When accounting firm Global Shared Services (GSS) entered the restaurant space nearly a decade ago, it committed to helping companies achieve back-office excellence and efficiency to do what they do best: focus on guests. GSS was ready to do the heavy lifting but knew there had to be a better way.
“We were using all of the programs that had been out there for many, many years, but they required us to manage and reconcile all of the statements individually and manually consolidate everything to give a report to the client,” said GSS Vice President of Sales Nick Stauff. “There were some automations, some integrations, but they were very few and far between.”
Things began changing around 2015 when GSS partnered with Restaurant365 to build a foundation to support the growth and success of its fast-growing roster of restaurant companies, which today include thousands of locations number as the firm grows between 30% to 40% annually.
GSS quickly became experts at implementing and managing Restaurant365, accounting, and reporting for its clients. In one case, it will be saving a client upwards of $300,000 annually while outsourcing their business processes and countless administrative work hours. One of the most significant benefits, however, is the accurate, real-time, cost-saving insights GSS provides its clients via Restaurant365.
Ringing the (Taco) Bell
The collaborative relationship is best illustrated in the three-way partnership with TriBell, Inc., an Ohio-based Taco Bell franchisee with seven locations across the state. TriBell CFO Archie Giles said Restaurant365’s platform and GSS provide the capabilities he, his business partners, and Taco Bell parent company Yum! Brands needed for decades.
“Before GSS and Restaurant365, we didn’t have the ability to go into our system and pull reports, something as simple as P&Ls,” Giles said. Bank reconciliation was another problem. The inability to do so daily, when reconciliations often took days or weeks, left leaders in the dark when bank deposits didn’t arrive on time or, potentially worse, were stolen.
That lack of real-time insight into the business prevented Giles and leaders across the company from spotting and solving problems as they arose. Instead, they were left to spend dozens of hours after an issue occurred to try and understand what happened and its impact.
Today, if Giles receives a dispute from a vendor that an invoice wasn’t paid, all he has to do is go into his bank records, find when the check was cashed, and send an image to the vendor. Capabilities like that, the ability to monitor cash deposits and to easily reconcile any sales report discrepancies, which long challenged TriBell, are only a glimpse of how R365 changed how the company operates.
Restaurant365 and “GSS became not only the aggregative data provider and produce great reports and great information but also offer the ability to analyze it in prompt time, when it’s needed and where I don’t necessarily have to be the person who realizes the problem,” Giles said. “Plus, there’s the drill-down capability, the ability to find out what’s really going on, so we’re able to have more productive and meaningful conversations versus just regurgitating information that nobody’s really analyzed for a solution.”
Driving Smart Growth
For GSS, that ability to quickly, accurately, and efficiently provide answers that lead to meaningful action has become a core benefit for clients and the firm. It includes the ability to efficiently scale a client’s back-office operations and, as Giles said, provide meaningful data at the most granular level. Before partnering with R365, providing accurate daily POS and bank reconciliation reports was prohibitively expensive and time-consuming for GSS and its clients, Stauff said. While weekly reports sufficed for some levels of leadership within a restaurant company, it was the daily data that would empower everyone to make regular ongoing changes that yield significant results in the long run.
“Things have to be caught quickly so they can be changed at the unit level, so you don’t lose or potentially lose more money,” he added.
The same efficiencies that help GSS better serve its clients also help the firm itself. R365 allows GSS to move faster at the beginning of a relationship with a new client and throughout the partnership, enabling the firm to deploy resources where they’re most needed and ultimately grow.
“Our clients can save money because we can offer them better service with a smaller team,” Stauff noted.
Additionally, dashboards help GSS provide its clients’ leaders, at every level, data to start thinking and operating differently. While those atop the organization can manage the business from a macro perspective, data tailored to store-level managers empower them to approach their operations as entrepreneurs rather than functional leaders. In doing so, GSS provides crucial aid to those most responsible for and capable of driving the overall business’s profit to improve their performance.
A Focus on What Matters
That ability to focus on what matters most — operational excellence that improves guest experiences and the bottom line — has been the most significant benefit both TriBell and GSS have received since partnering with Restaurant365.
“The benefits outsourcing provides businesses like mine are immeasurable,” Giles said. “I can focus on growth; I can focus on the management of my people that are running the operations versus having to worry about headcount.”