Continuous innovations in electronic and information technology have greatly helped sustain the restaurant industry. Since 2014, under Ed Kruczek’s leadership, our IT Department has implemented and supported effective technical solutions to enable Lehigh Valley Restaurant Group to operate and grow with increased levels of proficiency, consistency, efficiency, and speed. Ed’s foresight, curiosity, pragmatism, technical abilities, and keen management skills have been crucial to our growth and overall ability to satisfy evolving trends and the dynamic needs of the communities we serve.
- IT Project Management
- Software Management
- Vendor Management
- Technology & Business Strategy
- Aloha POS
- Disaster Recovery
- Business Continuity
- Telecommunication and Data Management
- Financial Management & Cost Control
- Contract Negotiations
- Business Intelligence
- Process Improvement
Ed’s Approach and LVRG Values: A Perfect Fit
After 25+ years with manufacturing and consumer product firms, in increasingly responsible positions including, Network and Systems Mgr, Mgr of Communications & Security, and MIS Director, Ed longed for an employer with the need, resources, and commitment to best utilize technology to their benefit. “I used to own a franchise restaurant called Boardwalk Fries in the Lehigh Valley area, I enjoy cooking, and I worked in restaurants in college, so I researched the restaurant industry and discovered technology was a significant differentiator. LVRG seemed genuinely forward thinking and I’m thrilled to report their interest in the benefits of technology was real and I now have the pleasure of working in an extremely innovative environment.”
When Ed arrived at LVRG many IT projects were stalled and he soon ascertained the key to moving them forward was to immediately repair and rebuild vendor relationships. “I believe in respect and open mindedness. We try to be self sufficient, but we also need to rely on those who created the products we use, and who integrate these on a day in and day out basis. In technology, there is no place for big egos. I interfaced with them regularly, took and implemented their recommendations where appropriate, built trust, and the relationships increasingly improved. Vendors appreciated that we took care of the things we could instead of burdening their staff, so when we called, we got things fixed quicker, which was our goal.”
Simultaneously, Ed rebuilt and repaired relationships with internal customers. In the past the restaurants did not trust IT because they were let down by unresolved technical problems that disrupted their business. Ed spent his first year and a half discovering what wasn’t working and with the help of the newly empowered vendors, they quickly and systematically solved issues and rebuilt trust with the restaurants. “I don’t like to put Band-Aids on things. I like to get to the root cause, and completely and permanently fix problems.”
Key Projects and Initiatives
After repairing initial internal and external obstacles, Ed and his talented IT Department were free to focus on and successfully deliver improvement projects including:
- KDS: Kitchen Display System by QSR Automations: Coordinates cooking times.
- Monkey Media Online “To Go” and Catering Ordering Platform: User Friendly and Efficient.
- NBO (NCR) Cloud-Based Inventory Management System.
- Microsoft Exchange Email Environment Cloud-Based Initiative: Reliable and Available Email.
- Smart Battery Implementation to Ziosk Table Top Ordering System: Payment Security.
Ed’s Scope and Focus
- Manages MIS Supervisor and two Help Desk Analysts.
- Develops, builds, sustains, and manages vendor relationships.
- Determines the direction of forward thinking IT department.
- Researches and determines technologies to benefit LVRG.
- Plans & manages all IT projects.
- Evaluates existing processes and improves as technology allows.
- Trains and acclimates dept heads in new technologies.
- Disaster recovery planning.
- Business continuity planning.
- Negotiates IT contracts.
- Aloha POS and POS server – NCR.
- KDS – Ticketless Ordering.
- Catering Systems.
- Online “To Go” curbside pick-up.
- Networking Equipment between the restaurants.
- Desktop systems in back offices.
- Phone systems, all-in-one copiers, fax, printers, scanners.
- Ziosk Table top ordering
- Integrating GrubHub delivery into POS and KDS systems.
- Cloud based Email exchange system – hosted externally.
- Cloud based Payroll system.
- MIRUS – Cloud based Business Intelligence Reporting tool.
- Sage Accounting software.