Restaurant and Catering Facility

Seated in Charlotte, NC is a full-service Italian restaurant serving the Ballantyne community in a casual dining atmosphere with private dining rooms and catering facilities. Chef-owned for less than 6 months, when financial challenges took hold the restaurant was surrendered to the construction firm that was owed the largest payable. The firm was not interested in the restaurant business, but the payable due was significant enough that they decided to operate the restaurant, expand the service offerings, aggressively address profitability challenges to minimize additional capital investment, and seek out a new buyer to recover the balance of the debt. Due to negative profitability trends, ownership had been poorly advised to sell the business at a premium price that included construction costs.

Fortis Business Advisors was engaged by a potential buyer to support due diligence in evaluating feasible profitability, cost-cutting measures and the efficacy of ownership's arrival at its selling price. During the engagement, Fortis was asked to review floor plan layout, menu planning, food and beverage costing, back-of-house vs. front-of-house communication and culture, staffing efficiency and pay structure, and the effectiveness of the marketing and social media thrusts. Utilizing Fortis Foresight™, the financial and operational analysis included comparative quarterly income statement trends partitioned into different revenue drivers, ratio health, uncontrolled cost distribution, break-even efficiency, labor costs and pay structure reflective of a restaurant business. The analysis also included table turnover efficiency, number of tables per server, kitchen and food production line timing and efficiency.

  • Fortis presented a comprehensive strategic plan that would engineer profit under controlled budgets and shift net profitability from -2.6% to 15.3% through cost-cutting measures.

Business Performance Optimized

  • Fortis uncovered that equipment costs were ballooning as a percentage of revenue and recommended replacement with used equipment at auction.
  • Fortis identified that changes in the structure of how the service staff was being paid would immediately release 8%-10% cost savings to the bottom line and allow service staff to take home their income immediately.
  • With the new projections, Fortis was able to present a value and acquisition price that was explainable for both the seller and the buyer.


  • Fortis developed a comprehensive marketing strategy to re-position the restaurant's image, and re-designed a floor plan that included an outdoor bar area to generate additional revenue.




"Fortis provided me with an accurate valuation that saved me from making a $450,000 mistake."

- the prospective buyer