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Interview with Scott Gillman, CEO of Dine Technology

Nate Lozier
Nate Lozier
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Scott Gillman

Chief Executive Officer

Dine Technology, LLC

Scott Gillman is Chief Executive Officer of Dine Technology, LLC, a restaurant technology company specializing in restaurant accounting, business intelligence and reporting, and systems integration. The team consists of experts in Restaurant365 implementation, providing restaurant clients greater simplicity and reduced costs.

Pinar Alptunaer

Partner Marketing Manager

Restaurant365

Pinar Alptunaer is Partner Marketing Manager at Restaurant365, managing relationships with accounting channel and strategic partners. Pinar also manages sponsorships for R365 events like the Restaurant Transformation Tour. With over 20 years of experience working in the hospitality industry, she continues to keep her finger on the pulse by working The Masters Golf Tournament for the past 11 years. A New Orleans native, Pinar grew up between the United States and Istanbul, engraining her love of all things food and hospitality.

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Going back to 2016 when Dine Technology opened its doors, can you share some insights on the decision to provide outsource accounting, specifically for restaurants? 

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I’ve always had a very strong entrepreneurial spirit. I jumped into the restaurant business when we were very young, and I was given the responsibility of overseeing accounting and finance. I’ve always been extremely vested in working with the best restaurant technology available for accounting, food and labor cost control, POS, etc., and figuring out how to optimize each system and integrate systems whenever possible 

When I first saw R365 in 2016, I got very excited. It combined all the core accounting and cost control type systems I had used for almost 3 decades, and it was 100% web based! Finally, we had a restaurant specific accounting system. We weren’t going to have to work around a more generic accounting system and jerry-rig it to optimize it for restaurants. 

I became friendly with the R365 founders, and we discussed several different ways we could work together. One idea was to become a provider of outsourced accounting services. I took John’s idea seriously and started to think about how we could provide the same services we had grown internally over many years to other restaurant companies that didn’t have the experience and know-how. 

Within two months, we had R365 self-implemented for our own restaurants. Within six months, we had our first few clients (Naya and Pretzel Power). I guess it was a good idea, because today we have almost 500 restaurant locations as clients supported by more than 50 employees. Our goal is to double that to 1000 locations within 12-18 months 

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Your mission statement mentions a goal to optimize restaurant accounting and financial control processes through technology. Could you share any challenges that Dine Technology has had with that?

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One great example that comes to mind is the R365 Actual vs Theoretical Usage Report. This report and the functionality behind it provided a fantastic way to optimize a restaurant’s purchasing and food cost.  R365’s version of Actual vs Theoretical reporting is very unique in that all the reporting and links to the back-up calculations are available from one screen. 

As we scaled, we realized there were a lot of gaps in our systems that get magnified when you’re working with our number of restaurants. 

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ould you dive deeper into how you incorporate Restaurant365 into your suite of services, and maybe elaborate on the distinctive benefits this partnership affords your clients?

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I’d start off by noting we don’t just incorporate R365. It’s the major backbone of our services and the only accounting system we use for our clients. Most of our clients use R365 for inventory management and some for labor scheduling. 

But we look at mastering all the intended uses of R365. We also look at R365 as a toolbox. When we study each accounting process, we examine the best ways to process for accuracy, efficiency, and effectiveness. We look for ways to use R365 that may not have been intended. We’re never shy to offer up ideas and advocating very strongly behind the most important of them. I also serve on the R365 Partner Advisory Council, a group of very active R365 partners that works closely with the company to discuss ways that R365 can best help us build our businesses. 

We now have close to 60 team members at Dine that are subject matter experts in the R365 platform. Every day we share problems and solutions. We’ve become very knowledgeable about how to integrate software of all types with R365. I’m extremely proud of the organization we’ve built and the collective knowledge we’ve accumulated together.                         

All our clients (utilizing accounting services, R365 consulting services, users of our proprietary software, etc.) benefit from the knowledge we’ve gained over the past seven years. And in addition to our efforts to gain mastery of accounting process and software, we’ve also worked very hard on the best ways to organize and delivery our services to our clients. 

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Dine Technology is known for its role in streamlining restaurant operations. Can you share more about how your team aids restaurants in achieving peak efficiency, particularly when it comes to inventory and labor control? 

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The world of restaurant accounting and software has become incredibly complex.  More than ever, there’s a need to focus on the Big Three. To succeed in the restaurant business, you need to drive sales and optimize your food cost and labor cost. 

We’ve found we can help clients improve profitability by providing accurate and timely weekly reporting. One metric we focus on with almost all clients is weekly Prime Cost reporting. We try to get all sales into POS systems daily so that daily and weekly sales are reported timely and accurately. 

We suggest weekly inventory whenever possible. It’s imperative that you have good inventory sheets, accurate Units of Measure and all invoices entered timely into R365. 

For labor, we focus on making sure time clock punches are accurate and salary accruals are up to date.  We try to accrue all labor expenses weekly, so we have accurate all in expenses. It’s essential to create accurate GL exports from payroll so that we can post actual payroll as soon as it’s available. We’ve mastered some of the trickiest ones! 

We have a great Weekly Prime Cost dashboard for many clients. We use R365 Custom Finacial Reporting (CFR) to generate all financial data we need and then create a stacked report by location that shows metrics like sales by Channel, CoGS, and Labor Cost for multiple time ranges.  

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I’d imagine from your background, you’re pretty familiar with various cuisines. If you had to participate in a cooking competition, what dish would you prepare? 

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I have owned many different types of restaurants over three decades. When I travel, it’s always with a curious eye as to what might be the next big dish or restaurant concept. I’m a big fan of food that is simple and delicious. I experienced a lot of this on a recent trip to Florence. So, if I joined a competition tomorrow, I would ask Chef Claudio, who cooked dinner with my family for a few nights, to help me recreate the night we shared: 

Bruschetta – Fresh Tuscan bread toasted with olive oil, spooned on freshly cut cherry tomatoes sprinkled with sales.  

Homemade tagliatelle – Made from eggs, 00 Flour, Semonlina Flour 

Tuscan Meatballs – beef and pork, crushed canned Italian tomatoes, garlic, salt, spices, simmered slowly 

Local Italian Chianti 

Homemade Tiramisu 

A secret of this delicious dinner was the participation of the entire family with Claudio – some cooked more and some ate more. We spent four hours drinking Preseco and Chianti, prepping and cooking, tasting and talking, talking and eating, then more eating, talking, and drinking. Everything was delicious and enjoyable. It would be impossible to separate out one dish. Memorable food is about an entire experience!