Cicala’s At The Divine Lorraine

OPENING FIRST RESTAURANT FOR CHEF JOE CICALA

  • We begin with an understanding of the owner’s vision: menu, price points, branding, restaurant size, demographics, locations and financial capabilities and opportunities.
  • From this basis, we put together initial projections of sales, followed by project costs of operating the business.
  • We also put together estimated costs to open the restaurant: construction, soft costs (including leasing, licenses, permits, professional fees, financing costs, initial marketing, etc.), time-lines, and operating capital.
  • Next, we created an initial business plan for potential lenders, investors, landlords, and other stakeholders.
  • At this time of the planning phase, we can get a clearer understanding of the size of the space and rent/debt service that is affordable.
  • We then begin to search for the ideal space that fits the demographics and “people traffic” needed to support the projections and vision. After identifying a space, we negotiate a Letter of Intent with the property owner.
  • We identified potential investors and created an investor scenario for sales and returns on their investment.
  • Next came the appropriate financing for building, opening, and operating the restaurant. These steps were followed by: initial designs, permitting and licensing processes.
  • With permits and financing in place, construction began. Next, we implement marketing strategies, management hiring, and staff training.
  • UNDERSTANDING THAT FOR THE SUCCESS OF A NEW RESTAURANT, THERE MUST BE THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF OPERATING CAPITAL, we budgeted and put in place for all aspects of building and opening the restaurant. These budgets had the necessary oversight and supervision to ensure that there was money in the bank for operations after opening.