the Dining Experience
“I knew I didn’t need a full-time CFO but I needed the skills of a full-time CFO, somebody with that strategic mindset. Melanie Shaw with ProCFO Partners has been indispensable in that endeavor.”
President & Founder
Mark Fox is the founder and President of Fox Lifestyle Hospitality Group. He has a passion for creating unique and flavorful dining experiences. By nature, Mark believes in turning big dreams into reality. This is evident across their 5 establishments in Manhattan, representing FLHG’s signature style of creating unique and flavorful dining experiences: The Ragtrader, Bo Peep, White Oak Tavern, Street Taco and The Parlour Room.
“[Each of our restaurants] come from an emotional place. I enjoy creating stylized places that have a unique story,” Mark opened his first restaurant 22 years ago and formed Fox Lifestyle Hospitality Group in 2013. Beyond just dining, Fox (the person and the Group) cultivates experiences. “I like the idea of developing new concepts and creating unique and curated experiences that are rewarding for guests,” Fox says. “I believe that if you lead with the guests experience that the top line will be there and then through disciplines, you’ll ensure that the bottom line will be there too.”
Mark’s unique perspective has been credited with helping the company achieve significant business growth, but as essential to Mark and his company is a people-first culture. As their Core Values indicate, “We know that culture is built over time. FLHG’s mission and values keep us true to ourselves and are woven within the fabric of everything that we do.”
Why Fox Lifestyle Hospitality Group Engaged a Part-Time CFO
Among the many disciplines required for an organization like FLHG to scale is financial strategy and integrity.
“I recognized that I needed some strategic, financial, tactical accounting help to really help me with the budget process and the forecasting process,” Fox says, “What a three and five year plan would look like, and how to put ourselves on a stronger foothold to forecast reliably out 36 to 60 months and what will the growth trajectory look like beyond our five units without a mind.” For FLHG this meant adopting the skills of a seasoned strategic CFO, but not the overhead. “I didn’t need a full time CFO, and I have a Controller,” Fox adds. “I knew that I needed the skill set of a CFO, somebody with that strategic mindset, outside of just the technical accounting knowledge, to really help me look at our structure.”
The Value of ProCFO Partners to Fox Lifestyle Hospitality Group
“Melanie Shaw and ProCFO have been indispensable in our endeavor to develop financial strategy,” Fox reflects. “Our conversations are very intentional and very strategic. And I’m not a finance guy. So for me, it’s been a tremendous benefit and learning curve.”
“Without Melanie, I would lack that clarity and confidence to be able to look beyond next year and think strategically strong. She can advise me so I can be looking beyond where we are today,” Fox says. “I would argue that she’s been the most impactful partner over the last 12 months with respect to where we are and where we need to get to.”