Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Goal Towards Transparency, pt. 2

I just read yesterday's post and it looks like I need to buckle down and get to the point.


The "Transparency" that I would like to shoot for is nearly all-encompasing. We already let you know who makes our beer (uh, that's us), where we make our beer (us again, and "right here"), and how we make our beer (just take a tour and we'll show you). The ingredients are listed on the bottle. The location where we make it (that's the 'here' part) is also on the bottle.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for every other beer. Some are not actually brewed 'by' the brewery name listed on the bottle, or at the 'where' listed on the bottle. This is legal according to the "alternating proprietorship" labeling rules as allowed by our government.

In true craft beers this is more the exception rather than the norm, as there is thankfully little nonsense of the smoke and mirrors type in the craft brewing business.

OK. So that's the beer side. And I think we do a pretty damn good job of being transparent at Stone.

However we want to take it further as I suggested yesterday. I would like to be able to tell you where the broccoli on your plate in our restaurant was grown. And when it was picked.

I'm even thinking it would be cool to be able to tell you how much we paid for it. We might not be able to break it down that far, but perhaps we could share with you --- our own Team Stone Members, the public...everyone --- what our food cost is. What our labor costs are. How much we pay for the square footage of the restaurant in 'rent' ('mortgage' is the correct term as we own our own building here...or more accurately, the bank does).

We'd share with everyone the fact that we're expecting around $4Million in sales this year in the bistro. And that maybe we'll actually turn a profit! Most people don't realize that restaurant profit is typically measured in pennies on the dollar. Unless they're in the restaurant biz, in which case you likely know it all too well.

I'll be honest and say that I think there might be an advantage in sharing all these kinds of details. Some people think that we charge to much for some of our dishes. That perhaps we're even taking advantage of them! Let me show you what it costs for good local, organic produce and the natural meats and they'll quickly see that we are not.

I'm going to wrap this up and simply say that I'm going to do my best in this blog, and in our continued business practices, to be as plain-speak, open and honest as I possibly can. If I say anything that you feel needs additional clarity, or even called into question, make a comment and I'll do my best to answer.

You can expect more on this. It's a BIG subject.

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