Would you like to know how we turned a restaurant with 5 years of losses into profitability as quick
Well , this is a true story of my last international adventure in the restaurant business before moving to Canada .
I was offered a job in a Gulf country as a head of restaurant group and i was told during the interview with the owners that i will be given what they call the "Least performing restaurant brands " , which sounded as a good challenge .
The brands were a coffee shop chain with many branches , a high end French-Italian restaurant with two premium locations and a chain of Lebanese fast food.
First things first , first step was to set priorities ! and the high end brand was a top priority , not only because the manager , the executive chef & executive pastry chef in addition to half of the staff have all resigned and were serving their last days before my joining to the company ! but also the fact that brand's clients are top tier of country clientele and it is a must that they shouldn't feel the drop in standards ...
It all starts with building the right team ! One man show doesn't exist in our business and finding the right people who are ready to take over challenging positions is a mission by itself , for this i had to consider some changes and build what i call a "Corporate structure " and this team will not only help me to take this brand to another level but also they will be helping me in doing the same for the other brands all by working out from this brand itself !
I managed to hire a passionate operations manager , a seasoned group executive pastry chef , a talented executive chef and a Marketing /Media manager and the deal was that we all make this restaurant as our day and night office until we get things done , i have asked the owners that I will only visit the head office for financial reviews and that team and myself will consider this main restaurant as our alternative head office !
When i had these guys on board , daily observations , meetings and "Action taking" were on the spot , i didn't have time to waste by having a long chain of command and i have taken the support from top for making quick decisions that are all required to take this brand up to the next level , i only had to go for once or twice to meet the owners and get their approval on required budgets that will help providing us with the "Tools" needed to take this brand to where we have visioned it to be !
Having the right team , building trust in our team and the top management , making the right decisions and ensuring every investment is well spent , combined with the fact of having the executive team there on the floor and building relationship with clients who were all happy to see the top management are daily in the store , followed by improvements in food variety , quality & innovation have all yielded better results for this brand , however that wasn't the only reasons for turning around the figures !
When you have a high rent and high payroll , you will have to create a new revenue stream that helps to bring down these two financial areas into where it should be to start making profits ! This is where i have identified a great opportunity to create a VIP catering division for this brand ,i got in touch with a company that can design / customize catering equipment and they did a great job in creating unique designs that placed the brand on the top of the options for VIP catering in the country where we have catered in the first year almost to every wealthy family in the country and we took the market by storm in just few months after the launch !
To make a long story short, after 5 consecutive years of Net Losses, we have seen and celebrated finally a positive impact on the P&L exactly after the 6th month of operations !
Formula for such success might be as simple but as complex at the same time :
Building " the " team + empowerment + Be on the floor + engage with customers + improve existing offerings + create new opportunities + Being empowered to make decisions on the spot + Vision ! All can do magic to any business that is not performing .
The stories about the other brands and the "Golden star " brand that we have built after that are to be shared shortly in my next blogs ...#Staytuned..