Creating a recipe for success

11th November, 2016

If a business has been running for 20 years there’s a good chance that it’s a pretty good business, but things could always use a tune-up.

That was the situation facing Karl Huismann and his wife Jacqui Graham when they decided to take the plunge into the world of self-employment.

Karl is a professional chef and Jacqui has a background in business management, so when the opportunity to take over Fedele’s came up it was an offer too good to refuse.

Steady work as a professional chef was hard to come by in those days, and with three small children the aim was to invest in a business which would end up self-sufficient so the couple could find more time.

While Fedele’s which is based in Glen Waverley, had been serving the eastern suburbs of Melbourne with fantastic food over 20 years, the pair found the business operations were quite archaic and needed to be updated to move with the times.

It meant that the pair quickly realised that they were in for a challenge.

“The early days were exciting as it was overwhelming, [but] what became evident very quickly was how much we were amateurs in small business management,” said Huismann.

They began by tracking things like rent, staff costs and food costs.

“Careful observation how the business operated in the first few weeks after taking ownership was crucial,” said Huismann.

“By tracking data, analysing revenue and cost of operations we identified key changes that had to be made so the business could head in the direction we wanted.”

That’s when technology entered the mix.

Increasing efficiency, reducing risk

This is where Cooking the Books, an add on to MYOB Account Right came in handy.

An add on is a complementary piece of software or program which integrates into the MYOB suite to help business owners with a goal.

In the case of Fedele’s, menu costing used to be an estimate but with Cooking the Books they could be more certain of the unit cost of goods and price their menu accordingly.

This meant they could make sure the right profit margin was reached.

Stock orders used to be handled via telephone and fax, but now chefs can process orders via an iPad.

“Cooking the Books has put the chefs in control, forcing them to check off the orders and pricing before it gets automatically posted to MYOB,” said Huismann.

“This not only reduces the risk of pricing errors, but also saves hours of manual data entry with the bonus of being able to check our liability at any time, and it’s real-time accurate.”

For staff rostering, Karl and Jacqui turned to Tanda, a time and management add on.

Before Tanda, the pair needed to use hand-written time sheets which then had to be manually entered into MYOB to run payroll.

This led to a huge waste of time and introduced the possibility of human error into the process.

“Since implementing Tanda I can run payroll in five minutes with MYOB, and the margin of error is greatly reduced,” said Huismann.

“It also makes budgeting and rosters a lot easier. Staff can now receive rosters via SMS which they much prefer to collecting a paper roster”

Huismann said the combination of Cooking the Books and Tanda saved around two days per week of admin – time the pair has used for family time.

“We have increased confidence that the supplies coming are being properly utilised, we have tighter control over our finances which is great stress relief and have greater visibility of the operations, no matter where we are,” he said.

MYOB add-on evangelist Keran McKenzie said stories like Karl and Jacquie’s filled him with pride.

“I love that our add-ons really help our clients become more efficient, and help them better understand business performance,” he said.

Want to know more?

MYOB has over 230 add-on solutions that can solve all sorts of frustrations that businesses face.

These range from job management and staff management, through to point of sale and helping them get deeper insight into their business.

You can learn more about what add-ons are and explore our full range here.

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