CASE STUDY: Finney’s Crafthouse

How RRFMG Help Finney’s Crafthouse Prepare For Scalable Growth With Restuatarant365 

Finney’s Crafthouse is a successful Southern California chain of family-owned American taverns with big growth plans. However, their 3rd-party accounting service wasn’t keeping pace with their aspirations. The financials produced by the 3rd-party frequently required adjustments, and getting those adjustments along with revised financials was often a delayed process. Not having timely financial information and accurate reports during a period of growth could lead to negative repercussions for management, investors, and banks.

When senior executives needed reports for outside investors like loan schedules, debt schedules, 12-month financials, balance sheets, and even average guest checks, it was “like pulling teeth”, according to Controller Steve Wilson. The time lag between requesting this information & having it produced was incompatible with a rapidly growing operation.

Something had to change.

Enter Restaurant & Retail Financial Management Group (RRFMG). As Restaurant365’s (R365) very first Platinum Partner, RRFMG had already implemented R365 for HUNDREDS of restaurant units. With nearly every one of its team members a CPA, and all of them R365-trained, RRFMG was able to put hundreds of years of collective restaurant accounting experience to work for Finney’s, implementing R365 as their new restaurant accounting system.

RRFMG immediately got to work by doing a full implementation of the R365 Accounting & Operations modules for all of Finney’s stores and home office. Crucially, they got the modules configured from the very start exactly the way Finney’s wanted them to run. Post-deployment, RRFMG undertook daily management of Finney’s R365 instance, including maintenance, technical support, and security.

With R365 successfully deployed, RRFMG continued improving Finney’s accounting operations on the staffing side. When Wilson decided he needed assistance building his accounting team, RRFMG worked with him to add an off-shored CPA in the role of Accounting Supervisor. The Accounting Supervisor was provided through RRFMG’s “Virtual CPA” program, a service offered via its Philippines office which recruits rock-star accounting talent to match a client’s specifications and needs.

While searching for, onboarding, and training the Accounting Supervisor in the Philippines, RRFMG placed a temporary Team Member onsite in the needed role who documents procedures, prepares necessary SOPs, and flowcharts all the processes. This ensured a seamless transition for the Accounting Supervisor to hit the ground running on day one. The temporary Team Member then became the backup to the Accounting Supervisor if/when needed. Additionally, RRFMG’s Virtual CPA services provided Wilson with a Client Account Manager (CAM) who acts as the first point of contact when assistance is needed by the Accounting Supervisor.

This ensured a seamless transition for the Accounting Supervisor to hit the ground running on day one. The temporary Team Member then became the backup to the Accounting Supervisor if/when needed. Additionally. RRFMG’s Virtual CPA services provided Wilson with a Client Account Manager (CAM) who acts as the first point of contact when assistance is needed by the Accounting Supervisor.

The offshored Accounting Supervisor worked out so well, Finney’s also had RRFMG recruit an Accounting Manager/Assistant Controller. As Wilson points out, the cost savings in offshoring to the Philippines when compared to California salaries and benefits is “amazing” and the work ethic is “refreshing”.

The resulting improvements in accounting and operational efficiencies have also been amazing.

Finney’s now issues financials within 10 days of the Period close. Critical measures like same-store sales and food costs will go out even sooner, on day 5 after the close. The turnaround time is much quicker than before.

Operational speeds have also improved dramatically. When Finney’s opens up a new location, Wilson just sends an e-mail to RRFMG asking for the location to be added. That in turn triggers a behind-the-scenes process that seamlessly links up the new store to Finney’s POS system within minutes.

“Once we flip the switch from pre-opening to post-opening, we can pull over all the needed information from the POS into R365. That includes employees’ labor costs, average guest checks, guest counts, and we can compare the new restaurant to other similar locations across the concept portfolio, which is great!”

By the end of 2023. Finney’s will have doubled its store count since it brought in RRFMG to implement R365! This would have been impractical with their previous outsourced accounting service provider.

Wilson concludes, “RRFMG is helping the accounting department grow as the Company grows. Our needs a year ago are different than what our needs are today, so being able to have that support…to know the software can handle what we’re doing and staff can easily be added with RRFMG. All that sets us up to grow from where we’re at relatively easily and with confidence knowing nothing falls through the cracks, which is great to have. I couldn’t do it without RRFMG and R365 and what they do for me”