Mark Kelnhofer, President and CEO of Return On Ingredients® LLC, is an international speaker and author on recipe costing and menu engineering. He has more than 25 years of experience in bottom line-boosting accounting. After graduating from Ohio Dominican University with his undergraduate degree (1993) he immediately went into manufacturing accounting. He spent eight years in a variety of industries including plastic injection molding, lighting equipment, transit buses, and tire repair products.
In 2002, Mark was brought into the Bravo/Brio Restaurant Group (NASDAQ:BBRG) to implement a cost control system-based principles learned from his past industry experience. After implementation, BBRG experienced five consecutive years of cost reductions resulting in millions of dollars in savings. Mark started Return On Ingredients® LLC in January 2009 based on those same principles including accurate recipe documentation and costing, effective menu engineering, and process improvements.
In 2012, Mark started the Restaurant Institute LLC. It was formed to be an educational resource for the industry. Originally started as a book publisher, Restaurant Institute LLC launched their annual Food, Beverage, & Labor Cost Management Summits in 2017. In fall of 2018, they started a quarterly industry publication titled [ FB&L ] Food, Beverage, & Labor Cost Control Quarterly. In addition to the publications and conferences, they also have assembled a group of professionals as a speakers bureau. Looking into 2022, Restaurant Institute LLC is planning to launch Hospitality Leadership training to prepare those within the industry for management.
Mark holds a Masters in Business Administration (2005) and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Accounting and Business Administration (1993) from Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, Ohio. Mark is an international speaker addressing over 125 different tradeshows, expos, and events in the United States and Canada. Mark also is currently a Lecturer for The Ohio State University and Adjunct Faculty at Georgetown University instructing food, beverage, & labor cost controls. He also sits on several hospitality advisory boards including Ohio University (Athens, Ohio) and Hocking College (Nelsonville, Ohio). He has published articles in industry publications including Catering, Foodservice Equipment and Supplies, FSR, Today’s Restaurant News, Entrepreneurial Chef, Food Business Puerto Rico, and Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional. He is also the author of The Culinary Pocket Resource of Yields, Weights, Densities & Measures and Return On Ingredients: Controlling Food & Beverage Costs To Improve Efficiencies & Profits!
ServSafe Manager, Expires 10/2025, National Restaurant Association (NRA), Chicago, IL
Certified Bourbon Steward, 2020, Stave & Thief Society, Louisville, KY
Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA), 2019, Tourism Ambassador Institute
ServSafe Alcohol, Expires 08/2022, National Restaurant Association (NRA), Chicago, IL
Certified Food and Beverage Executive (CFBE), 2017, American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI), Orlando, FL
Awards & Recognition
Global Summit on All Things Food (GSAF) 2021 Top 100 Food & Beverage Leader
National Restaurant Association (NRA) 2020 #BestofRest Industry Thought Leader