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How Finance Leaders Are Using 86 Repairs to Cut Costs and Recoup Spend on R&M

Something in your restaurant kitchen breaks down. Your frontline staff calls a vendor to handle the equipment repair. 

Now what? 

  • Who is responsible for the next steps?
  • Are you paying what you should?
  • Who on your team needs to follow-up with the service provider?
  • If this is a recurring problem, who is on the hook?
20200225_V6A7468_86Repairs-screws

Those are a few of the questions that Meeka Baxter, Director of Finance at Castellucci Hospitality Group (operators of award-winning Atlanta restaurants Iberian Pig, Cooks & Soldiers, Bar Mercado, Double Zero, Recess, Sugo) asked herself when she started assessing how R&M was managed at their 7 Atlanta-area restaurants.

Making Room On An Overflowing Plate

Meeka is process-oriented. It’s one of the many qualities that make her an exceptional finance professional. The fact that these questions about repairs and maintenance processes didn’t have clear answers was a cause for her concern. 

She found that billing was a reactive tool. Meeka would review spending reports and see large amounts attributed to restaurant repairs & maintenance. What she couldn’t see was who from their staff had called for a repair, verification that the repair job was complete, or access to the proper notes of past repairs to confirm if the service call was for a new or recurring issue.

There wasn’t a clear process for promoting accountability and continuity among team members when it came to R&M. 

Repairs, and subsequently time and money, fell through the cracks without a comprehensive system in place.

“From the first phone call, the follow up wasn’t there,” Meeka said. “Who is supposed to meet the technician? Even if they come onsite the next day, who is following up? Does someone else know that a technician is coming? Is someone checking the work? There would be times when a vendor would show up, and no one knew what needed to be fixed.”

Meeka did not have the bandwidth to take on the management of repairs and maintenance or the task of tracking down invoices with vendors. Equipment repairs made up a small but consistent portion of the day’s tasks, while making up a larger and larger portion of the budget. The gaps were simply too large, and, at the end of the day they were running a restaurant. Her time and energy was best focused elsewhere.

 

The repercussions of taking a DIY approach to solving the R&M management issues were adding up.

The amount of time that Meeka had to spend communicating with vendors, trying to get a handle on what was taking place in the restaurant, and ensuring repairs were completed accurately and at an appropriate price...it was all too much. 

She considered hiring a full-time, in-house facilities manager, but she found another solution - 86 Repairs.

Since signing up with 86 Repairs, Meeka has taken the majority of tasks related to equipment repair and maintenance off her plate. The responsibility for tracking down vendors and following the breadcrumbs to understand how a repairs expense came to be no longer lies on her shoulders.

“Now we just have one number to text,” Meeka said. “We’ve been able to take that thought process off our plate and get back to concentrating on sales and our guest experience.”

86 Repairs has helped Meeka and CHG change the behavior of staff in the restaurant, to take repairs and maintenance more seriously. 

Iberian Pig
“Getting information from staff members regarding repairs used to be a painful process. 86 Repairs has been a lifesaver with this. The detailed notes on their portal are awesome, as well as the quality of the communication back and forth between us and the service providers.”

Meeka Baxter
Director of Finance, Castellucci Hospitality Group

When a team member at CHG calls 86 Repairs, they know they’re talking to a partner in their business.

86 Repairs operates as an extension of their team. When they contact us with a service incident they know a real human who has the best interests of the restaurant in mind is on the other end of the line, making recommendations and managing repairs. 

86 Repairs has been able to transform the repairs process at Castellucci Hospitality Group without adding another bullet point (or five) to Meeka’s job description. She is kept up to speed on what’s happening with R&M through the 86 Repairs platform, including email alerts, customer portal updates, savings notifications, and service incident resolution communication. 

86 Repairs communicates directly with GMs and employees at the restaurants, walks them through troubleshooting steps, and if necessary, manages the entire dispatch and repair management process with CHG’s preferred vendor list. For the first time, comprehensive information and details are kept on file for each repair, so Meeka can cross-reference them in the future when reviewing invoices and P&L statements.

With 86 Repairs, Castellucci Hospitality Group has successfully solved their repairs and maintenance issues without having to hire a full-time facilities manager. 

“They’ve helped us out a lot,” Meeka said. “I’m very grateful and appreciative because we really needed something like this. This is such a great idea.”

Cooks & Soldiers - Castellucci Hospitality Group
“86 Repairs is an important driver in our business. Their service eliminates interruptions in the repair process, their software promotes accountability amongst our team members, and the single-point-of-contact functionality replaces the need for a resource entirely focused on R&M."

Meeka Baxter
Director of Finance, Castellucci Hospitality Group