YOUR MENU IS WHAT YOU SELL AND HOW YOU MAKE YOUR MONEY.
Boeing builds and sells jets. Crate and Barrel sells furnishings and home goods. Samsung makes and sells TVs, appliances and processing chips. Each of them invests a large fortune to ensure they sell the best stuff in their respective markets.
All of the design, management and site selection expertise in the world will not help you if you don’t put food and drinks on your menu that people prefer…and are willing to pay for. Sure, sometimes a great location can offer you some cushion but that won’t stop the complaints from rifling through online review sites, limiting your profit potential and expansion possibilities. Design, management and a good location are indeed critical, but the most important thing you can do for your business is create menus and assortments that people want to shop. Our chefs, mixologists and gourmet retail experts are ready to help you launch menus that get noticed, win new customers…and keep them.
Everyone has a unique due diligence process for evaluating prospects, during which the landlord assesses – in varied depth and priority – the operator’s track record, credit, initial budget, financing, business plan, fit in the property, etc. But because a landlord’s restaurant operations knowledge is likely limited, so is their ability to grasp the prospect’s potential and fit – or lack thereof – in a property.
Without tried experience in the restaurant industry, the due diligence process for any landlord will have holes. A restaurant consulting firm like Blue Orbit can fill these holes and weed out the bad seeds through an in-depth assessment of each prospect and their concept’s viability. Leveraging their experience and expertise in the industry, a restaurant consulting firm can increase the landlord’s likelihood of locking into a five-, seven-, ten-year lease with a strong restaurant operator who will drive traffic and value to the property over the long haul.
Whether one all-day menu or two menus separated by an item change, Lunch and Dinner need to be developed first to consider what your customers need THEN to what you’re capable of delivering (equipment, facility, staff, management, and competition). To satisfy your audience, some menus need to capture the latest trends in cooking methods, ingredients or region of origin. Others need to be more traditional, requiring familiar foods to be prepared perfectly (nothing like a fresh, bright, crisp, chilled shrimp cocktail). We can work with your chef to create new items, reimagine your existing items or set out to create something completely new to train to a new staff. Regardless of whether your service is fast casual or full, never forget that your food menu must thrill your customers, which can never be left to chance.
The secret to great bread and great profit is to make your bread in house. Fresh breads take advantage of relatively inexpensive ingredients, but by the time you buy it wholesale, much of the profit has been surrendered to your bread vendors. A $12 gourmet burger with a good outsourced bun will yield about a 68% margin. But that same burger with a GREAT bun, made in house, will yield a 73% margin. And if you weave in some other scratch baking the additional profit across your other items will far outpace the labor cost incurred. Most important, your burger will simply be better, which is really the point. We can create custom breads for your restaurant – including bagels, burger/hot dog buns, ciabatta, scacciata, pain au lait, sourdough, etc. – then teach your staff how to make it, using minimal equipment in minimal space.
If you are (or are looking to create) a gourmet market, coffee shop, convenience store, or hotel amenity, we can help you rationalize your assortment to minimize labor and maximize profit. Stand-alone markets can be heavy on labor cost if not carefully conceived, and they usually forgo the profitability afforded by scratch cooking. Your items must consider sourcing and volume buys. Inventory management requires careful attention and organization. Merchandising must tell your customers a story and instigate impulse buying beyond sustenance shopping. Will you benefit by offering flowers? Is your operation capable of adding prepared grab-n-go? Are gift chocolates appropriate or retro candies…or both? We can help you create a market section for your restaurant or hotel lobby or create a hybrid retail and home-meal-replacement gourmet market. We can even help you dream it up. You supply the gumption.
Sugar is expensive. Buying someone else’s sugar creations and selling them as your own is even more expensive as the wholesaler usually squeezes most of the profit out of the item by selling them to you, then you do your best to capture whatever profit is left. You’re often better off not selling dessert at all and turning the table if that’s the case. Scratch cooking is the best way to go for profit and authenticity. But where do you start? We can create custom desserts for you that are on brand, unique, and delicious… then teach YOUR staff how to execute them. You’ll make more money AND you and your customers will be proud of what you serve. You don’t need to hire a pastry chef. By hiring us, you’re temporarily renting a pastry chef, and
Sunday brunch as an add on meal period… daily breakfast as a regular offering… whatever your plan, breakfast can be profitable and brand enhancing. Not all Benedicts are created equal and scratch biscuits can put a line down the street on Saturday morning. Let us help you create a breakfast meal period for your business.
WHAT WE DO
We support Landlords by evaluating prospective-tenants, performing in-depth assessments of existing tenants, and providing ongoing consulting services to optimize restauarant operations and profitability during management.
We work with you to understand what your concept needs to do for you and then collaborate to create the business of your dreams while ensuring that it delivers your expectation.
Whether you simply need to start frying your French fries in a different fryer than your Calamari or you need to completely overhaul the brand offering, we’ll get it right and your restaurant will be on the path to profitability in no time.
WHAT WE DO
"Blue Orbit is an exceptional resource for small to large restaurants looking to grow. We have greatly enjoyed working with them."
