It took President and Owner Tim McEnery four and a half years of planning, but in 2005 he opened the first Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant in Orland Park, a southern suburb of Chicago. Tim’s vision was to create a unique concept encompassing three full businesses: an upscale casual dining restaurant, a fully working winery, and a wine tasting room/gift store—all under one roof. After opening the original location, Tim’s concept was so successful that in November of 2007 a second unit was opened in Burr Ridge, Illinois and a third, in Wheeling, Illinois, followed in July of 2008. They now operate 27 restaurants in Illinois, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Maryland, and Virginia and are continuing to grow.
Prior to Compeat, Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant managed its accounting and back office using QuickBooks. However, QuickBooks did not provide Tim with an effective way to fully manage his inventory or to control his food and wine costs. QuickBooks also did not provide an interface to Tim’s point of sale system and the point of sale information had to be manually updated to his accounting. Tim was lacking the control he desired and was spending a lot of additional labor hours manually updating his accounting system.
“Compeat makes growing so much easier, as we can open our stores as soon as they’re built.” – Tim McEnery President & Owner
In 2007 McEnery replaced QuickBooks with Compeat Advantage, and it now handles all of Cooper’s Hawk’s back office, inventory management and accounting needs, and interfaces with their MICROS POS system.
Since the transition to Compeat Advantage, Tim has implemented many of Compeat’s sophisticated features which were not available in the previous system. “A great benefit of Compeat Advantage is that we now know all about our business. We have so much more awareness about our business due to the Compeat Advantage software.”
Compeat’s integration with MICROS point of sale means everything is now automated. Additionally, Cooper’s Hawk can now manage theoretical cost vs. actual cost with Compeat’s comprehensive inventory management and cost control features.
Within two months of choosing Compeat Advantage, Cooper’s Hawk was using the software. Within a year, they had embraced the product 100 percent. “Our cost of sales has improved by 3% since installing Compeat’s software. We love it—it streamlined our operations,” says Tim. ”What we did in one year shows what the software is capable of—I think the speed with which we were able to convert was very good. The transition didn’t interfere with our business at any time,” says McEnery.
Approximately thirty employees are currently using Compeat Advantage at Cooper’s Hawk, including anyone in a supervisory or managerial capacity. “Compeat is very user-friendly,” says Tim. “Regular people can easily use it and understand it. In terms of training, it depends on what you’re teaching, but generally you only need to show someone something once, and they pick it up. Should there be any technical challenges, Compeat offers a support center and it’s great. They get back to us straight away and always know the answers.”
Cooper’s Hawk produces thousands of cases of wine every year and each full-service restaurant seats 300 people. “Compeat can manage all the different businesses,” comments Tim. “It’s the same application networked for each one—and it’s Compeat’s flexibility that makes this possible. Compeat Back Office takes an inventory item, such as grapes, and follows it from the vineyard to the bottle of wine sold over the counter. It manages the entire inventory process.”
“Our cost of sales has improved by 3% since installing Compeat’s software. We love it! It streamlined our operations..” – Tim McEnery President & Owner
Inventory management using Compeat Advantage has been equally successful in the company’s Wine Club. “It enables us to track how many wines have been picked up so we can better manage inventory,” states McEnery. Additionally, Cooper’s Hawk can now track all guests’ wine preferences which allows him to make better business decisions—a useful advantage given that Cooper’s Hawk does their own marketing and offers their customers gift cards.
Tim stresses that with Compeat they know their business down to a slice of cheese. “We know where every penny is spent—or wasted—and it’s enabled us to know all about the inventory and financial aspects of our company,” he says. “Since using Compeat, Cooper’s Hawk has also seen great savings in administration costs. One person can now do more.”
In terms of return on investment, McEnery is convinced that the application has been worth the expense. “I have no doubt that the solution has paid for itself five times over. But also, although we see significant ROI now, the system has also enabled us to set up a structure in our company so that when we open new locations, all systems are in place. That’s when we’ll see real ROI.”
The Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant concept is expanding rapidly. “Compeat makes growing so much easier, as we can open our stores as soon as they’re built. So many people ask us how long it takes to be profitable. We say we are profitable out the door, because we can manage inventory so well and because we know where the problems are and where to focus,” states McEnery.
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