case studies / The Yard SANTA MONICA CA

A well-known neighborhood gastro pub with strong customer loyalty and industry reputation; talented chef with notable success in appearances on
Top Chef; experienced, A-list management team.

the challenge

Because the food, marketing, atmosphere and chef visibility were so high for the front of the house, the back of house operations had been underutilized and overlooked. Food costs and ordering needed strategy and procedure behind them, and overall BOH systems needed improvements.

the solution

We worked directly with the Managing Partner, Executive Chef and Back of House team to understand current operations and practices from the inside out. Before making any changes, we spent significant time in the kitchen during prep hours, accompanying the chef and sous chef on weekly Farmers Market rounds and in deep analysis over profit and loss statements. This included looking at weekly/monthly sales and product mix numbers, food and beverage purchases and labor costs. We were then able to easily identify categories where The Yard could improve immediate cash flow, make drastic and lasting savings, and build a modified revenue model specific to The Yard concept, target market and vision.

WRAG Assessed, Refined and Leveraged:
Inventory, Purchasing, Receiving System Analysis
Labor Costs and Kitchen Scheduling
Food Cost Control Management
Product profitability analysis - menu-pricing analysis vs. weekly sales and product mix
P&L Analysis and Accounting Audit
Detailed recipe costing and Gross Profit Analysis

the results

In addition to a $20,000 immediate savings in labor costs and a 25% DECREASE IN FOOD COSTS, WRAG implemented step-by-step solutions to improve overall profitability through weekly reporting and measurement, structured expense budgeting, industry "best practices" operation systems and application, and productivity based labor management. An overhaul in inventory processes resulted in specific checks and balances for ordering and receiving goods. Menu reformatting created curiosity among diners, driving new and more robust ordering patterns, in addition to positive rapport with servers. Management and staff were left with a new blue print for day-to-day operations, a projected 20% increase in cash flow, and all-staff systems that have now become consistent and trackable.