Today ClearCOGS is announcing the release of its long-awaited onboarding platform. So, what does that mean and why is it important?
ClearCOGS has, up until this point, provided a white glove service for restaurants, building tailored demand forecasting systems primarily focused on Food Prep and Purchasing. As we often tell our customers, it costs us far more to build their systems than we will ever recoup from the monthly SaaS prices we charge. However, this process we’ve engaged in over the last 9-months is far from altruistic. We’ve been building. With every failure, success, and tribulation we’ve pulled closer to understanding how to wield our technology. The culmination of our learnings has all been coalesced into the creation and launch of our onboarding platform.
What is the Platform?
The “Platform” is essentially an automated onboarding system, providing restaurant operators direct access to our demand forecasting system. This alleviates the need for the ClearCOGS team to act as an intermediary between our partners and our system. Furthermore, it opens endless possibilities for operators to explore creative ways to utilize and integrate the power of AI into their operations.
Based on our hours of discussions with operators and industry experts, two things became clear:
Restaurant operations and their corresponding supply chains are incredibly complicated and unique to each brand.
Restaurants hate complicated software systems. They don’t have the time to set them up or maintain them.
Operators know their business better than anyone else and, more importantly, they know what they need. Translating those needs into code requires either days of setup for the customer or a consultative approach by the service provider. This is in large part why solutions like ours don’t exist outside of massive chains with large in-house teams dedicated to managing these systems.
After 6-months of grinding on the question, our team has completely reimagined how a system like this could work. The ClearCOGS system is built to be incredibly simple. A restaurant can enter its entire menu in less than 20 minutes, compared to the current options that require days of error-prone setup. We’ve cut out all the complexity and replaced it with what is the beginning of the first AI Operations Manager for the restaurant industry.
While far from its final form, our AI Operations Manager can now act as the intermediary between complex machine-learning demand forecasting and a restaurant manager. This puts the power in the hands of the user. Through a brief exchange between a restaurant manager and the ClearCOGS AI Operations Manager, the system is able to dynamically generate answers to complex questions and provide them to the restaurant on an ongoing basis.
The Vision for AI Operations Management
The culture of the hospitality industry centers around people. These businesses are essentially people managing people, who then serve people. There are hundreds of ways to lose money in restaurants, and given the razor-thin margins, small inefficiencies often mean the difference between success and bankruptcy. As you might guess, it’s the people, often lower-paid people, and their decisions that determine whether the business survives. To make matters worse, rather than being able to focus on their customers, staff members are consistently called away to make these stressful decisions in real time. Outside of the stress on the staff, it’s these reactionary decisions that chip away at the profitability of these restaurants.
ClearCOGS envisions a different world. A more proactive world. One where real-time cost-benefit decisions are made in advance. Where a cool-headed restaurateur would have already been presented with all the pertinent information and can make the optimal data-driven decision for their business outside of the chaos of the kitchen. It’s a world where the people there to serve can do just that.
The magical part of this is it isn’t science fiction. The data is available. Modern-day tools like machine learning are available. The only missing piece is the decision management layer that translates the operator's desires into actionable guidance. ClearCOGS aims to fill this void. What started as an aspiration only 18 months ago when we filed our first patent, has quickly blossomed into a concrete product roadmap and a system that can already answer the first two of many question categories; Food prep and Ordering. The operating system is built and is currently used by dozens of restaurants daily. With each new capability we bring online, ClearCOGS moves one step closer to being the AI system that brings clarity, profitability, and peace of mind to restaurants across the world.
Our Platform is the beginning of that roadmap.