“The prospect of selling my business seemed like a daunting and stressful task. Fortunately, I enlisted the services of Sofranko Advisors and had the pleasure of working with Jocelyn, Laura and Ron. Using their network of restaurant business contacts, they completed the sale in less than five months. They were professional, knowledgeable, and accessible when I had questions. They were a pleasure to work with and helped to make the sale of a business less stressful.”
Dr. Anthony Spinola, Owner, ACROPOLIS GYRO HOUSE & GRILLE
I owned a small successful retail yogurt shop but I had a problem. I had a full time job and over a period of time my wife and I had health and other life issues. Our issues distracted us from managing the shop appropriately and in addition we wanted to retire to the south. After trying to sell the shop on my own, my wife convinced me to utilize the Sofranko Advisory Group. And was I amazed! In a relatively short period of time Sofranko located a qualified buyer, with a minimal amount of my involvement, and all agreed to a quick closing. So the Sofranko Group solved our problem and now we have much less stress and can move forward with our plans to retire. Thank you, thank you to Team Sofranko.
Bob Dickson, Owner, YUMM FROZEN YOGURT
“Ron was truly an asset through every step of getting our restaurant off the ground. From finding the right location, to helping to secure financing, to providing business and financial expertise that could only come with many years of restaurant experience, and to his intimate knowledge of the Pittsburgh food scene, Ron helped make our dream of opening a restaurant a reality. He has an extensive network of industry professionals, and can recommend someone for any possible restaurant need. He has continued to provide his insight and feedback well beyond our opening, and has always made himself available no matter the circumstances. We would recommend Ron to anyone thinking about getting into the restaurant industry.”
Michelle Stackiewicz, Owner, THE FOUNDRY
“When my wife Tina and I decided to pursue our vision of a developing a contemporary casual restaurant for the underserved North Huntingdon area, the first person we reached out to for support was Ron Sofranko. Simply put, his guidance from concept development to opening was invaluable.
While I had extensive industry experience based on my previous 20-year career with Heinz Foodservice, I didn’t have ‘front line’ restaurant operation experience. Thus, we were able to utilize Ron and his contacts to fast track our project and ultimately open THE FIREPIT WOOD FIRED GRILL restaurant on time and under budget. Ron also helped us develop management processes across the business which we continue utilizing on a daily basis to ‘drive’ current and future success.
What’s also impressive about Ron is that he continues to take a strong interest in supporting us via his post-opening follow-ups, each at no cost and a testament to his unwavering commitment to each and every client’s success.
We would strongly recommend Ron to anyone looking to open a restaurant for the first time and also to any current restaurateur looking to expand and/or improve performance.”
Jeff Fisher, Owner, THE FIREPIT WOOD FIRED GRILL
“As Executive Director of THE CHAMBER of Commerce, Inc., I would like to take this opportunity to strongly endorse one of our member businesses, The Sofranko Advisory Group. Ron Sofranko and his company have supported THE CHAMBER of Commerce, Inc. by providing expertise and education in his field of experience, as well as having helped support the foundation of this organization.
THE CHAMBER of Commerce, Inc. is an organization of over 1,000 business owners and representatives that represent all of the communities north of Pittsburgh. Ron is a well-known businessman and community leader in this region. The expertise and education that he delivers through consulting services has helped many local and regional businesses grow and thrive.
I also had the privilege of working professionally alongside of Ron in the financial arena. I used him as an expert to assist my commercial business customers in resolving issues that they were facing; he was always extremely helpful.
I would strongly recommend the services of Sofranko Advisory Group.”
Executive Director, THE CHAMBER of Commerce, Inc.
“The Sofranko Advisory Group (SAG) played an integral role in helping my restaurant concept grow. Specifically, SAG was able to help me obtain financing to open a second restaurant in a much stronger location that where my original venue is located. Additionally, SAG provided valuable insight and advice throughout my new restaurant’s planning and development stages. Furthermore, SAG has demonstrated an ongoing interest in the success of my business, even after my formal professional relationship with the group has ended.
As such, I highly recommend SAG to any restaurateur (or aspiring restaurateur) who would benefit from an experienced mentor to assist in navigation through the pre-opening complexities of restaurant operation.”
“As a first-time restaurant owner, I needed advice from an expert. I had the management know-how but not the experience of opening and operating an independent restaurant. Ron Sofranko filled that gap perfectly and more. His command of restaurant financials and key metrics were especially helpful in building and validating the business plan. I was able to tap into his network of relationships developed through decades of experience in the industry. And his hands-on involvement, guidance, and support helped accelerate the planning, design, and build-out of my now acclaimed restaurant. I highly recommend Ron and the services of the Sofranko Advisory Group.”
