Successful restaurant management in today’s constantly changing environment requires a large range of skills and significant breadth of knowledge. These and other factors are why an increasingly large number of successful restaurant owners turn to professional consultants for help and guidance.
Finding the right restaurant consultant provides access to the latest in industry trends, regulations, and competitive insights, as well as a number of other potential advantages. However, even if you are convinced you need the capabilities of a restaurant consultant, you may have questions about how to find just the right firm for your specific needs.
When and How to Look for a Restaurant Consultant
Every restaurant experiences different stages in the life of the establishment. Startup and launch has one set of challenges; turning around an older restaurant that has new competition presents a different range of issues. The key for effective restaurant management is to be proactive and seek out assistance before facing existential threats to the business.
To begin your search for the right consultant, carefully think through what you are seeking and what you expect the consultant to do for you. That will be important in narrowing down your possible candidates.
To start your search, consider these options:
- Do a search engine search.
- Check with your contacts at the restaurant organizations where you have membership.
- Ask for referrals from successful peers you know in the restaurant business.
Once you have identified several good candidates, take time to vet them carefully:
- Carefully examine their background and past clients.
- Plan and conduct a very thorough interview, focusing on your specific needs.
- Ask the candidate to provide a general idea of how they would approach your restaurant’s situation and have them give you a time frame, cost, and expected deliverables.
- Check the references of your top two or three candidates.
When you have identified a consultant in restaurant management you think can do the job, make sure you engage them with a clear and written agreement that spells out all the details. Before they start work, also invest some time in learning how to best work with such a consultant.