Alistair is a partner at KitchenSync, finance, HR, marketing, and the advisory team behind some of the fastest-growing independent restaurant groups. He also owns seven restaurants in the San Francisco bay area.
Most restaurant owners have a culinary background or are the first or second-generation owners and they might not have a formal business education or business experience. KitchenSync provides services that many restaurant management teams might be missing.
A lot of people in the restaurant industry are benchmarking 2022 and 2021 against 2019, not 2020. Effective benchmarking depends upon where your restaurant is located (regions with restrictions vs. regions without) and what type of restaurant you own (delivery, drive-thru, or dine-in).
DoorDash and Uber Eats are generating a huge amount of foot traffic digitally and have become the marketplace where you start your dining search.
Grocery gained a lot of market share during the pandemic and has moved heavily into prepared foods.
“When we talk to startup restaurants or restaurants similar to yours where the restaurant has been started by the father and then handed down, one thing that seems to be missing or is a weak area are those back office systems.” – Joseph
“The numbers are the foundation. If you’ve got good, accurate numbers with which to make decisions from, that’s a really great starting point. The numbers don’t lie, they don’t get emotional. You’re either making money or you’re not. ” – Alistair
“A restaurant is, in many ways, really complex but, in many ways, it’s very simple. It comes down to sales, cost of goods sold and labor.” – Alistair
“Consumer behavior (in the COVID era) has fundamentally changed. You’ve had behavior existing one way for 18 months to two years – that’s a lot of time to retrain behavior.” – Alistair
“A lot of people haven’t updated their business models to reflect that we’re moving from a traditional model of on-prem to a full omnichannel model, which is the same thing that happened to retail 10 years ago.” – Alistair
“When you can get great food delivered to your door, the question becomes, ‘Why should I want to come and sit in your restaurant?’” – Joseph
“The paths ahead (in the restaurant industry) are plentiful and no one really talks about it enough. This really is a place where you come in unskilled and you can thrive. It truly is one the last places where a meritocracy is alive and kicking.” – Joseph