New Book for Restaurant Owners
I wrote a book for restaurant owners. It's called Restaurant Prosperity Formula: What Successful Restaurateurs Do. It's been a goal of mine for more than 15 years, and I'm so proud to see it out in the world. Below is the introduction from the book. This part is a mix of why I do what I do, how I got here, and how what I know can help you establish a successful restaurant that looks like the dream you've always had for it.
Introduction from Restaurant Prosperity Formula™: What Successful Restaurateurs Do
I only have one mission: to help independent restaurant owners — from single to multi-unit operations — not only survive, but thrive, in the sea of chain restaurants that dominate our industry. For as long as I can remember, my dream has been to put my knowledge and experience to work while revolutionizing the way independent restaurants operate.
Consider today my “mission accomplished” moment.
I’m the expert. It’s a title I’ve earned after years of busting my ass to learn the ins and outs of our industry. When I launched my first business, TheRestaurantExpert.com, I set off on a new mission to train my members until they operated their restaurants like experts, too. For every restaurant we worked with, the assignment was to accomplish three main goals:
- Simplify the restaurant’s operations
- Start making more money than ever before
- Bring balance back to the owner’s life to allow them to enjoy the benefits of the first two goals
Sound good? You’re damn right it does! That mission and those goals drove me for sixteen years, and it worked.
Proven Restaurant Expertise
You’re in for a real treat, because what I’m offering is so much more than a book. I’m about to take you through the most comprehensive restaurant owner manual you’ve ever read. Even better, I’m sharing some exclusive readers-only content as freemiums that’ll help you get started right away. I’m not one of those speakers who likes to lead you in with a dollar on a string – I teach! Listen, I’d never set you up for failure, and my track record literally speaks for itself. I can help anyone, with any type of restaurant, anywhere in the world. I’ve proven it.
I’ve been invited to serve as a featured speaker at prominent industry events like the National Restaurant Show in Chicago, the International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Show, the Western Foodservice and Hospitality Expo, the Nightclub and Bar Show in Las Vegas, Pizza Expo – I can really do this all day!
My passion for the independent owner has been spread through top publications in the industry like Nation’s Restaurant News, Restaurant Hospitality, Restaurant Startup and Growth, and Nightclub and Bar Magazine.
I’m honored to see how far my passion and commitment have carried me over the years, and, here, I plan to share my expertise to totally disrupt the way you manage your business.
A Snapshot of Success
Experience is, and always will be, the best teacher you’ll ever have. Nothing I teach was learned overnight. It took years of trial and error (and surviving the gauntlet you’re tossed into when your mom is the first manager you’ve ever worked under) before I could confidently make the promises I make today.
Good, bad, or toxic as hell, I took something valuable away from every position I’ve ever held. You’ll see a lot of those stories in the pages to come, but I just thought I’d share a little timeline to help you follow along. I’ve been busy for the last couple of decades so don’t blink – you might miss something important.
Let’s take a quick walk down memory lane…
I launched an online training company, DavidScottPeters.com, for restaurant owners, managers, and operators. The curriculum is centered around my trademarked Restaurant Prosperity Formula™, which encapsulates everything I’ve learned after thirty years in the restaurant business about what it takes to run a successful restaurant. It doesn’t matter if it’s a mom-and-pop independent, a multi-unit independent operation, or a small franchise group. The Restaurant Prosperity Formula is the path to success for restaurants.
TheRestaurantExpert.com was founded. We evolved over the years, and hearing success stories from my past members still hits a soft spot. Thousands of restaurant owners increased their profits by an average of $4,000-$8,000 per month using everything they learned at our semi-annual workshops, one-on-one trainings, and through direct coaching using SMART Systems Pro, the online management software I developed to automate the systems that were the focus of the coaching and training.
October 1997 – July 2005
Famous Sam’s, Inc., a 31-unit restaurant and sports bar chain out of Mesa, Arizona, gave me a taste of what independents were doing wrong (and of how chains can self-sabotage, too). Unit sales across the system topped $30 million annually, and still, the business found a way to tap dance around bankruptcy.
I served as the director of operations from 1997-1999 before moving into independent consulting for a little over a year. When the shit hit the fan – see bankruptcy reference above – Famous Sam’s asked me back to be the chief operating officer and director to resolve their legal issues and turn the business around, so it could be fit to sell. I orchestrated a system-wide rebranding initiative that saved the business, and then I stuck things out until I made good on my promise to sell the company within five years.
January 1999 – October 1999
Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona, introduced me to a new love. Being a manager was one thing, but I never realized how satisfying teaching would be. I created lesson plans that taught my students how to manage and run restaurants based on real-world experience. Between management and human resources and wines and spirits, I learned how to transfer everything I’ve learned into a new skill.
