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The Big Easy’s BRG Hospitality Slashes Food Cost by 5% 

Product

Pain

Celebrated New Orleans restaurant company BRG Hospitality struggled under a large manual workload due to QuickBooks Enterprise and struggled with tasks like menu item tracking, recipe integration, and financial reporting. The disconnect led to misalignment between the growing company’s accounting and operations functions, making key issues like Prime Cost difficult to manage.

Outcome

After implementing R365, BRG had the ability to:

  • Reduce food costs by five percentage points
  • Get fast insights into food prices and inventory levels thanks to POS integration, then put that data in managers’ hands
  • Save hours of work each week on manual accounting tasks
BRG Hospitality, Shaya Food

Successfully managing multiple restaurants with diverse concepts and service styles can be a daunting task. Yet that goal is encapsulated in BRG Hospitality Group’s mission: “To answer our calling to serve from our hearts every day… To give of ourselves completely to our guests, and to our community, making every decision with the betterment of the guest experience… To encourage growth from within and find like-minded partners to take the helm at our restaurants.”  

BRG boasts three concept restaurants, each with two locations, totaling nine physical buildings and a commissary operation. Among them are Israeli standout Shaya, the Creole-inspired brasserie called Luke, Pizza Domenica, and Southern bakery and cafe Willa Jean. Its restaurants also hold prestigious James Beard Awards and leaders who’ve earned Best New Chef recognition from Food & Wine magazine. 

To support and continue that focus on exceptional experiences and peerless cuisine, BRG’s back office needed a comprehensive solution to streamline its financial operations and provide real-time insights. 

"As someone with 40 years of restaurant accounting experience, Restaurant365 is the greatest thing I've ever worked with. It closes the gap between accounting and operations, giving us real-time insights”

Manual Work & Disjointed Systems

Before adopting Restaurant365, the organization faced significant challenges. BRG Controller Nancy Cioll said the manual workload of QuickBooks Enterprise and Compeat for tasks like menu item tracking, recipe integration, and financial reporting occupied the vast majority of time for her and her team. The disconnect between accounting and operations was a persistent issue, leading to operational inefficiencies and a lack of real-time visibility into crucial metrics, making metrics like Prime Cost difficult to control.  

Integration & Efficiency   

As the BRG team explored a new way to manage its growing roster of locations and back office, Restaurant365 emerged as the perfect fit. Cioll said Restaurant365’s all-in-one platform that seamlessly integrates accounting, inventory controls, and more was precisely what the team was looking for replace its back office’s cumbersome, manual processes with streamlined workflows. Nancy highlights the significance of integrations, especially the accounting side. “After demos, the only one that fit the bill was Restaurant365. It’s not just for inventory controls, but everything is in one software,” she said. 

Stronger Operations, Cost Savings & Negotiating Power   

Soon after implementing R365, manual Excel reporting became a thing of the past. Automated data entry imported from their POS system quickly offered detailed insights into prices levels and inventory. Cioll noted that the time to close the period for invoices was reduced from three weeks to just eight days.

One of the standout achievements was the ability to itemize costs and negotiate effectively with vendors. With real-time reports, BRG could identify price discrepancies, leading to a significant drop in food costs from 30% to 25%. This not only enhanced profitability but also empowered BRG to push down its costs on the vendor side.

“I can send reports on a specific item and show vendors’ fluctuations in prices,” she said. “It’s a great negotiating tool.”

Cioll also pointed to Restaurant365’s integrations with POS systems and features like transfers and donations simplified complex tasks. The donation feature streamlined events that would have otherwise required numerous journal entries. The software’s ability to provide real-time insights into labor costs help put data in the hands of BRG’s managers, who are then able to make data-driven decisions to meet their monthly targets in pursuit of the company’s long-term goals.

BRG Hospitality Chef & Cook

Connecting & Improving Accounting & Operations

With integrated systems and real-time data, everyone at BRG Hospitality Group can speak the same language using the same information to understand how the business is performing, continually control costs at a granular level, and stay ahead of industry challenges.  

“As someone with 40 years of restaurant accounting experience, Restaurant365 is the greatest thing I’ve ever worked with,” Cioll said. “It closes the gap between accounting and operations, giving us real-time insights.”