How Austin's Kerbey Lane Cafe Saved Time and Money
Diverse, adventurous, socially conscious, fun—Kerbey Lane Cafe embodies what's best about Austin, Texas. They opened the first store 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, they pride themselves on their seasonal menus, with many ingredients purchased from local farms and vendors always ensuring freshness and a unique Austin taste.
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.
Inventory and ordering was also a headache for Kerbey Lane. Without any type of purchase order system in place, their ordering was inefficient. They would manually figure out quantities to order, call each food supplier and order over the phone, and receive deliveries without a way to validate them to the original order. Invoices would come into the restaurants and be sent to accounts payable, and a check would be written for each store. The process was tedious and prone to errors.
Kerbey Lane realized they needed one fully integrated system that could meet all of their operational and financial requirements. They decided to replace their Aloha Inventory and MAS90 accounting system with Compeat. They went live with Compeat software in all five of their locations, plus their commissary, in June 2012.
Kerbey Lane immediately benefited from having all of their POS information polled into one system for daily sales reporting and integration to accounting. "With Compeat," says Michael Jackson, director of restaurant logistics for Kerbey Lane, "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."
Compeat's electronic ordering greatly expedited Kerbey Lane's ordering process. Now they simply enter new order quantities into their standing order. A purchase order automatically goes to the vendor, the restaurants validate the delivery to the original order, the vendor invoices automatically go to accounts payable, and accounts payable only needs to print one check per vendor. "Our food supplier was not previously compatible with Compeat's electronic ordering feature," Jackson says. "I called Compeat and they developed the integration for us. Compeat's customer service is unbeatable."
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 1.5 percent of sales in the first 6 months of using the software. "This food cost savings is amazing," Jackson says, "considering we have only been using the software 6 months and still haven't used it to its full capacity. I can only imagine how much our costs will be cut going forward."