I offer a wide variety of knowledge bases that I draw from to help create and implement successful systems. With over 25 years experience in the restaurant business I bring to the table knowledge from the front lines. I was a restaurant owner. I understand the struggle. I believe that we are all in this game together and that a rising tide lifts all ships. My systems are a culmination of all the best training materials and operational ways of doing things that I have come across over journey through the industry and I have learned how to easily adapt our systems to any concept so I know we can customize something for your concept.
Start Up / Concept Development
Building Permits, Health Permits, Budget, Color Choices, Menu Decisions, Staffing, Vendor Selection... There are so many things to consider when you are getting ready to open a new restaurant concept.
In our restaurant careers we have helped to open over 10 different concepts from Full Service to Fast Casual to Retail.
The Feasibility Worksheet we created in Microsoft Excel helps to analyze just that, the feasibility of an idea. Cost Assumptions and Sales can all be toggled according the different locations that you are looking at or different service models or guest spending averages. It's all just a click of a button and it repopulates the whole workbook.
We use these for start ups and for budget making on existing operations.
In addition to that workbook we have several other analytics tools, manuals, training templates and checklists that we've created so that your opening doesn't miss any details.
Consistency is a display of the strength of your systems. The idea is that the guest should never be able to tell who is on shift, or wether or not there is an owner in the building. We always say "Build the system and manage the system". Good systems are the way the Coaches win championships with less than the best players. Those who fail to conform to the system can be easily replaced for someone who does and the system will be better for it. This will also breed strength in your work force which will get you more time off in the end, and that's the goal. Make your business work for you.
Staffing / Training / Job Descriptions / Manuals
If there is one thing that will always be changing in your restaurant, it's the staff. Unfortunately turnover is something that you're going to have to deal with on a regular basis and being prepared is your best strategy. This means constantly recruiting and refining those systems. The stronger your systems the easier it is to properly gauge the quality of work you are getting from your staff. They need clear expectations written up for them in order to be held accountable. We can help you create not only the Job Descriptions and Training Manuals you need to educate new staff but we will help you write better job ads to recruit staff so that the quality level of your applicants goes up. The better your staff is, the more chance you have to go do something else.
Recipe Development / Menu Development
As young chefs we used to never write recipes down. We thought that as a chef it was our job to create from the heart and that the variance that this creates, batch to batch was an "acceptable" part of the process. Then we became our own bosses and of course we are the Head Chefs... Well, we want it done our way every single time so we became very diligent about our recipes. Why? Consistency.
The recipes we use are in Grams so that recipe scaling for batch size is easy and so that there is exact precision. This ensures that every batch is done the same so that customers can come to expect the same things from the dishes you want them to fall in love with.
We can also help you develop your menu if you are needing direction. We have experience in nearly every cuisine type and have recipes from our own archives that we can implement when needed.
Point of Sale
There are so many options for POS these days and choosing the correct one can make or break your operation and your start up budget.
Are you full service or quick service?
How many stations do you need? What about printers?
Do you need to hold tabs open or do you settle every transaction?
How will you process Credit Cards?
What kind of back office reports does your system provide? Is it Cloud Based?
These are just some of the questions that we will look at when evaluating a POS machine for your operation.
Website and Brand Development
Your online presence is so important. In a world where the competition in the online world is literally infinite for consumable content you need to stand out. Or at least have a clear message you are trying to send. People's attention spans are shorter and shorter and if they can't find what they want they will move away from your site in a hurry so it's important to not only catch their attention but keep it!! We can help you design your website for a fraction of a price of a normal web designer. We use WIX do design you a basic site. Then we teach you how to use WIX so that you can handle updates on your own. Or we are available to help you maintain your site on going. We work with a couple different free lance design people in town who can help bring your brand to life. Here's a Link to Soul Cal Smokehouse's Website which we created using Wix with iPhone Photos.
Cost Controls / Operations Assistance
Do you know what Prime Cost is? Because you should.
We pride ourselves on our cost controlling. Being able to make money at all sales levels, not just when it's busy. Busy times can't pay for the slow months or you end up breaking even on your year. You have to stay in the black as many days as possible and Controlling your costs gives you the best chance.
In the restaurant business we live and die by the numbers so it's very important that you understand your numbers and how they make up your business. Too many operators run their business with a blind eye towards food cost and labor cost and these are the only two costs you can control and they are your biggest % line items. It's imperative to have not only an understanding of these numbers but a day to day relationship with them.
Microsoft Excel Training
Be honest, do you take your inventory with a sharpie on scratch paper or cardboard box? Don't do that! We can help you create order sheets, line check sheets, prep lists, side work sheets and any other printable material you can think of. But wait! There's More!
We also have workbooks that we can teach you how to use and customize for your own operations for analytics purposes. Menu Mix Workbooks, Budget Work Books, Labor Cost Analysis. You name the problem, we've got a workbook that can help find the solution.
If you don't know how to use excel, we can teach you!!
Farmers Market Implementation
When we moved to Santa Barbara in 2007 we were take back by the abundance at the Farmers Market. So naturally, when we started opening restaurants back in 2008 we were avid supporters of the Farmers Market. Not only is it a great way to support local community but the produce they provide has a shelf life and flavor profile far greater to that which you can get from your produce company.
We can help you implement a Farmers Market program that will change the way your customers think about your food. Local, Seasonal ingredients are good fodder for social media and table side conversation by your servers. If you have Local Farms in your area, we can help you establish relationships with growers and procure ingredients that will add to the story of the food you serve your guests.
Social Media Management
Like it or not, you have to have Social Media Presence. It's exhausting but it's free and people are on there so it's time to gear up and go fishing!
Your social media presence should be timely with what is going on in the restaurant from day to day and it should tell a story about your brand and engaged your follower by making them FEEL some type of way about your product. Sometimes when you are in the trenches of the operation you can't properly get the perspective you need to convey your message. We can help!!
We have different programs available to help with Social Media Management as well as Email Marketing.
Vendor Selection / Costing
All vendors are the same right? They sell the same stuff... Wrong!
Some vendors offer better services (More Deliveries, Same Day Deliveries) for higher cost goods. Some vendors have better prices on goods but higher minimums and fewer delivery days. Knowing who to order from and how to order can keep a lot of money in the bank, where you want it. Over the last 12 years we have done business with several different vendors and we can help you choose the ones that are going to make your life easier and save you money.
We also have programs available to help you manage your inventory because you don't want your money tied up in product on the shelf. You need enough product to do business with, but you want your money in the bank!
Equipement Selection / Layout
As you can imagine over the last 26 years we have worked with several different types of the same equipment. We can help you sift through Manufacturers and Models as well as make suggestions as to what you should be buying used versus spending money for new.. After the very first day you open, it's all used restaurant equipment. Remember that. Some things are good to buy new for warranty sake but the number of new restaurant owners that buy brand new pots and pans and stainless inserts is crazy! Don't do that!!! We can help you!!
The Health Department is your partner in business. You truly must feel that way. They breed consumer confidence and it is in your best interest to have a good relationship with them.
We can assist you in start up, remodel, offsite permits and all other issues related to dealing with the Health Department. We have several connections within the department and know how to get things done! More important we know what they want!!
I used to have a chef who said "You eat with your eyes first". Food is Art and we truly believe that. Before we got into the BBQ business we used to cook with tweezers. Here's a link to a gallery to check our Food Styling out.
We can stage things for photographers or ad content or we can just help you come up with ways to give your menu some eye appeal.