How Moncton’s Meals Revenue is Fixing One of many Restaurant Enterprise’s Largest Issues
MONCTON – A Moncton-based startup hopes to solve one of the restaurant industry’s biggest issues.
Food Profit Group calculates the true cost of manufacturing for every dish on their menu and helps the restaurant determine where improvements need to be made.
The company got its start in 2012 by Andre LeBlanc and Andre Pellerin (who left the company in July 2015) as Food Tender, an application that helped restaurants order their supplies.
LeBlanc, who is a chef by trade, soon joined forces with David Jonah. They realized restaurants were struggling with a bigger issue: they didn’t know the true cost of each meal.
“The true pain point in the restaurant business is most owners didn’t know what their true cost of manufacturing was,” LeBlanc says. “They wanted to get a better view on how their kitchens were performing based on the ingredients that they’d buy, how much they should have used, and filling what we call ‘the gap.’”
So under parent company Food Tender Solutions Inc, Food Profit Group was created. LeBlanc serves and president and co-founder and Jonah as CEO. Now in business for about a year, Food Profit takes away the time and paperwork of supply invoicing. They also analyze the restaurant’s data so they know exactly how much they are spending per dish. Many restaurants still do this on their own, but Food Profit offers to do it for them using up to five different technologies, including an invoice manager and a recording tool.
Though there are other recipe management systems on the market, LeBlanc says Food Profit takes things a step further.
“What we do differently is we get them to scan their invoices to us. We do the interpretation of the data and put that into the recipe management system for the customer. Most people would do that themselves, but it’s very time-consuming,” LeBlanc says. “An average restaurant can spend at least 40 hours a week just doing that, inputting line by line of detail into a food costing engine. We do it seamlessly. It’s certainly not perfect because food service invoices have a lot of discrepancies on them, so we correct, identify and communicate with the customer to improve it.”
LeBlanc says there are be several reasons why restaurants can experience cost issues when it comes to supplies and ingredients.
“[They could be] not portioning it properly, they could not be buying the right product or maybe the price has increased. We don’t like to talk about it, but theft could also be a problem in the organization,” he says. “We strategically pinpoint where the problem areas in a restaurant are. We take all the data within their business, what they purchase, how they use it and how much sold and give them actionable intelligence so that owners can ask better questions within their culinary team and their food and beverage managers to find profits within their business.”
Right now Food Profit’s clients span Canada, the United States and Singapore and tend to be independent businesses or small franchises that exceed $1 million in sales or more. Food Profit has a team of eight mostly based in Moncton. LeBlanc says he would like to see Food Profit maintain 400 to 500 clients over the next year. In the long-term, he envisions the company becoming the main hub for restaurant solutions.
“We want to be that ecosystem that any restaurant owner who wants to either open a restaurant or has one can go to. If we don’t have a solution for you, we’ll help you find it or refer you to someone who does,” says LeBlanc.
This could mean acquiring or partnering with other businesses in the industry.
We know we can’t be everything to everyone. We’re going specialize in invoice management and food costing and accounting practices. But we really hope to partner with or acquire different technologies and pull them into our ecosystem,” LeBlanc says.
“That’s really the new way of doing business. You’re an expert in your field and you partner with people who are experts in their field for the better of all.”