Tips for using a restaurant consultant span the spectrum, from knowing how and where to secure a location, to setting up systems. Staffing, training, and marketing.
There are so many moving parts when launching a new restaurant. Or trying to streamline an existing one. If you’re looking to launch a new restaurant concept, you should review the Common mistakes by restauranteurs.
By relying on a restaurant consultant that has opened dozens of restaurants, and usually — having previously or currently run a restaurant — they have made the errors that you want to avoid. Whether this is your first endeavor or an additional attempt to previous ones, a fresh set of eyes always provides more clarity.
Restaurant consults 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 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 don’t get stuff done!
The best thing to understand as a restauranteur is that you can’t be the best at everything; you can be excellent at some things, and good at many others.
A restaurant consultant will help identify where you thrive. It might be vision, operations, or marketing. What are you passionate about? If you focus on the areas you excel in and outsource the areas you don’t, you’re on your way to building a formidable team to compete in the highly competitive space.
For example, an article entitled Restaurants Surviving the 2020-2021 Pandemic, focused 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, the author interviewed Eddie Fahmy, CEO of A2Z Restaurant Consulting, to discuss in-venue entertainment, including live entertainment and coin-operated entertainment.
Moreover, once you’ve settled in on the vision, and secured a location, a restaurant consultant can assist with licenses, 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, and look at new ways to gain efficiency post-COVID19.
They can also aggressively deal with vendors to get you the best deals because they know — from experience — how far they can push. And many restaurant consultants can assist with building your website, and getting TV coverage.
Having worked on many concepts, consultants have insights to give you the advantage to sidestep the pitfalls they’ve seen others make.
Tips for Using a Restaurant Consultant
You might wonder what 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 rely on your success to enhance their reputation. So your success is paramount for both of you. They can help you with:
- Guiding you through concept and format
- Identifying and helping negotiate to secure a location
- Assisting in 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. Most will offer
- 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 Tips to Know
Reviews in this hyper-digital age matter and a good review can stimulate more traction than an ad.
The ideal cost of a food menu should be 28-30% of the Selling Price of the item. Based on reviews and customer feedback, always be analyzing your menu.
Restaurant Consulting in Financing
One of the more important aspects of running a restaurant is Financial Planning. Pricing matters, but so do 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 viable options for investment, move money into those investments, and keep an eye on their finances with their critical thinking.
Budgets and KPIs (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 are 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 consult 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.
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