Restaurants manage mounds of information every day, from personnel and schedules to sales and ‘variance,’ the discrepancy between inventory on hand and the amount used.
“There’s waste, and it’s real money,” said Ryan Mack, Vice President of Lincoln’s Decision Logic. “Profit is leaking out the back door.”
Like many industries, until recently the processes around managing all this information were paper and pencil.
Decision Logic is changing that in a big way.
“We try to bring a systematic approach to how they manage their back office to see growth instead of bankruptcy,” Mack said. “We think that’s what can kill an up and coming restaurant.”
Inefficient processes can mean many things, like having too much or not enough inventory, over- and under-staffing, or inconsistent recipes and food quality between locations.
“We have products that help with the prime costs, food and labor,” Mack said. “There are also products to manage accounting, sales reporting, payroll and staffing.”
In addition to their SaaS products, Decision Logic offers consulting and managed IT security services.
“All these systems are being connected through the web and wireless, and we need to make sure they’re secure,” Mack said. “We can notify them in real time whenever there’s a potential breach.”
Saving restaurants money
So what is the dollar impact? Mack said one customer with 80 locations realized $3 million in savings.
“We were extremely excited about this,” Mack said. “We’ve mastered the art of the back office and saving money.”
Decision Logic also does a considerable amount of consulting around onboarding and assisting franchisees.
“You get these franchisees who aren’t restaurant people, they’re business people,” Mack said. “We provide the fundamental blocking and tackling to help them be as successful as possible as quickly as possible.”
Leveraging Nebraska’s strengths
It helps that the Decision Logic team has Nebraska roots and considerable experience in the restaurant industry.
“We want to own the Midwest,” Mack said. “We understand the culture and how to manage a restaurant in this environment. Competitors on the coasts have a different attitude.”
A partnership with Aviture has also been a critical piece of the company’s success.
“[Aviture President] Mark Griffis recognized a major opportunity to modernize and strengthen the application,” Mack said. “He saw a lot of potential for cross-pollination, application to the food service industry, and injected $2 million in modernizing our platform.”
Aviture provided access to their stable of technical talent, and set up the Decision Logic offices in the Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill building in the Lincoln Haymarket.
“We take advantage of being right here in their back yard,” Mack said. “A local client can pop right in or we can do an on-site training.”
Positioned for the future
What’s next for Decision Logic?
“The next phase for us is getting in the front office, determining marketing campaigns,” Mack said. “Predictive analytics can take the guessing game out of it.”
By analyzing data about past marketing campaigns and results, Decision Logic software can help a restaurateur refine the timing and type of campaign, as well as manage inventory and staffing.
“Allowing the machine to crunch through all of that information, it’s the way we need to do business,” Mack said. “They can focus on greeting guests with the utmost quality of service.”
After they conquer the Midwest, the company plans to move national.
“We want to increase our national pipeline and scale our marketing and sales efforts,” Mack said. “We’re actively bringing on business development professionals.”
Mack said the industry has completely changed in the last decade, and it will transform even more over the next ten years.
“The Internet of Things, presence of wifi, mobile devices,” he said. “The industry has nowhere to go but up with tech.”
“We’re going to revolutionize software one ingredient at a time,” he added.
Rod Armstrong is Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for AIM in Lincoln, Nebraska. He is a regular contributor to Silicon Prairie News.