Los Angeles - Orlando - & Everywhere in Between & Beyond
Restaurant CIOs is happy to provide free consultation to your restaurant company during the COVID-19 crisis. Our veteran restaurant CIOs are well suited to develop creative solutions that will help maximize your off-premises operations in these difficult times.
CIO as a Service (CIOaaS) provides your company with one of the top hospitality CIOs as a member of your executive team, but on a fractional basis. While this is unique in itself, your company will also benefit from the expert advice of the other top restaurant CIOs, as your company faces major decisions or challenges.
This is not a typical technology consulting service. While we can also handle specific technology projects, we prefer the ongoing relationship approach of CIOaaS. This way, we attain a much deeper understanding of your company. This extensive knowledge, combined with our talents and experience in the restaurant industry, allows us to provide maximum value for your company.
Areas of Expertise
- Thought Leadership
- Technology Alignment with Organizational Goals
- IT Steering Committee leadership
- Translation of Strategy to internal IT organization
- IT Road Mapping
- System Architecture Design
- System Integration
- Value and Risk Assessment - Key Technology Decisions
- Assessment and Mentorship of current IT organization
- Technology Vendor Analysis
Joe Tenczar – Joe has been a senior tech executive since 2000. He has been the CIO for several hospitality companies, most recently Hard Rock and Sonny’s BBQ. Joe’s teams rolled out non-traditional POS systems for his last two companies. These systems later became widely accepted in the industry, showing his ability to take on next generation technology, but only after intense risk/ value assessment. Joe came from a programming background and is a certified Scrum master. He has an MBA and runs all technology decisions through a business filter. He specializes in franchises, integrating systems, innovative technology, and dealing with technology disruption.
Brian Pearson - Brian has been in Restaurant Technology leadership since 2002, and has worked for some of the industry’s top brands. While his technology career began in the US Army with cryptography and telecommunications, his years of Operations Leadership in the Restaurant industry is what guides much of his vision. Brian led IT in BJ's Restaurants as it grew from 20-100 restaurants, and built their automation platform and their IT team from the ground up. Brian later went on to architect and implement the world's first fully integrated iPad based Point of Sale for STACKED Restaurants. If there's an Operator in the room, Brian has their back.
Experienced. We have direct experience in a wide variety of brand specialties: from QSR to Fine Dining; from single stores to global brands; private and public; company owned or franchised. We have worked for some of the more influential restaurant brands in a variety of facets.
Connected. The Restaurant CIOs partners are all members of influential industry advisory boards, focus groups, and chapter based organizations. This ensures that we retain a solid understanding of the industry now and in the future. We also actively participate in industry research and numerous industry events (MURTEC, FSTEC, NRA, etc.) that give us a broad awareness of what vendors in this space are offering.
A diverse viewpoint. The CIOs come from different backgrounds, company types, and have different talents and skills. Above all, they think differently. The value of having them together comes from their assessing problems and solutions from these varied perspectives.
Today’s workforce wants to know you are invested in their development and have moved on from outdated training approaches. One of the best ways to gain a competitive edge and attract, develop, and retain top talent is to implement an effective and engaging eLearning program.
With over 20 years’ experience helping Fortune 500 companies deploy eLearning, Bob Duprey and the Restaurant Playbooks® team offers eLearning consulting services.
First, we focus on the goals for your business.
We will work with you to benchmark current state and performance improvement goals – mutually establish a baseline – determine the data points to be used to measure improvements in learning and performance over time – correlate learning data to business metrics – review and fine tune as required.
Who can we help?
- At the early stages of developing and deploying online training
- With limited online training expertise or resources
- That value an outside perspective
- Exploring innovation or best practice
- Seeking to define or improve training ROI
- Increasing brand awareness
- Educating restaurant front-line employees
- Improving product knowledge and sales
Areas of Expertise:
- Learning ecosystem development
- Microlearning and mobile learning strategy
- Behavioral change and business impact measurement strategy
eLearning program development and delivery
- Training Needs Analysis
- Instructional Design and storyboards
- Video scripts, production, post-production
- Updating Flash and legacy content for web/mobile
- LMS/LXP and Performance Support platform selection
Clients I’ve worked with:
Restaurants: Aramark, Burger King, Dunkin Brands, Friendly’s, Subways, YUM Brands
Suppliers: AIM To Serve, Bacardi USA, IMPOSSIBLE™ Foods, WJ Deutsch Wine & Spirits
Bob Duprey – Founder/Customer Success
Over the last 20 years I’ve worked with Fortune 500 companies across all industries to help them implement online and mobile (eLearning) solutions. I’ve put together an agile virtual team of passionate Hospitality, Learning & Development, and Tech industry pro’s with hundreds of years of combined expertise developing and implementing systems, processes, online training, and performance support.
