Customer Success - Ruby Slipper Restaurant Group
Born from the undeniable spirit and soul of New Orleans, Ruby Slipper Restaurant Group provides restaurants that celebrate the craveable and creative flavor and spirit of brunch.
With over 20 Ruby Slipper and Ruby Sunshine locations, and new locations opening regularly, the Ruby Slipper Restaurant Group believes in brunch.
Before COGS-Well, Ruby Slipper did not utilize an inventory control system and the restaurant managers did not count inventory. Invoices were collected from the restaurants by the accounting department and manually entered into accounting. The only way to historically know what they were buying was to ask their vendors.
In late 2020, Jennifer Beougher, Ruby’s CFO, teamed up with Ruby’s COO (now CEO), Peter Gaudreau, to select an inventory control system. Jen and Peter were looking for a system that would integrate with their existing systems (Plate IQ, Toast POS, Sage Intacct accounting, and MIRUS decision support).
“I was immediately attracted to COGS-Well because they could use EDI and Plate IQ integration to capture our invoice history and create our starting inventory database. They provided an opportunity for us to convert a 9 to 12-month implementation process into a few days”, Jennifer Beougher, CFO, Ruby Slipper Restaurant Group.
At the start of February 2021, Ruby Slipper installed COGS-Well in 18 restaurants. COGS-Well set up the initial database for these restaurants in 6 days and the restaurant managers recorded their first inventory count on February 25th. Ruby Slipper now uses COGS-Well in 21 restaurants.
“COGS-Well was a natural fit to the systems infrastructure that we were building. It integrated with our other systems, it was very easy to implement, and it facilitated the new behavior for our managers of counting inventory”, Jennifer Beougher.
Ruby next created recipes for all of their menu items. They also started using COGS-Well's transfer request, fulfillment, and approval features. Full integration to their Intacct accounting system was also completed.
Increased Control and Insight:
Ruby Slipper is a textbook example of using variances between theoretical and actual inventory cost and usage to evaluate restaurant performance. After every weekly inventory count, theoretical versus actual variances are reported for each restaurant. Acceptable variance percentages are included in a Manager’s bonus calculation.
"Being able to measure our managers on actual versus theoretical inventory cost and usage has increased their knowledge of how COGS (cost of goods sold) works. It also increased their awareness of recipes, waste, and portioning. It has created a whole new discipline for our company versus just knowing purchases every week which isn’t enough in this world of climbing inflation", Jennifer Beougher.
“By shifting our focus to theoretical versus actual variances, the managers know that regardless of inventory cost changes, we are evaluating them based on what they can control. They realize that variances only occur from things like waste, over/under portioning, theft, etc. Relative to cost control, I always tell our managers to focus on the things they can control”, Jennifer Beougher.
Plate IQ and Vendor EDI integrations have significantly expedited and improved the invoice collection and the accounts payable entry process for Ruby Slipper.
The fact that COGS-Well can leverage the scanned and EDI invoices to capture the inventory line-item detail means that managers do not need to enter this information manually. In addition, Ruby Slipper can easily monitor what items they are buying, at what price, and from what vendors, for a single restaurant or in aggregate.
Ease of Use:
COGS-Well prides itself on providing a system that can be quickly installed and easily maintained. Typical installations only take a few days and COGS-Well maintains the inventory database for each customer via a free Receiving Audit service.
“The fast and easy implementation was a major selling point for COGS-Well. But we have also come to appreciate the COGS-Well auditors who monitor our invoices and verify or correct new inventory items for us”, Jennifer Beougher.
COGS-Well has developed specialized features for commissary management. Many of our multi-location customers utilize commissaries.
“Our New Orleans locations use COGS-Well to request transfers from our local commissary and biscuit buggy. The commissary uses the cost markup and labor markup features for items going to the restaurants so we can recover our true costs. The way we used to account for the commissary was a pain point and COGS-Well has eliminated the pain”, Jennifer Beougher.
COGS-Well combines recipe costs and sales mix to determine the theoretical cost and profitability of menu items. Menu engineering adds menu item popularity to rank each menu item's effectiveness.
“Better understanding the components of our food cost has been a big benefit of using COGS-Well. How much is inflation, how much is waste, and how much is the sales mix? We had no way of getting at this data before. With COGS-Well’s menu modeling tools comes the power of making better decisions about our menu”, Jennifer Beougher.
“COGS-Well’s support is top-notch. Support has been great and very responsive from the start. When we request new features COGS-Well has been willing to provide them rather than trying to convince us to change our business processes”, Jennifer Beougher.
Ruby Slipper has made excellent contributions to COGS-Well’s feature set. Their hands-on experience has lead COGS-Well to develop several multi-location usage reports, inventory depletion features (for donations), an interface with MIRUS decision support, and numerous other upgrades.