Josh Kopel | Award Winning Restaurant Consultant

Restaurant Profit Margin: The Struggle to Reopen by Tara Lazar

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Restaurant Margins

Dine in is done yet again. Parts of California are facing another stay at home order. What do you do if you own a restaurant? What do you do if you own 2 or 3 or more. Tara Lazar owns 6 spanning all sectors of hospitality. While most of us are struggling to pivot one location, Tara is masterminding how to ensure all 6 survive the year. Today we get real about the struggles she’s working to overcome and the highs and lows along this path.

5 Day Restaurant Profitability Challenge

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5 Day Restaurant Profitability Challenge


  • Owns 6 locations
  • Building was about taking opportunities when they came
  • Having multiple locations is more entertaining and stimulating
  • The restaurant revenue offsets the cost of management labor from the catering company
  • What has it been like as a woman in the industry
  • Fight a lot harder to be taken seriously
  • The network of restaurateurs is a gentlemen’s club
  • Woman leaders tend to be of an older generation
  • Initial reaction to Covid
  • This could be devastating on the catering side
  • Failed with communication during Covid
  • Stayed really quiet which stressed out staff
  • Started having zoom calls and updates every two weeks
  • Being realistic with your team
  • How many will be able to come back in the fall?
  • Being honest about not knowing the answers
  • Failure depends on so many things out of our control
  • Landlord
  • Government restrictions
  • Consumer behavior
  • Restaurants in charge of public safety
  • Food sourced responsibly
  • Following safety regulation
  • An outbreak in your restaurant could be devastating
  • Using contact tracing forms
  • Greatest fear
  • How do we keep staff safe
  • Using PPP loan
  • Distributed to staff who needed it
  • Paid staff to stay home
  • Was hoping that the team would repay this by working when the restaurant was able to reopen
  • Unfortunately many wanted to collect unemployment instead
  • Pivoting during Covid
  • Does not want to do fast-casual or ordering online
  • Less interaction with clients
  • Branded to-go packaging to be more experiential
  • To-go model at Cheeky’s
  • Redefining hospitality
  • How do you anticipate your guests when you don’t know who they are?
  • Following comment cards and customer surveys
  • Success in 2020
  • Already been successful
  • Realigned with what is important
  • Automating BOH operations
  • Makes work more efficient
  • Would like guests and staff together again
  • Short term goals
  • Keeping staff on the payroll
  • Long term goals
  • Partner with companies
  • Acquire businesses
  • Growing wide vs growing deep
  • Buying out competition
  • Expand into a different market
  • Innovations caused by Covid
  • Cocktails to go
  • Cocktail food truck
  • Farmer’s market boxes
  • New to-go packaging
  • Online to-go platforms
  • Word to the industry
  • Show your appreciation to your customers for supporting you
Also Read  Restaurant Consulting: Clare Reichenbach's Foundation Support

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