CUSTOMER CASE STUDY
Miller’s Ale House Reduces Food Waste and Increases Consistency
Restaurant makes smarter decisions across 94 locations with CrunchTime’s web-based enterprise platform
Restaurant owners and managers make many decisions every day. They decide how much food to order, what items to take off the menu, and how many employees to staff for each shift. Every choice is crucial to running a successful restaurant and the best way to make accurate decisions is to have complete and actionable data at your fingertips at all times.
As of 2019, Miller’s Ale House (www.millersalehouse.com) has 94 locations in 13 states and serves top quality food at an affordable price in a neighborhood tavern atmosphere. In 2008, the corporate office began streamlining recipes across locations as well as developing a process to manage the supply side of the business. Corporate management realized that the current system of managing data in various Excel spreadsheets was no longer working and began looking for a new solution.
After much research, Miller’s Ale House deployed an enterprise platform from CrunchTime at each restaurant, in the regions, and at corporate. “We selected CrunchTime because of its extensive reporting capabilities allowing us to capture and analyze data to make smarter business decisions,” says George Sfetsas, manager of operations analysis at Miller’s Ale House, Inc. “We were also looking for a web-based solution and CrunchTime’s platform allows our corporate staff and restaurant managers to access the tool at any time, from any device, and from any location. Last year, I was able to create and email a report from CrunchTime with sales, plus food and labor costs data for all of our locations on my smartphone while at a cookout!”
Miller’s Ale House has significantly reduced food waste.
CrunchTime’s fully integrated demand-based analytics engine allows restaurants to forecast food production schedules based on sales forecasts and historical consumption patterns. The corporate office uses information CrunchTime provides to identify products and specific locations that have opportunity to reduce waste. This valuable insight has translated into improved actual vs theoretical food cost variances across the board.
Miller’s Ale House uses CrunchTime’s recipe modeling suite for extensive menu analysis of each product served. “We can now track changes in product costs, sales mix, and margin trends more efficiently,” says Sfetsas. “Since we are a value driven concept, this tool helps us continue providing value to our guests.”
The corporate office can now compare various vendor prices efficiently using CrunchTime. “We’re able to make more informed decisions regarding our vendors, products, and menu by tracking changes in product cost and sales mix,” says Sfetsas. An electronic integration feature connects the restaurant with its suppliers, end-to- end, including electronic invoice processing, which saves time and reduces errors on both the vendor and restaurant end. “When placing an order, the system tells the manager what products they have on hand and what they need based on historical trends and the parameters defined in the system,” Sfetsas states.
Efficient management capabilities save time and money
Managers save at least five hours per week on order preparation and order accuracy. “Someone who has never written an order can go into CrunchTime and order products for the week,” says Sfetsas. “Since our business relies primarily on fresh products, it is essential to our success that we have an ac- curate and efficient ordering system.”
CrunchTime’s central recipe management capabilities have also helped Miller’s Ale House streamline recipe consistency and quality across all locations. The corporate office now uploads the recipes for all products into the digital recipe books, including production rules and pictures. When a location has a recipe question, they can pull up the latest digital version online, including recent modifications and limited time offers.
“The more data and information you can get your hands on, the more you can learn about your business, which in turn makes us more reliable for our guests,” says Sfetsas. “At Miller’s Ale House, we are in business for our guests and CrunchTime is an important tool for providing our guests with the best experience we can.”
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