David Scott Peters "The restaurant expert"

I’m thinking about making the leap and shelling out the bucks and doing the 3 day seminar in September. I’m a kickass pizza maker and shift manager, but not the best restaurant owner as it turns out. I’m pretty green still as far as that goes. I know another 10 years doing this and I’ll have it down, but I’d like to start seeing some more $ for me and the shop sooner than later. Anyone ever done this seminar before or something like it? I saw him for an hour at pizza expo and liked it. I really liked the restaurantowner.com guys too, but they don’t offer the immersive conference.

We are in our first year of biz and are gonna clear 7 figures in sales which has significantly surpassed me and the bank’s expectations. We make ends meet, and I pay myself and the taxman on time. I don’t need to sell any more pizza to make ends meet. I don’t even really want to sell more pizza. OK well that might not be exactly true, but the best way for me to make more money right now is to figure out how to keep more of what comes in, not bring more in. Our infrastructure can’t handle much more during peak times anyway. I’m realize that I am very lucky and that these are good problems to have. Also, I just got married and will be having a kid within 2 years or so I need to find a way to change how I interact with my business so that I’m not running the ovens til 2am. She doesn’t mind now, but mama ain’t gonna like that when the baby comes.

Anyhow, I’m very familiar with COGS, portion control, food costing, etc… but don’t have a way of tracking and measuring that stuff on a weekly basis and am not sure that even if I had the time I could implement a system that would would be better than one already out there.

So yeah, anyone ever done it before? Any other suggestions for keeping tabs on my pepperoni’s every week? Thank y’all!


I’m not sure if I’d spend the money or time, but my experience/training/teacher were different…my accounting/auditing background keeps me sharp, as to where the $$$ comes & goes…

I’m a big believer in Marine Corps inventories, and I do cheese/dough/box inventories/spot checks every couple of days…if u are not there on a 24/7 basis, the ‘shrinkage’ factor can be rude…cheese is the most expensive part of the pie $ where you can see some interesting results…

I’m a QuickBooks user & look at my #'s on a daily basis…I’d much rather proact to issues vs react to a negative problem…

Really? Seriously?

You should be giving a seminar after doing “7 figures” your first year… chuckles.

Ya know, I was hesitant to throw out a vague number because I know it seems flashy and I’m really not trying to boast. But most importantly, who care’s what yer gross is? How successful are you if you do $5million a year in sales and hold on to $1000 after all that effort? I think we’d all rather do $500,000 in sales and keep $75,000 after we’ve paid our salaries. Right? I can find ways to sell more pizza than I do now, but who cares until I learn to hold onto more of each sale.

@Patriot’sPizza, I come from the total opposite background. I cut my chops working the ovens at the rival crosstown pizza shop, working the grill at a popular burger joint, and serving tables and bartending all over town. Sometimes I think that I should just cook and hire other people to handle other aspects of the business end of things, cause cooking and interacting with customers is what I’m best at right? Why am I trying to reinvent the wheel for myself? Shouldn’t I just stick to what I know best? Like you have done? I’m just kinda thinking out loud here…

Ultimately, I think I need to continue to develop my business skills, but hire out some and learn some of that work now.

While the biz is so young and sales are still unpredictable from season to season, I think that I need to continue to be the rock, the unshakable shift leader, working smarter and harder than everyone else, showing other shift managers how it’s done. Especially when it’s out of control insanely busy, bench flour, pint glasses, and ranch dressing everywhere while a drunk lady is asking you where the bathrooms are and a child is asking you for some crayons, and there are no more folded 12" pizza boxes and there’s 6 12" pies coming out of the oven right now. haha.

Anyways…so nobody has been to the restaurant expert’s 3 day seminar?

What you measure will improve. The idea is to get a few key measurements that give you useful insights into your cost controls and do not take an unreasonable amount of time to produce.

You do not mention what your basic costs are but I would expect a million dollar per year pizza store to earn its owner close to 200K before debt service.

Measuring COGS weekly is what I would suggest. (Starting inventory + deliveries - ending inventory) / Sales for the period

Count inventory every week. We cut our inventory list that we actually count every week down to make the task go fast. We do not count things like plastic cutlery, paper plates, salad or wing containers, parm packs and red pepper or napkins. We do count all the food and beverage items as well as boxes. For the items that we do not count, we just enter the cost when they are delivered. It does make the numbers jump in one week if we buy a bunch of containers that week but it averages out over the month and the counting task is simplified to the point that the manager can do the food cost project in about 30 minutes every week.