May 1993 – October 1997
Coyote Springs Brewing Company and Café taught me to push myself more than ever before. I was hired as a bartender, then worked my way up to bar manager. The owners started to recognize my potential, so I was promoted to restaurant manager. Tasked with developing staff and coordinating the start-up of our second location, Coyote Springs forced me to adapt to my surroundings and step up to challenges every day.
By December of ’95, I was promoted to operations manager which meant I was responsible for overseeing both locations with $3.5 million in combined annual sales. With 10 managers and 110+ line employees under my direction, I developed budgets and created systems to automate our daily operations. By the time I was done, our cost of goods sold (COGS) margin had decreased by more than 15 percent.
Long before I ever stepped foot into Coyote Springs, passion for the hospitality industry pumped through my veins. I grew up working in Friar Tuck’s Tavern, my family’s restaurant and catering business. My mom was my manager, and she never thought twice about handing my ass to me. Even after that, I was an underaged dishwasher gambling with my life, mopping with a deadly combination of bleach and ammonia in a local Italian restaurant. Listen – don’t ask any questions. All you need to know is common sense isn’t very common at all.
Between all the bars and restaurants I worked at trying to pick up women in college and everything else I learned along the way, I’ll say it again, I’m the expert – the question is, are you ready to make the commitment?
I Want You to Be My Next Greatest Achievement
Even with my resume laid out in black and white, it always feels incomplete. I know there’s somebody else out there; another restaurant owner who needs my help before they give up on their dream. Before you make that decision, before you continue to leave money on the table at the end of each month, just give me ten minutes of your time.
I’ve been doing this for so long, I can probably guess what’s on your mind. I know firsthand that running a restaurant is hard work. We’re in one of the most difficult businesses to run. I feel your pain; in fact, I’m reminded of those struggles on a daily basis.
- Food cost is out of control.
- Labor cost is killing me.
- My people are idiots.
- My managers won’t do anything.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in business or how many restaurants you own, I bet something on that list sounds familiar. Earlier, I asked for your commitment. You give me that, and I promise to help you turn things around.
As you read, you’ll eventually learn that I’m a man who appreciates specifics. No detail is too big or too small. For clarity, let’s go over exactly what type of commitment I’m looking for and what you’ll need to be successful.
- Committed to change – When you really get into the swing of things and start implementing the systems I suggest, you’ll find some of your people aren’t as open to change. Many people get bit by the, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” bug, and those are the very same people who’ll run your restaurant into the ground.
- Committed to changing your company culture – Running a profitable restaurant isn’t a luxury, it’s your responsibility. If you don’t, everyone suffers; from the guests to the employees and even you and your family. When you shift your culture to focus on profits, everyone benefits in the long run.
- Committed to investing your time – As I mentioned earlier, you don’t gain experience overnight. The solutions I’m about to share will take time to bear fruit. It takes a lot of man hours to start putting these systems in place; implementation, training, monitoring, and coaching demands a sizable investment. There’s no magic pill for success.
- Committed in your mindset – You must be willing to do whatever it takes. Change in your restaurant starts with the head of the dragon. Without your determination, nothing will happen. Your commitment to change needs to be so strong that you’ll either be willing to convince your people to jump on board or replace some good workers with someone more trainable.
- Committed financially - You have to hire the management you need and give up your need to be in the restaurant 24/7. You have to invest in the systems and technology your restaurant needs to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
I need all five commitments from you – you can’t slack in any area or else our plan fails from the beginning. Without this level of commitment, you risk falling into Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result.
There are ten ideas every restaurateur must practice to gain full advantage of what I call the Restaurant Prosperity Formula—the recipe to achieving success on all levels.
- Core Values
- Organizational Chart Communication
- Responsibility to Be Profitable
- Imposing Your Will
- Cash Controls and Checklists
- Budgets and Recipe Costing Cards
- Prime Cost
- Finding an Implementer
- Taking Action
- Getting “Good” Help
Implementing these practices will put more money in the bank; more importantly, they show you how to regain your freedom.
You deserve to have a life! With a management team in place and employees who know what the job is, how to do it, how well it should be done, and, more importantly, by when, you’ll finally see what it means to work on your business, not in it.
What is your goal for your restaurant? Lower food and labor costs? A stronger management team? Time away from your restaurant? Or time to actually work on your restaurant? Whatever your goal, I know I can teach you how achieve it.
Want to continue on this path with me? Order your copy of Restaurant Prosperity Formula: What Successful Restaurateurs Do here.