In the early 2000’s, a classically trained chef had launched an ambitious restaurant in an old Victorian home in the arts and dining district of a small Southern town. It was well received but perhaps ahead of its time. Sales were not what he wished they’d be so, in 2003, he changed the concept to suit the lifestyles and demands of the local neighborhood. He created a fast casual sandwich shop serving gourmet versions of Southern (and some not-so-Southern) favorites…and he offered them at a tremendous value. The Fickle Pickle has thrived ever since, commanding long lines past the front veranda. The restaurant is still the top lunch destination in Roswell, Georgia but as the owner thought about retirement and/or growing more restaurants, he wanted to tighten up operations and to deliver more profit to his bottom line.
He engaged Blue Orbit for an assessment. We spent a few days immersed in his operation. We interviewed employees, dined as guests and turned over every stone. We were impressed with his cleanliness, food quality, low prices and loyal staff. At the same time we found several bottlenecks and contributors to lower sales and lower profits and were able to recommend several high-impact solutions. The owner is a seasoned chef and operator so we recommended things that he could do himself where hiring us to push initiatives along was always on the table but never pushed.