I took our history in sales and labor and came up with a measurement of revenue per hour worked. At different sales levels, we have different targets. We look at revenue per hour worked by week for every pay period.

noticed you are open a lot of hours, that will equal a lot of labor and food eaten and given away by employees, running tighter hours helped me a lot in controlling costs, about 6 years ago i downscaled, less hours, less employees, less menu, less advertising, RAISED PRICES, my gross stayed the same, my net doubled! hope that helps !!! Great job ! How’s the popcorn selling for you ? sounds yummy !

No, you shouldn’t need to visit a restaurant ‘conference.’ It sounds like you’re a low priced, high volume chain franchisee. ??? While having said that, don’t take it in a negative way, it’s simply why you’re not as successful as you think you should be. Low priced, high costs, high volume franchises don’t necessarily make a lot of profit for the franchisee. They make a ton for the franchisor!

“Cutting” your ‘chops’ in business means learning why and how you make money. A franchise makes money by getting ‘chees’ to buy into their concept and work for them. A franchisee has no control over costs (technically). So, a seminar designed for ‘independent’ business owners who have complete control over their business, would be a total waste of time for the franchisee. The franchisor would suggest opening MORE stores to increase your profit.

Concepts and strategies that work for johnmorrison and myself, like portion control and pricing, aren’t going to work for a franchisee. The franchisee is nothing more than an employee who pays to work for the franchisor and who has everything to lose if he doesn’t do everything exactly the way the franchisor wants, and then heh, can still lose everything anyway, if the franchisor decides.

Of course, you might not be a franchisee… but then, if your strategy is to sell a 100 thousand pizzas for $5.00 ea, netting 1 penny of profit per pizza, why are you upset that you only made a $1000???

But you don’t want to sell more pizzas… so that’s not your strategy. And from my limited experience, banks DO NOT lend money to new inexperienced restaurant owners UNLESS they’re buying a franchise WITH property attached.

And all franchises start with the famous 10 year obligation… :slight_smile:

I think it’s quite obvious from his signature he is not a franchisee. I think a quick google search would have nullified 90% of what you wrote… and I don’t know about the rest of you, but from resumes to message boards, I google every pizzeria I hear about.

I don’t know how much you’re making or expect to make, I know what I’m making doing half of the business you do and its right along the lines of what bodega mentioned an owner should be taking home. I’m a delco though and that changes everything, both in what I can sell and what my costs are. I have two people starting next week, one was a GM at Papa Johns for 7 years, and one was a GM at Pieology for 2. Both have made a decent amount of money doing what they do, more than I did when I was a GM, but neither of them have done what I’ve done… open up their own place. This is my attempt at getting help, and stop doing EVERYTHING… I hope one of them works out or even both, and I can afford to keep them here… I feel like my growth as an owner is stunted by the fact I’m doing a lot of stuff I shouldn’t be doing anymore… and it sounds like you might be able to see the ‘big picture’ ($$$) better if you weren’t elbow deep in ranch and crayons.

I have listened to his Pizza Expo seminars several times and I can say that I am a big fan of his. I have not bought any of his products although I feel I should because I use a lot of his concepts. His message is all about setting up systems for every aspect of the business and holding people accountable.


So I bit the bullet and went to Phoenix for the “How to Run a Profitable Restaurant: from Soup to Nuts” workshop…It was great. I learned so much and walked away with too much to remember and implement before I get the stuff that stuck in my head the most implemented. I don’t regret a dollar I spent there. Post conference I have a clear understanding where I fall flat as a business owner, and know what I need to improve on and how to do it. Without spilling it all it’s alot of what @bodegahwy was talking about. I knew that I was short in that area, but didn’t know how what to do or how to get there. I have a pretty good idea now…

budget budget budget, use divided by sales, what the job is, how to do it, how well is should be done, and when it should be done by, accountability, measurability

If anyone wants more info on the workshop pm me or ask. Or better yet, ask me in a year after the changes have had time to sink in to my biz! That will be the true test I suppose!

You’re welcome. That will be $500 please. :slight_smile: