Kerbey Lane CEO Talks Pancakes, Queso and EBITDA

We can’t say it enough, we have the coolest customers in the industry.  We are so excited to share that one of our customers based right here in Austin, Texas was recently featured on a “For You Leaders – Business and Leadership Podcast Featuring Kirk Dando.”

The podcast featuring Mason Ayer, CEO, is called Pancakes, Queso and EBITDA.  Mason talks openly about his tough choice to leave his budding legal career to work for the family business because he wanted to do something more meaningful with his life.  Kerbey Lane is where his parents taught him that culture and people come first.

And it truly shows that he cares about his people and wants to make them better.  Along with Michael Jackson, Director of Restaurant Logistics, Mason implemented an Open Book Management system which educates every employee on the company’s financials.  Although he was skeptical at first, Mason decided it was right for their culture.  He states, “with a workforce that is predominately millennials the why really matters.  Why are we doing what we are doing?  What is the reason for X, Y, Z? How do I make an impact in the organization?”

Below are a few quotes from the podcast that help illustrate Mason’s unique management style and the profound impact it is have on his business:

“With open book management, what we’ve done is we open our books and there is nothing but salary data that is hidden and we teach anybody who wants it financial literacy, starting at the very basic all the way up through understanding EBITDA.  They might be bussing tables, but they understand how through their actions and the actions of team members around them drive and impact the P&L and how that flows to EBITDA.”


“The impact it’s had on our performance is absolutely phenomenal.  2017 they were able to maintain their profitability even though sales were down by 4% from 2016. I attribute that to the fact that we have a workforce of 600 to 700 team members who are paying attention to all of the little things and the fact that they are paying attention has allowed us to maintain profitability which I am really, really thrilled about.”


“Restaurants are really, really tough business. It’s not an easy industry.  I think that the difference between the successful operators and the not successful operators is a laser-focus on the little things.

There is an expression ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ but we sweat the small stuff big time because the difference between a good year and a bad year is not one big strategic decision or rolling out a strategic plan.  It’s not that. It’s getting the hundred thousand little things right.”

Click here to listen to the full podcast.

Compeat is proud of Kerbey Lane’s success and love being a part of their overall story – especially when it comes to getting their numbers right!  Kerbey Lane implemented Compeat in 2012.  Prior to Compeat, Kerbey Lane’s operational and financial information was dispersed across several different systems. Point of Sale information was in one place, inventory and food cost in another, and financial information in still another. At the end of the day or period, their data never seemed to balance and they spent too much time reconciling.

“With Compeat, we save a huge amount of time by not having to do so many checks and balances. Compeat gives us confidence that our numbers are always correct,” says Michael Jackson, Director of Restaurant Logistics for Kerbey Lane.  (Read the full success story)