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Securing liquidity in the catering industry – the controlled catering industry

Securing liquidity in the catering industry - the controlled catering industry

For the gastronomy business, you need a lot of passion, but also and especially a well-functioning business control. How securing liquidity in gastronomy can succeed with a good control cockpit and how the costs for this are profitable, you can read in this article about the Konsultori support by Christian Nehammer at the Munich Soup Kitchen in a very difficult year 2020 for gastronomy.

The menu please!

Enable corporate management

One could assume that the Munich Soup Kitchen is functioning well even during the pandemic. People still have their lunch break and are hungry, which can be satisfied at the 5 locations of the great soup kitchen in the heart of Munich. With nutritious and warming soups and curries, people have been eating well, cheaply and quickly.

But what about behind the scenes? How is the (system) gastronomy doing, especially in these challenging times?

The Munich soup kitchen’s assignment to management consultant Christian Nehammer was multi-layered, as the individual parts of the company each required specific action. Securing liquidity in the catering trade was one issue, while corporate management was a resulting necessity.


Cash is King

The Munich Soup Kitchen produces high-quality soups and curries for retail and system catering, the hotel industry, food retailers, wholesalers and numerous catering companies. The company employs more than 100 people.

Christian Nehammer supported here in the spring of 2020 in the 1st lockdown of the Corona pandemic

  • in securing liquidity through direct, ongoing bank communication (without recourse to additional loans),
  • with very short timed working capital management
  • In coordinating strategic issues while production was closed,
  • in the correct application for subsidies.

In addition, Handels GmbH with Konsultori planned strategic expansion during this phase in the form of company acquisitions and site expansion.

Individual gastronomy

Control instrument for personnel deployment and products

With which product does the host earn how much at what time?

At the Munich Soup Kitchen, the catering branch was closed down completely. The economic situation of the inn is difficult due to the regulations in the wake of the Corona pandemic, but could be mastered by implementing the following measures, which lead to maximum cost transparency:

  • The employee base was reduced to the core workforce.
  • A zero-based budget was developed so that the managing director knows how to calculate for the year 2021.
  • A control tool for long-term staffing was built so that this largest fixed cost component could be adjusted on a daily basis according to the general conditions.
  • Development of a control instrument for the manager with which he can optimize the product selection for his customers as well as the personnel deployment on an hourly and daily basis in the short term.

System gastronomy

Control cockpit for securing liquidity in the catering industry

The new control cockpit for branch managers supports quick decisions to ensure the contribution margin.

The 5 restaurant branches in top Munich locations, including the Viktualienmarkt, are combined under the corporate umbrella of Munich Soup Kitchen System Catering.

Here, a negative contribution margin popped up in the winter of 2020. The smallest errors in calculation can cost enormous sums in the restaurant business. Particularly careful planning and calculation of expenses is indispensable.

With the support of Christian Nehammer, the Munich soup kitchen system gastronomy therefore turned several screws:

  • The (take away) product range was adapted to the customers (business customers for lunch, students, etc.).
  • The high-turnover times were analyzed: When do customers buy what at which location? Does it even make sense to open all day? In this case, there was also the fact that the permitted opening hours were restricted as a result of the Corona pandemic and that no or hardly any alcohol could be served due to the lack of evening business.
  • Personnel costs: The greater the utilization of personnel (sales per employee), the higher the productivity. Therefore, the workforce was rationalized to increase productivity.

Christian Nehammer and his team developed an individual management tool for this purpose. This enabled the Munich soup kitchen to implement measures that resulted in the company regaining its economic height and ensuring liquidity in the catering business.

In any case, the already established cash register system and accounting system provided daily updated information: At what time of day are how many products sold? From this, it was possible to determine daily sales, compare them with other days, determine fluctuations in daily, weekly and monthly capacity utilization, or even check whether the goods usage ratio was being adhered to. This data is subsequently enriched with the relevant accounting information (rental costs, personnel costs, etc…) and made available to the store managers in a separate contribution margin tool. The newly developed control cockpit, a costing program on an open source platform, was fed with this information.

The managers of the individual restaurant branches are now able to read the sales and contribution margins of the individual products per day, week and month. Once a month, all the managers meet for a jourfix and discuss which control knobs they can turn to keep the contribution margins positive.

With the help of this corporate management system, Christian Nehammer provides his customers with an instrument that makes it possible to

  • to take timely measures for cost transparency,
  • to structure cost items and their development and to adjust them in the longer term,
  • to use the right adjusting screws at the right time to prevent a crash and steer the company upwards again,
  • to strengthen short-term liquidity in order to secure the company’s continued existence.

The check with the host

Right information at the right time for securing liquidity in the catering industry.

The implementation costs for this control cockpit paid for themselves within a few months. The control tool provides information that enables authoritative decisions in the catering business.

The activities have not only paid off for the Munich soup kitchen in operational terms. In 2020, a particularly difficult year, the company managed to win two awards: “Bavaria’s Best 50” and the “Großer Preis des Mittelstandes” from the Oskar Patzelt Foundation. We offer our sincere congratulations!