Ron's Tip Jar/Insights - Published by Ron Santibanez   

September 26, 2012


In This Issue:

Tips and Things - How To Solve Problems in Your Restaurant

Rules of Thumb

Restaurant Myth 

How Much Does It Cost To Open A Restaurant?



 Tips and Things

How To Solve Problems In Your Restaurant

 I began my consulting career focusing on helping restaurant owners solve day-to-day problems. Below are some techniques I found to be effective in rapidly solving problems.

  • Focus on cause, not blame. The former provides an objective search, the latter provides emotionalism and recriminations. Don't seek vengeance.


  •  Problems usually DO NOT go away by themselves. Face the issue, and deal with it. Procrastination exacerbates problems and builds stress.


  • Ask yourself immediately, "Is this important?" If the answer is "no," then live with it. Not all problems need to be fixed. (All of my cars have imperfections somewhere that don't merit my time to eliminate.)


  • Look for comparisons. If a door isn't closing, look at other doors and determine if you can spot any distinctions. These will often lead you to the cause of the problem.


  • Ask yourself "What's changed?" Virtually all new problems are caused by some change (else nothing would have gone wrong). Find out if the nature of a relationship has changed, something new has been installed, or someone made an alteration.


  • Use only empirical evidence. Focus on what you can see and prove, not what you suspect or are told. Validate assumptions. ("Yes, she has been late each morning," or "No, we aren't having poor responses to the offer.")


  • Be aware that to solve a problem you must remove its cause. Otherwise, you're adapting to it, which may be appropriate, as well. Putting additional air in a slow-leaking tire is adaptive, but plugging the leak (or replacing the tire) is corrective.


  • Interim actions can buy you needed time. Covering a hole in the roof with a tarp is an interim adaptive action which saves the furniture until a permanent patch can be installed. (Asking someone to "sleep on it" and talk in the morning when you are both calmer is an interim action to create a better environment for reconciliation.)


  • Make your process transparent. Let others know what you're doing and why. Unlike decision making, problem solving is basically an objective, logical pursuit and the more people sharing, the more positive suggestions and the less suspicion as to your motives. ("What do you mean by that?" is one of those emotionally pregnant accusations which often follow what was thought to be a rational suggestion but the intent of which was not shared.)


  • Validate to ensure success. Test your thesis on paper (it's easy to turn buttons on a machine and reverse them, but far more difficult to take back what you've said to someone in error or confusion). After you take your corrective or adaptive action, check to ensure that the problem is either removed or accommodated successfully.


Thought For The Day

  In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.  

Rules of Thumb

The development of any restaurant requires a careful look at the financial projections. With that in mind, here are a few more Rules of Thumb:

Sales Per Square Foot

Losing Money

Full-Service - $150 or less

Limited-Service - $200 or less


Full-Service - $150 to $200

Limited-Service - $200 to $300

Moderate Profit

Full-Service - $250 to $350

Limited-Service - $300 to $400

High Profit

Full-Service - More than $350

Limited-Service - More than $400


Restaurant Myth


Itís usually one of the bartenders. Their accounting skills are honed through years of experience keeping track of liquor usage and unrecorded drink sales with elaborate counting schemes using glasses, stir sticks, toothpicks, pennies, and even olives.


 We are offering a FREE Restaurant Start-Up Checklist. Just send us an email at Ron@RestaurantExperts.com and request your copy.

Additional Resources Now Available On Our Web Site:




How Much Does It Cost To Open A Restaurant?

The most frequently asked question I receive is, "How Much Does it Cost to Start a Restaurant?"

The answer is.....it depends. Asking how much does it cost to start a restaurant is like asking how much does it cost to buy a house. There are many variables and options that must be selected before you can attempt to come up with the answer. For example:

  • Fast Casual or Full Service
  • Free Standing or In-Line
  • Restaurant ready space or shell condition.
  • Landlord TI?
  • Hood or grease interceptor needed?
  • Size of space 
  • Interior finishes selected (options)
  • Type of furnishings selected (tables can range from $100 to $500 each)
  • Type of kitchen equipment needed
  • Menu concept
  • Liquor License
  • Staffing
  • Additional engineering needs due to facility issues

Completing a comprehensive feasibility study on a specific site or geographical location will determine the capital requirements and projected sales/profits & ROI of your concept.

For more information on this subject Click Here.


You can now read todays Restaurant Business News on our website .  


Additional "Tips" are now available on "Ron's Blog."



Follow me on Twitter @ronsantibanez. I post frequent tips and suggestions to Improve Your Profitability.


We are now featuring our booklet "How To Start A Restaurant" FREE on our web site.  

Send me an email at Ron@RestaurantExperts.com if you would like a copy of our booklet, "How to Manage a Successful Promotion." Type "Special Booklet" in the subject line. 


Visit our web site RestaurantExperts.  You can view additional tips and techniques that are regularly posted on our Profit Line Facebook page.

Click here to view our feature page on our client, Salad Republic 

Please Visit Salad Republics New Website LoveSaladRepublic.com


 We encourage you to contact us if there are specific subjects you would like to see addressed in "Insights" or "Ron's Tip Jar".

"Insights" is a newsletter discussing issues that affect your restaurants profitability delivered by Ron Santibanez. You may also view past issues of "Insights" and "Ron's Tip Jar" by clicking here.

Contact us at ron@RestaurantExperts.com

For information regarding our start-up and profit improvement services, call us at 866-903-5875. You may also reach me by email at ron@RestaurantExperts.com



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