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P.F. Chang’s Cooks Up a Modern FP&A Strategy

It isn’t easy to find restaurant brands that execute on their promise of quality cuisine as well as P.F. Chang’s, a roughly $1 billion restaurant business with nearly 500 locations worldwide. The company’s acclaimed Asian-themed restaurants remain a consumer favorite in large part because of their devotion to a “farm-to-wok” philosophy and to making every menu item from scratch. Its Global Brands and True Food Kitchen businesses are growing too.

Though P.F. Chang’s had its dining experience down cold, financial planning was another story. A static, cumbersome planning environment kept executives from fully understanding their margins and cost structures so they could bring them in line with restaurant industry peers. Manual, Excel-based general and administrative expense tracking made it tough for individual restaurant operators to remain in sync with corporate finance. Disjointed systems and data stores hobbled efforts to implement rolling forecasts and reporting.

Ingredients for success
The team at P.F. Chang’s envisioned a better future for finance in which stakeholders from throughout the company engaged in an active planning environment that was continuous, comprehensive, and collaborative. So in 2016, the company began implementing the Adaptive Suite to transform planning, forecasting, and reporting from the corporate level down to individual restaurants.

“One of the most important things for us to be able to do is empower those operating partners with financial and performance metrics,” said P.F. Chang’s CFO Jim Bell, “and to be able to bring those elements together to look at the business as a whole.”

Cloud finance serves up major business benefits
“We wanted to move planning beyond finance and out to the restaurants where the action is,” explained Bell. “We were challenged to find a solution that each restaurant manager could use, yet still had the powerful capabilities we needed to manage the complex planning and modeling of the entire organization. We now have every single location using the Adaptive Suite, and our teams swear you can eat a lettuce wrap in the time it takes to create a budget—now that’s easy and fast!”

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Want to learn how a best-practice, active planning process can help you drive business success? An active planning process is collaborative, comprehensive, and continuous—one that results in a better business plan. Better budgeting and forecasting. You’ll get greater visibility into business performance, build confidence in the numbers, make data-driven decisions, and increase buy-in and accountability throughout the organization. Learn more here.

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