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Client Spotlight: How Benihana Increased Efficiencies and Reduced Discrepancies

Posted by Leslie

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Our clients love us, and we love them right back! We're constantly amazed by their ingenuity and accomplishments. Their ideas and requests are what keep us on the leading edge of restaurant business solutions. Periodically we like to shine the light on our clients, their accomplishments and what they're doing to increase their restaurant profit margin.

Benihana is an operator of teppanyaki-style restaurants. Their 98 locations include three other concepts: RA Sushi, HARU Sushi, and Samurai.

Benihana uses several restaurant systems. When they came to Mirus they were looking for a way to piece all that information together. Executives were stuck waiting on reports while two laptops ran overnight to generate reports, with some reports taking 4 hours to run. They faced computer processing limitations, manual input errors, and financial analysts spending more time reconciling, mapping and processing data instead of actually analyzing the data.

They had tried other non-restaurant systems which were complicated and lacked user support. Mirus checked all the boxes and provided them with a one-stop shop for data analytics with easy to use tools, real-time data and fast report delivery.

I recently had the chance to sit down with Benihana's Alex Gonzalez, Director of Financial Planning & Analysis, and Meredith Meisler, Financial Analyst, to learn how Mirus helped them break the bottleneck in their reporting.



How has implementing Mirus helped you increase your efficiencies?

MM: We can provide, basically every department with whatever need they have at the moment. Our Marketing team went from spending weeks waiting for one report to now getting everything in a timely manner. We’re able to pull all their promotions, all their comps, everything. It’s also helped us with inventory, management of inventory, and all our discounting.

AG: Instead of the Marketing team seeing how a promotion did after it’s over, we go a little bit further and look at how is the promotion doing today. We can see incrementally how the promotion is doing and how it’s affecting items.

How does real-time data help restaurants?

AG: We can tell if the item is doing well or not. If it’s not doing well we can hold off on the purchasing side of things. If we’re going to do an LTO on ribeyes we do an initial order of ribeyes. Then depending on the progress of the promotion we can hold off or order more.

How do you use Mirus to monitor operations?

MM: Our Operations team loves it. They went from having very little information to becoming completely reliant on reporting from the systems we use. So if it was Aloha back of house, they used Aloha back of house reporting. They were never able to see reports all lined up together. Now being able to see it all next to each other they can utilize the information and really see the difference between the systems and how to fix problem areas. Also it helps us catch if there are discrepancies between the systems and how to adjust those.

Have you caught any discrepancies?

AG: On the labor side of it, we see things that the payroll department normally doesn’t see until it’s too late. We have something going on now with catching issues with payroll. We catch a lot of issues way ahead of time, notify the payroll department, and they can correct it right before an issue begins. So we catch a lot of issues using Mirus.

What kind of issues have you caught using Mirus?

MM: Something as simple as employee style pay rates or employees using the wrong job code. The pay rate is the biggest issue because we want to make sure they get paid. But we went from having an exceptionally large amount of live checks that would go out to cutting down considerably in the last month and have seen a massive turn around just by using Mirus reporting to tie-out in the payroll system. Mirus is catching things the payroll system didn't necessarily catch. So it’s been really beneficial on the payroll department’s end.

AG: The second thing was, as we started integrating multiple sources of data, we started off with Aloha. Each integration kind of taught us something new, what were our errors, what’s the disconnect. We now support the users of those other systems and give them alerts on the issues that they normally get and help them manage.

Tell me about the Mirus Implementation Process.

MM: The implementation of Mirus was pretty seamless. We started in May of 2016 and we were able to roll it out at our GM conference three and a half weeks later. It was pretty seamless working with the amazing Mirus team, everyone is so very communicative and on top of everything. It’s been a breeze. Alex worked with Cognos and he got to a point where he was better at Cognos then they were.

AG: That’s true.


Have any questions for our clients? Please share your comments and any other tips that may be helpful!

About Mirus:

Mirus is a multi-unit restaurant reporting software used by operations, finance, IT, and marketing.

For more information, please visit: www.mirus.com

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Topics: Client Spotlight


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