Small Business RevolutionBlog

Meet the Stars of SBR

November 20, 2019

Kim Bartmann Helps Savor + Sip Get in the Driver’s Seat

Author: Jen Amundson, Deluxe Director of Social Media and Communications

The owners of Savor + Sip were struggling. They had lost $31-thousand dollars in their business the year prior. The worst part was they didn’t even know it. Newlyweds Amelia Brackett Braun and Josie Braun were relying on Amelia’s father to handle the books while they ran the restaurant, and he was reluctant to share the bad news.

Enter Kim Bartmann, appearing in Episode 7 of Season 4 of Small Business Revolution—Main Street. Kim is CEO of the Bartmann Group, leading a constellation of innovative restaurants in the Minneapolis area. Her hospitality vision and leadership have been recognized locally and nationally. She is a two-time semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation Restaurateur of the Year award, among other accolades. She’s the President of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs and a James Beard Foundation Women in Culinary Leadership mentor. She definitely does not let her dad run her business.

That was her priority piece of advice for Amelia and Josie, after seeing the shock on their faces when they learned about last year’s financial losses. She commiserated with them that she did not enjoy the financial work either, but that it is crucial to understanding the health and potential of the business. She and Deluxe’s Amanda Brinkmann exhorted the young entrepreneurs to take a class in simple bookkeeping and accounting, and then take their financial situation into their own hands.

On her first tour, Kim was surprised to see a Wal-Mart bag in a small fridge in Savor + Sip. The Brauns explained that they did not have a commercial cooler to keep large orders fresh, so they had to run to the store when they needed milk and other staples. Deluxe fixed that situation by purchasing a walk-in cooler so Savor + Sip could improve their margins. Reducing their reliance on retail saved both time and money.

Finally, Kim talked to Amelia and Josie about making their menu more consistent and planful. When the women visited Kim’s Tiny Diner in Minneapolis, she pointed out how the same ingredient is used in several items on the menu. Cross utilization reduces waste by using up ingredients before they spoil and keeps the restaurant from maintaining a pantry full of special items that are rarely used. It’s a money saver, but it also allows patrons to count on their favorites being available when they come in. Consequently, Savor + Sip got rid of their chalkboard menu in favor of a stylish, permanently-printed signage.

By the end of their time together, Kim was feeling much better about the future for Savor + Sip, and Josie and Amelia were more confident that they could successfully run their business and serve their beloved customers.

For the full story, watch Savor + Sip’s episode by clicking here.

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