S’MAC, short for Sarita’s Macaroni & Cheese, is a category-defining restaurant founded upon the idea of elevating macaroni & cheese from a perennial side dish to the status of a meal in and of itself.
S’MAC opened its doors in June 2006 in the East Village neighborhood of New York City and features a menu based solely around variations of traditional macaroni & cheese and to our knowledge was the first such restaurant and an inspiration for all the other mac & cheese eateries now opening around the country. On opening day, the long lines and media frenzy quickly proved that even though the predictions about the relevance of this concept were correct, the entire process at S’MAC would have to be redesigned because the existing kitchen, equipment and preparation techniques were labor and time intensive and not conducive to servicing the high volumes being seen.
The 3-4 years after opening were used as an incubation period for this concept, where a unique process was developed and deployed for delivering baked-to-order and individually customizable mac & cheese dishes in a fast-casual setting. The process was designed to maintain high food quality and baked to order dishes using freshly prepared ingredients yet staying at an affordable price point.
TARGET: To expand S’MAC from the existing 1 unit to 10 units and to refine the operating model so that it can subsequently be rolled out nationwide, incorporating its core purpose and its core values.
STATUS: Currently there is one S’MAC location extant averaging $22,000 per week in sales with dine-in and take-out alone (no deliveries). On average, each staff member has been employed at S’MAC for 6+ years. There is a loyal customer base with over 13,000 followers on Facebook and over 8,000 people on the mailing list. S’MAC ships food nationwide and after 11 years still gets requests almost daily to open a location in various cities in the US and throughout the world.
PLAN: We are looking to open 10 new locations over the next 2-3 years and will also use this time to:
- Develop operating manuals and implement training systems, for both hard and soft skills.
- Build programs to give back to communities S’MAC will open in (over and above food & monetary donations).
- Build a corporate operations and finance team that will help take S’MAC to the next level.
- Raise funds for a larger deployment throughout the US & Canada starting in 2021.
FINANCIAL: This phase in the growth of S’MAC will require $6 million which will enable us to open 10 additional restaurants, one year of corporate salaries and to retire some current debt. People with operational expertise, and financial expertise, in multi-unit restaurants will need to be hired to help grow S’MAC successfully.