Chef/Owner Dan Bocik takes you from “Survive to Thrive” in the New Restaurant Industry
No one ever said owning a restaurant would be easy. From staffing to supplier issues, staying afloat and profitable is a challenge. Yet, Dan Bocik, founder of the Italian restaurant, a tavola, built and managed this successful restaurant in the competitive Chicago market over the past 25 years.
His success earned his restaurant bragging rights as the “Gnocchi King of Chicago” and was listed number one on Forbes’ list of “America’s 10 Best Secret Eats.” Dan says, “In this time I’ve seen fads and trends sweep through the industry, dealt with the economy swinging up and down, and found ways to handle the uncertainties of staff and supplier issues, all while keeping my establishment respected and profitable.”
However, Dan didn’t always know which direction to take his business. Dan admits, “When I first opened my restaurant, all I wanted to do is cook great food for amazing customers. Soon, I was thrown into a nightmare of spending 90% of my time doing the things that I didn’t know how to do or like.”
He points out that he didn’t ask customers if they liked the food or have an employee retention program in place in the beginning. Dan left much of it to chance and figured “magically that I would be profitable, and all of my expenses would somehow take care of themselves.” Fortunately, Dan faced eye-opening experiences that led him to design processes to follow and enjoy his passions.
Throughout his journey, he’s continually developed systems and tools that are easily replicable by restaurant owners. According to Dan, he noticed patterns and predictable cycles that not only applies to his restaurant but the industry in general. This led him to design a two-part system: the Menu Profit Solution and the Operation Manual course. These guides help business owners focus on two critical areas: food and beverage costs and detailed operational processes.
As the ongoing pandemic of 2020 disrupts businesses, Dan provides consulting and coaching services, books, and courses to help other restaurateurs get back on their feet or open new establishments.
After all, restaurant owners face common difficulties and must find answers to questions like:
- What experience makes a restaurant among the best in the world?
- How do restaurateurs determine sales predictions?
- Should a restaurant be a business or a hobby?
- How do you execute new strategies for profitability?
- Who are your ideal customers?
- How do you find and retain restaurant employees?
- Can you open a restaurant during a global pandemic?
Restaurateurs can answer all these questions and more by starting with robust operational strategies and a clear understanding of key business systems. Moreover, it’s vital to create duplicatable processes to save yourself time.
Do more of what you love
Are you running in circles trying to maintain your restaurant? Do you feel your passion for the industry waning? Do more of what you love and work less hard by adopting strategies that successful restaurateurs use. Schedule your call with Dan to explore these replicable systems.