CASE STUDY: Go Greek

Authenticity in a Bowl

How RRFMG Helped Go Greek Yogurt Blend Great Flavor With Financial Success

In the early 2000s, health and fitness trends emphasized the importance of protein-rich foods. That contributed to a surge in demand for Greek yogurt, whose versatility as an ingredient in recipes, such as smoothies, dips, and desserts, propelled its popularity. Since then, Greek yogurt has become a staple in many households and gained traction in the foodservice industry. It now appears regularly on menus in cafes, restaurants, and smoothie shops.

At the height of this craze though, one person felt something was amiss.

David Subotic, a successful and worldly businessman, noted the lack of authenticity that seemed to characterize many Greek yogurt purveyors. Where, he asked, were products that sourced & imported their ingredients directly from Greece? Where were the proprietors who infused Mediterranean flavors into their offerings?

Realizing there was a gap in the market, David set out to fill it. Together with his partners Tanja & Jonathan (both of Greek heritage), they founded Go Greek Yogurt. Their mission was to “…create a brand that not only celebrated the deliciousness of Greek yogurt, but also honored the traditions and values that made it so exceptional.”

In 2012 Go Greek Yogurt opened its first location in Beverly Hills, CA.

Word spread quickly about the new Greek yogurt shop, which incorporated genuine honey flown in from the mountains of Crete, and grinded peanuts in-store to make their own fresh peanut butter.

Early devotees of Go Greek Yogurt included the Kardashian family, Britney Spears, Lionel Richie, Sofia Vergara, and Tyra Banks. These celebrities (and their fans) couldn’t get enough of Go Greek’s 100% all-natural, high-quality ingredients. Business started to boom.

It was at this time that David realized he needed help on the accounting side of his operation. Seeking recommendations, his business attorney suggested Restaurant & Retail Financial Management Group (RRFMG).

David spoke with RRFMG about his biggest challenges, including:

1. gaining better understanding of his food costs

2. determining what his price points should be

3. implementing standardized processes into his operation with checks & balances so things didn’t fall through the cracks

Once RRFMG got involved, they immediately began analyzing all of Go Greek Yogurt’s costs, including food & labor. Their analysis revealed a number of opportunities for cost savings and greater efficiency. Eventually this resulted in an overall cost reduction of 8%, which David considers “a pretty big number”.

David adds, “RRFMG were tremendous in helping us understand our food costs, how many people we should optimally have working in the store while still providing good service, and numerous other things. I think they’ve made us more efficient and more productive, and it’s clear that they care about our success. At the end of the day that matters probably more than any other thing.”

RRFMG went on to help David with more than just accounting and financial analysis. Their CEO Wayne Lipschitz has extensive industry connections, which he leveraged to open doors for Go Greek Yogurt.

As David recalls, “Wayne is extraordinarily knowledgeable, and has relationships that tie him into many, many areas. He introduced us to a lot of people, including management at the Las Vegas Venetian Hotel. His connections helped us get into the Venetian, which was a pretty big deal for us at the time.”

Go Greek Yogurt now finds itself on a healthy growth trajectory, with both corporate-owned stores & franchisees. To finance this growth, they’ve begun raising capital from investors, who are keen to see accountability in their finances. Here again, RRFMG added value, as David points out, “When you know the accounting’s done right, then you feel confident in giving people the numbers. That’s one area where we’ve been helped tremendously by Wayne & RRFMG.”

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