Racer's Tavern

Richard Forkey first approached the Saint Vincent College Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in March 2009 for assistance with cost control, financial analysis and obtaining benchmarks for the food service industry. Richard was the owner of a successful vending company, and several years earlier purchased a business, Racer's Tavern, in Latrobe that had acquired a reputation as a nuisance bar. Richard’s long term goal was to convert the establishment into a full service restaurant. At the time of his first contact with the Saint Vincent College SBDC, the business had recently begun serving food but it was not profitable and Richard had come to the realization that he would need outside consulting assistance if he was to achieve his goal.

During the initial consulting engagement the staff of the Saint Vincent College SBDC provided Richard a detailed financial analysis of his business based on the current year-to-date profit and loss statement as well as the tax returns for the two previous years. Richard was also provided restaurant industry benchmarks for food, alcohol, and labor costs as well as consulting assistance for determining, managing, and controlling those costs. Over the next two years Richard continued to work with a Saint Vincent College SBDC consultant on a quarterly basis to review the profit and loss statements and receive a current analysis of his operation.

Sales grew markedly during this period with food sales becoming an increasingly larger share of total revenue. The business had become profitable and, in April 2011, Richard decided it was time to increase the size of the restaurant by adding a dining room, banquet rooms, and expanding/modernizing the kitchen. Work on the development of a formal business plan was begun. Complemented by area demographics, financial projections and industry research provided by the Saint Vincent College SBDC, the plan was completed and submitted to a local lender.

The lender was reluctant to fund the entire project and Richard chose to sell his vending business to provide additional equity and was then able to secure $200,000 in commercial loans for the enlargement of the restaurant. The addition is nearly complete with a “Grand Opening” scheduled for the fall of 2012.

Richard has been very generous with his praise of the assistance provided by the Saint Vincent College SBDC and expressed his feelings in support letters that he submitted to area legislators. Richard has and continues to benefit directly from the assistance provided by the Saint Vincent College SBDC.