My vision is to help operators and suppliers gain a competitive edge by implementing effective online training solutions. Our approach is to leverage the lessons learned and best practices utilized by high performing organizations. Advances in mobile devices, video, connectivity, and LMS/platform technology make this possible at a fraction of the time and cost investments previously required.
Our mission is to help restaurant operators and suppliers to:
- Develop eLearning programs that are time and cost effective to implement.
- Deliver eLearning experiences that digital natives will want to engage with… as opposed to the boring ‘page turner’ courses or passive talking head videos that are widely available.
- Support the execution of effective eLearning that has a quantifiable, positive impact on your business.
Location: Charlotte, NC (HQ)
Digital Channel Engagement: RTS can help restaurant companies get online to support delivery/take out/ "grocerant" operation.
Concept Evolution: RTS can aid restaurants in reconfiguring their menu to leverage ingredient mix that minimizes inventory as thy move into an off premise concept. In addition, we can help select grocery items that fill the void between overbooked grocery stores and consumer demand.
Cash Flow Management: RTS experts can support companies navigate the cash challenges they face. We can support gathering critical data that allows one to prioritize payments to vendors and payroll. Other cost considerations are then addressed including rent and debt payments.
Lease Remediation: If a company decides to close a location permanently, temporarily or even stay operating, RTS can help negotiate with landlords on rent abatement or lease termination.
- Restaurant Companies
- Restaurant Technologies
- Restaurant Technology Service Companies
- Private Equity Companies
- Speaking & Event Planning
Areas of Expertise
- Brand + Marketing Strategy
- Franchise Strategy
- Technology Strategy
- Concept Revitalization
- Revenue Optimization
- Menu Optimization
- Throughput and Operational Optimization
- Guest Journey + Environment
- Information + Accounting Systems
- Performance Management
- Annual + Strategic Planning
Restaurants: Top Golf, Veggie Grill, Rainbow Room, ONE Group, Cooper’s Hawk Winery, Burger King, Mendocino Farms, Habit Burger, Jose Andres/Think Food Group, Daily Grill, Friendly’s, Boston Market, Magnolia Bakery, TAO
Suppliers: Par Technology, Xenial, ShiftOne, Get Wisely, OrderMark, It's a Checkmate, HotSchedules, Compeat
Fred is the founding and managing partner of RTS. LeFranc’s aptitude in strategic planning, leadership training, and business development has helped numerous companies achieve increased sales and profits. His expertise is in strategic planning, organizational development, executive coaching, performance management, marketing strategy and technology-based systems enhancement. Mr. LeFranc’s 4 decades of hospitality experience includes stints as COO, CEO board member and President of numerous hospitality and technology brands, including Flat Rock Grille, Ruby’s Diner, Fishbowl Marketing and Louise’s Trattoria. His admirable turnaround for Louise’s, which involved design, concept development, food production, IT systems and operational executions, was chronicled in Inc. Magazine.
James McGehee is responsible for the Financial Services practice of RTS. He specializes in the creation and implementation of scalable, non-proprietary financial and information technology systems that align with each client’s specific needs. McGehee’s project work includes arranging a private placement for a small, fast-casual chain seeking a financial sponsor. James has held positions from Senior Financial Analyst to Vice President of Finance to CFO, and has worked for a broad spectrum of hospitality brands, including Hamburger Hamlet, El Gallo Giro, Ruby’s Diner, Pasta Pomodoro, Una Mas Restaurants and Chevy’s Mexican Restaurants. Among McGehee’s talents are strategic planning, financial controls, cash flow management, accounting processes, financial analysis, and insurance and payroll systems. His strengths lie in integrating systems, streamlining operations and eliminating wasteful overhead.
Christopher Sebes provides technology strategy to operators, private equity owners and technology companies. He was most recently President of Xenial (formerly called Heartland Commerce), a major player in restaurant and retail management technology. Prior to his role at Heartland Commerce, Christopher founded XPIENT, which was sold to Heartland Payment Systems in 2014. Christopher was also the co-creator of Twenty20 Visual Systems, the first Microsoft Windows point-of-sale company. He received a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management in England and has managed hotels and restaurants in Europe and the U.S.
Alex Birnbaum is a results-focused technology consultant who provides CIO and IT advisory services to hospitality and healthcare companies. His expertise includes strategic planning, architecture, business process engineering, IT governance structures and operational systems efficiency improvements. From 2010 to 2014, Alex led the Information Technology department for Craftworks Restaurants and Breweries Group, where he transformed IT from a back-office function to a strategic partner with operations and marketing during the merger of Rock Bottom Restaurants and Gordon Biersch Restaurants. Prior to the merger, he was Senior Director of IT for Gordon Biersch from 2000 to 2010. Since then, Alex has been helping numerous companies address a range of IT-related issues in such areas as strategic analysis, project management, mobile technology, ERP systems and vendor management. With roots in operations, Alex is committed to finding low-cost, high impact technology and process changes that boost efficiency and profitability.
