizza restaurants. With two locations in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, the secret pizza recipe that has been passed down through generations is not only the talk of the locals, but also of visitors from far and wide. However, the secret for this company's success is not only in their pizza sauce; Nick's benefits from a strong company culture as well as from an end-to-end back office solution that helps them to increase control and efficiency in their daily operations.

In 2005, Nick's Pizza & Pub decided to take control of their inventory and accounting by replacing their spreadsheets with Compeat Advantage. Prior to using Compeat, Nick's Pizza & Pub had major cost control issues. Nick's was manually tracking their inventory via spreadsheets and using QuickBooks for accounting. This process was inefficient and required a lot of extra administrative work for the managers and accounting staff. The tedious nature of using spreadsheets caused managers to become frustrated. They also lost faith in their numbers and the entire process.

Nick's immediately started polling their Radiant Systems Aloha Point of Sale system to automate their Daily Sales Reporting, menu item sales tracking, and their sales posting to the general ledger.

Nick's also began using Compeat to suggest inventory ordering and to validate what they received against what they ordered. Nick's also built recipes in Compeat to generate theoretical food costs and inventory usages which were then compared against actual food costs and inventory usages. To complete their implementation of Compeat Advantage, Nick's automated their accounts payable, general ledger, and profit and loss reporting.

Instant benefits
Nick's immediately benefited from Compeat Advantage's integration with their Aloha POS due to the manual processes this integration eliminated. Nick's was also pleased with how easy it was to train their staff on the new software. Management was able to get a much clearer picture of daily operations and could therefore be held accountable for their results. Soon enough, ordering, receiving, transferring, and tracking inventory was as easy as a toss of a pizza.

Prior to Compeat, only one person could concurrently access QuickBooks to see information or run reports. After implementing Compeat, Nick's could allow multiple managers to concurrently see information in real time. "With Compeat, I can ask any manager at any time to look at a P&L and pull out details of any category. I can obtain the information I need in a fast and efficient manner," says Nick Sarillo, owner of Nick's Pizza & Pub.

Nick's management reports that Compeat Advantage has provided them with more real-time insight into their operations, and has also saved them a significant amount of time in completing administrative tasks. This savings has provided management more time to focus on customer satisfaction and employee retention. In an industry where a 200% employee turnover rate is average, Nick's has managed to lose and replace only 20% of their staff every year. "It is really nice to know where you're at financially at anytime," says George Magana, controller of Nick's Pizza & Pub.

Since implementing Compeat, Nick's has been able to trim at least 1% off of their food costs. With their average $3.5 million per store volume, and 2 stores using Compeat, Compeat has saved Nick's a minimum of $70,000 per year since first implementing in 2005. Nick's also has a very supportive management team that takes accountability for everything they report. "Credibility in numbers is very important," says Sarillo, "We can now trust each other and trust the system thanks to Compeat."

With Compeat, managers do not have to worry about numbers being inaccurate and they have more time to analyze their inventory and proactively discover new ways to improve. They plan on opening another store in Chicago in 2011 and hope to continue to grow. "It is nice knowing that Compeat can grow with us, no matter how big we get," Sarillo adds.

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