Friday, June 14, 2024

Standard Burger Update- What Happened After The Profit

Standard Burger Before The Profit

Starting out as a business run by four friends, Standard Burger was a Staten Island burger startup well before The Profit picked them up. Despite having good burgers, the restaurant happened to be losing around $5,000 a month, and all four owners propped up the business with jobs of their own. After about 2 years of daily emails from one of the owners, Sammy, asking Lemonis and The Profit to come by, Marcus decides he may as well investigate the company. Let’s see what happens next.

Standard Burger On The Profit

Marcus drops by Standard Burger, and is less than impressed with the ordinary appearance and a nearly empty customer lobby. He finally meets Sammy, and his co-owners, Joe, Joe and Todd. It quickly goes down hill, as the ownership and management aspects for the restaurant simply don’t exist. Even the Standard’s manager doesn’t know who to call in case of emergency. Marcus then takes a look at the cleanliness of the store, and is again wholly unimpressed. To make matters even worse, it’s quickly discovered nearly all the food is pre-frozen, even with “handmade” burgers.

In taking a quick survey of the customers, Marcus notes that everyone has a positive view of the milkshakes and fries, but the store certainly isn’t called Standard Shake or Fries. He then investigates the menu and sees there is no rhyme or reason to the pricing brackets after ordering a few burgers to try out. The owners hit the kitchen, and even from the outside Lemonis can hear them disagreeing and more or less showing their hand in that they are not sure what they are doing. Trying them out, the burgers again don’t really impress and could be best described as college style burgers (those you make after having a few brews). Marcus teaches them a basic idea that flavors should blend and ingredients should be fresh.

Back in the kitchen, it’s shown that Shakes and fries have a great attachment (showing in 25% of orders) and have good returns (with 85% margins). Marcus then grabs a shirt and aims to head to the kitchen. Another conflict got revealed in that Sammy’s brother Fuji (a worker and co-founder) used to work at the shack before Todd became too much of a micromanager (watching the security cameras from home and giving him directions) and decided to leave. Todd, as expected, gets more than a little defensive about this claim. The argument gets to Sammy and he ends up breaking down a bit and having to leave into the office. Sammy then tells Marcus that Fuji basically raised him, and he wanted Standard Burger for the both of them. Marcus suggests they meet up, and the vulnerability of Sammy hits Marcus right in the heart, who genuinely wants to help.

StandardBurgeronProfit When Fuji walks in, Marcus immediately seems to brighten up, and ends up seeing him as a quality worker. He asks Fuji to make him a burger and see what he can do differently. Fuji makes an Italian style burger, with a blend of spices and care taken in process. While not perfect, they are leagues ahead of the previous offerings. This gives Marcus a bit of hope as they walk into financials. That hope is soon dashed, as there’s only $600,000 in revenue, with food costs at around 50% of that is food costs alone. Todd’s micromanaging is somewhat justified when it’s shown they are losing around $65,000 a year. Management is then delegated, and Fuji is then thrown into the deal due to his experience in the field. The offer is that if each owner throws in $15,000 a piece, then Marcus will toss in $130,000 for 30% (with another 10% equity going to Fuji) of the business and control, the reason being reaffirmation of commitment and a need to structure the business properly. This creates a heartwarming moment between the owners who are practically family, and the brothers.

The next day, the deal announcement is made to employees. Joseph becomes a managing partner, and Fuji is declared to run the kitchen, with the goal of resetting the Standard. First, the food. The menu will be getting a full revamp, this time with real and fresh ingredients. It becomes clear within hours that there’s potential for managerial cross-over which Marcus stamps out quickly, setting clear boundaries.

Unfortunately, the following day the restaurant is flooded, purportedly due to snow, but it turns out to be more a trash and cleaning issue. Marcus then takes another tour and finds a few nasty results. This frustrates Marcus to the point that he tells the business to remove the “We Set The Standard” logo from the wall, as there’s certainly no standard being set. He then openly admits that he feels this was a mistake and says the business should close. He then reworks from the foundation up, getting more outdoor seating, setting up a milkshake bar and a potato station which ensures high margins. He then takes the team to a local market to check out some proper breads and cheeses. Lastly, the team visit a major butchery who can make custom orders depending on Fuji’s culinary needs.

After a thorough cleaning, another camera is discovered. This erupts as a conflict between Todd and Fuji, and then the whole crew. Sammy then tries to defend Fuji, and the Marcus steps back to observe the argument, and notices that there needs to be some hard truth. He states that not until this argument is done, the place will not open. Marcus starts removing the cameras except in the front, stating he’s done with them. Joseph tries to call out Marcus for the fight, but Marcus corrects him in that he doesn’t care about the ratings for the show, he cares about the business, which allows Sammy to declare he still believes in Standard Burger as do the rest of the team.

During these renovations, Marcus planned to set up the store to be a national franchise model, with plenty of potential revenue. Part of this included taking the crew to Umami Burger to try out the food but more to observe the financials of the store. They finally start agreeing on price points, and that the focus should be 50% on sales of burgers, and 50% on other products.

On the day of opening after renovation, Marcus is hit by the better appearance and bigger potential for money. He notes that the transformation was gigantic, from lighting to tables to the kitchen and even the floors. He also sees that the place is packed and quickly calculates that the store could have a 300% increase in profits day over day. It would seem that Marcus not only was able to transform the store and make it better, but also improve the owner’s relationship into something far better. As a tribute to this, he unveils a mural in store to the guys, and leaves satisfied.

Standard Burger Now in 2018 – The After ‘The Profit’ Update

the new interior of Standard Burger

Since The Profit, Standard Burger has had some real development. Despite only keeping one location open, the team have added a new partner by the name of Tailgate Joe, who has brought in more culinary expertise. This has caused an uptick in ratings for both Yelp and Facebook, and allowed for more traffic into the restaurant, which has only been aided by Standard Burgers 2017 attempts to run a few charity events. Continued investment from Lemonis to the tune of around half a million dollars have also helped, and may in the future allow for a nationwide chain similar to that of Five Guys in major cities across the United States.

Cody Carmichael
Cody Carmichael
University graduate in Psychology, and health worker. On my off time I'm usually tinkering with tech or traveling to the ends of the globe.


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