#8: Restaurant Food Cost Solutions for Independent Restaurants

November 18, 2020 by David Scott Peters

The topic for this episode of my podcast, The Restaurant Prosperity Formula, centers on the story of one restaurant owner who learned how to change her business to not only survive the COVID crisis, but thrive and get her life back.

Emmy Barnick is the owner of the Captain's Cabin in Washburn, North Dakota. She and her husband also run a farm. She opened a restaurant because she had a dream to provide for her small farming community. She wanted to give them a place where they could socialize, eat great food and have relaxed friendly service. This was something her community absolutely needed.

But Emmy quickly learned the restaurant business was about to consume 80 to 100 hours a week of her time, that she would only see one day off in four months and that a key employee would steal thousands of dollars in product from her. Fast forward, while others close their doors forever due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Emmy was able to harvest her crops 14 to 16 hours a day, grow her bank account from $7,000 to $70,000, have managers run the day-to-day and is now taking three days off a week.

I'm really excited to share this conversation with you because Emmy is really a rock star when it comes to putting systems in place. This is helpful for restaurant owners who question how systems can be of use to their restaurant. Or maybe you’re not making the money you deserve, and you’re wondering what you could do to change that. If you feel like a prisoner to your business, then Emmy is here to inspire you. Since early 2020, she’s gone through not only a business transformation but a personal one as well. It is truly impressive what kind of change she has made in her business.

Listen in on our conversation as she shares with you exactly how she did it and how easily you could have the same or better results. You’ll hear her talk about:
  • The wake-up call she got that even though she had no restaurant experience, she had to take accountability for her restaurant and its potential for success.
  • What she discovered when she started digging into the operations and what she did about it.
  • How COVID affected her business and how it pulled back the curtain on what was really going on.
  • What breakeven point taught her about the money she was leaving on the table.
  • Where she started with systems and the immediate impact it had on her restaurant and her life.
  • The systems that got her managers on board and committed to the success of the restaurant.
  • The success of delegating to her team.
  • The financial impact on her business.
  • How she went from one day off in 41 days to taking three days off a week from the restaurant and plans to take two weeks coming up this winter.
  • The impact on her personal life and her family.

We cover a lot! Emmy is a great example of the potential every restaurant owner has in their restaurant. You just have to start somewhere. And the crazy part, as Emmy talks about in our discussion, she’s only at the tip of the iceberg with systems. She still has so many more she can put in place to drastically affect her restaurant and her life.


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