For a restaurant operator, the only thing more destructive than the dreaded fly in the soup may be the elephant in the room. Nothing kills profits—and potential—faster than an unspoken problem around which everyone is tiptoeing.

Which is one reason why Mark Avery has always been in high demand among foodservice giants. Known for his uncanny ability to spot an elephant in a business meeting—and his knack for dismantling it—Mark has been called upon by one Fortune 500 leader after another to pinpoint profit drains and kick-start growth.

Ultimately, Mark’s insistence that problems get solved when we face them head on, combined with the mantra he relentlessly pursues (“Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.”), has generated millions of dollars in savings for a string of globally recognized brands, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Yum!, P.F. Chang’s and Applebee’s.

Mark’s simple, yet surprisingly nontraditional, approach is this:


Ask questions. Listen. Dig beyond the symptoms to find the root cause. Speak plainly. And find (or create) a win/win/win scenario—even if it turns convention on its ear.

When Mark isn’t staring down elephants, you may find him dining with a sheikh in Dubai, golfing in Arizona, or unplugging social media in favor of face-to-face encounters.