Discover how this franchise maintains the lowest costs and highest profit margins among Burger King operators nationwide.
Long-time user and advocate for Xenial RTI Back Office, Burger King Franchise owner Russ Lo Bello considers the back office application from Xenial to be essential to running his business. Using Xenial RTI Back Office, Lo Bello maintains the best operating metrics nationwide among Burger King franchises, including labor costs of 23% (including managers), speed of service that hovers around 2:58, and Product Line Variance (PLV) of 0.75, far below the national average of 1.2 to 1.5.
Key Benefits include:
The Phoenix Organization owns 21 Burger King franchises in South Florida. A 30-year veteran of Burger King franchise ownership, Russ Lo Bello serves as a Managing Partner for Phoenix, focusing on overall growth and expansion. In January 2021, he was selected as Chairman of the Technology Council for the National Franchisee Association for Burger King franchise members.
Lo Bello was introduced to RTI Back Office in the early 2000’s while working for a large franchise operator. As he and the leadership team were looking at how to manage back office and considering various options for a back office software program, it became apparent that RTI was the solution that offered the most flexibility. “RTI was unique in that its architecture and the team developing it enabled us to customize it for our needs,” says Russ Lo Bello, Managing Partner, The Phoenix Organization. “No other back office software provider at that time was willing to let us make their software ‘ours’. They all wanted to sell us a ‘canned’ off-the-shelf solution without the ability to customize even the reports.”
“I saw in Xenial RTI Back Office a solution that would work extremely well for our needs, with the customizability to help us in the future.”
- Russ Lo Bello, Burger King Franchise Operator, Managing Partner, The Phoenix Organization
In 2002, the restaurant management group that Lo Bello was a part of at the time chose Xenial RTI Back Office. He has been using Xenial ever since.
“I saw in Xenial RTI Back Office a solution that would work extremely well for our needs, with the customizability to help us in the future,” says Lo Bello.
“I like Xenial Back Office so much that I wouldn’t want to work in any brand without it.”
Across The Phoenix Organization, there are about 200 people—mostly restaurant managers—who regularly use Xenial RTI Back Office. Wherever Lo Bello goes, he tries to bring Xenial RTI Back Office with him. “I like Xenial Back Office so much that I wouldn’t want to work in any brand without it,” says Lo Bello, who has owned and managed a number of well-known restaurant brands besides Burger King.
By the Numbers
As a direct result of The Phoenix Organization’s use of Xenial Back Office, Lo Bello and his team consistently maintain the top operating metrics of any Burger King franchise owner nationwide.
Speed of Service
(Standard is 6:00)
Total Labor Costs
(Both Crew and Managers) (26% including managers is typical, nationwide)
Product Line Variance (PLV)
(1.2 to 1.5 is typical for the rest of Burger King and the industry at large.)
Number of Xenial Back Office users
As the Integrated ‘Hub’, Xenial Back Office Saves 23 Hours Monthly on P&L Reporting, Alone
Before Xenial RTI Back Office, Lo Bello’s Profit and Loss (P&L) reporting used to take about 20 to 24 hours, or about three days, per month. Now it takes an hour or less.
“Our monthly P&L reports are done on the first day of every month by 5:00 pm,” says Lo Bello.
For The Phoenix Organization, Xenial Back Office truly serves as the ‘hub’ of its business management technology stack. The fact that Xenial Back Office integrates with every essential software program the company uses saves countless hours by avoiding workarounds, duplicative data entry, and so on.
Lo Bello especially appreciates how Xenial RTI Back Office enables him and everyone who uses it to quickly gain visibility into what’s wrong, whether it’s food, labor, or cash.
“It’s a fully integrated system that connects every piece of our business,” says Lo Bello. Without any extra steps or re-keying of data, Xenial Back Office integrates with the company’s POS, accounting software, time & attendance, payroll, banking (providing, for example, visibility of deposits), and the recruiting program. “Xenial Back Office truly gives us a 360-degree view of the business and shares data back and forth with everything we use to run individual restaurants and the business as a whole,” remarks Lo Bello.
The fact that RTI Back Office serves as such an integrated hub connecting everything else also means that The Phoenix Organization is super efficient and overhead is low. “I only have two people in my office, and together the three of us are overseeing the management of almost 30 restaurants, including 21 Burger Kings.”
