When Neighborhood Restaurant Group grew to 17 locations across 3 states, the commissary kitchen they depended on to maintain their famously high standards started to feel the strain.
From a production and delivery standpoint, their systems were humming. Adding more capacity for prep, cooking, and baking was no problem, and delivery was a logistics challenge they could handle. The kitchen had all the marks of a high- functioning, large-scale cooking operation, and customers in the restaurants were consistently happy.
“It was basically a huge game of telephone, a perfect storm for miscommunication. Then, our commissary pastry chef heard about BlueCart...”
There was just one problem. They were ostensibly one big company, with the restaurants and commissary working hand in hand, but communication between the two sides of the business was overly complicated, and ordering was an absolute mess. Commissary Managers were updating 17 different spreadsheets every week – one for each of the restaurants – and sending 17 different emails, letting chefs know the order guides were set. Chefs then had to download those forms and fill in their orders without messing up the layout or any of the embedded formulas.
Of course, busy chefs were prone to the occasional error, and multiplied over 17 chefs, correcting those errors was taking the commissary at least 2 hours a week— just to correct mistakes, not even to process the orders themselves.
To make matters worse, chefs who went home and didn’t have access to their computers or spreadsheets ended up texting in long lists from memory, which inevitably meant more mistakes, and more hassle for the commissary who now had to translate a text message into an order before they could even begin to fulfill it.
It was basically a huge game of telephone, a perfect storm for miscommunication. Then, the commissary pastry chef heard about BlueCart.
BlueCart gave NRG
- Automatically customized order guides for each of the 17 different locations, so that commissary managers update only one product list.
- Web and mobile ordering for chefs.
- Automatically organized orders in one easy to manage format.
- Automatically generated batch lists, making it easy to produce large quantities.
- Real time data insights, allowing chefs and commissary managers to see trends and spot anomalies they occur.
Two things changed right away: both the chefs and commissary managers spent a lot less time dealing with ordering, and the number of incorrect orders decreased dramatically. On top of that, in-app messaging tied to orders led staff to report feeling better about overall company communication.
With BlueCart, ordering and communication finally caught up with the rest of the commissary procedures, and NRG today looks every bit like the high-functioning national brand it has always aspired to be. Plans for a new round of expansion are in the works, and management is confident they now have the tools in place to open as many locations as the market will bear.