New technology presents the opportunity to increase customer satisfaction – something every hospitality organization wants. However, due to widespread confusion in this sector, restaurant and hotel operators seldom have the time to effectively analyze which services work best in their organization. For providers offering technology solutions, RTS helps to focus and clarify the benefits to operators through brand development and go-to-market strategies. Our decades-long experience as operators allows us to guide tech companies on the best ways to reach their targets.
The RTS team is a group of hospitality specialists, each with 25 to 45 years of real world experience running businesses – in the trenches. We are CEOs, CPAs, CTOs, CCOs, analysts, chefs, strategists, planners, organizers, communicators, researchers, branders, trainers, marketers, and leadership builders.
It’s not our job to make suggestions and wish you luck. We join your team, involve you in assessing your business and uncovering paths to improvement. From what we learn together, we help you devise and execute tactics to optimize every facet of your organization.
Our Technology Company Consulting Solutions
Chaos Strategist & Founding Partner
Fred is the founding and managing partner of Results Thru Strategy. LeFranc’s aptitude in strategic planning, leadership training, and business development has helped numerous companies achieve increased sales and profits.
His expertise is in strategic planning, organizational development, executive coaching, performance management, marketing strategy and technology-based systems enhancement. Mr. LeFranc’s 4 decades of hospitality experience includes stints as COO, CEO board member and President of numerous hospitality and technology brands, including Flat Rock Grille, Ruby’s Diner, Fishbowl Marketing and Louise’s Trattoria. His admirable turnaround for Louise’s, which involved design, concept development, food production, IT systems and operational executions, was chronicled in Inc. Magazine.
Briana Benson’s focus is in competitive and market analysis, database creation, cataloging and organization, as well as business development. This includes providing on-site and virtual data collection, competitive research analysis, background information, as well as administrative support as needed for the partners and clients at RTS.
Briana has worked on a variety of projects at Results Thru Strategy with clients such as Goldco, Which Wich, Brugger’s Bagels, Brixx Wood Fired Pizza, Xenial, Fishbowl Marketing, Walk On’s, and The TAO Group.
She has a Bachelor’s in History from Western Carolina University, and a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Studies from University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Alex Birnbaum is a results-focused technology consultant who provides CIO and IT advisory services to hospitality and healthcare companies. His expertise includes strategic planning, architecture, business process engineering, IT governance structures and operational systems efficiency improvements.
Alex has led the technology practice for Results Thru Strategy since 2015. He has worked with emerging and legacy brands, ranging from 1 to 1000 units to develop technology solutions to business problems.
From 2010 to 2014, Alex led the Information Technology department for Craftworks Restaurants and Breweries Group, where he transformed IT from a back-office function to a strategic partner with operations and marketing during the merger of Rock Bottom Restaurants and Gordon Biersch Restaurants. Prior to the merger, he was Senior Director of IT for Gordon Biersch from 2000 to 2010.
With roots in operations, Alex is committed to finding low-cost, high impact technology and process changes that boost efficiency and profitability.
Jim Greco, a turnaround specialist, is an expert in creating shareholder value through strategic planning, operations engineering and brand positioning. He has led several food-service businesses, most recently Newk’s, a next generation fast casual chain acquired by Sentinel Capital in 2014.
He was engaged to lead the company to accelerated growth. Prior to Newk’s, Jim led a turnaround as CEO at Sbarro, a leading Italian QSR chain with over 1,000 locations in 40 countries. He has also partnered with Sun Capital to acquire and turnaround Bruegger’s Enterprises, where he served as CEO until selling the company in 2011. The turnaround resulted in a return on investment of 13 times. Jim, who holds a law degree, also led two private label food manufacturing companies where he revitalized and grew the businesses. In 2009, Nation’s Restaurant News named Jim Operator of the Year, one of the industry’s highest honors. He is the author of several articles on management and leadership and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
Steve Levine is focused on helping companies understand how the market perceives them, and enhancing or altering that perception by strategically targeting and influencing customers.
He defines, creates, communicates and motivates; his mission is to help you persuade your market that your brand is worth getting to know. He has worked with numerous restaurant brands over the years, including Arby’s, Ed Debevics, Orleans, La Salsa, Ruby’s Diner, Flat Rock Grille, Sweet Tomatoes, Friendly’s and Hamburger Hamlet. His involvement ranged from collateral and menu design to multiple-media advertising campaigns to brand overhauls. Steve has earned dozens of awards for campaigns in brand identity, rebranding, packaging, direct mail, print advertising, collateral materials, radio, outdoor and web design. Levine is a member of the New Mexico Advertising Federation.
