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Taco John’s Franchisee Saves 2.5% on Food Costs in First Year with R365 



Taco John’s franchisee Paxton Keiser Enterprises struggled with generic accounting software that provided no simple way to compare store-to-store financials to meaningfully improve performance and drive growth. Additionally, their solution treated each of their 13 locations as a separate entity, making the team log out of the system and back in to handle rote accounting tasks


Since implementing Restaurant365, Taco John’s has: 

  • Reduced food costs by 2.5 percentage points 
  • Saved countless hours each month on reporting, reconciliation, and intercompany transactions  
  • Provided managers with the data needed to make real-time, informed decision
Taco John's tacos, burritos, potato bites, and snacks


Taco John’s is one of America’s largest Mexican quick-service restaurant brands. Brad Paxton and partner Matthew Keiser grew up eating the bold flavors and fresh ingredients at Taco John’s in the Midwest and felt passionate about joining the franchise. Together, they formed Paxton Keiser Enterprises, a Taco John’s franchisee network based in Nashville, Tennessee, that opened its first two stores in Kentucky in 2018.

Growing Pains

As they quickly grew to 24 stores across Tennessee, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota between 2020 and 2023, Anna Pool, financial controller, and Tina Braam, chief operating officer, knew they needed to scale their back-office resources beyond QuickBooks.     

“As we grew to the fourth largest franchisee in the brand, we knew that we could no longer succeed based on assumptions and needed hard data to make better decisions,” Pool said.

They also knew they needed a system that could streamline core accounting functions like intercompany transactions, each of which previously required four separate journal entries to account for parent company transactions, reporting — for managers, leadership, and other interested parties — and bank reconciliation.  


"We've probably saved two and a half percent on food cost. And we hope to save another percent and half at least this year on food cost because we're able to share data."

How Restaurant365 helped  

Cutting food costs  

In addition to the myriad, time-saving efficiencies Restaurant365 brought into Paxton Keiser’s back office, the integrated system quickly empowered the company’s home office and franchisees to easily share pricing details from all their distribution centers across all their locations.   

“Being able to see, for example, that milk costs have increased means that we can have conversations that we could not in the past,” Braam said.   

“We’ve probably saved two and a half percent on food cost. And we hope to save another percent and half at least this year on food cost because we’re able to share data.”   

Saving time  

For Pool, their previous generic software created financials at the end of the month in a PDF format, which meant that reconciliation was often a 15-day project due to manual entries and each store having different bank accounts.   

“The old system was not integrated with our POS system,” she said. “So, you must think about every you know and enter it manually, such as credit cards, deposits, or whatever notes have been left after each shift. With Restaurant365, I literally say out loud every single time, ‘Wow, I can’t believe it was just that easy!” 

Streamlining reconciliations  

Before working with Restaurant365, invoices were kept in a shared filing system in the back office, making reviewing prior invoices cumbersome and opening the possibility of human error. With an intercompany cloud-based AP system, the team feels confident in their reconciliations. “Now when I go to reconcile and when there is zero difference between what the bank said went out and what we show went out, I feel confident,” Pool said.  

Improving communications   

Another issue the team faced was that when a leader like Braam needed any information, she had to request it through Pool in the back office. Given the fast-paced, endless work of the restaurant business, some of those requests could come in as late as 9:00 p.m. With Paxton Keiser’s previous system, a simple request could take as much as a day of manual number crunching to fulfill, which often discouraged leaders from asking for the data needed to properly perform their job. By moving from a static to a dynamic system, the entire team can see what’s happening in every bucket, labor, food, and repair and maintenance in real time.   

Taco John's soft taco

Increasing accountability   

The team also knew they needed to do better with sharing information, but that was next to impossible with QuickBooks. The company bases general manager bonuses on key metrics like food cost but was previously unable to deliver ongoing performance figures to managers in a way they could act on to both improve store-level profits and secure incentives. Now, everyone has access to the information and a better understanding of how to take action in the middle of a period instead of trying to sort out what happened a month or more after it ends.  

“We wanted the entire management team to have access to the data that helps them understand and improve their performance,” Pool said.  

Moving forward together   

“Restaurant365 has been fantastic to work with,” states Tina. “When I have questions, I just send in a ticket or use the chat channel, and somebody is right there to help me. That is better tech support than my other systems. We have many opportunities to continue improving our growing business with the support of Restaurant365 in the future.”