Owner, Verde Mexican Kitchen & Cantina
“I first met Ron Sofranko in October of 2012 when I approached him for help in opening my first restaurant, Proper Brick Oven & Tap Room in downtown Pittsburgh. While I had extensive professional sales and marketing experience, as well as a passion for food, wine, and craft beer, I had absolutely no experience in launching or running a restaurant. I was aware of Ron’s solid reputation as an advisor in the hospitality industry as well as a successful past and present restaurant owner. While I had a great concept and marketing plan for the kind of restaurant that I wanted to open, I needed Ron’s industry expertise and networking capabilities to get my plan off the ground.
Opening any restaurant, whether it’s your first or fifteenth, is an overwhelming prospect. There are countless moving parts involved: scouting for a location; securing financing; negotiating a lease; hiring reputable contractors and subcontractors; gaining necessary permits; beginning construction or renovation of the site; complying with local and state governments; and interviewing, hiring, and training a staff. These objectives must be met long before you can even consider opening your doors to the public. Ron was invaluable in streamlining such a massive undertaking. He saved me significant time and money by connecting me with other industry professionals whom he had personally vetted. He guided me every step of the way, offering concrete advice and boundless encouragement, and continues to advise me—free of charge, no less—even though my restaurant has already been open for over six months.
So many people fantasize about how much fun it would be to own a restaurant or bar, but they never even come close to the successful execution of their dreams. I was determined not to just dream about it, not to just talk about it, but to actually make it happen. Now I’m the proud owner of Proper Brick Oven & Tap Room, which I opened in August 2013 in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. Sales so far have exceeded even my loftiest goals for our first year in business. I doubt I could have achieved this level of success without the guidance and experience of Ron Sofranko. I wholeheartedly encourage anyone who is interested in opening a bar or restaurant to invest in Ron’s services.”
Proper Brick Oven & Tap Room
139 7th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
My wife and I always dreamed of opening a restaurant. However, without much restaurant experience, talk of opening a restaurant was just something we did instead of talking about our boring, corporate America jobs. That all changed once we met Ron Sofranko. Ron gave us the tools to turn our dream into a reality.
Eight months ago we opened Tapped Brick Oven & Pour House and I am confident in saying we could not have done it without Ron. From our initial meeting until the day we opened for business, Ron was there for us for whatever we needed. What I liked the most about Ron was that he was willing to help as much or as little as we needed. With his contacts and industry knowledge, he made the transition to restaurant owners as easy as possible.
My wife and I consider Ron a friend and we still reach out to him from time to time for advice which he is happy to provide. When we decide to expand, there is no doubt that Ron Sofranko will be one of the 1st people I reach out to for assistance.
Julie and Eric Jones
Tapped Brick Oven & Pour House
I would be remiss if I did not formally thank you for taking me on as a client to assist me in realizing my dream of owning a craft beer bottle shop.
After working in the corporate health care world for 36 years and having my position eliminated for the last time, I dreaded the thought of having to do the job search “thing” at my age. I decided to pursue a career that involved my passion for fine craft beer. I had extensive management experience, but was in no way prepared to navigate the perilous unknowns of starting my own business. Where and how do I get started? How do I develop a business plan? Where do I get funding? How much money do I need? Where and how do I get a liquor license? And how do I orchestrate all of these things to come together into a business?
Obviously, I had no expertise in any of these areas. Without your extensive knowledge and decades of experience, I could never have moved off square-one, let alone become the owner and manager of Western Pennsylvania’s most progressive bottle shop with 1200 beers in stock, with an expanding, profitable restaurant business.
Being a craft beer enthusiast and home-brewer, my dream of owning my own bottle shop is a now a reality thanks to you and your staff, and the many good people you’ve referred to me. I couldn’t have done it without you, Ron. I am now experiencing the sheer joy of working for myself and my vision, instead of breaking my back for someone else’s dreams.
With your continued guidance, I’m confident that House of 1000 Beers will not only become more successful, but will become a local craft beer giant in the market place with multiple locations. We will become the standard to which all other bottle shops will be compared.
I would highly recommend your firm to anyone who has a driving motivation to pursue their dreams in the restaurant/bar business, be it their first or tenth start-up. You’re on top of the current trends, new products, and marketing profiles so this would help anyone at any stage.
Owner, House of 1000 Beers