How to embrace strategic thinking to successfully run your restaurant: Insights from Industry Expert Chip Klose


In the dynamic world of restaurant ownership, gaining valuable insights and shared experiences can be akin to finding a rare gem. Our recent conversation with Chip Klose, a seasoned veteran in the industry, offered a deep dive into navigating the complexities of the restaurant business successfully. Join us as we explore Chip’s unique perspectives and expertise that extend beyond conventional consulting.

About Chip

Chip Klose doesn’t merely tread the path of traditional consulting; he advocates for a more deliberate approach to restaurant ownership. His Mastermind program, which centers on profitability, stands as a testament to his commitment. This initiative goes beyond the surface, providing comprehensive training in fiscal management, forecasting, and budgeting. Chip’s program isn’t just about providing generic checklists; instead, it hones in on three critical aspects: proper reporting, forecasting and budgeting, and a more intentional approach to marketing. Through these pillars, the Mastermind program equips restaurant owners with the skills needed for sustainable success.
In the realm of writing, Chip’s decision to focus on marketing in his published book stems from a critical observation. He noticed a lack of structured and strategic approaches in the industry, with many restaurateurs following trends without a thoughtful strategy. Chip recognized the need for a comprehensive guide to demystify marketing, prompting him to address this gap. While marketing is the current focus, Chip is already working on a book dedicated to profitability, showcasing his dedication to filling voids in the industry.
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Decoding Restaurant Finances

Profitability in the restaurant industry involves a nuanced dance between revenue, expenses, and the ever-changing landscape of customer behavior. Chip emphasizes the need for a strategic mindset, especially for independent owners who often find themselves at a disadvantage. By mastering controllables, setting precise revenue targets, and adopting strategic thinking, independent owners can take control of their profitability.
In defining profit within the restaurant industry, Chip highlights the challenges of managing three dynamic targets: revenue, cost of goods sold (COGS), and labor. The uncertainties in predicting customer numbers, product consumption, and staffing needs add complexity to operations. Chip’s insights reveal the intricate balance required to control these variables—a skill often overlooked by independent owners.
restaurant success decoding restaurant finances

Smart Pricing

Smart pricing has been a game-changer in the restaurant industry, sparking discussions and evoking mixed reactions. Chip sees smart pricing not as a passing trend but as an inevitable and transformative force. Drawing parallels with other industries, he emphasizes the prevalence of dynamic pricing in sectors like hotels, airlines, and everyday commodities. The scarcity factor plays a crucial role, justifying dynamic pricing based on demand.
Chip advocates for a strategic approach to pricing, citing success stories like Alinea in Chicago, which has implemented dynamic pricing for several years. The ability to adjust prices based on demand, facilitated by digital solutions, presents an opportunity for restaurants to adapt dynamically to consumer behavior. Smart pricing stands out as a compelling avenue for owners seeking innovative solutions to enhance overall profitability.
Smart Pricing

Industry Pain Points

Chip addresses the common sentiment among independent restaurant owners who often feel unfairly treated. He attributes this to a tendency to follow trends without working in reverse. By urging owners to think deliberately about their business, Chip empowers them to reverse engineer their approach, starting with financial needs and working towards a sustainable business model.
In discussing the challenges faced by independents, Chip brings attention to the issue of third-party delivery fees. Rather than complaining about high commissions, he encourages owners to maximize the lifetime value of acquired customers, emphasizing the importance of offering compelling solutions that make ordering directly from the restaurant as appealing as third-party platforms.
Pain Points

Industry Camaraderie

Chip sheds light on the lack of camaraderie among independent restaurant owners and the inspiration behind his mastermind program. With over a hundred and fifty restaurant owners participating, Chip fosters an environment where owners can share information, ideas, and strategies. This collaborative effort allows them to compare notes on various aspects of their businesses, from pricing strategies to credit card processing fees, creating a network of support and shared knowledge.
Restaurant Camaraderie

Restaurant Technology

The relationship between restaurant owners and technology often teeters between love and hate. Chip attributes this to a lack of intentional marketing and a tendency to adopt tech solutions without careful consideration. Independent owners, in particular, may find themselves on third-party platforms without a clear strategy, leading to challenges in profitability. Chip encourages restaurant owners to think strategically about technology, considering factors like acquisition costs and the lifetime value of customers.
Restaurant Technology


Chip Klose’s insights offer a roadmap for restaurant owners to navigate challenges, embrace strategic thinking, and take control of their profitability. Whether it’s mastering the intricacies of restaurant finances, adopting smart pricing, addressing industry pain points, fostering camaraderie, or leveraging technology, Chip provides a holistic perspective that can shape the future success of independent restaurant owners. As the industry continues to evolve, the wisdom shared by Chip serves as a beacon for those seeking sustainable and profitable ventures in the competitive landscape of restaurant ownership.

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