M & K Takeouts Growth & Expansion Campaign 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.