The problem in most restaurants is that the only one around is the owner. And the owner is already working 70 hours a week or more running the restaurant!’
Chris Allison, Managing Director of Auditel, the UK and Ireland’s leading cost management specialists, agrees: ‘Few independent and even multi-site businesses in this sector have the time or resources to manage their essential running costs effectively in-house. Managing expenses as diverse as utilities, premises and waste, let alone finding the time to keep on top of contract renewals, is an uphill task without dedicated, professional help.’
Auditel has built a reputation for delivering ethical and sustainable solutions for the restaurant sector through their Total Cost of Purchase® approach. This system is now widely regarded as the most effective method of managing costs holistically, reducing waste and creating ongoing profit improvement. Auditel regularly delivers results that not only meet, but exceed clients’ expectations.
Multi-site – PizzaExpress
Multi-site PizzaExpress is noted for the quality of its food and the style of its restaurants. Auditel was engaged by the then Group Operations Director in 1995 when the group had just 80 restaurants. Auditel identified as an early priority, the individual billing of utilities for each site. This represented a considerable burden for their accounts department. The opportunity to negotiate multi-site contracts resulted in savings of £175,000 p.a. and a significant reduction in purchase ledger administration.
Operating hours of restaurants are particularly relevant for electricity tariffs. A programme of tariff and meter changes had saved a further £123,000 p.a. by 1998 and identifying bill errors and overcharges generated another benefit of £576,000.
Through their unique contribution to the rapidly expanding brand, Auditel were identified as the primary resource for all aspects of utilities and telecoms. This ranged from the routine analysis of individual phone calls and monthly supplier billing to the negotiation of Group-wide supply contracts - activities which continue to identify cost reduction opportunities and supplier errors. As an example, a recent renegotiation of communications arrangements generated a further £70,000 p.a. (20.8%) cost reduction in addition to earlier savings. Recent focus has been on implementing Smart Metering and the analysis of individual restaurant consumption profiles to reduce energy consumption.
Auditel has been an integral part of the Group’s development over eighteen years, which now includes the ASK, Zizzi and Byron Hamburgers brands with a total of over 700 restaurants. Savings achieved are well over £4 million and, in the words of the Director who first engaged Auditel, ‘Our Auditel experience has been, and continues to be, quite outstanding. This is one consultancy that really does deliver and I would have no hesitation in recommending Auditel to any business. In fact, any business not using the Auditel service may be placing itself at a disadvantage!”
Independent – Patrick’s Restaurant
Independent Patrick’s Restaurant and Bar in Poole has just celebrated its sixth year of operation, an outstanding achievement in the current financial climate. Housed in the premises of an old bank, it retains many of the original features. Patrick Michael, the owner and manager, had already re-negotiated their energy supplies in order to keep the operation as streamlined as possible. However, this hands-on approach meant dealing directly with suppliers and agents and brokers promising to save him money on his overheads.
He engaged Auditel, initially, to analyse the gas, electricity, water, linen and beer line cleaning costs. Much to Pat’s surprise and delight, these investigations realised significant savings. ‘I thought I had our gas and electricity costs pretty well nailed down. I didn’t expect Auditel to find any savings in these areas, let alone 18% and 20% reductions. They have also brought our water costs down by 48%, our linen costs down by 19% and our beer line cleaning costs down by 50%, which is fantastic. In the current climate, every cost saving is significant so I’m very happy with these figures.’
As Pat says, ‘The savings found so far have already made a real difference to our operations. They have enabled us to make important investments which will help us maintain our position in the local market. From a personal point of view, though, it’s the time saving that have made the most impact. I’m now free to focus on the core tasks of running my business. In fact, I’m so impressed I’ve already recommended Auditel to two friends.’
Allison adds: ‘As Pat said, our clients value the huge time-saving our teams provide. In-house resources are freed up to concentrate on essential activities. Budgets now contain up-to-date, accurate cost management information and we have become a trusted, outsourced member of their executive team. Every month, year in and year out, we are saving tens of thousands of pounds for organisations, small, medium and large throughout the UK.