Data Scientist and Analytics Guru
Mike Lukianoff is an expert in data science and predictive analytics in the industry. Many of his patented inventions, processes and methods have become industry standards particularly related to pricing, menu management and site forecasting.
As founder of predictive analytics firm Czar Metrics, he blended econometrics, consumer research, big data, social media and predictive analytics to change how the industry captures and analyzes data. In 2015 Czar Metrics was acquired by Fishbowl, where he served as Chief Analytics Officer until June 2019. He and his companies have advised many of the industry’s largest and most innovative companies including 6 of the top 10 restaurant brands. Mike is also on the board of Bite Kiosk, a leader in self-ordering touchscreen kiosks with facial recognition.
Mike is an active Alumnus of the Cornell Hotel School, where he is a frequent guest lecturer. He is also a Fellow of the Culinary Institute of America and advisory board member of the Financial Leadership Exchange. He also sits on several private advisory boards.
Financial & Informational Systems Architect
James McGehee is responsible for the Financial Services practice of RTS. He specializes in the creation and implementation of scalable, non-proprietary financial and information technology systems that align with each client’s specific needs.
McGehee’s project work includes arranging a private placement for a small, fast-casual chain seeking a financial sponsor. James has held positions from Senior Financial Analyst to Vice President of Finance to CFO, and has worked for a broad spectrum of hospitality brands, including Hamburger Hamlet, El Gallo Giro, Ruby’s Diner, Pasta Pomodoro, Una Mas Restaurants and Chevy’s Mexican Restaurants. Among McGehee’s talents are strategic planning, financial controls, cash flow management, accounting processes, financial analysis, and insurance and payroll systems. His strengths lie in integrating systems, streamlining operations and eliminating wasteful overhead.
Technology Project Manager
As a restaurant industry veteran with more than 30 years’ experience, Brenda Parker has held IT leadership roles with several brands, such as CKE Restaurant Holdings, DineEquity, El Pollo Loco, Denny’s, Taco Bell, Sizzler and Gloria Jeans. She led the Information Technology department for Great Circle Management, a Krispy Kreme and Noodles and Company franchise organization, awarded a Nations Restaurant News IT Innovation Award and a Murtec IT Project of the Year Award.
Brenda has managed large projects, system rollouts and infrastructure upgrades; built and trained IT support teams; helped companies establish steering committees, project management offices and organized cross functional teams; consulted for franchisors and franchisees of such brands as: Burger King, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, McAlisters, Grill Concepts, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, just to name a few. Brenda is a change management professional with deep roots in operations providing her with the ability to translate technical processes into understandable operation-centric applications.
Brenda is a past steering chairman of the NRA’s MIS Study Group, has served on technology advisory boards and was awarded a Committee Contributor of the Year Award by Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF).
Executive Technology Strategist
Christopher Sebes provides technology strategy to operators, private equity owners and technology companies. He was most recently President of Xenial (formerly called Heartland Commerce), a major player in restaurant and retail management technology.
Prior to his role at Heartland Commerce, Christopher founded XPIENT, which was sold to Heartland Payment Systems in 2014. Christopher was also the co-creator of Twenty20 Visual Systems, the first Microsoft Windows point-of-sale company.
He received a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management in England and has managed hotels and restaurants in Europe and the U.S.
Ariel is a systems expert with special knowledge of Compeat RADAR, robust software that integrates various back-office functions.
Ariel launched her career while still in college, working as a catering manager for regional powerhouse Knights Catering in San Francisco. She gained more catering experience as she climbed ranks at two other firms before becoming Catering Director at Copia, the prestigious center for food and wine in Napa Valley.
In 2008, Ariel joined CTUIT, a technology firm, and began providing restaurants with solutions for problems relating to general ledger, sales, AP, inventory, recipe prep and recipe scaling. She had the privilege of being a trusted, influential strategic technology consultant to many exceptional, enterprise restaurant groups. She also directed the account managers team for professional services and provided daily support for client accounts representing $8.5 million in ARR in RADAR.
Ariel holds B.S., in Hospitality Management and Commercial Tourism from San Francisco State University.
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Multiple hours purchased are discounted for your benefit.
Multiple hours purchased are discounted for your benefit.