While food and hospitality might be your passion, it’s important to remember that a successful restaurant owner requires strong business acumen. Many restaurant owners make the mistake of placing too much emphasis on the creative side of their establishments. Remember: it’s also critical to consider the management of your organization.
That’s where restaurant consulting comes in. Restaurant consultants help current and future restaurant owners optimize their businesses and improve internal processes. But while there are plenty of benefits associated with the use of restaurant consulting, not all restaurants need a consultant to succeed.
So, is restaurant consulting right for your business? Let’s explore some of the key benefits on how a restaurant consultant can help.
Existing Restaurant Owners
No matter how experienced you are in the restaurant industry, things can go wrong. If you currently have a restaurant that is under performing, or you believe there is considerable room for improvement, a consultant might be able to help. Let’s take a look at some of the popular services they provide to existing restaurant owners.
1. Menu Development
If you’ve been using the same menu for months (or even years), it might be time to update what your restaurant offers to its visitors. While a chef is often in charge of the menu, they may suffer from biases or other preferences that impact your ability to succeed as a restaurant.
By using a consultant, you can access the expertise of a menu creator that uses tried-and-tested methods to improve your food selection and optimize your food cost. A restaurant consultant can work with you and your chef to help you achieve your vision of the perfect menu.
2. Internal Operations
If the dining side of your business is working well, but you’re struggling to meet goals and improve efficiency in your workplace, a consultant can help you tackle a range of issues. Whether you need help sourcing cheaper food, staying on budget, or managing your reservation system, seeking external support can be useful.
A restaurant consultant can also help you access vital technology for your restaurant. For example, using food service POS systems that leverage built-in loyalty programs, kitchen display systems, floor management programs, and other tools is a great way to improve the management of your restaurant. A consultant can help you choose the perfect restaurant management software.
3. Talent Recruitment
If you’re having problems recruiting the right staff, a consultant with connections in the industry can put you in touch with chefs, waiters, and other critical employees. This is especially crucial if you’re planning on running a fine dining establishment — you need to access the highest caliber of hospitality professionals.
4. General Problem Solving
No matter what problems you’re facing as a restaurant owner or manager, accessing someone with knowledge of your industry can prove very useful. While many restaurant consultants cost an arm and a leg, the return on investment can be huge.
New Restaurant Owners
If you’re opening a new restaurant, you will face a range of challenges during the initial set-up process. Even if you have experience managing restaurants, venturing into a new food niche can sometimes prove difficult for veterans. Let’s take a look at what restaurant consultants can do to help when you’re setting up a new establishment.
5. Business Plans
Many new restaurant owners have a background in the creative side of managing a restaurant, but few are shrewd business people. Approaching a new restaurant project without considering the core business elements is one of the fastest ways to run out of money. An experienced restaurant consultant can help you plan for the future by implementing the framework of a robust business plan.
6. Investment Seeking
If you’re in the initial stages of opening a new restaurant and purchasing new restaurant equipment, you may need access to more capital. Certain restaurant consultants can help you find investors and negotiate terms. This can be an excellent alternative to taking out high-interest commercial loans from a bank.
7. Location Scouting
If you’re yet to choose a location for your restaurant, it might be worth seeking professional help. This is especially true if you’re not local to the area where you’re opening your new business. Consultants can scout locations, assess rental costs, determine foot traffic, and help you perform a cost-benefit analysis of several locations.
8. General Restaurant Development
When you’re setting up your new restaurant, there will be various other issues that you face. A consultant can lend a helping hand with menu building, interior design, promotions, and any other general restaurant requirements. Having an experienced partner by your side can prove significantly beneficial to newcomers in the industry.
Stay Ahead of the Curve
Whether you’re an existing restaurant owner, or you’re about to open a new establishment, it’s always critical to stay ahead of the curve. Using a restaurant consultant and researching trends can help you stay competitive in your niche. If you want your business to survive, don’t underestimate the importance of continual improvement.
So, whether you choose to use a restaurant consultant or venture into the unknown by yourself, make sure that you’re ready to improve your restaurant whenever an opportunity presents itself.