Los Angeles - Orlando - & Everywhere in Between & Beyond
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.
Location: Charlotte, NC (HQ)
- 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).