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How A Multiple Location Operator Lowered COGs by 3% with MarketMan

Taco Del Mar was launched in Seattle 30 years ago by brothers James and John Schmidt.  The Colorado-based Mexican fast-casual restaurant chain pioneered serving authentic coastal Mexican cuisine like fresh fish tacos and massive mission-style burritos popular in Baja California. Offering traditional protein options such as beef and chicken, they also offer vegetarian and vegan options. The people of Seattle enthusiastically embraced the Baja flavors and fueled Taco Del Mar’s growth, today approaching 100 locations and employing over 1,400 across the U.S. and Canada. The popular chain is famous for its fast, flavorful, and nutritious food.

Brian Scott owns and operates three locations in the state of Washington: Ellensburg, Moses Lake, and Ritzville. Brian’s restaurants are traditionally among the chain’s best-performing locations and are often used as on-site training and education centers for new Taco del Mar franchisees. 

A Few Key Challenges of a Multi-Location Owner

Efficient communication is strained as supply lines extend in any business. But maintaining control over business operations in the fast-paced foodservice environment at a single restaurant is difficult — exponentially difficult as a restaurant grows into a multi-location. Communication breakdowns typically result in lost profits and a poor customer experience, so good communication is a foundational requirement. 

Proactive budgeting in these lively economic times is also a key challenge. Rapid supply chain adaptability, attention to recipe profitability, and the elimination of food waste are all essential to ensure profitability. Real-time analytics and reporting in multiple locations require intense attention to detail, and previously time-consuming manual accounting tasks and inventory management can now be digitally transformed – and accelerated – via cost-effective cloud software and restaurant technology that helps Owner/Operators do more with less.

Training and maintaining a responsive staff is also a requirement. Today, turnover due to the labor shortage is problematic, as well as the rising cost of labor. The ability to maintain quality control often boils down to new employee training and the collective experience of the staff, so the ability to maintain a reliable customer experience means standardizing business operations and replicating operational activities so new employees can quickly learn and mimic the best practices of the most experienced employees and managers.

Additionally, the business model of a restaurant is quickly evolving, and technology is playing a dominant role. The restaurant’s “technology stack” today includes Point of Sale (POS), Digital Menu Boards, Reservation Management, Online Ordering and Delivery, Automated Reservations Management, Inventory Management Systems, and much more. These not so long ago were typically manual and time-consuming tasks for restaurant employees. Today, most of these chores are automated via the cloud and can easily be digitally documented and become standardized operating procedures in easy-to-use platforms and applications.

Why Taco Del Mar Chose MarketMan

Taco Del Mar’s success was forcing a deep look at how to face these challenges. And it’s when Brian Scott found MarketMan.

MarketMan allows me to do more with less. Better inventory control, and less food waste. Integration with both Revel POS and QuickBooks means accounting and reporting are easier and faster. Some restaurant management apps I looked at were so expensive, but MarketMan is cost-effective and user-friendly, making our locations more nimble and more profitable. MarketMan also helps battle recent added stresses to my business model — inflation, the ongoing labor shortage, an increasing minimum wage in my state, and increased salaries required to retain top Managers. MarketMan reduces costs, lessens employee workload, and makes the entire team more productive.

 

MarketMan Automates Profit-Draining Manual Tasks

Researching ways to optimize the efficiency of his locations and digitalize time-consuming tasks like inventory management and invoicing, Brian Discovered cloud-based, tablet-ready, and mobile-friendly MarketMan. Replacing manual spreadsheets with an automated, easy-to-use inventory platform made an immediate impact. 

MarketMan provides restaurants like Taco Del Mar with powerful features like:

  • Recipe Costing Tools provide detailed price breakdowns for each menu item to cost each plate to identify ways to reduce food costs and increase per-dish-profit.
  • Easy Inventory Control enables inventory counts whenever, wherever, on any device. Easily track waste, theft, and report inventory quantity and values in real time.
  • Streamlined Inventory Ordering allows chefs and managers to submit purchase orders, check statuses, and manage vendors. Reduce order time, control budgets, and track costs to prevent overspending.
  • Real-Time Reporting and Analytics help you make faster and more informed decisions based on daily sales, expenses, purchasing, and menu reporting. Even non-technical employees can create and share reports on menu profitability, cost of goods (COG) sold, and gross profit reports.
  • Automated Invoice Scanning and Restaurant Accounts Payable through a photo or upload a copy of your delivery invoices. MarketMan’s platform automatically updates items and quantities received without time-consuming and error-prone manual entry.
  • Digital Cookbook functionality creates a central hub that lists all ingredients, portions, cooking instructions, and images for each menu item. The MarketMan cookbook is printable and accessible across all common devices. The Digital Cookbook is also a reference tool to quickly train your kitchen staff.

Marketman Integrates with Suppliers: Performance Food Group

Brian mentions that he recently switched his multi-location to Performance Food Group. Given Taco Del Mar’s use of fresh inventory, Performance Food Group’s wide selection of products – notably the fresh seafood – and competitive pricing with fast, convenient delivery were attractive.

Brian mentions “We switched from a competitor to Performance Food Group and the switch was very easy as MarketMan integrates with multiple suppliers.  That’s the beauty of MarketMan, it integrates with any supplier.” MarketMan automates purchasing and ordering from all your suppliers — eliminate frantic phone calls, emails, manual data entry, and calmly control purchasing budgets, delivery days, cut-off times, order reminders, and purchasing limits.

Seamless integrations with all major food distributors and most POS systems and accounting software means MarketMan can be tailored to your unique technology ecosystem. Integration partners include Square, Toast, Lightspeed, Clover, Revel, Quickbooks, Sage, TouchBistro, SAP, and many more. 

Taco del Mar Lowers Cost of Goods by 3% with MarketMan

MarketMan’s powerful reporting and analytics provide managers with real-time data to ensure inventory levels are reliably up to date. Efficient inventory management lowers the Cost of Goods (COGs) by reducing waste and spoilage, preventing overordering, overstocking, and stockouts. That efficiency can add profitably straight to a restaurant’s bottom line. 

MarketMan’s reporting and analytics provide managers with real-time data to ensure inventory levels are reliably up to date. Brian says “MarketMan has lowered our cost of goods because it is very easy to check the data in MarketMan. Based on the data, I adjust our pricing accordingly. I would say MarketMan lowered our overall COGs by at least 3%. Some items more and some less, but on average at least 3%.”

We previously had Managers doing weekly inventory, manually on spreadsheets. And updating prices on the spreadsheets, comparing them to invoices, where the risk of inputting incorrect data is high. But after MarketMan, our Managers went from 1 ½ hours per week doing inventory to 20 minutes and improved data input accuracy.

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