#9: How to Run a Restaurant - the Story of a Former CFO's Journey With Systems

December 2, 2020 by David Scott Peters

In this episode of The Restaurant Prosperity Formula podcast, host David Scott Peters talks to Steve Eller, restaurant owner of Cosmic Cowboy in Idaho and Washington. David and Steve talk through Steve’s experience adopting and working with David’s restaurant systems to learn how to run a restaurant. Steve’s story is interesting in that he was already using a lot of the systems that David teaches, but his prime cost was too high, and he was looking for the answer to why and how to finally get past the plateau. Click below to listen to David and Steve’s discussion, or keep scrolling to read more about what they discussed.

Steve was a CFO before he opened his restaurants. He is a numbers guy and understands budgeting very well. He talks about the things he learned in budgeting for restaurants after working with David.

Throughout the discussion, they address several topics: 
  • How using systems during COVID has helped Steve get a deeper understanding of the numbers behind his restaurant’s operation, get answers to how to improve the numbers and be set up to benefit at a maximum level once the pandemic is over.
  • How even though Steve had systems and understood a lot about running a business, what he was missing and how he didn’t even know certain things were possible with the numbers. For example, he trusted the national average for restaurant prime cost and didn’t know he could get his number lower.
  • How his management staff is now not only willing to look at the numbers, they're willing to put the work in to make the numbers happen in real time, which is a huge shift for the restaurant.
  • How even though Steve used checklists in his restaurant, his definition was different than David’s and now with the new definition, how much that has helped the team and the restaurant.
  • How having the strength of conviction that it was possible to demand more from the team, cut costs even more, find areas to increase sales like increasing prices where necessary, helped the whole team understand the things that needed to be done to make the business successful.
  • The importance of a good general manager and a strong leader in the restaurant owner and how important everyone’s attitude is in running the restaurant.
  • Why even though Steve was already using most of the systems David teaches, he couldn’t reach the target numbers he wanted or the profits he was expecting.
  • The current challenges Steve is managing with COVID-19 and how that’s setting him up for future success.
  • The two most important systems for any restaurant and why they are the most important.
  • What every restaurant owner needs to consider before committing to working with David and putting the systems he teaches into place in your restaurant.
  • Where Steve thinks his restaurant can be after the pandemic is over and the advantages he’ll have as a restaurant owner and restaurant investor.
  • What he’s looking forward to once his restaurants are fully set up with systems and a wholly accountable management team.

Don’t miss listening to this remarkable restaurant owner’s experience. You will definitely take away lessons you can apply in your restaurant and feel hope about the possibility for your own restaurant’s transformation. 


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