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Reopening with Hospitality – Timely Sales & Budget Data

Black Restaurant Group Makes GoTab and MarginEdge Core to Operations

Black Restaurant Group, LLC (BRG) is a regional hospitality group based in Bethesda, MD. From its Michelin Bib Gourmand recognized Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, to its BlackSalt Fish Market and Restaurant.

When DC implemented indoor dining restrictions, BRG needed more flexible and consumer-friendly ordering features than were available in their legacy POS system. They engaged GoTab to run the curbside pickup/takeout channels. As the District gradually lifted restrictions, the Pearl Dive Oyster Palace and Republic locations began using GoTab for contactless dining as well.

The group also had been MarginEdge clients since 2019 to give their team visibility into real-time food costs, in the moment sales data and to streamline back office processes – which proved another powerful asset as they navigated the pandemic.

GoTab has allowed our stores to operate and stay busy, and that’s a very good thing. We are fortunate to have had tools like GoTab and MarginEdge to help us through the challenges of the past year.

Jon Linck, Partner and Director of Operations at Black Restaurant Group

Managing Store Sales and Budget Report Delays

With some BRG restaurants using GoTab, and others continuing on their legacy POS, the accounting team had a new problem. At the end of a busy weekend for example, store managers wanted fast access to their cross-channel (takeout, dine-in) sales and budget performance. While they had been using MarginEdge’s restaurant management platform for cost tracking and POS reporting since 2019, the platform only allowed integration with one POS. As a result, the accounting team needed a full business day to pull together store-level reports. In addition to the extra workload, store managers weren’t able to get timely information. BRG needed a way to quickly deliver sales and budget data across all channels and concepts without having to add more staff.

Enhanced Integration with MarginEdge

In early 2021, MarginEdge upgraded to support simultaneous integration with multiple POS systems. This meant that the accounting team no longer needed to generate a separate balance sheet for each store every night. Whether the restaurant is using GoTab, their legacy POS, or both, store managers receive a morning email with their combined sales and budget information. This makes manual work the exception, not the rule, and saves several hours of accounting time per week; time that is better spent on planning, forecasting and other higher value-added activities.

Multiple Sales Stream Data Now Available in MarginEdge

“As our stores get busier, we’re refocusing on budgets: food costs; beer, wine and liquor costs, etc.,” says BRG Partner and Director of Operations Jon Linck. “MarginEdge has been a powerful management tool. With this insight we can make better, more timely budgeting decisions. We can track sales year-over-year and they recently added another category that allows us to compare data from as far back as two years ago.”

Re-Opening with Hospitality, Easing Labor Woes

As DC gradually lifts dine-in restrictions, and more guests venture out, BRG is seeing increased demand across all their channels. They’ve been delighted to see continued high takeout business through GoTab. “With GoTab, the experience is interactive. You can browse the menu with enticing imagery and order directly from your mobile phone,” says Linck. “People are coming out more and getting more comfortable in our stores. They’re looking for hospitality, good service, good food, the whole package.”

Across the industry, restaurants are challenged to find enough staff to serve guests. BRG is no exception. They have been able to serve more guests with fewer staff in the restaurants that are using GoTab for table service.

“Our kitchen sometimes gets bogged down with the number of tickets because people just order what they want to. It’s a different flow in the kitchen and that’s sometimes a challenge, especially with dine-in service and carryout,” says Linck. “GoTab has allowed those stores to operate and stay busy, and that’s a very good thing. We are fortunate to have had tools like GoTab and MarginEdge to help us through the challenges of the past year.”

Collection of devices with GoTab software on screen.

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