Case Study: Great Food Group

10/27/2014 Posted by Brandon

Patrick Albrecht is a restauranteur in Atlanta, GA. He manages two busy restaurants and banquet venues for Great Food Group: Paul’s and Social Vinings.

Of course managing any one business alone is enough for most people, but two? How does Patrick and others like him do it?

“The restaurant industry has always been hesitant to adapt technology, but we’ve found using tech is essential for creating efficiencies,” is how Patrick put it.

Patrick explained that while employing technology leads to efficiencies, deploying multiple solutions can have it’s disadvantages.

“We had too many software services. We needed a single solution that could handle all of it.”

Knack: solving many problems with a single solution

Patrick needed a flexible yet powerful online database solution that could work for multiple users and didn’t require any programming.

This search led to Knack. Patrick was hooked from day one. “I was so into this program that I spent 8 hours a day working with it.”

Patrick explained that Knack let them tackle many problems at once. “We combined 8 separate systems we were currently using into one app. It’s absolutely awesome.”

These systems being replaced included Dropbox, Word, Excel, Evernote, Email and a reservation system.

Patrick was able to use Knack to build a comprehensive database application that combined the specific utility each of these systems provided.

Event Management: solving one piece of the puzzle

One of the most troublesome business problems that Knack helped solve was for event management: booking and planning for events and banquets at the restaurants.

Event management was always a huge drain on time and resources. This included taking the initial phone call, documenting client requirements, and dispersing the information to specific departments.

To compose and distribute all the materials for events required one full day of word processing, printing, emailing and even hand-delivering documents.

The app in action on an office iPad.

Patrick was able to use Knack to replace this entire process with a cloud-based solution that was simple for his team to use and worked on mobile-devices right out of the box.

Staff can manage every facet of a banquet reservation from a few key tabs in the app:

  • add new clients or connect reservations with existing clients
  • create a detailed summary of the reservation and necessary accompaniments (food menu items/orders, tablecloths required, chairs, etc)
  • add events to a shared calendar.

Instead of writing, emailing, and printing variations of the customer requirements for three departments, everyone gained instant access to their specific list of instructions.

Each team member receives an email when a new event is posted requesting a review of the tasks assigned to them and their department. This includes outside vendors and the client!

What was taking a full day to complete now takes minutes and is instantly available.

Saving time and money

“Staff love it. It saves everyone time,” Patrick explained when describing the benefits of adapting the new Knack app.

Expenses were slashed by eliminating other software systems and reducing staff hours needed to manage the process.

Patrick is thrilled with the results. “I expect long term savings to equate to around $20k a year. When the app is fully up and running, this number will most likely double.”

The beauty of custom app building

Knack enables you to build completely custom business applications, so Patrick wasn’t limited to event management.

Some of the other functions he’s added to his app include:

  • managing tip-outs
  • linking his POS system to a messaging portion of his app
  • adding a notes toolkit for site managers
  • implementing automated email communication around day to day business functions.

He also plans to build a food order system for his chefs to place orders directly with vendors and suppliers.

Patrick’s "Admin" app

Patrick is a Knack All-Star!

“Knack requires no scripting, allows unlimited users, the price is right, it’s a home-run!” Patrick said when asked to sum up his Knack experience.

Great job, Patrick! You’ve built an amazing app. We’re always thrilled to see Knack having a direct impact on the businesses of our customers.