Standard Burger launched when four friends in Staten Island decided to go into business together and open a burger joint. The project was initially a fun new experience for the friends. As with many such endeavors, at first, things are exciting, and that can carry the team forward. If the group runs into issues, they work together to solve them. And although there are many issues, that kind of thing is to be anticipated, especially with a new business.
As time goes on, things stagnate, and growth declines. Something starts to fester in the minds of the four friends who decided to go in on this investment together: frustration. As the frustration builds, it becomes clear to the team that something, or perhaps many things, must be changed, or else they will need to shut the project down.
Despite the energy spent on the restaurant and the stress associated with it, the four feel that too much time has been invested just to call it quits. They all share the same Staten Island stubbornness, which can work for them and against them. The friends know that they offer quality food at their restaurant and they all believe in it, but they feel that some outside help might be the best thing for the company. Could Marcus Lemonis and The Profit help make their burger venture a success?
Standard Burger on The Profit
Season 3 Episode 14
When Marcus arrives at Standard Burger, he is far from blown away. The restaurant is virtually empty and seems rather unremarkable. Marcus introduces himself to the four owners, Sammy, Todd, Joe, and Joe. He quickly finds that the friendship aspect of this company creates a problem with the chain of command. It is not clear who manages what, and who should be accountable for different aspects of the business. The store is not particularly clean, and the worst part of all is that most of their food is frozen.
Naturally, Marcus is going to need to sample the food they are offering, and so the four friends go into the kitchen to put together a meal for him. There is noticeable disagreement, Marcus can tell even from the dining area, he hears them bickering. He gathers from some of the customers that people mostly come there for milkshakes and fries. Sammy, Todd, and the Joes finish up Marcus’s food and bring it out to him. He eats the burger, the restaurant’s namesake, and he is again unimpressed. Marcus needs to instill some fundamental knowledge to the four friends about fresh ingredients and seasoning. Marcus also tries to get them to focus more on milkshakes and fries since that’s where a lot of their business is coming from, and they make a pretty good turnover when they sell either product.
The first real drama of the show happens when Sammy explains to Marcus that his little brother, Fuji, used to be in on the project with the four friends. He worked in the kitchen and was a good employee, but he left the job saying that Todd was micromanaging him, and he couldn’t deal with it any longer. Todd would watch Fuji on the cameras even when he was at home. Sammy is still distraught about everything that happened, and he wants Fuji to be able to rejoin them despite the bad blood. Marcus can see the sincerity and suggests that they meet with Fuji.
Marcus can see the promise in Fuji almost immediately; he asks Fuji to make them some burgers. He puts together some burgers in his style, and Marcus is thrilled to find that these are much better than the burgers currently being offered at Standard Burger. Now, Marcus has some ideas of what he should do to help fix this business. The next step is looking at financials.
Things don’t look too good on the money end. The restaurant brings in $600k in revenue, but a considerable portion of that is spent on food, so it’s not near lucrative enough. Given such a low income compared to high expenditures, they are losing about $65k a year. Marcus decides to offer them a deal where he can assist them financially, and they might reinvigorate their enthusiasm for the business. Marcus offers $130k for 30% equity in the company, but only if the four friends each invest an additional $15k. A further part of the deal is that Fuji will get 10% equity. The friends are thrilled to give this a shot, and they remember why they decided to go into business together in the first place.
There are a lot of things that need to be addressed. Marcus starts but putting Fuji in charge of the kitchen and making sure that only fresh ingredients will be used from here on out. It is also made clear who the managers are and what they are responsible for; people need clear direction in order for a business to succeed.
Just when things appear to be getting better, the restaurant is flooded. It turns out it mostly happened due to garbage buildup and lack of cleanliness. It is at this point, upon further investigation, that Marcus actually regrets his decision to invest and even suggests that the friends shut down the restaurant.
Everyone works hard to clean the store thoroughly, at which time an additional camera is discovered. This refuels the anger between Todd and Fuji. Marcus tells them point blank that they need to work this out, or there will be no more Standard Burger.
Seemingly through this ultimatum, the friends can mend their relationship and agree. Apologies are made, and it feels like everyone is actually in a better place than ever before. The new energy to make Standard Burger a success is as strong as when they first began. After the renovations are completed, the business sees improvements immediately in the form of 300% more customers. With the friends closer than ever and the company now booming, Marcus is quite pleased with the situation.
Standard Burger After The Profit
Marcus suggested that the friends turn the restaurant into a chain. It is still a possibility, but that has not happened at this point. Regardless, the single location is doing better than ever. Marcus put in an additional few hundred thousand dollars of investment after seeing how well things were going. It is highly rated and affordable, more culinary experts have been brought in as well. Standard Burger is now a staple of the community, and the friendship of the owners is stronger than ever.
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