Popular fine dining group partners with BinWise to optimize their beverage program
Il Fornaio needed a solution to effectively manage its wine program of core products for over twenty locations across the United States. The company turned to BinWise to reduce their cost percentage while providing greater visibility into their programs. Key successes were found in streamlining operations while harnessing sales and purchasing data to optimize their wine program.
Il Fornaio’s Challenges
Opening its first full service restaurant in 1987, Il Fornaio has always enjoyed substantial wine sales, due in part to its popular, long-running Festa Regionale program, which features dishes and wines from a rotating schedule of Italy’s 20 different wine regions.
But as a successful restaurant chain grows, so do the difficulties of managing multiple wine programs. For a single location, keeping cost percentage low while ensuring profitability and growth is extremely difficult. These issues grow exponentially as additional locations are added.
As Il Fornaio continued to expand, three issues needed to be addressed. First, gaining visibility into the performance of its large wine programs was difficult; second, processes weren’t standardized across all of its locations; and finally, with the continually rising cost of doing business, Il Fornaio needed an additional one or two percent reduction in their cost percentage.
The BinWise Solution
After evaluating multiple solutions, Il Fornaio chose BinWise to help manage their wine program. “It was the powerful features of BinWise, not just as an inventory system but also their rich analytics and reporting, that convinced us to partner with them,” says Il Fornaio SVP of Finance Demetri Gill.
Inventory counts were completed using BinWise’s barcode scanning functionality in a fraction of the time. Having accurate counts, combined with purchasing and integrated daily POS sales data, BinWise was able to generate a daily perpetual inventory that offered on-demand, actionable insights on product pricing, variances, cost percentage and more.
With these insights, the Il Fornaio staff has been able to identify several areas in their program that needed attention. In their wine by the glass program, several of the more popular wines had sold out but not reordered in time, resulting in cost of opportunity for additional revenue.
Also, the staff has been able to determine their best sellers with lower than average cost percentage, enabling them to raise prices on those wines and garner additional revenue. Conversely, slow moving products were identified and marked for happy hour promotions or sold by the glass.
Furthermore, BinWise provided real-time data on the profitability of core products versus slower moving, location-specific products, which helped guide corporate purchasing decisions and general purchasing policy for individual products.
Through their partnership with BinWise, Il Fornaio has so far experienced an average of 1% to 2% reduction in program cost percentage through increased efficiency gained through changes to inventory levels, purchasing decisions and pricing strategies. “In addition to the reduction to our cost percentage, other non-monetary value includes more visibility into our processes and internal controls, such as policy on open wine key, banquets, wine flights for our Festa Regionale tastings, and employee purchases.” says Jeanne Cambra, Vice President of Training.
About Il Fornaio
Established in 1972, Il Fornaio began as a baking school in Barlassina (Lombardia), Italy. It wasn’t until 1987 that the first full-service restaurant opened in the United States, but today, Il Fornaio has 21 locations across the country.
BinWise is a data-driven, cloud-based platform that allows you to manage all your beer, wine and spirit programs in one place. We make it easier and faster to place orders, receive products, conduct inventory and manage beverage lists, while providing actionable reporting to lower costs and increase revenue, all within a single application.
If you’re ready to discover why establishments from pizzerias to grand award restaurants, as well as restaurant groups like the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group and Union Square Hospitality Group trust BinWise to help revolutionize their beverage programs, click here to schedule a demo