Marta Gomez Frey, Director – Collins Small Business Development Center, Texas
"Blue Orbit is truly the best of the best. We used them to help streamline one of our restaurants and to help us implement systems for our company to continue to grow. Their #1 goal is to help you reach your goals and make your day to day life easier and more efficient. We highly recommend these guys and their personal touch!!"
Ryan Pope, Owner - Gnat's Landing, St. Simons Island
"I have worked with Ray Camillo on various investments and business opportunities in the restaurant and consulting fields over the last three years and would recommend him as a top-notch consultant and analyst"
Christian Ward, EVP - YEXT, NYC
"LOOK NO FURTHER. I've worked with the skilled professionals at Blue Orbit on several restaurant projects. Several of the things I love in working with them is, they are operators so they are realistic and transparent. Feedback is a two way street with them. They commit and stay on track and they deliver a great end result."
Dianna Stoffer, Brand Manager - Intercontinental Hotels Group / Hotel Indigo, USA
"Michael Maxwell said it best when he explained the restaurant business to me as a large jigsaw puzzle. If you try to do it all at once it’s overwhelming, but if you put the most important pieces in place one at a time you end up with a beautiful final product. Blue Orbit did a masterful job of creating and opening our restaurant one piece at a time."
James Brearley, Owner - Floridays and Compass Hotel, Bradenton
"Blue Orbit has been an invaluable resource, providing solid recommendations and industry insight!"
Suzi LeBlanc, HR Director - Fifth Group Restaurants, Atlanta
"Ray Camillo has an exceptional ability to read a business, attack the challenges with appropriate resources and deliver results. He is true hospitality!"
Todd Rushing, Owner - Concentrics Restaurants, Atlanta
"I had an extravagant idea with no tools on how to execute my dream...Bellina would not be what it is today without Blue Orbit's support and coaching!"
Tal Baum, Owner - Bellina Alimentari & Oliva Restaurants, Atlanta
"Wow, what a creative, out-of-the-box thinker! 4 stars AJC, Atlanta's Top New Restaurants (Atlanta Magazine Restaurant Concept Award)...enough said!"
Ford Fry, Owner - Ford Fry Restaurants, Atlanta
"Ray is one of the most highly regarded restaurant consultants in the country. He's very organized, highly motivated and has a keen determination to make sure the job gets done right the first time"
Harold Shumacher, Owner - The Shumacher Group, Atlanta
"Our restaurants had such an AMAZING experience with Blue Orbit. We worked very closely with Michael and Matt. They were instrumental in helping us make changes to our operations, menu, and service model. You can feel how much they care about you and your business through the whole process. We loved working with them so much that we continue to check in and say HI because we miss them! We feel like we made some lifelong friends out of such a great working relationship. You will not be sorry. Contact them ASAP!"
Lina Fleihan, Owner - Ghassan's Fresh Mediterranean Eats, Greensboro
"Blue Orbit was instrumental to my success and I enthusiastically recommend them to anyone aspiring to open a restaurant of their dreams."
Beth Castro, Owner - Mae's Bakery, Atlanta
"We reached out to Blue Orbit for their expertise and help in planning our new project. We brought a big bag of dreams and ideas and they were able to help us process them all and come up with a solid business plan to make those dreams a reality, and one that would be profitable. Ray and his entire team bring many years of experience and wisdom that we found invaluable in making critical choices in developing our concepts."
Mandy and Kelvin Slater, Owners - Skyline Park & Nine Mile Station, Atlanta
"Blue Orbit performed an operations assessment and quickly identified several high impact areas that we have since addressed with great success. They never pressured me to take on more services than I needed and I regard them as a go-to resource whenever we need a fresh set of eyes and an injection of operational know-how!"
Tiffany Lach, Owner - Sola Cafe & Market, Bozeman
"We have a sign in our office to inspire us to make good decisions - in big bold letters it says WWRD?... stand for 'What Would Ray Do?'"
Carlo Rovetto, Owner - Positive Pie, Montpelier
"Ray is truly one of the best restaurant professionals I have come across. He understands the back and front of the house, has great communication skills, is visionary, and has a great sense of humor. He is a pleasure to work with and I hope to do so again in the future"
Glenna Hecht, Owner - Humanistic Consulting, Dallas
"Blue Orbit listened to me and quickly understood my goals and business, then attached it. Sales are up, costs are down, and, most importantly, my customers are happy. Ray is a true partner and an ongoing resource - like a restaurant whisperer!"
Micah Serwitz, Owner - Instead of Flowers, Atlanta
"There is no way [to put into] how much Ray and Blue Orbit changed our lives. We moved to Atlanta from Europe with a dream of running our own business and decided that a restaurant was the ideal thing for us. Ray looked at us, what we were passionate about, and guided us through the complicated process of understanding business financials. Today, 2.5 years later, we own a very successful furniture studio where we design and fabricate furniture for clients all over the South. Ray was able to see us for who we are and guide us in the right direction. Thank you!"
Chris Demant, Owner - Reclaimed by Demant, Atlanta