New Wage Reality – How to Enhance Profitability

The media has brought the idea of higher wages to the forefront. We all now have heard that the next wage level is $15 an hour. Now what should I do? Well, the first step is to factor in your proforma the financial impact of these increase in wages. By the way, be sure to factor in some health insurance and possibly sick pay into the cost.

Once you have done this, you now see what the impact is going to be on your bottom line so what is next? Continue reading


Start Up a Restaurant

Firstly, we visit with you to have discussions about your objectives, the type of concept you are going for, why you want to be in the restaurant business, what you anticipate investing, how much money you believe you are going to make, etc.
The concept should be fleshed in a Concept Description that talks about the following: Continue reading


Menu Brand Evolution

Increasing your Guest Counts, Guest Check Average, Profits and Being Relevant in the Food Community

There is a cautionary tale here for every company: If you don’t disrupt your own business, the marketplace will be more than happy to do it for you.

  • More vegetables & grains. They are becoming more and more popular.
  • Look at the amount of protein on each plate. Do you need this much? And by the way people are eating more and more vegetarian. It is ok to serve a vegetable dish and a tofu dish especially as a side dish.
  • Talk to your vendors about up “new products” that are coming to the market. Ask the vendors about what they see going on with other restaurants both locally and nationally. What are they doing? Where are they going? And take a look at alternative vendors.
  • Plate Presentations – People eat with their eyes. How do your plates look? We see what we call faded 80’s/90’s presentations. China, garnishes, height of the item on the dish, etc. should be reviewed by not only you but by some of your key staff. Continue reading

Operational Documentation

What Operational Documentation do I need when I open a restaurant? Here is a way to look at documentation: When you need to drive somewhere that you are not familiar with, you go to your smartphone, tablet or in car navigation and enter in the address. Voila!! You can follow the directions to your destination. When one opens their own restaurant, management and staff also need directions. The map for these directions is the Management Training Guide. The content of this guide communicates the performance standards and the results expected from your personnel. It is a step by step guide, much like a kitchen recipe for success, and it provides information and training that they need in order to be successful. The list can be endless, but for the independent operator the following items are must-haves: Continue reading


Is It Time To Raise the Bar?

Every one of the highly successful restaurants we’ve had the opportunity to work with have many common characteristics that every independent restaurant would be wise to emulate. Each of these companies sets incredibly high standards and strives for excellence in every aspect of their business, every day. This is why they have longer term success in consumer satisfaction, profitability and long term staff members. In business one needs to be sustainable because the investment is significant and to gain a return on one’s investment generally takes more time than what one estimates going into business.

What would your restaurant look like if you no longer accepted average and insisted on excellence? What effect would that have on these elements:

  • food quality
  • guest experience
  • cleanliness
  • cost controls/profitability
  • customer loyalyty

Continue reading


Parlor Billiards in The Seattle Times

When a consultant can help somebody achieve not only a business, but a dream, he can know that he’s truly doing his job right. This is the story that is told in this article from The Seattle Times. It is the story of Steve Olson, a dentist and passionate pool player, who worked with the Restaurant Group’s Arnold Shain to realize his long-time aspiration of running his own pool hall. Read about how Shain helped to turn a zest for life and a sincere love of pool into a successful business, and call the Restaurant Group if you would like us to help you do the same.

Read full article HERE


Real Estate Selection

How to make a careful and critical examination of a possible Location for your Brand. How many times have you heard “location, location, location………” It’s TRUE!!

Where do we start? This is in the first interview:

  1. Where: What area(s) do you want to locate your Brand?
  2. Size: What square footage do you want to occupy? How many seats? How large is the kitchen? Answering these two questions will get you started.
  3. Demographics: Who is your target market(s)? Age, income, trend patterns, etc. Other amenities in the area might include residences, retail, offices, and other restaurants.
  4. Affordability: What can you afford in terms of rent and capital investment?
  5. Timing: What is your timeline to be in business?

Then, your broker, Hesch & Shain, finds potential locations Continue reading