Is It the Right Time for a Restaurant Consultant?

Perhaps you have decided to put all the marbles on the table and finally open the restaurant you have always dreamed of. Maybe you own a family restaurant that has been in the family for years but now business is slowly dwindling. In each case there are unknowns and changing dynamics.  Either way you need fresh eyes to see what you are missing and prevent you from losing it all.

Here are some questions that should indicate to you that it is time to hire a restaurant consultant.

  • Do you barely make money or lose money every month?
  • Are you thinking about investing in your own or someone else’s restaurant?
  • Are you always busy “putting out fires” and have no time to plan for the future?
  •  Is your restaurant in “crisis-mode” much of the time?
  • Are you about to expand but don’t know what to do?
  • Do investors and local government agencies have questions that you can’t answer?
  • Do you have nagging doubts about the future of your operation, new or old?
  • Are you throwing out more food than you are selling?

No business owner can have all of the answers and know everything there is to know about a business. That is why a good restaurant consultant can guide you and help you to solve the tough problems that you face every day. Most restaurant entrepreneurs are decision makers by their very nature. A consultant will give you the facts and information to make the right call.

Restaurant Consulting for Startups

Just because you think a particular location is hip and happening, does not make it an ideal place for your particular type of cuisine. A restaurant consultant can provide you with precise information about the area where you want to locate. They can help with facility design especially where codes are concerned, menu design and front of the house design. A full service consulting firm can even help with staffing and training to maximize your time and customer service. A properly trained staff means excellent customer service and translates into higher check averages.

Consultants Help Turnarounds

If your family restaurant is now an island in a sea of new warehouses that sprang up over the years, are you catering to the new workers around you or are you clinging to the old ways with an old menu? A consultant can identify your new target market and show you how to make the necessary improvements to grow your business again.

All cities and neighborhoods change over time. Just look at Detroit over the last 50 years.  All places have a life cycle from new, to decay and back again. Your restaurant location doesn’t change but the demographics do. Understanding who your customers are and where they come from is very important to sustaining and growing your business. Using a restaurant consultant to help you obtain this valuable information is just one of the functions they provide.

Trust but Verify Before You Shake Hands

Remember to do your due diligence when hiring a consultant. Check out their references carefully before hiring them or letting them do any kind of work. Talk to their clients to see how they performed. Ask for a CV or resume of the person or persons who will actually be working with you. As with any employee or contractor you want to be sure of whom you are dealing with. The restaurant consultant’s main job is to make you more profitable so make sure they have done it successfully with someone else before.  In order to measure the restaurant consultant’s success make sure your restaurant accounting system and properly track the results

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