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Restaurant Startup

A few things you should know.

Tips for using a restaurant consultant vary depending on what you’re looking to accomplish, and what stage of development you’re at.

Launching a restaurant is an exciting venture, but one of the more difficult types of business to launch, and sustain. Whether you’re launching a new brand or trying to streamline an existing venue. there are so many moving parts: this is why a restaurant consultant may be your best investment — they’ve been there, done that, and have industry-wide contacts. 

If you’re looking to launch a new restaurant concept, you should firstly review the Common mistakes by restauranteurs.  

By relying on a restaurant consultant [that has opened dozens of restaurants] and previously run restaurants,  the experts at A2Z Restaurant Consultants have made the errors that you want to avoid.  

Restaurant consultants don’t take over your project, or suppress your vision: they challenge you to justify that vision, and/or guide you through how to make it a practical reality. 

As Bruce Dugan Sr. (Incognito Worldwide) noted in his blog post, to be successful you have to Get Stuff Done:

Getting stuff done is at the root of any business venture. It may sound trivial, but many start-ups strategize themselves right out of business because they fail to get stuff done!

Bruce T. Dugan

The best thing to understand as a restauranteur is that you can’t be best at everything; you can be excellent at some things, good at many others. Moreover, many first-time restauranteurs become obsessed with minutiae so much so that they lose sight of the real goal — sustaining a profitable venue. And while being detail-focused can be a good thing, sometimes it can lead a restaurateur down a rabbit hole that they can never find their way out from.  

A restaurant consultant will help identify and focus your energy and attention on things you’re best at. It might be vision, operations, or marketing. What are you passionate about? If you focus on the areas you excel in and then outsource the areas you don’t, you’re on your way to building a formidable team to compete in the highly competitive space of venue ownership/management. 

Consultants are a fresh pair of eyes to let you know when you’ve gone too far down that rabbit hole — chasing one obsession or another. A good general rule is to ask yourself, “will the customer notice or care”? Many times the things that owners obsess over their customers wouldn’t give a second thought to.  

Third-Party Services

Third-party services for restaurants, and especially including online app services, have steadily grown over the decades. A restaurant consultant can not only steer you to the best-of-breed but also help you make sure that you use such services in moderation to balance them against your overall revenue. 

As early as 2018 there were some sounding alarms about 3rd party delivery apps because they were taking such a large chunk of the sale revenue. 

An article entitled ‘Restaurants Surviving the 2020-2021 Pandemicfocused on delivery apps,  Used correctly, they can enhance a restaurant, used incorrectly they can put you out of business. 

In another article entitled Top 3 entertainment tips for bar and restaurants, A2Z Restaurant Consulting CEO Eddie Fahmy was interviewed to discuss in-venue entertainment, including live entertainment and coin-operated entertainment.

Moreover, once you’ve settled in on the vision, secured a location, a restaurant consultant can assist with licenses, such as getting an A rating for the health department, building a menu that can define a brand, and using social media. 

In 2020-2021 restaurants, in particular, have to navigate COVID-19,

A consultant can also aggressively deal with vendors to get you the best deals since they know — from experience — how far they can push to get free samples, and/or extended terms. 

A2Z Restaurant Consulting has strong media ties in the New York City metro area, having secured TV and newspaper spots for many clients. They also have working relationships with digital agencies that can develop logos,  websites, and deliver marketing strategies and implementation.  

Tips for Using a Restaurant Consultant

What Do Restaurant Consultants Do?

Are you still wondering what — exactly — a restaurant consultant can do for you? The answer is anything and everything that you yourself are not experienced in, or have knowledge about. They’re professionals who work to ensure your success, as that, in turn, enhances their reputation — meaning, they have skin in the game. 

1, What a Consultant can do for you:  

  • Guiding you through concept and format
  • Identifying and helping negotiate to secure a location
  • Assisting with compliance and licensing issues 
  • Setting up the front of the house, and the kitchen
  • Designing the menu
  • Enabling smooth hiring and training of your staff
  • Financial planning and accounting services
  • Systems setup, from POS to websites, social media, and more

How do you find the right consultant?

  • Utilize the free evaluation consultation
  • Identify whether they understand your vision
  • Discover who is in their professional orbit, including vendors
  • Ask how many licenses they’ve helped secure
  • Review the website and marketing traction they’ve produced 
  • And lastly, determine if you feel comfortable with them 

Other Things to Consider 

Reviews 

Reviews for your restaurant in this hyper-digital age matter and a good review can stimulate more traction than an ad. 

Pricing

When pricing your menu, the cost of food should ideally be approximately between 28-30% of the menu selling price.  

Restaurant Consulting in Financing

One of the more important aspects of running a restaurant is Financial Planning. Pricing matters, but so does cash flow and profits. You may require  Merchant Cash Advance, which are loans against your future credit card revenue This is not for everyone, and your consultant can help you determine if it makes sense for you. 

Restaurant Financial Consultants work with the Restaurant Owners and set financial goals for their restaurants; decide upon the viable options for investment, move money into those investments, and keep an eye on their finances with their critical thinking.

Budgets and KPI (key performance indicators) are the roadmaps of your operation. It sets the goals and assumptions. It quickly allows you to know if you’re meeting your financial targets, which is derived from more than how much money you collected in a given night, week, or month. 

  • Are you seating as many people as planned?
  • Is your table turnover on pace with projections?
  • What is your capacity on the traditionally slower nights?
  • Are slow night promotions working? 

If you have a restaurant that is underperforming or are looking to launch something new, a restaurant consultant may be the best investment you can make. The structure and process of running a successful restaurant can be laid out based on existing data in general, and special consultant knowledge and experience in particular. 

What are you waiting for? Set up a free evaluation today!

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