Hickory Tavern Maximizes Ordering & Inventory Efficiency, Reduces Costs with SmartOrders

by JC Whipple

Elevating Operations and Profits Through BeerBoard’s Standardized Connected Cloud Data-Driven Decision-Making

In the dynamic world of the restaurant industry, Hickory Tavern, a regional chain with 20 locations, has not only embraced innovation but has also utilized BeerBoard’s SmartOrders solution to revolutionize the way they interact with distributors, streamline operations, and make informed, data-driven decisions that directly impact their bottom line.

A Strategic Shift
Hickory Tavern recognized the need for a solution that could transform their ordering processes and operational efficiency. With an average of six different distributors per location, the manual ordering of inventory was a significant challenge. SmartOrders seamlessly integrated into their existing systems, providing a user-friendly interface for location managers to place orders directly with distributors for Full LBW (Liquor, Beer, Wine).

According to Mike Burnette, Director of Network & Data Administration for Hickory Tavern, “SmartOrders has been a game-changer for us. The ease with which our managers can now place orders directly with distributors has significantly streamlined our operations, allowing us to focus more on delivering an exceptional dining experience to our patrons.”

Massive Time Savings
The impact of SmartOrders on Hickory Tavern’s operational efficiency and cost reduction has been nothing short of remarkable. Inventory, a task that previously took location managers 1.5 to 2 hours per week, is now completed with unprecedented speed and accuracy; literally in minutes. The time saved has allowed managers to redirect their focus towards enhancing customer service and overall dining experiences.

Burnette emphasized, “The time savings have been significant. Our managers can now devote more attention to ensuring our patrons have a memorable dining experience. It’s not just about efficiency; it’s about creating a positive environment for both our staff and customers.”

Invoice Capture Made Easy
In a regulatory environment where compliance is key, SmartOrders introduced a highly-valuable feature for Hickory Tavern — Invoice Capture. North Carolina ABC requires retailers to keep distributor invoices on file for three years. SmartOrders provided a digital solution to what was previously a tedious and time-consuming effort.

“Our previous practice was to keep paper copies of each invoice on file in each location. This led to storage challenges and potentially lost or forgotten files,” explained Burnette. “The digital capture of our invoices has proven to be a valuable feature of SmartOrders, allowing us to comply with ABC regulations at a moment’s notice.”

Fact-Based Decision-Making and Cost Reduction
One of the standout features of SmartOrders is its ability to provide detailed data insights. This data has proven to be a powerful tool for Hickory Tavern in making fact-based decisions on ordering and strategically managing the company’s Cost of Goods Sold (COGS).

“As a result of implementing SmartOrders, we have lowered our COGS by 1.5-2%. The data has been eye-opening. Previously, we gave stores leeway on their bar decisions, but now have certain mandates across our stores. Managers are able to select products within a pricing structure, and the data is then telling us what sells and what doesn’t,” explained Burnette. “We have been able to refine our bar offerings and lower our ordering volume since we are wasting less product.”

Looking To the Future
As Hickory Tavern continues to leverage its use of SmartOrders, the focus is on continuous improvement and staying ahead in an industry that thrives on innovation. The benefits have not only streamlined operations but has also set the stage for future advancements and strategic growth.

The partnership between Hickory Tavern and BeerBoard exemplifies how embracing technology can lead to tangible improvements in efficiency, time savings and overall operational excellence. SmartOrders stands as a testament to the transformative power of innovation in the restaurant industry.