Catercraft Catering Consultancy
Independent Consultancy for Catering and Hospitality Operators
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07527-913399  01625-533154  catercraft@btconnect.com

Catercraft Case Studies

Gastro Pub, Manchester

 

The initial inquiry from our client was in respect of our stocktaking services.

 

However during discussions it became evident that the issue was not to do with control alone but wider issues within the business. Our adviser spent 3 days in the business reviewing all aspects including purchasing, recipe costing, service, financial controls and marketing.

 
We informed the client that the theoretical profits reported by the management system were inaccurate and this was skewing the true picture. In reality the business was performing only slightly below industry averages for this type of business in the location.

 
We worked with the client to improve management reporting, ensuring that reports were accurate so time could be reduced in analysing results. We also renegotiated prices and terms and conditions with key suppliers which contributed an additional 3.5% to gross profit.


We are still actively involved with this client who now operates three gastro pubs in London, one of which features in London’s top 6 gastro pubs. Recently the client purchased a forth site in Belgravia.


Sandwich bar, Chester

 

This client was referred to us by Business Link who informed us that the client was struggling to develop the business.

 

Our adviser met with the client and discussed the problems they were experiencing. The main problem was lack of market; though the client was reasonable well known there had been little marketing activity and sales were extremely poor.

 
We identified potential markets for the client and wrote a business development plan. Following this we developed a marketing plan and a number of campaigns for the client that would enable them to promote their business using key dates that were relevant to their products and market.

 
Turnover has increased by 28% with profits up from 42% GP to 56% GP. Even though trade has increased further growth is difficult as the business is confined by lack of production space and the client is currently seeking new premises.

Cafe Bar, Hull

 

The client had developed a very successful concept for the business but due to circumstances outside of their control had only managed breakeven in two out of the four years of trading.

 

The client had ideas to diversify the business but lacked the confidence to take the next step and develop the opportunity. Our adviser mentored and coached the client in order to build their confidence and business management skills.


We developed management information systems that provide the client with data on the profit and sales performance of the business. This has realised their time to concentrate on the new venture safe in the knowledge that the current business continues to run profitably.

 
The client, re-energised, recommenced work on the project refurbishing the new site and engaging a sales manager to promote the products. This is very much a project in progress, but at present the business is developing well and we continue to be actively involved.

Italian Restaurant, Sheffield


The business was struggling with low turnover and high fixed costs and was very close to being closed by the bank. Our advisor reviewed the business and advised the client that in order to improve the fortunes of the restaurant that a number of changes were needed.

 
The first change was to get rid of the old “1970’s” style Italian restaurant menu with its 96 main meals, pastas and pizzas. We introduced a menu with a reduced choice of starters and only 18 main meals, pasta and pizza. And we trained the kitchen staff in plate presentation. This helped to reduce food wastage as well as contributing to a reduction in labour costs.

 
Alongside the change in the menu we introduced a more focused wine and alcoholic beverage list. This featured Italian wines and beers rather than a choice from around the world.

 
The final change to the operation was to opening times. The client had observed that lunchtime in the area was particularly busy but done nothing about it. So we closed the restaurant on early week day evenings and opened at lunchtime instead.

 
Turnover increased from £1,200 per week to £4,850 and the client sold her business as a going concern three months later.

Country Inn, Yorkshire


This business was purchased by our client at the start of the current recession. Initial trading was difficult and we were asked to help increase turnover and improve profit performance.

 
Our adviser evaluated the business and undertook an assessment of the competition. Following this we drew up a marketing plan outlining a number of promotional campaigns that could be run annually. We worked with the owner to improve the customer service skill by providing training to the staff. We also developed a number of in-house promotions including loyalty schemes that could be used within the business without reducing profit.

 
After the first quarter sales had increased by 14%, an additional £35,000 turnover per annum. However when approached over 40% of locals had heard of the Inn and said they were prepared to give it a favourable review, compared to our previous survey where only 22% would give a positive review.

 
Second part of the project involved us in providing the client with a robust reporting system that would enable them to review performance at a glance. We developed a simple system that reduces the input required by the client but provides a wealth of information. This has helped reduce the time our client spends in the office freeing them up to be with the customer.

 
During our review we identified that the business was spending far too much on standard commodities. Working with the client we tendered the dry goods, frozen, beer, wines and spirits purchasing. This reduced costs and increased the gross profit by 12%.

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