By Lee Schnoor, CIO, Macayo’s Mexican Kitchen Restaurant
The economy has been hard on restaurants the last few years, and Macayo’s Mexican Kitchen is no exception. It’s a struggle to remain profitable as our supply costs increase and customers decrease. But even in this tough business climate, we’re using our private cloud to give our 18 restaurants the operational agility they need to thrive.
We have two networks, one of which supports the local transaction data and another that runs all of our business and operational programs. Everything is Intel®—the point-of-sale terminals and our servers. Our “cloud” includes business servers at each restaurant, servers at our restaurant commissaries, plus our data center located at corporate headquarters. Restaurant staff use this cloud for everything related to operations, including inventory tracking, ordering, staffing, maintenance, email, and more.
For both our local store employees and our corporate staff, our cloud puts the information readily at hand so we can make quick adjustments to our menus, staffing, and inventory. For example, if we notice an item running low at one store—maybe salsa or chips or tamales—we can easily see what’s on hand in other locations and quickly take from one store to get through the busy time. We can also change our delivery schedule to get a shorted item to another place within hours if necessary.
This data also helps at the corporate level because we can evaluate our pricing and menu options to ensure that we’re offering the food that our customers will buy. For example, we might try a new recipe as a “special” for a few weeks. If we notice that it’s selling well, we can decide to add it to the regular menu. If it isn’t selling well, we can stop offering it. That way we can print new menus infrequently while still offering what customers want.
As we’ve grown—both in number of restaurants and the amount of data we’re collecting—our network traffic has also grown. We’ve had to increase our bandwidth accordingly so that users can access their data quickly. We’ve also had to plan beyond today, for processing performance, storage capacity, and bandwidth capabilities, to support added network utilization in the future.
Macayo’s cloud has been a critical survival tool during the down economy. It allows us to manage the business better. Of course, our food is why customers keep coming. And because we can serve up fresh, delicious choices with maximum efficiency, we’re able to keep our doors open so they can.
"Macayo’s cloud has been a critical survival tool during
the down economy. It allows us to manage the business better."
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