The Right Platform for the Right Job
In this exclusive Q&A, Restaurant365 co-founder, John Moody, discusses how to leverage technology appropriately and offers tips on avoiding common back-office mistakes.
Considering that restaurants often outsource services or have a hybrid of in-house and outsourced services, can you offer some tips to help keep the back-office streamlined and avoid reporting errors?
MOODY: First, use a restaurant software platform that works in all three situations: in-house, outsourced and hybrid. This gives the greatest flexibility to run the business on a single platform, while providing different levels of outsourced services as the business grows. Second, make sure your accounting, operations and reporting are in the same system so processes can be streamlined and everyone is working on the same set of data, even in the outsourced or hybrid options.
What can operators do today to empower employees with available tech to increase productivity and eliminate frustrations?
MOODY: A few quick tips for labor, inventory and accounting. 1) Use scheduling tech that can build the schedule based on the sales forecast and labor goals (fully burdened), and makes it convenient for employees to manage/switch shifts on their mobile device. 2) Use a mobile inventory tool that is easy to use and directly linked with accounting to avoid data problems. 3) Use a restaurant accounting system that brings in vendor invoices electronically or easily processes paper invoices. All three of these should operate within the same system.
Having a holistic view of data will be vital for restaurants moving into 2018. What systems integration or strategic steps will be necessary in order to achieve this?
MOODY: You need to reduce the number of systems you use. Many restaurant groups are using more than a dozen systems, apps, or monster spreadsheets, which make systems integration cumbersome and costly at best. Simplify into three main systems: POS – which may also include loyalty & online ordering; back office & accounting - these should be the same system; and payroll – with so much regulation and compliance out there, use a solution that specializes in the restaurant space. Operators should also use a back office & accounting system that easily connects to the POS, payroll and vendors to bring it all together.
What is a common mistake restaurant operators make when it comes to accounting and how would you recommend they avoid it or take steps to fix it?
MOODY: Actually, there are two common mistakes. First, don’t use Quickbooks or a generic accounting software. It’s like going down to your local Walmart and buying an oven for your new specialty pizza concept. It’s not the right tool for the job. Use professional grade, restaurant-specific accounting & operations software. Second, don’t outsource your accounting to your Aunt Susie. Outsource the accounting to someone who knows restaurant accounting (there are some great companies that specialize in this) or hire good restaurant accounting people on staff and build a strong team as you grow.