In the latest episode of Hospitality Hangout, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “ The Finance Guy” chat with Tony Smith, CEO and Co-Founder of Restaurant365, to discuss rising food costs, labor shortages and how his company is using technology to combat both of those challenges within the industry.
Smith co-founded Restaurant365 over ten years ago and works with over thirty thousand businesses
The restaurant management software developed by Restaurant365 allows operators to experience the only cloud-based, all-in-one restaurant accounting, payroll and HR, inventory, scheduling and reporting software that can also seamlessly integrate to their POS, vendors, and banking partners.
When asked about launching Restaurant365, and how he got his start in software development, Smith shares that he never had any intention of going into the field and that he actually didn’t even have a computer in his home growing up. Smith also shares that he was rather intimidated by them. He talks about his time at college and deciding that he should probably become familiar with computers, as he assumed he might be working with them at some point in his career, this led to him studying both business management and information systems. He says, “My first job out of college was working in software and I was doing that with a couple other guys, John Moody and Morgan Harris, and the 3 of us were the ones that eventually decided to start Restaurant365 together.”
The guys chat about the importance of operators embracing technology but how that can lead to tech fatigue. Smith shares that from day one, the goal at Restaurant365 was to make connecting restaurants with the best technology as simple as possible. He says, “We really wanted to solve that for restaurants. We looked at this huge industry, and there were so many tools, it was crazy for a restaurateur to be buying 10 tools to run their business because they’re not tech people, so they didn’t really understand how to connect them together. And so that was really the goal for us, was to make this simple and make data immediately accessible, and so in order to do that, you need all your data in one place.”
Frischling asks Smith about upcoming industry conferences and which subjects he thinks will be the hot topics. Smith shares that unfortunately the issues of food costs and labor shortages continue to drive conversations. He shares that while he’s seen restaurant sales up 10%, he has also noticed food costs up 12% and labor up by 10%.
Smith shares some insights on how Restaurant365 can provide some relief for such challenges with the company’s software forecasting feature. He says, “You’ve got to be able to forecast what you’re going to be doing in your restaurant in the coming days, weeks, by daypart.” He adds. “You want to know those things and the better the forecast, the more accurately you can shoot for your employee schedule as well as the menu items you’re going to be selling. When you get down to honing in on those order quantities, getting suggested quantities because you’re forecasted, you’re gonna keep that food cost low, you’re gonna have less waste and the same thing on the labor side, and those are things that we help restaurants squarely with in our tool.”
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