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Startup 2013-10-29

Consultant for your restaurant business

A restaurant business consultant is helpful when you have the seed-fund with you but lack the practical know-how of starting up.

By Deputy Features Editor
Consultant for your restaurant business

The consultant trains you how to act on your restaurant business model charging a certain profit stake or fees.

Experts say venturing into a restaurant business is easier than making money out of it. You need to be well educated about the equipments you will need in your new venture. You need to be versed in food-handling procedures and local health codes. Doing market research to find out the type of restaurant you are going to start in the localities will be well accepted. If you are going to start Italian, Seafood or something more exotic then too the risk meter scales up. Often restaurant entrepreneurs make mistakes in believing their instincts solely without taking any extensive market research for the same. Here, too restaurant business consultants can help a food service business.

Saurabh Sengupta - Country Head, Zomato explains, “A restaurant business consultant can be brought in at any stage depending on the requirements by the restaurant owner. While setting up the venture, the consultant works with the owners in developing the concept, operations of the business on a day to day basis, food / menu selection and designing the ambiance. Having been brought in during the expansion phase, the consultant provides insight with regards to changes to the menu, branding, concept, interior design, pricing structure, events, budgeting, food safety & hygiene and training of the management team. As a result it helps in improving the dining experience for many people! There is no disadvantage of hiring a restaurant consultant as such; they are, after all, experts in the food service industry. However, a lot of restaurant owners who avoid hiring consultants may do so in order to maintain the authenticity of their original idea and concept that went into conceptualising their restaurant. Further, a restaurant consultant cannot guarantee a particular result. The consultant may come on board to share his / her expertise, but at the end of the day it is up to the operator / owner to do the work on the business”.

A restaurant business consultant with good exposure to the industry helps to bring ‘differentiation’ in any restaurant. Most of the time, it’s the ‘differentiation’ element that works as the starting point when reviewing any restaurant business or restaurant concept, and it is the core component that may deliver success or failure. The most effective restaurant consulting is one that maximises the growth of your restaurant business. A restaurant business consultant can help you to work on the business model for the restaurant you have thought of. On the menu design, staff management, culinary and cutlery selection, interior design and to many other such matters his/her expertise will add value over others. Thus saving you from the confusing start-up phase, restaurant business consultant can help you make your progress well defined.

Hemang Bhatt, Director, HAS Juice Bar feels, “Starting/expanding a business revolving around food is extremely critical and time consuming. It is very similar to making a movie. You need an expert for each department and a director to give directions in order to create synchronisation. A consultant has an important role to play as well, as he has the experience, expertise and the knowledge of the local people. Food technicians make SOP in consultation with the chef to ensure that standardised food is delivered. Kitchen planning is done with an expert kitchen consultant to set up a comfortable and appropriate kitchen. The interior designer creates an ambience relevant to the theme of the food. The HR consultant recruits and train people according to the wish list set up by the chef and the unit head. The technical specialist sets up the close circuit camera, software which helps restaurants to monitor and control all activities and process the distances for delivery. Creating brand awareness is also an integral part of expansion. A brand guru is consulted for this he puts forward his innovative idea that can create a strong recall value”.

Moreover, a good consultant can bring those ideas and solutions that have been successful in other restaurants. Consultants who are worth their salt bring problem-solving, planning or implementation services depending on what the situation dictates. For example, when a restaurant faces a nagging problem or is about to enter a new stage of growth, it may be a time to consider a consultant. Today with the rise of different types of restaurants, getting success in restaurant business is not a cakewalk. However, a restaurant business consultant is not the only ingredient of success in your restaurant business. Being the owner of the brand, you should be clear of your business concept. A consultant can bring expertise but implementing all the expert suggestions is on you.

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