- Location: Northborough, Massachusetts
- Industry: Casual dining chain
- Web site: www.bertuccis.com
"The Epicor database simplicity has made it easy for us to understand and move this critical data into the restaurant reports."
James D. Lux, Vice President of IT | Bertucci's Corporation
No one ever claimed that running a restaurant was easy. In fact, restaurants stand as one of the toughest businesses to run, with a full 60 percent of them out of business within five years of opening their doors, according to Dun & Bradstreet® statistics. But with the right mix of good management practices, tenacity, technology, and a great menu and staff, Bertucci's has managed to buck the trend and persevere in a competitive environment.
Seven years ago, executives at the Northborough, Massachusetts-based casual dining chain realized that its Great Plains financial software wasn't pulling its weight. They tested several new options, and decided that Epicor for Hospitality and Entertainment would be the right technology partner to help it reach its goals.
According to Jim Lux, Bertucci's vice president of information technology, the choice was an important one for the multi-location restaurant chain, which-like many of its competitors-faces the difficult task of centralizing information for consistency and availability.
"Information sharing in a multi-location restaurant chain is much harder than a single restaurant," Lux explains. "Each of our restaurants must deliver its daily operational information to our corporate office for analysis and internal control."
Lux says that Bertucci's leadership knew technology would be a necessary ingredient in getting that information back to corporate headquarters in a timely, accurate manner. "We recognize technology as both a strategic advantage and a way to better manage our business," says Lux. "As a result, we're always interested in looking at technology as a means to solve business problems."
22 Years and Going Strong
Founded in 1981, Bertucci's operates 89 casual dining restaurants in 11 states and the District of Columbia. To keep tabs on each restaurant and integrate individual restaurant information into the bigger picture, Bertucci's has relied on Epicor software solutions since 1996.
Bertucci's uses Micros 3700 point of sale system at each restaurant location. Corporate headquarters pulls information from Micros on a nightly basis into a data warehouse, and then filters that information through the audit process into the Epicor system.
Using Epicor, executives and managers have timely access to key information on individual restaurants' sales, discounts, labor, menu mix, and other essential metrics. Operational, financial, and exception reporting is available company-wide through the Bertucci's Intranet as well as delivered to wireless PDA's carried by Bertucci's executives.
"We have everything plugged into Epicor," Lux says, referring to the company's use of the Epicor Import Manager product. Through an audit system, for example, Lux says Bertucci's can validate sales and payment information from each of its restaurants. Through that system, all sales, discounts, tenders, cash, and credit card information can be validated and used for future forecasting and planning.
"Our audit application works very nicely with Import Manager by creating a data set and inserting it right into tables in the Epicor system," says Lux. "Then we import all of that right into the general ledger environment."
Also imported into Epicor is Bertucci's payroll information and the company's accounts payable data, pulled from each restaurant's ReMacs back office system. Lux says Bertucci's relies on the Epicor Import Manager, and that its overall functionality helps the restaurant control head count at the corporate offices. "The Epicor database simplicity has made it easy for us to understand and move this critical data into the restaurant reports," says Lux.
Planning for Future Growth
To help it reach its growth goals in an increasingly competitive industry, Bertucci's will rely on key components like food costing as it relates to the firm's entire procurement and sourcing system. Lux is looking at using Epicor SRM (supplier relationship management), which includes a sourcing and e-procurement solution, to address such needs, as well as various cash receipt modules.
"We're currently evaluating potential franchise partners, and looking forward to more geographical expansion as a result of being certified to franchise in all 50 states," says Lux, who expects to work closely with Epicor to further hone the company's technology system for maximum effectiveness as the company grows.
"Our use of Epicor is very appropriate, both for our restaurants and for our company as a whole," says Lux, who sees the Epicor increased focus on the hospitality industry as a positive move that will allow Bertucci's to leverage new products that plug directly into its existing system.
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industries. With more than 40 years of experience, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor solutions enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise and passion for excellence, Epicor inspires customers to build lasting competitive advantage. Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional, and global businesses demand. For more information, visit www.epicor.com.