The Value of Xenial Back Office is Proven By The Numbers
Lo Bello has had countless conversations with fellow franchisees about Xenial Back Office. When he does, he is quick to share his data to demonstrate how powerfully Xenial RTI Back Office benefits him, his managers, his stores, and the company overall.
“I show my gross profit, labor, and speed of service,” says Lo Bello. “They see my numbers and have that “Aha” moment because the numbers really prove the value of Xenial RTI Back Office and what it can do for franchisees. Then I always ask: ‘How can you afford not to use Xenial Back Office?’""
The Leader in Operating Metrics, Thanks to Xenial Back Office
Among Burger King franchise operators nationwide, LoBello’s restaurants consistently rank at the top for several key performance metrics, including speed of service, labor costs, and gross profit.
“For speed of service, I have my own KPI, which is three minutes. We are consistently at 2:58,” says Lo Bello.
Xenial Back Office’s interconnectedness and automated push-style reporting mean that Lo Bello and his entire management team have near-real-time data at their fingertips and can be more responsive with decisions about costlier operational aspects such as food and labor.
“There isn’t anyone in the country that has better labor costs than I do. Our labor costs, all in, are 23%, for both crew and management, and they are that low because of Xenial RTI Back Office,” says Lo Bello. Most stores commonly run crew labor costs at about 23 to 24% excluding management, and 26% when manager labor costs are factored in, according to Lo Bello.
“My gross profit is the best in the country for Product Line Variance (PLV) because of Xenial Back Office,” says Lo Bello. PLV is the Burger King metric for Food Variance. “My PLV is 0.75, while the rest of Burger King and the industry at large range between 1.2 and 1.5. I’m saving a considerable amount of money with Xenial RTI Back Office because of my ability to master the overages and shortages.”
Because Xenial Back Office gives Lo Bello and his management team near-real-time insights, they notice theft very quickly. “Whereas the typical franchisee typically won’t discover theft until their next P&L report is run, I know the next day,” says Lo Bello.
“There isn’t anyone in the country that has better labor costs than I do. My gross profit is the best in the country for PLV because of Xenial Back Office.”
- Russ Lo Bello, Burger King Franchise
Operator, Managing Partner,
The Phoenix Organization
“Phenomenal” Future-Ready Back Office for Running the Restaurant of Tomorrow
“Xenial RTI Back Office is a phenomenal program,” remarks Lo Bello. “I appreciate that Xenial listens to users like me and continues to invest heavily in Xenial RTI Back Office, rolling out new features. Franchisees should be excited about what I’m calling “Xenial RTI Back Office 2.0.” Besides being fully browser-based, making it available on virtually any device, the next major release of Xenial Back Office will integrate fully with the new POS currently in development by Restaurant Brands International. “The next release of Xenial RTI Back Office will have a ton of exciting new features that we’ll need to run our business as the restaurant landscape continues to evolve. I’m particularly excited about enhanced customizability. The current Xenial RTI Back Office is highly customizable now. This next version puts customization on steroids.”
Simpler, More Streamlined Than Comparable Back Office Solutions
Lo Bello gave the example of report writing as an example of how easy it is to use Xenial RTI Back Office. “I sat next to someone who was working in SEMS. We had a race to write a report. I was working in Xenial RTI Back Office. With SEMS, it took the other person about 15 minutes. In Xenial Back Office, the report took me two minutes to create, about 70% faster.”
With the next release of Xenial Back Office, the User Interface will be updated considerably. Still, Lo Bello has high regard for how well it works today. “The UI makes it super simple to customize Xenial RTI Back Office to do the things you need it to for your business. I’m not super savvy when it comes to technology,” remarks Lo Bello. “But I know how to get technology to serve my needs, which may be why I was asked to serve as the NFA Technology Council Chairman. For me, Xenial RTI Back Office is that essential tool that helps me get what I need and want to run my business.”
Founded in 1994 by cousins Glenn, Jay and Gary Levins, The Phoenix Organization operates Burger King franchises, having grown from 2 to 21 restaurants. To learn more about The Phoenix Organization visit phoenixorganization.com. To learn more about Burger King franchise opportunities, please visit company.bk.com/franchising.
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