It might seem a bit crazy to think that something as complicated as success and the hospitality industry can be reduced down to a simple 6 step process to successful food and beverage business, but after 25+ years in the industry- I decided to give it a try and see if I could create a framework for food business success.

You see the reason that I wanted to create a framework for success in restaurants is because, as a chef myself and in my work with hundreds of chefs over the last 12 years of being a food and beverage business consultant, I have a deep seeded knowledge that the only model to success is- work hard and hope that it all works out.  It’s an institutionalized model that is engrained in us like the air we breathe. In fact, we hear odes to this cultural norm and we all nod or grunt in agreement almost as if on cue.

The cultural norms are heard like homing beacons to all who are in the know.

  • It’s just a tough industry.
  • The margins are small.
  • It’s not like it used to be.
  • It’s impossible to find good people.
  • Customers need to step it up and realize how much things cost.

Those words become slogans and  then badges of honor that we all pay allegiance to are soothed by these norms that help us to not feel all alone in our haze of hard work and hope. I’ve done it and I’ve seen countless others do it- work and work and work harder all the while knowing something isn’t quite right but not knowing what it is really.

And so, the 6 Step Process for Successful Food Business Management was born. Out of necessity. So that  food and beverage business owners could not just work and hope but work and measure success, adjust for greater success, work and know where the business is in relation to the next goal and above all to know where the business is in relation to achieving the dream that founded it.

I created the 6 Step Process and then quietly tried it out on several client projects. It worked. Then I created it into an e-book and gave it to a few other clients and it worked. I taught in a small group and it worked. I taught it in a large format, and it worked. I’ve presented it at a national conference, and it worked. That’s nice. But why?  Why does this 6 Step Process work?

That is a key question! It works for any food and beverage business because it offers the 6 steps from inception to success that are critical and cannot be skipped. But it also offers leeway so that the model is customizable for any business.  It’s both proven and specific- and that is the magic of the 6 Step Process for Successful Food Business Management.

This framework solves for the 5 most common hospitality industry mistakes and uses a set of proprietary tools as well.

That’s the bottom line….

  • Mistake #1 Attempting Culinary Ninja (solo hard work) one’s way to success.
  • Mistake #2 Thinking that the business will become profitable easier to run with more sales.
  • Mistake #3 Thinking that one cannot be both the creative chef type and the businessperson or that you don’t have those business skills stuff things
  • Mistake #4  It’s just a tough industry.
  • Mistake #5 living by social slogans and managing by assumption…. like it’s impossible to find good employees these days or with the economy the way it is these days….

So, what are the 6 Steps to all this promised magic anyway?

Step #1

The Finish line:- The North Star, The Panning for Gold-  In this first step we plot your course to success with the Tripod of Success and then apply that through the 5 R’s.

The Tripod of Success is the framework that encapsulates the 3 keys to all thriving food and beverage business which is:

  • The product
  • The brand
  • The financial model

These three components work together to create a fabric of success.


I often recommend using my proprietary framework – The 5 R’s in the first step of framework as a means of assessing of the starting point of your business within the framework.

The 5 R’s are:

The 5 Rs – basically it is a fancy way of saying alignment. If your back isn’t aligned, it doesn’t work so well. If the tires on your car aren’t aligned, it doesn’t work so well and it’s the same concept for your business.  So, what are the 5 R’s – well it is the secret sauce to any successful food business and it is…

Selling the Right Product at the Right Time in the Right Place at the Right Price to the Right People.

Step #2

Circle of Gold- in this step we look at all the customers! The Golden Nugget! The Customer


Step #3

Branding- which is both the DNA and the ribbon all in one.

Bringing together the goal, the people and making the promise- the key to success- this is where it all comes together.

Step # 4

The Duckets, Dinero and the Moola!

Building your financial model- no matter where you are in the business process!

Step #5


I put this near the end b/c most everyone knows and does operations first- but in this step we now look at the common from a different lens as we have already done the first 4 steps.

Operations and daily life that are so much smoother and easier to manage- they become systemized with new tools so that you can focus on the brand, the product and the financials which are the Tripod of Success.

Step #6

Measuring the Gold- what gets measured is what gets done.

We have worked on the Tripod of Success- the product, the brand and the financials now we measure them and set up systems of measurement, so you always know where you are in your success.

Financial Benchmarking that is tangible and actionable is key to make a financial framework that is success oriented over a disjointed theoretical model.

The 6 Step Process for Successful Food Business Management along with The Tri-pod of Success and The 5 R’s are tools that empower and enable food and beverage business owners to succeed with far less of the ‘work hard and hope’ battle cry of fatigue and unknown restaurant success results.

CARES Program blog contributed by:

Deagon B. Williams, Proprietor of Culinary Business Strategy, is a chef and food business consultant who uses broad and deep industry knowledge and an unbound intuitive curiosity to her clients with their projects to realize the next level of business opportunity and success.

Learn more about about Deagon’s seminar: 6 Step Process to Successful Food and Beverage Business Managementand about how to access customized consulting through the Collin SBDC CARES Program.