Kerbey Lane Cuts Costs and Improves Efficiency

Kerbey Lane Cafe
“The software has paid for itself again and again,” states Mason Ayer, CEO.

Diverse, adventurous, socially-conscious, fun—Kerbey Lane Cafe embodies what’s best about Austin Texas. They opened their first location in a small house on Kerbey Lane in 1980 when they sensed a market for affordable food cooked with fresh, locally grown ingredients. Still today, with the ninth location in the works, they pride themselves on their seasonal menus with many ingredients purchased from local farms and vendors to ensure freshness and a unique Austin taste.

Business Challenges

Prior to Compeat, Kerbey Lane’s operational and financial information was dispersed across several different systems. They also did not have any type of purchase order system in place, which made ordering inefficient and tedious.  At the end of the day or period their data never seemed to balance, and they spent too much time reconciling.

Kerbey Lane realized they needed one fully integrated system that could meet all of their operational and financial requirements. They decided to replace both their Inventory and accounting systems with Compeat. They went live with Compeat software in all of their locations, plus their commissary, in June 2012.

That same year, they implemented Compeat Intelligence (RADAR) to gain to consolidated sales and labor reporting that saves them time and money every day.  Prior to Compeat Intelligence, they were dialing into their POS provider to make specific store-by-store requests.  The process was time consuming and made it hard to reveal trends and variances, especially with their unique tip share arrangements.

The Solutions

Kerbey Lane reduced their bottom line and simplified their processes by consolidating and automating their restaurant operations with these fully integrated solutions:

Compeat Inventory controls food and beverage costs by managing the entire back office with Inventory Control, Recipe Analysis, Menu Costing and actual vs. theoretical inventory analytics, Ordering, and more from virtually any device.

Compeat Intelligence (RADAR) restaurant management software provides the ability to control labor costs and increase sales through Invoice Management Daily P&L Generation, Sales Reporting, Food and Beverage Costing, Inventory, Payroll Exports, Labor Scheduling and more trends through a quick glance at a graph.

Compeat Accounting controls the bottom line through Consolidated financials, G/L, A/P, P&L, Daily Sales Reporting… the list goes on forever. Compeat Accounting is fully integrated with the entire suite and serves as the hub where everything comes together in perfect balance.

The Results 

Kerbey Lane has always taken pride in keeping relatively low food costs, so they were pleasantly surprised to see that Compeat cut their costs by 6% of sales in the first year of using the software! “This food cost savings is amazing considering we have only been using the software for a short period of time and still haven’t used it to its full capacity. I can only imagine how much our costs will be cut going forward,” states Michael Jackson, VP of IT of Kerbey Lane Cafe.

Upon implementing Compeat Intelligence (RADAR), Kerbey Lane Cafe began saving over 5 days per month on payroll. Centralizing their data in one place has helped them combine data, pull various sales reports, and save significant time – allowing them to reassign critical time to more meaningful and profitable tasks. “The software has paid for itself again and again,” states Mason Ayer, CEO.

Kerbey Lane has a unique “open book” management style in which they teach financial literacy to all employees who want to participate.  “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,” said Ayer. “Whoever designed Compeat Intelligence (RADAR) understands that we need to keep the data simple and need detailed reporting that can accommodate just about anybody.”

Management relies on Compeat Intelligence (RADAR) for staying on goal because it provides solid information in a timely manner.  The scoreboard resembles the P&L which helps immensely with forecasting and making real-time decisions in their daily huddle.  Drilling down to a line item such as chicken, for example, allows a cook to concentrate on one thing, not hundreds of other issues.  When a workforce of almost 700 has that kind of laser-focus, the impact on performance is phenomenal and resulted in all combined locations being within $10K of their forecasted numbers.

Kerbey Lane is currently in the process of changing POS providers and is extremely pleased with the and the smoothness of the transition and the high level of customer service they have received.  “Being compatible with just about any POS System and Accounting Software is amazing,” says Jackson. “Compeat’s customer service is unbeatable.”