Arby’s Franchisee Boosts Profits by 1.5–2.5 Points
Bentley-Miller Corp., a 20-unit Arby’s franchisee, lowered food and labor costs throughout its restaurants using RTIconnect back office software.
ATLANTA — Carter Miller is a self-described “finance guy,” so when he talks about software for his restaurant company, it’s not the bells and whistles he touts—it’s the results and how easy they are to get. Ask him about his back office software, RTIconnect™, and the word “easy” comes up a lot.
Bentley-Miller Corp. operates 20 Arby’s restaurants in Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. Before RTIconnect, the company used a system that was a bit labor-intensive. “When it came time to pull a weekly report across all the stores, it was an arduous process to say the least,” said Mr. Miller, a Bentley-Miller partner. “With RTIconnect you just click a couple of boxes and you push a button and you’ve got your answer right then and there. You can write a schedule much quicker and rewrite it according to your business, whether sales are up or down.”
With the previous software, he said, making changes took time and effort. “You make a change in RTIconnect and the change happens immediately. It’s a very easy system to use and to train people to use on an everyday basis.” Unlike other systems that may update the database only once or twice a day, RTIconnect updates the corporate view after every user change. Users can enter or change items such as inventory counts, time punches, or purchases and then immediately see up-to-the minute numbers.
Store managers, he said, track about 20 inventory items every day and depend on RTIconnect’s Daily Food Variance, Daily Labor Variance, P&L, and Menu Analysis to monitor operations. “With increasing food cost, the ability to track where we stand every day is a key component. RTIconnect helps us do that, to keep track daily of exactly where that efficiency is, or where the yields are, and what we have got to really work on.”
In addition to using the standard RTIconnect reports, Bentley-Miller also uses the Report Designer to create their own custom reports. “I’m not a computer person, I’m a finance guy, an accounting type person, and I’ve found the reports very easy to create, and I’ve easily been able to get the data we want,” said Mr. Miller. “Running consolidated reports for all stores saves time—and I can run them any time I want. I could go run a report right now and see what our sales are thus far today. We could never do that before.”
With restaurants scattered across four states, the company’s three district managers and director of operations rely on RTIconnect’s web-based reporting for remote access to store information. Each morning they view performance results and debrief store managers while reviewing their store’s sales and labor.
“The fact that RTI is always updating features really makes it a nice system for us. We just started using the electronic invoicing feature, tied in with our primary vendor, SYGMA Foods. Now to receive an order it takes just one click, as opposed to keying in each item. My managers really like that.”
While usability makes RTIconnect attractive, it’s the financial results that make it successful for his company. “We found that we’ve been able to get a more accurate food cost number, by store and across stores. I know that we’ve brought our food cost more in line with the target by at least a point to a point and a half, and our labor is much easier to control. We’ve saved about a point on labor, too. It’s been a substantial savings. And with the ease of administration, we’ve been able to continue to add restaurants without adding much administration, so that’s been a savings also.”
Headquartered in Scottsbluff, Neb., Bentley-Miller Corp. is owned by Mr. Miller and Rick Bentley. The company also uses RTI’s accounting software, enabling them to import store-level results directly into their accounting, payroll, and general ledger programs. RTIconnect also interfaces with the company’s Radiant® POS software for a complete end-to-end technology solution.
RTI is a leading developer of technology solutions for the restaurant industry and a Microsoft Certified Partner. Today more than 10,000 restaurants, including many of today’s best known brands, rely on a broad suite of RTI hospitality solutions. Incorporated in 1985, the company is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. For more information, visit our web site at www.internetRTI.com.
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