Case Study

Restaurant Benefits from Evaluation

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Project Overview

Background

Located in Washington, a neighborhood is a testament to culinary passion and an unwavering commitment to offering amazing dining experiences. However, aligning operational functionality with passion isn’t always straightforward. Recognizing this, they partnered with Kezner Consulting to reevaluate and refine their operations.

Problems We Identified

The Challenge

Multiple site visits by Kezner Consulting unveiled a beautiful panorama: a restaurant bustling with genuine hospitality, high product quality, and a satisfied clientele. However, beneath the surface were financial and operational challenges that were hindering its profitability.

Sales Dynamics: Despite a substantial seating capacity, sales weren’t maximized, reflecting a significant mismatch in potential and utilization.

Operational Overspending: Large capital outlays, extensive menu offerings, high-volume purchasing habits, significant inventory levels, and absence of tracking mechanisms were causing undue financial strain.

Management Challenges: A commendably large establishment like this restaurant run by just two leaders was a recipe for burnout and inefficiency.

Diving deeper, Kezner Consulting’s scrutiny extended to areas like inventory, particularly the walk-in coolers. Organized they might have been, but they harbored excessive inventory, notably alcohol, signaling possible wastage or even theft due to a lack of an effective monitoring system.

Our Recommendations

The Solution

Findings & Core Recommendations

  • Inventory & Ordering Dynamics: The coolers, laden with an overwhelming volume of inventory, suggested over-ordering and over-prepping. Especially with alcohol stocks, this not only risked financial loss but hinted at potential theft. Kezner Consulting advocated for renegotiating vendor delivery frequencies, streamlining order guides, and maintaining an efficient inventory system.
  • Costing & Financial Health: An in-depth look at food costs revealed a significant disparity between actuals and industry standards. While menu offerings showed potential with a theoretical food cost at 25.15%, the real picture was skewed at 43.2%. Similarly, discrepancies were found in beer and liquor costs, suggesting issues beyond mere pricing, perhaps leaning into storage, preservation, or waste.
  • Training & Development: The absence of a formalized training mechanism stood out. Instituting a rigorous FOH training program, emphasizing product knowledge, service sequence, and service philosophy, was underlined as a priority.
  • Menu Engineering & Optimization: The extensive menu was both a strength and a challenge. The need was to curate without compromising on quality or variety. Alongside, costing recipes and a “dish of the day” initiative would ensure consistent quality and enhanced customer experiences.
  • Group Dining & Catering: Recognizing the potential of group dining and catering, suggestions revolved around specialized menus, setting a minimum spending threshold, and ensuring quick responsiveness to inquiries.

 

Actionable Roadmap

  • Budgeting & Financial Planning: Draft a 2023 budget, aligning with proposed operational changes, and setting clear financial goals.
  • Operational Excellence: Introduction of systems like declining budgets, inventory systems, and recipe standardization.
  • Human Resource Development: Comprehensive training programs, encompassing not just onboarding but continuous skill development, wine classes, and more.
  • Vendor & Technology Management: Renegotiating with vendors, investing in operational software, refining POS systems, and implementing digital logbooks.
Outcomes & Insights

Results

The transformative journey guided by Kezner Consulting’s strategic interventions, bore remarkable results. Service quality experienced a marked elevation, consistently surpassing prior standards. Additionally, all cost of goods showcased substantial improvements, translating into efficient operations and optimal resource utilization. Most importantly, these combined enhancements shifted this restaurant from a state of financial uncertainty to a position of profitability.

What We Learned

Conclusion

Today, this restaurant stands as a shining testament to what strategic reevaluation and targeted action can achieve, thriving not just as a beloved dining establishment but also as a profitable business venture.

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