Josh Kopel | Award Winning Restaurant Consultant

Restaurant Profit Margin Boost: Chef Nina Compton’s Community Building Benefits

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Restaurant Margins

What I miss most about Louisiana is the sense of community I felt there. What I miss is exactly what compelled Chef Nina Compton to move there. Since arriving she’s opened multiple restaurants and has achieved every imaginable accolade including a James Beard award, the title of Best New Chef from Food & Wine and was listed as one of America’s Best Restaurants by Eater. Nothing could stop that momentum…except for a global pandemic. Today we discuss the long road ahead and the need to come together as a community if we’re going to make it out of this alive.

5 Day Restaurant Profitability Challenge

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5 Day Restaurant Profitability Challenge


  • Is reopening possible?
  • Restaurants will be different
  • Dining etiquette will be different
  • Cons of pivoting to delivery
  • Low check average
  • Not ordering beverages
  • Not ordering appetizers
  • Goal is to break even for the next year
  • Making profit is probably not realistic for a while
  • Keep doors open until things bounce back
  • Wondering whether to change careers
  • Who would be hiring now?
  • Some days there is hope that everything will be okay
  • Some days considering getting a 9-5 job
  • As an owner, you are emotionally invested in the restaurant
  • Restaurant as a reflection of self
  • Supply chain is counting on us
  • Staff
  • Farmers
  • Wine producers
  • Fisherman
  • Grocers
  • Communicating the realities of the restaurant ecosystem
  • Not a lucrative business
  • Low return on high workload
  • People take for granted that plates, food, labor etc costs money
  • The danger of raising prices
  • Not wanting to turn away customers
  • “Meals are about moments, memories, and those who surround you at your table.”
  • What does this look like post-pandemic?
  • People want restaurants to come back
  • Food is very comforting and people need comfort
  • The lead up to closing
  • Trying to keep guests and staff safe
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Single-use menus
  • Spacing tables
  • Reopening strategy
  • Keys to success
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