District Taco Increases Control,
Reduces Costs and Improves Efficiency
Across 12 Units Using MarginEdge
In 2009, District Taco debuted as a food truck founded by two Mexican-food-loving buddies. Nine years later, it’s a multi-unit fast casual taqueria with 12 locations in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. The fast-growing chain from Osiris Hoil and Marc Wallace is known for its Yucatan-inspired tacos, burritos, quesadillas and nachos, as well as catering and branded swag. District Taco counts on MarginEdge for its data accessibility, integration capabilities and commitment to client success as the business continues to expand.
Back in the “dark ages,” District Taco relied on a competing product to manage its order guides, place orders and process invoices across all locations. While it provided a system for ordering and price comparisons, the technology didn’t integrate with the POS or accounting software. Instead, employees had to manually enter data and check for errors, which was a huge time suck. Not exactly what you want out of a service that’s supposed to make your life easier, right? District Taco needed a solution that would help the business run more efficiently and enable future growth. Enter MarginEdge.
IT’S ON THE WAY
Drawn to MarginEdge’s integration superpowers, the head honchos at District Taco decided in September 2017 to use the product at all locations, and have been reaping the rewards of data accessibility ever since. The platform gives District Taco a one-stop-shop to manage all sales and invoice processing (a whopping 300 invoices uploaded weekly saves a heck of a lot of time), centralized order guides, online ordering and direct-to-vendor online bill pay.
“With the data MarginEdge aggregates we get both the big picture and peace of mind.”
Operations manager, Daniel “The Man with a Plan” Pierce is all too familiar with the many challenges a thriving company faces. He credits MarginEdge with alleviating many of those growing pains, particularly with its electronic ordering and inventory features. Housing District Taco’s multi-unit order guides in one place, he mentions, gives employees a central, streamlined place to submit orders digitally, rather than scribbling food and supply needs haphazardly on scraps of paper and (gasp!) calling dozens of different vendors. “Having better control of our ordering system helps minimize mistakes, which equals less food, time and money wasted,” Pierce explains. “MarginEdge has customizable tools to set our COGS budget and allows us to look at expenses versus sales. Our inventory and recipes are automatically tied to real-time pricing, which gives us a better sense of how these impact COGS as well. With the data MarginEdge aggregates we get both the big picture and peace of mind.”
Another boon for operations is the ability to track spending at each store, arming GMs with greater insight into ordering practices, giving them more ownership of expenses and allowing them to see exactly where their money is going. The way Chris Medhurst, VP of Finance & Operations, views it, having access to POS sales info means the team can determine the most important part of budgeting: calculating food cost purchases and cost of goods sold as a percentage of overall sales. Medhurst also notes that the POS and purchasing data mined through MarginEdge shaves off substantial back-of-house labor hours by nixing spreadsheets and manual transaction downloads in favor of a direct pathway to Quickbooks.
“MarginEdge makes accounting work the way it should and has been a huge improvement to our processes.”
To top it off, Julie Uhar, controller extraordinaire, appreciates the MarginEdge team’s responsiveness and finds they make her life easier. “MarginEdge makes accounting work the way it should and has been a huge improvement to our processes,” she says. As the head of District Taco’s accounting department, Uhar relies on MarginEdge to make statement reconciliations faster and more accurate, and to provide detailed, actionable information from the reconciliations so her team can classify overages more clearly. By automatically booking sales into different categories, the software also saves Uhar a ton of time in compliance efforts with government agencies like the Virginia ABC, and can also produce gross sales reports with greater ease and speed using high quality, meaningful data.
Wielding accurate data as a weapon, the now-emboldened District Taco has performed amazing feats of strength, like pinpointing its highest volume items and using its buying power to negotiate better supplier agreements for these products, contributing to significant food cost savings. Empowered with the tools MarginEdge provides, managers have greater control of supplier relationships and proactively let vendors know what they owe for their purchases rather than waiting to double-check submitted invoices.
Additionally, all POS information is now pooled into one system for daily sales reporting and integration to accounting, saving an enormous amount of time and headache.
District Taco managers are confident their numbers are always accurate.