Michael Rasmussen, an accounting professor at the University of Central Arkansas, has been a CPA for 29 years specializing in the restaurant industry.

Now, Rasmussen hopes a new data-logging product can "level the playing field" between independent local restaurants and national chains.

Rasmussen partnered with Ed Hornyak, a Certified Executive Chef with 45 years of experience in the food service industry, to create Eyenalyze, a computer application that he says mirrors the technologies developed by national restaurant chains with resources that local, independent restaurants don’t have — but Eyenalyze will change this, Rasmussen said.

"We’re taking national chain technology and bringing it to independent restaurants," he said.

Eyenalyze currently services restaurants, franchises, hotels, country clubs and caterers. The company is looking to expand in the Conway market with local, independent restaurants.

Rasmussen said he is already working with an established Conway restaurateur, and is establishing a trial period with an Arkansas restaurant that will soon be opening its third location in Conway.

Rasmussen describes his partner, Hornyak, as the "chef" to his "bean counter."

"We come from two angles," he said. "Ed [Hornyak] — he sees how ‘recipes’ need to be made and I support the numbers he comes up with."

The Eyenalyze software automatically captures data from multiple sources, compiles the data and presents easy-to see and easy-to-understand real-time information to restaurant managers on any PC, laptop or phone with internet access.

"We are able to provide services in all stages of the operations’ life cycle," Rasmussen said.

The existing data base management system captures data from the Point-Of-Sale machines used by 80 percent of the independent restaurants and from the leading food service suppliers in the industry, Rasmussen said.

These machines have become commonplace, and can be thought of as a mix between a computer and a cash register, with Internet connectivity that allows Eyenalyze to provide sales information, labor costs, plate costing and gross profit information while also exporting daily financial information into most accounting systems.

"It puts your back office in your back pocket," Rasmussen explained.

When restaurants go out of business, Rasmussen said, it’s often because most people can’t get their arms around big data to make sure that doesn’t happen.

"They commit to too much and it breaks them," he said. "Our goal is to teach owners to pull data from suppliers so they make sure they’re profitable."

The company is currently seeking investment money to make the data base management system scalable, available in real-time and available cross-platform from web to mobile.

Rasmussen hopes to have Eyenalyze up-and-running in Conway by March, with at least two restaurants already on-board to use the system.

(Staff writer Michelle Corbet can be reached by email at michelle.corbet@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1215. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)