As a restaurant industry veteran with more than 30 years’ experience, Brenda Parker has held IT leadership roles with several brands, such as CKE Restaurant Holdings, DineEquity, El Pollo Loco, Denny’s, Taco Bell, Sizzler and Gloria Jeans. She led the Information Technology department for Great Circle Management, a Krispy Kreme and Noodles and Company franchise organization, awarded a Nation’s Restaurant News IT Innovation Award and a Murtec IT Project of the Year Award. Brenda has managed large projects, system rollouts and infrastructure upgrades; built and trained IT support teams; helped companies establish steering committees, project management offices and organized cross functional teams; consulted for franchisors and franchisees of such brands as: Burger King, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, McAlisters, Grill Concepts, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, just to name a few. Brenda is a change management professional with deep roots in operations providing her with the ability to translate technical processes into understandable operation-centric applications. Brenda is a past steering chairman of the NRA’s MIS Study Group, has served on technology advisory boards and was awarded a Committee Contributor of the Year Award by Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF).
Location: Dallas, TX (HQ)
Return on Information (RoI) leverages over 25 years of restaurant technology leadership experience delivering game-changing business and technology transformation to global restaurant companies. RoI is positioned where industry disruptors, innovation, and seasoned restaurant experience converge to bridge the gap between executive strategies, technical architecture, vendor negotiation, investment, and project completion.
Franchise Organizations Specialty (IT-as-a-Service): Young, highly-fragmented franchised organizations are struggling with added complexities around lack of standardization, both when it comes to the technology in place across the brand as well as the lack of solid consistent operational process levers (how they staff, how the kitchens operate) and lack of solid consistent digital presence (some have their own app, Instagram). These disparities can cripple the brand. Tamy Duplantis and her team are highly skilled at streamlining and building viable systems, FAST. She and her team act as head of IT to the franchisees with been-there, done-that highly timely & relevant experience.
Areas of Expertise
- Current state assessments that identify risks, opportunities, and ROI
- Architecture and delivery of fully integrated technology stacks
- Collaborative roadmaps to transform the brand and sustain growth
- Selection of solutions that best fit the business needs
- Implementation and project management that drives projects across the finish line
Technology Stack Expertise
- POS, Secure Payment, Kitchen Display Systems
- Back Office Food, Labor, Cost Management
- Online and Mobile Ordering, Delivery, Catering
- Menu Administration, Reporting, Business Intelligence
- Loyalty, CRM, Gift Card, Promotions Management
- Financial, HR, Payroll, ERP Systems
- Network, Security, PCI Compliance, Integrated Infrastructure
Most recently RoI has provided technology assessments, defined integrated tech stacks, and delivered transformation for 4 Rivers Smokehouse, Jim ‘N Nicks Bar-B-Q, Reef Technology, Friday’s, Miller’s Alehouse, and Bonchon.
Tamy Duplantis, Founder and President
After over 25 years of restaurant technology leadership experience as a member of executive teams at iconic brands including Friday's, Applebee's, Potbelly, Main Event, and Le Duff America, Tamy launched Return on Information and has built a power team of industry experts that bring the playbook to stand up a next generation technology stack.
Tamy is known as a dynamic technology leader with a unique blend of technical, business, and leadership skills and a proven track record of leading technology transformations to replace end-of-life systems with integrated platforms that empower competitive guest engagement strategies, drive revenue, and enable brand growth.
Nominated one of the Top Women in Restaurant Technology for 2018 for creating and delivering an end-to-end integrated technology stack, Tamy continues to be a tremendous change-agent providing industry leadership to restaurant companies, vendor partners, and influential standards and governance organizations.
Terri Menking, Chief Architect
After a successful career as an Electrical and Systems Engineer in the communications industry, Terri brought her vast systems architect experience to the fast-paced restaurant industry where she developed a passion for helping restaurant owners find and implement the right technology for their brand and has become a power house at deploying best-in-class and best-for-brand solutions designed to win and deliver measurable ROI. With her deep knowledge of system architecture and data structure, Terri ensures that operators are equipped with the tools they need to effectively run their business and that data is accurately linked throughout the entire technology ecosystem to equip leaders to measure performance. She leads the RoI power team sitting at the boardroom table, facilitating system architecture design session, and standing elbow to elbow with ops team in the kitchen.
Terri has successfully delivered fully integrated restaurant system platforms that include POS systems, EMV secure payment solutions, product and inventory cost management systems, labor workforce management, kitchen video display, full e-commerce and digital solutions, loyalty, network, hostess and waitlist management solutions, reservation systems, restaurant security, drive thru systems, and audio/visual technology.