Mighty Quinn’s, a New York-based BBQ chain offering artisanal, wood-fired barbecue in a fast casual setting, implemented xtraCHEF as part of their restaurant growth strategy. By implementing systems and processes that could scale, Mighty Quinn’s set the table for national and international expansion
A Taste of the South in the East Village
The food is what, first and foremost, makes Mighty Quinn’s a force to be reckoned with.
Prior to launching Mighty Quinn’s, the founders felt there was a lack of authentic BBQ places in New York City. By offering a casual, relaxed atmosphere where guests would feel comfortable to sit down and enjoy a craft beer alongside a traditional BBQ experience or get a meal to go, Mighty Quinn’s quickly became a well-known brand…winning the 2013 Zagat Award for Best New Restaurant in New York.
Since opening their East Village flagship location in December 2012, Mighty Quinn’s has since grown to 9 corporate-owned locations throughout the New York Tri-state area. They have also executed several franchise agreements in the U.S. and have international franchised locations open in Taiwan, The Philippines and Dubai.
Pushing Paper & Punching Keys for Hours Each Week
Before bringing Mighty Quinn’s to market, Micha Magid, Co-Founder at Mighty Quinn’s, worked on Wall Street. This experience serves him well as the member of the executive team that manages the finance and accounting functions as well as systems integration.
Prior to choosing xtraCHEF, Mighty Quinn’s did what most restaurant operators do without knowledge of a better way. They did it manually. In fact, employees at the corporate office across the Hudson River in New Jersey would spend more than 10 hours per week manually receiving, reviewing, and inputting invoice data into Restaurant365.
“We would have the restaurants filing and subsequently sending the actual, physical paper invoices back to the corporate office where it would be uploaded and keyed in manually.”
Today, they use xtraCHEF’s invoice capture and document management technology to capture the invoices at the store and access them from anywhere, at any time. “One person on the accounting team can now monitor and approve invoices without having to be at the store,” said Micha.
The one person is Mighty Quinn’s Controller, Armando Ruiz, who now spends less than 2 hours each week processing hundreds of invoices across all of their geographically dispersed locations. No longer does Armando have to wait until the paper is transported across city and state lines.
“Prior to xtraCHEF, we would have a week’s worth of invoices from each individual location that needed to be coded, entered and approved,” said Armando Ruiz. “This not only took a lot of time but also resulted in delays for recording weekly expenses and submitting credit requests to our vendors.”
According to Ruiz, xtraCHEF has proven to not only be a timesaver but has been extremely cost effective. The amount of time required to code and record daily expenses and vendor credits has been significantly reduced. The related labor cost savings outweigh their investment in xtraCHEF. They’ve cut the costs related to processing invoices by greater than 50%. Further, the accounting department is now able to focus their efforts and attention on higher value tasks such as restaurant food cost analysis and improved inventory reporting.
“One of the most exciting features is the ability to be alerted on price fluctuations,” said Mr. Ruiz. “This has proven to be extremely useful to determine weekly cost drivers as well as vendor inaccuracies.”
Prior to xtraCHEF, we would have a week’s worth of invoices from each individual location that needed to be coded, entered and approved. This not only took a lot of time but also resulted in delays for recording weekly expenses and submitting credit requests to our vendors.
Restaurant Growth Strategy = Replicable, Turnkey Operation
“Every restaurant has a diverse array of vendors, from cleaning and linen services to food supply, and obviously a lot of those vendors work on disparate systems. xtraCHEF is helping us get to a place where everything is 100% turnkey.”
Being a turnkey operation is a critical tactic in Mighty Quinn’s growth strategy. With plans to open 3-5 franchise locations in the coming months, the team is very much focused on implementing processes and systems that can scale.
“We’re trying to automate and digitize every function in the finance and accounting process,” said Micha. “xtraCHEF offers us both scalability as well as a tool to minimize human error.”
As part of their growth strategy, Mighty Quinn’s must recruit, hire and train team members who can support the company’s mission of growth and community involvement. In exchange, the founders attempt to cultivate a workplace environment that supports their teams’ passion for hospitality while giving them opportunities to grow in their careers. This means giving them tools to be successful.
In order to support the growth of their operations and their team, anything and everything they do must be tied to the two goals of being easily replicated and having minimal opportunities for human error. Therefore, the systems and processes they choose must be easy to adopt and simple to use on a daily basis.
“It’s really about having a system that any GM (General Manager) can use and grasp very quickly, “ said Micha.
In addition to being easy to use and simple to get started, the software should work. Mighty Quinn’s had tried two other restaurant invoice processing providers that didn’t work out.
“I’d recommend using xtraCHEF. We had experience with two different invoice processing technologies, and they didn’t work out so well. It either works, or it doesn’t. And xtraCHEF works.”
“The results would not have been as positive without xtraCHEF’s outstanding customer support staff,” adds Armando. “Since implementation, the team at xtraCHEF has been easily accessible, fully engaged and willing to assist with troubleshooting any issues. This is a true value.”
Gearing Up for Growth
Thinking about growing your restaurant concept or even franchising? Based on his experience, Micha offers some advice to other restaurants that are looking to scale.
“The most important thing would be adopting systems for growth early on,” said Micha. “In the long run, it’s worth it rather than risk getting to a point where transitioning to a system that can support your growth becomes harder to implement.”
Due to OKC’s shutdown through most of the year and its subsequent reopening at reduced capacity, Keefe shares that the business was bringing in about 50% less revenue compared to the same period in 2019. But thanks in part to bringing in the food cost controls provided by xtraCHEF, he realized that OKC is just as profitable now as it was last year!
It’s a huge testament to how much of an effect food cost controls can have on a restaurant business’ success. “At this time last year, we were so bad at controlling costs,” says Keefe. “So it was really powerful to see that data” and discover how much OKC had improved.