What Does A Restaurant Consultant Do?
Restaurant consultants are professionals who are hired by owners of restaurants and other food establishments to help them thresh out issues in various aspects of their business. They are responsible for determining what an establishment’s problem is, crafting a plan to address it and working with management to implement the solution. Restaurant owners may engage the services of a restaurant consultant when they are already in operation or they may hire them before they open for business. The work consultants do will depend on when they are hired.
When restaurant consultants are hired when the business is already in operation, their most likely task is troubleshooting. They will be responsible for figuring out the cause of a problem that the owner will bring to them. Visiting the actual restaurant is an integral part of their job since they will need to observe what is happening in the establishment when it is open for business.
They may also have to observe the employees as they treat guests and look at how food is prepared in the kitchen. If they are hired to scrutinize the restaurant’s financial matters, they may also look at the financial documents of the establishment. They will also follow this up observations on the actual operations of the restaurant to see how the employees are managing resources. Based on their observations, they will then figure out what the problem is and suggest actions to be implemented to solve the problem. They will then monitor the progress of their solutions.
When consultants are brought in early in the game—that is, before the establishment opens—the focus is on planning how the business can appeal to customers once it opens. Together with the members of the management team and other professionals (i.e. chefs and cooks), they will help decide on the best concept for the restaurant and the menu to serve. They will also brainstorm ideas and suggest operational guidelines to make the establishment function like a well-oiled machine once it opens. They may help in establishing hiring criteria and other requirements in getting more staff and crew on board.
Whether consultants are hired by restaurant owners to help in the planning stage or to troubleshoot an issue of their establishment, an important part of their work is meeting with and talking to clients to ascertain their needs. This requires excellent communication and listening skills on the part of the consultants in order for them to address the issues that is brought to their attention.
Part of the work of restaurant consultants, especially if they are self-employed, is growing their network of contacts to ensure that they have clients. They may do this by promoting their profile in professional social media platforms and getting word out about their services to the community. However, the best way for them to gain more clients is to do a good job whenever they are hired so that their clients can recommend them to their co-restaurant owners who may need consultancy services in the future.