Brilliant, savvy entrepreneurs open beautiful restaurants with stunning décor and remarkable menus, then hire smart people to run them…yet profits don’t happen as quickly as envisioned… or at all. While every restaurant’s needs are different, there are some common underlying factors that affect the owner-managed business.

Restaurants steer through the rearview mirror, meaning they need accurate data from what has already happened to change direction or adapt to negative trends. If this data is late or overly complex or non-existent, the restaurant flies by the seat of its pants and nothing is ever good enough for the owner…at least not without profit. Managers get stressed and staff begins to turn over.

Soon stability becomes elusive as cost-cutting measures are introduced to save the sinking ship. Menus are changed to lower COGS and labor. Managers are not replaced so teams are forced to work longer hours. Customers can smell desperation, and regulars visit less often or simply vanish. Morale declines with guest count. Word gets out and the business circles the drain until it eventually closes. The owner blames their teams or the economy or themselves for the failure…but it’s none of the above.

What’s wrong is the independent restaurant lacks operating discipline and the owner and managers don’t know how to get it.

Managers, like their employees, need a boss – a guide. Even though they may be near the peak of your organizational pyramid, they too need to operate with a foundation that includes guiding principles, cultural aspirations, a solid operating structure, and accountability procedures. Without this bedrock, managers are only mimicking what they learned in their previous jobs. To use a sports analogy, they’re running another coach’s playbook without that coach present to analyze and engage and adapt it to the new (your) team. It doesn’t take long for that management team to unravel and for chaos to ensue.

In the hospitality industry, EVERY guest has expectations. To be truly successful you can’t manage them – you have to exceed them. Piece of cake, right?


It becomes work, not passion

Business owners create businesses to generate profit, not to be tied to a position. When an owner is pulled into managing daily operations, they now have a job, and the venture can turn sour. Entrepreneurs are owners, not managers, and inevitably this will show.

Small stuff? Big headaches

Entrepreneurs are idea people. They’re good at generating high level ideas and designing money-making structures, but the ‘nuts and bolts’ (or ‘salt and pepper’) are best left to those who specialize in that. To put it another way, we operate with the precision and skill of a surgical team so you can focus on your overall good health.

Revolving doors

Owners often place too much trust in their current staff, expecting them to self-police and deliver new, superior results. Instead, this invariably leads to a revolving door in search of the “right” manager.

Restaurant managers are team players, not head coaches

Even in high-caliber store-level leaders, managers’ focus on delivering results is constrained by their ability to deploy processes developed by others. They unintentionally pass off their familiarity as their capability to identify and implement systems that suit the business (“Fantastic! You worked at Cheesecake Factory so you can make our place run like that!”) Since people don’t know what they don’t know, if(when) a manager doesn’t deliver, the owner views the manager as failing. Never quite able to achieve ownership’s goals, the manager becomes frustrated, the venue struggles, and good people and families get hurt. Soon the place is known as a manager grinder.

Unicorn shopping

Restaurant owners often tell themselves that snagging that one seasoned Director of Operations is all it takes. Without the benefit of a team approach to oversight, hiring a rainmaker D of O often merely adds an unnecessarily high salary to your budget without solving the problem.

This isn’t what I signed up for

Poor performance stresses the owner and mires them so deeply in the daily grind that they can’t focus on what they’re good at, which is creating new businesses. Eventually, the shine comes off the penny and owners can’t wait to cash out.


Management Labor Budget ≥ 9.5%
3rd Party Accounting Budget ≥ $500/mo
Staff = Employees of Restaurants

Single Unit Sales ≥ $3.6M
Multi Unit, Single State ≥ $5M
Multi Unit, Multi State ≥ $7M

5% of Sales (net of tax)
Calculated and Paid Monthly
24 Month Term


Weekly Reporting 

Annual budget

Monthly menu analysis (Dog/Star)

Weekly manager meeting notes

Access to daily manager logs

Menu Evolution and Implementation

Weekly Manager’s Operating Statement

Production control systems

Accountant / Bookkeeper interface

Operating systems compliance

Facility repair and maintenance management

CAPEX Planning

Sales building plans and initiatives calendar

Guest touchpoint management

Benefits administration

Back-office controls

Manager and staff hiring/firing

Manager and staff development

Brand positioning

Social media marketing strategy

Service structure and execution

Training systems and management

Culture and guiding principles management



Our goals are aligned

When you partner with Blue Orbit, mutual success depends on the same things: profitability, longevity, and growth. Yes, we’re hired guns, and our only target is your success. We don’t make money if you don’t make money.

We’re cost effective

For the price of one senior manager, you’re signing a full roster with all-star expertise at every position. Blue Orbit manages your business by setting a strategic direction for leaders to follow, designing systems to implement that direction, and then holding the team accountable for delivering those systems. Sales go up, costs come in line, and you’re out looking for new locations or new ventures to invest in. 

We add value (and victory)

We focus your business on winning by taking a fine-toothed comb through your current systems, structures, and behaviors. We communicate to make sure we understand how and why your business was created. From there we identify the strategy that clearly defines where you will compete, what capabilities and systems you’ll need, and how you will win. 

Structured problem solving

Countless restaurants have closed because owners and operators squandered precious resources (including consumer tolerance for do-overs) throwing solutions at the wrong problems. We seek your challenges. When we find them (and we will), we identify the root cause(s) and then begin building your solutions. Mise in place – it’s not just for chefs. 

We build your moat

We’re the force giving you a competitive advantage over present and future competitors. While you’re amassing forces to boldly grow your market share, existing competitors are scrambling just to keep up. And would-be competitors think twice before even considering an attack. When you have the systems, structures, and behaviors in place to support a winning strategy, the other guys have all but lost.

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