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Credit: Plate IQ

While being at Manhattan Digest for four years now,  I have reviewed a ton of incredible restaurants both in and out of the city that left me quite impressed.  It was sad to see though that some of them closed as time went by, and one of the reasons for said closing just might be how they handled accounting.  In a city as fast paced as Manhattan, accounting is that much more crucial in order to really understand all about the money that is coming in and out of your location.  Plate IQ is that one company that helps with all of this in a minimal amount of time, and can be the one tool that can truly make your business excel in ways you never thought of before.

Plate IQ
Credit: Plate IQ

Plate IQ essentially is designed to cut your accounting time in half, if not further, with its amazing smartphone technology that does the work for you.  It is four easy steps: Take a picture of your invoices or send it to them using your PDF’s.  Then they will digitize all invoices and automatically map them to your GL codes (General Ledger Codes).  From there, you can review and pay your invoices and get alerts on price increases so you can better manage your finances.  You also get reports on your food prices by item and recipe, furthering the organization of your business that Plate IQ has expertly crafted for you.

Want to see how great Plate IQ truly is?  We spoke with Calvester Legister, CEO of the amazing NoHo Hospitality Group (more here) about his wonderful experience with them.

How did you first hear about Plate IQ?

As the CFO for our group, one of our senior management partners, acknowledged my repeated complaints about seeking an alternative that would ensure efficiency in entering accounts payable (AP) data – an area that was becoming increasingly labor intensive for data entry and check cutting.  I had explored other companies (AMEX, Chase and ADP) with outsourcing AP capabilities. However, these companies were weak on providing analytics…

The managing partner was introduced to Plate IQ by a friend who suggested that we review the demo. The demo was productive and we decided to test Plate IQ at one of our group’s more complex location.

What was your biggest issue with your accounting prior to knowing about Plate IQ?

As our company experienced fast grow rate year-over-year, and new restaurant projects were on boarded, there were increasing greater needs for efficiency in data input – especially in accounts payable.

When learning more about the company, what was the biggest part about the company that made you want to work with them?

Honestly, Plate IQ was practically unknown to me. However, after the demo, it was Plate IQ ability to capture large number of invoices and process these  using OCR technology that was the biggest draw. Years earlier, in another large company I had employed OCR technology, Cannon Copier Utility called  Imageware, to capture and store financial, hotel guests and HR related data using electronic cabinets. It was an amazing tool that simplify securely accessing frequently used employees’, guests’ and vendor files. My familiarity with OCR technology made it easier to accept PIQ’s approach to using the technology to process vendor payables.

When it comes to restaurant accounting, where do most companies get it wrong when going through the process?

Companies are intensely focus on the guests’ perspective, appeasements and services; each essential elements for a good guest experience. However, accessing business data in real-time, and in an efficient manner is of utmost importance to exceed competitors, ensure success in any businesses – especially restaurant operations. Utilities such as Plate IQ takes restaurant businesses one step closer to the analytics needed for what I term “information empowerment… (AFIE)”

What has been the biggest improvement for your company since you started working with Plate IQ?

Besides reducing manual labor generally needed to  process vendor payables, there is an increased level of consistency within our groups’ accounting as to how  transactions are recorded and reported despite each entity’s uniqueness.

Would you highly recommend Plate IQ to any kind of restaurant in the country?

Yes, certainly, especially for smaller companies who may be challenged to hire the correct accounting talent to manager each function.

Additionally, Plate IQ serves to help the separation of duty process and also provide access to data needed to isolate potential problems that could arise where one individual is entrusted with many responsibilities. Plate IQ represents a “no-brainer” choice for small restaurant (single location) operators.

Credit: Plate IQ
Credit: Plate IQ

It is also valuable for multi-locations operator – especially for analyzing vendors’ price variances among other features.

For more information on Plate IQ, check out their official site.