Restaurant Consultants: Are They Really Worth the Investment?

By Peter Farrell


If you are thinking of getting restaurant consultants on board to help you set up your business but questioning whether they are worth the cost, read on – we’ll tell you everything you need to know about what they do and how they can increase the odds that this big leap will pay off.

Establishing a restaurant

Whether that’s from the ground up or giving an already existing business an overhaul, is notoriously difficult. Countless restaurants fail within a year of the grand opening – 60% of them in fact, and 80% will shut their doors within five years. Those aren’t the type of numbers you want to bet your life savings on but they also shouldn’t prevent you from taking a chance on your big idea.

How do you increase your odds of turning your venture into a success?

The answer is simple: it’s “know-how”. You need someone who knows what they’re doing when it comes to making decisions from choosing the location of your restaurant to knowing what type of food is going to draw in customers like a proverbial Pied Piper. This is where restaurant consultants come in.

Restaurant experts in the Food Sector

A successful venture starts with  knowing your industry and that will often boil down to establishing relationships with key players in the game, including suppliers. These are the movers and shakers of the industry; the ones who get you better pricing, better products and ultimately, more feet through the door. Knowing what good food is and knowing how to get hold of it are two different things and it can be a maze trying to figure out which merchants to align yourself with, especially since there are so many and not all of them offer the same standard of quality. A good supplier is the literal bread and butter for your business, so you need to choose them wisely.

What is more, good restaurant consultants have their finger on the pulse – they are connected to influences who can turn a plain ol’ business into a respected brand that commands attention. Influencers can breathe life into dying businesses or set new ones ahead of the curve. This is a fast paced world to step into so aligning yourself with someone who knows how the game is played can be integral to your success.

Taking Care of the Practicalities

Now that we’ve covered the flashier side of working with restaurant consultants, let’s talk practicalities. Opening a restaurant can quickly become a maze of decisions that you need to navigate very carefully. How do you come up with and develop the concept for the restaurant? How do you find the right team to run the kitchen and front-of-house? Where do you even start with menu design? Every decision can take you closer to cutting a ribbon in front of the restaurant you’ve always dreamed of opening or hand you pile of problems that you need to navigate on your own.  

Lastly, but certainly not least, is the topic of financing. This is probably one of the most nail-biting areas of opening a business and it’s also one where restaurant consultants shine. We’re talking understanding and managing cash flow statements, profit and losses, labour costs, sales and tracking your overall performance – not to mention budgeting, investment assistance and projections – the basic architecture of your business. Whether this is your strong suit or not, these are areas where experience makes all the difference.

Restaurant consultants: A Relationship Worth Investing In

If your business is like a ship, great restaurant consultants are like good maps that will not only detail the path ahead, but also show you how to get from point A (being the starting concept) to point B (being the success story). They will show you how to be in that 20% of businesses that are designed and run to last – turning your dream into a lasting and profitable relationship. Get in touch today!