There are more ways than ever before to leverage modern technology when running a restaurant or bar. Some of these options, such as Bar-i’s inventory software, focus on one specific aspect associated with running your business. Others, such as Compeat restaurant management software, provide more comprehensive services that help you run every aspect of your bar.
Compeat’s restaurant management software truly does it all for you. They can help you integrate just about every aspect of your business on their platform, including:
- Labor management/employee data
- Food recipes and prep production planning
- Shift logs
This versatility has helped Compeat become a major player in the restaurant industry. They have thousands of clients nationwide, including many large chains with numerous locations across the country.
There are many advantages to using this sophisticated restaurant management technology, especially for big chains. Using a platform such as Compeat’s restaurant management software makes it much easier to manage the performance of all of a chain’s locations in one place.
While Compeat does a great job at managing a wide range of a restaurant’s operations, it’s impossible for software like this to provide the perfect solution for every aspect of your business. When you use such a comprehensive platform, you’re essentially choosing to do a lot of things really well, but nothing great.
In some instances, you may find that you need to focus on the management of one specific aspect of your restaurant’s operations in order to ensure your business performing at a high level. One of Compeat’s clients, Torchy’s Tacos, felt that way and recently started working with Bar-i on a pilot program with one of their restaurant locations.
Bar-i has been able to integrate our inventory system with Compeat’s software, providing Torchy’s with the detailed inventory data they need in a way that syncs up with all of the other data and analytics information they receive from Compeat. This has streamlined the process and allowed them to continue experiencing the benefit of viewing all of their data in one place.
Reasons for Torchy’s Tacos Partnering with Bar-i
Torchy’s Tacos is a rapidly growing fast casual taco restaurant chain based out of Austin, Texas. They currently have approximately 40 locations throughout Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado, and they use Compeat’s software to manage their back-of-house operations.
Bar-i initially connected with Torchy’s Tacos at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) trade show in Chicago. They were unhappy with their overall bar costs and felt their current inventory system lacked the granular performance data necessary to manage their bar program effectively. Their inventory efforts enabled them to calculate the cost of goods sold and assist with their ordering, but they weren’t receiving the accountability data necessary to leverage their inventory efforts as a profitability tool.
With the Compeat system, bar inventory was recorded directly into the restaurant management system’s app using a typical tenthing method. For example, if you were taking inventory and determined that a bottle of Jack Daniel’s was 60% full, you’d enter .6 into the Compeat app.
This process left Torchy’s struggling to identify specific product level variances, largely due to the complexity of their inventory needs. Torchy’s uses a significant amount of pre-batched cocktails, frozen cocktails and house-infused products in their restaurants. Often, they have two versions of each specialty drink – a rocks version and a frozen version.
These craft cocktails are pre-batched in large quantities using several liters of liquor and then they are served out of large containers (for rocks drinks) or out of the frozen drink machine (for the frozen versions). When you’re using batches and different sized bottles or containers, it becomes very complicated to identify precisely how much of these products are missing down to the serving during each inventory cycle.
As an example, let’s look at one of the most commonly used tequilas at Torchy’s – Exotica Reposado. All of their house margaritas, which are one of their most popular drinks, are made using Exotica Reposado tequila. Torchy’s has found tracking the usage of Exotica Reposado tequila to be highly complex due to the following factors:
- 1 liter bottles are used to serve this liquor behind the bar
- 1.75 liter handles are used to make their batched margaritas since they get a better price on these larger bottles
- There are 3 different sized containers being used for their house margarita program (the frozen drink machine, backup containers kept behind the bar and the main batch containers where these craft cocktails are being made) – all of these containers have Exotica Reposado in them, but there are also other ingredients such as lime juice and sour mix in the pre-batched containers
In order to figure out how much Exotica is missing down to the ounce, they needed to add together all of the tequila used in the 1 liter bottles, 1.75 liter handles and the pre-batched custom containers. This was very challenging with their old inventory system, and they needed the precision of Bar-i’s inventory system to accurately calculate usage down to the serving.
