M & K Takeouts Growth & Expansion Campaign
Warroad, MN 2002-2017
Dave & Marnie Swedberg, Owners
Warroad, MN 2002-2017
Dave & Marnie Swedberg, Owners
- Turn around a small restaurant from a starting point of $148,000/year using a 3-way, 33% split: COGS 33%, payroll 33%, and 33% for other business expenses/profit.
- Use the restaurant as a home school project for our own children, while providing a safe working environment for teens who wanted to learn restaurant management and best business practices.
- Serve great looking, great tasting meals with consistency, cheerful service, and at reasonable prices.
- Maintain a clean, healthy and safe environment for employees and guests.
- Take every opportunity to use the business as a vehicle for encouraging women, providing them with practical help, and turning thoughts toward Jesus.
- Manage the updating and remodeling of the building, equipment, and POS system while operating the restaurant during renovation.
- Streamline every process including developing recipes that used the least number of ingredients, quantity variations, tools, and utensils.
- Select and secure ideal ingredients by hosting blind-taste-tests to determine best ingredient blends.
- Establish vendor relationships, ordering calendar, and ordering procedures to meet 33% food and packaging budget.
- Design employee documentation systems, Quickbooks payroll and accounting systems, training materials, speed and accuracy tests, employee attraction ideas, and more.
- Recruit, hire, train, and retain ideal employees with the best chance of remaining in our employ for several years.
- Establish rotating systems including: payroll taxes, training reviews, employee meetings, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual cleaning rotations, plus more.
- Create an environment where guests would expect great service and an enjoyable experience.
- Find and utilize customer-appreciation marketing opportunities.
- Develop optimal relationships with other restaurants in town.
- Successfully sold the business to another home schooling family in 2017.
- Oversaw $4.2 million of business, taking annual sales from $148,000 to $330,000 while maintaining a low, 1.5% marketing budget.
- Enjoyed being a household name in our 50-mile radius, famous for our Beef Soft Shell Tacos, House Specialty Pizzas, and more. Guests would often say, “You’re my first stop when I come into town. I love M&K!”
- Collaborated with resorts, local businesses, and charitable organizations.
- Paid out a total of $1.4 million in wages to just 98 employees, retaining the same part-time manager for all 14 years of business ownership and many of our teen hires for the full duration of their HS years plus college-years holidays and summers.
- Received excellent health inspection reports throughout the tenure of our ownership, including my favorite citation: “too clean.”
- Celebrated true love and camaraderie in the work place. Six of our employees found their mates on staff and were married.
- Hire only candidates who would be able to be groomed into leadership positions.
- Use first 100 hours to train to competency. Provide a $100 bonus upon achievement.
- Develop every employee to Team Leader status ASAP. Eighty-five of our 98 employees became team leaders, meaning they:
- Were fast and accurate at every restaurant process, from order taking to food construction to prep management.
- Could do and train every task.
- Were competent to lead a team of employees successfully through even the busiest shifts. Our record shift was 3 employees and $1900 in 6 hours with an average $10 ticket.
- Understood how to turn complaints and mistakes into advantages for the customer and company.
- Received a key to the building.
- Knew all open and closing procedures, including daily shutdown processes, till balancing, closing reports, and banking.
- Prioritize cleanliness with team accountability for daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual cleaning rotations.
- Immediately engage every restaurant owner/manager in town by asking to borrow something. This aroused their collaborative spirit. The item was returned within the agreed-upon time frame, with a small gift and thank you note. Instead of being “competitors,” we enjoyed friendly relationships going forward, and they often came and borrowed something or asked favors of us.
- Utilize customer appreciation programs and contests to keep energy and engagement high and marketing costs lows.
- Inspire vendors to create “designer” ingredients including our pizza cheese, which was a unique blend of five cheeses, only available at M&K.
- Add a TV monitor to the lobby where our commercials could play while customers awaited their take out orders.
- Market partial catering services to local businesses, resorts, and organizations.
- Promote take-out services to traveling sports teams.
- Host annual school field trips, including food samples and a coupon for a free Kids Meal, encouraging families to make M&K part of their weekly routine.
- Work with vendors to get free posters and product for promotional campaigns.
- Host an annual charity fundraiser to give back to the community.