Building a State-of-the-Art Back-of-House

Philadelphia, PA — xtraCHEF, the company behind the cloud-based foodservice management platform whose features include automated accounts payable (AP) and cost management, is celebrating several exciting milestones in their startup journey as they complete their third year of operations. Launched in February 2016, the venture-backed company has expanded to 47 states and experienced an explosion of growth.

“We recently doubled the size of our team, opened new offices in New York City and Philadelphia, and quadrupled our business in the past year alone,” said Andy Schwartz, CEO and Co-Founder of the solution used by thousands of restaurant and foodservice operators across the U.S. “We’re laser-focused on providing our clients the tools and the data they need to operate more efficiently and more profitably.”

The company attributes their growth to the unmet need for digital transformation in the back of the house of hospitality operations nationwide. Foodservice operators and restauranteurs are realizing the urgency to evolve in order to offset rising rents, increasing labor costs and fierce competition. For many restaurants, the extra edge has been xtraCHEF.

By automating historically manual, time-consuming tasks, xtraCHEF is transforming the way the back-of-the-house – the last frontier of data-driven restaurant technology – operates.  The platform not only saves restaurant owners, finance executives, chefs, and managers time, it’s saving them money. This translates to limiting labor and administrative overhead, keeping a close eye on food costs, and ultimately better serving guests. For the time-pressed, thin margin, and highly competitive restaurant industry, this a winning recipe.

In just three short years, xtraCHEF has added some of the most recognizable names in the industry to their client roster including: Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Chef José Andrés, growing Fast Casual brands like &pizza and Dos Toros, franchise brands like TGIFridays and Dairy Queen, and rising restaurant groups like the Michael Schulson Collective and CookNSolo, which is helmed by Philadelphia-based star chef Michael Solomonov.

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“xtraCHEF is allowing us to manage our cost of goods in real-time and better than ever before,” said Solomonov. “They’ve changed the game, and I’m confident that we will be exponentially more efficient as a business because of xtraCHEF.”

When clients receive a bill or invoice, they simply email, upload, or snap a photo using the mobile app, available on iOS and Android. xtraCHEF reads, reconciles, codes, and accurately categorizes each line-item on the invoice in less than 24 hours – making it actionable. Other features, including Item Price Monitoring, Declining Budgets, COGS Analytics and Ordering provide their clients with greater visibility, access and control that few, if any other restaurant management platforms can provide. Clients are able to upload bid sheets from vendors and compare the data against any item that they’ve ever purchased, along with the price they paid. This information is available while they are placing an order directly to the vendor via desktop or mobile device.

“xtraCHEF automates daily duties that operators, chefs, managers are either spending too much time doing or simply aren’t doing at all, because they don’t have the time or the tools,” said Schwartz. “We’re helping the industry transition from the ‘clipboard’ to the ‘tablet’ and from focusing on ‘data entry’ to becoming ‘data driven’.”

In 2018, xtraCHEF announced an API-level integration with Toast’s POS (Point-of-Sale) system. The POS integration synchronizes daily sales data from Toast to drive budgets and COGS (Costs of Goods Sold) dashboards without redundant data entry. Boasting over 60 integrations with the most popular accounting and restaurant managements systems, xtraCHEF is bridging a data gap that exists in the hospitality technology ecosystem. The company has also partnered with restaurant accounting firms to better serve their bookkeeping clients. They plan to continue expanding their integration and partner network in 2019.

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Since first processing invoices in 2016, their platform has processed billions of dollars worth of transactions and millions of SKUs. Their recognition software leverages machine learning that continually gets smarter about the types of invoices, vendors, products and prices that it processes. While this currently lends itself to greater confidence and accuracy of the data that the system extracts, it is also able to identify patterns and anomalies in market pricing. This will eventually make it effortless for xtraCHEF clients to procure intelligently and with the confidence that they are paying what they deserve.

“We are obsessed with creating value for our customers through innovation and problem solving,” explains Bhavik Patel, CTO & Co-founder, whose experience in enterprise technology development has guided the maturity of xtraCHEF. “We strive to take the latest, greatest technology advancements and turn them into simple-to-use tools for our customers.” At a customer focus group event in late 2018, the xtraCHEF team demonstrated an interface with Alexa, Amazon’s cloud-based voice service, where chefs could ask Amazon’s virtual assistant what the last price they paid for a particular item was and place an order for that item. “The response was overwhelming. Our clients were even more excited about this feature than we were,” said Patel.

“Our vision is to provide every restaurant with AI-powered procurement tools that help them maximize their profits and scale their businesses,” said Schwartz.  “We’ll continue to listen intently to our customers and invest heavily in our platform in order to help the industry get there.”

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To learn more about xtraCHEF, please visit https://xtrachef.com/.

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