In addition, they found the typical random errors and lack of visibility into the performance of their bar products that is commonly associated with a system that doesn’t provide down-to-the-serving accuracy. While Compeat has a sophisticated bar inventory system, it wasn’t providing the level of granularity or detail that they’re currently receiving from Bar-i’s services.
How Did Torchy’s Tacos Inventory Process Change from Working with Bar-i?
There are several important ways in which the Torchy’s Tacos inventory process has changed under Bar-i:
- All counts are performed using Bar-i’s proprietary weight-based inventory software – This allows them to be much faster and more accurate when recording inventory.
- Deliveries and sales are reconciled down to the product level by their Bar-i account manager – The Torchy’s staff checks in deliveries and scans invoices. These are then reconciled by Bar-i. Our account manager maintains and manages all the recipes for every drink on their POS system, including the batch recipes. We run a sales report and compare sales with down-to-the-serving usage data to determine precisely how much of every product is missing.
- Additional variance reporting stage – This is a very important step in Bar-i’s inventory process which isn’t included in many other services. An independent Bar-i inventory expert looks at the numbers before the report is generated and sent out to the client. This makes it much easier and more time-efficient for the Torchy’s manager to resolve any potential counting errors and other issues early in the process. Ultimately, this has helped eliminate the bouncing liquor cost Torchy’s had been experiencing prior to working with Bar-i.
- Custom support and consulting – When Torchy’s receives their report for each inventory cycle, it contains recommendations from Bar-i regarding how to improve the performance of products which are currently experiencing high levels of shrinkage.
- Inventory counts and values are imported directly into Compeat in a single action – Bar-i is producing a special import file containing all of Torchy’s inventory counts. Before, they were using a hand-held app to record the counts. Now, they’re using scales and software which is much faster, and they receive 1 file that imports the counts for hundreds of products into their Compeat system with a single click of a mouse. This creates a smooth process for data transfer between the 2 software systems Torchy’s is using (Bar-i and Compeat).
Benefits of Integrating Bar-i’s Inventory with Compeat’s Restaurant Management Software
Currently, we’re a couple of months into the pilot inventory program being done at one of the Torchy’s Tacos Denver locations, and it’s clear that they’re already starting to see benefits from the new system.
Mitch Speir, the general manager at the Denver location where the trial is being conducted, has raved about what he’s been seeing: “The integration from Bar-i into our systems has been seamless. The team at Bar-I has done an amazing job adapting to our individual needs to achieve substantial results. Profits and staff awareness has increased greatly and I couldn't be more thankful.”
Torchy’s is seeing great results compared to when they started working with Bar-i:
- Savings of $18,000 per year – Losses for products at wholesale cost have been reduced by over $350 per week. This equates to an annual savings of $18,000.
- Liquor cost has been reduced over 3% -- A 1% reduction equates to approximately a 5% reduction in shrinkage, so Torchy’s has reduced their shrinkage by about 15% within a few short months.
- Reduced time dedicated to inventory – After an initial learning curve on how to use Bar-i’s software, the inventory process is going much faster. This frees up more time for their managers to spend running the restaurant.
- Easier to actively manage bartenders and the bar program – Bar-i provided the Torchy’s staff with a presentation focusing on problem products that were missing. During this presentation, we also conducted pouring practice to ensure all bartenders had the training to ensure every drink is poured properly. The Torchy’s manager now has a useful tool to help him identify problems with their bar program, and he has the data necessary to make improvements that will significantly improve their profitability.
Sometimes, these technology solutions aren’t an either/or proposition. By leveraging the benefits of Bar-i’s inventory capabilities and integrating it with the comprehensive software platform provided by Compeat, Torchy’s Tacos has been able to significantly improve their operations in a short period of time.
If you’d like to learn more about how Bar-i can help improve your bar’s operations and maximize profitability, please contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients nationwide from our offices in Denver, Colorado.