“2014 is going to be a spectacular year, and we could not have done it all without the help of the [Alameda County] SBDC and my Business Advisor in particular!”
Background: Cabana Dave’s is an off site catering company based in Livermore, CA. What started out as a “hole-in-the-wall” restaurant has evolved into an award winning catering company – nationally published in Martha Stewart Weddings, and featured on Eye on the Bay. They are referred by many local wineries and event centers, and loved by an ever growing family of loyal customers. Cabana Dave’s has earned a reputation for having extraordinary cuisine, impeccable planning and a wide range of services to accommodate most every catering need. Their formula for success has been to infuse a personal, friendly experience with a professional, creative and hardworking ethic.
Challenges: Cabana Dave’s was offered a partnership opportunity to showcase its culinary talents and management expertise in a permanent winery venue. However, seasonal cash flow fluctuations were causing beginning of the year challenges, and their current kitchen was too small to support both the catering and the new brick and mortar at the winery. As their long term lease was coming to a close, and the need for a new and bigger facility grew, Dave required capital to smooth out the seasonal cash flow challenges and to build out a new kitchen space with a secured lease or purchase. Dave was also experiencing challenges with efficient work flow, a need for new systems, and a need to reorganize skill sets to best fit long term employees.
Actions: Dave was introduced to SBDC Business Advisor Deagon Williams who worked with him to develop a strategic road map for successful growth navigation during challenging circumstances. Together, they made the necessary changes to establish a foundation for growth rather than a stop gap immediate solution. This included team building efforts, and internal auditing of company culture, by working with the management team to begin creating a culture of accountability and excellence. Deagon also assisted the client in selecting, interviewing, and hiring a chef for the new venue. Together the two wrote and created a human resource manual including accurate job descriptions. Deagon additionally assisted Dave with writing a business plan, and creating production sheets and ordering guides as a means of tracking purchases and expenditures to even out and stabilize COGS (cost of goods sold).
Results: After working with the SBDC, 2013 was an incredible year of growth for Cabana Dave’s and they enjoyed a 66% growth in gross annual sales. With that came 5 new full-time employees and 4 new part-time employees. Dave additionally received a private loan and is in the process of closing another SBA loan, expected in February 2014.