The Value Of A Restaurant Consultant In This Economic Climate

The Value Of A Restaurant Consultant In This Economic Climate

Bringing in an experienced restaurant consultant can save money, find money and create money.

Restaurant consultants have long argued that the food and beverage industry is overdue a major adjustment. Relentless growth over the last five years has led to over saturation in the food and beverage sector. In a buoyant market, anyone and everyone can take advantage of sustained high per capita spend on dining out and cover over the cracks of a flawed business model.

In a tougher climate, however, the laws of the jungle apply: only the strongest will survive. Food and beverage businesses are suffering and restaurant consulting services can help to find and ‘fix’ those fundamental flaws these business had previously been able to ignore because customers were spending money. Whether it is poorly thought out concepts, unsustainable leases or a lack of financial control, the recent economic downturn has provided the much needed catalyst that the sector needed to clean up its act and it is restaurant consultants who can provide the experience a management team needs to guide them through these murky waters.

OnSite Consulting expects the economic downturn to enable operators with strong concepts, consumer orientated focus and back of house diligence to survive and prosper and force those who do not, to take a serious look at their business – or suffer the consequences. The economic reality is inescapable and whilst economic doom and gloom has been the flavor of the month for some time, the outlook can be positive with assistance from OnSite.

Arguably, a recessionary environment can provide a platform for innovation and economic growth through entrepreneurialism and creative thinking. This climate provides an opportunity for lateral thinkers and those with entrepreneurial flair to excel. For those operators, a restaurant consultant provides an independent view on how the business can improve – because there are always improvements to be made.

Conversely, those businesses with flawed models who are struggling for any number of reasons can benefit from a detailed review of every element of their business and troubleshooting – indeed their survival may depend on it. How can a struggling venue justify paying a restaurant consultant when cash is tight? We advise our clients, whatever position they find themselves in, to stand back and look at their restaurant from a fresh perspective. We emphasize the need to go back to basics and evaluate each and every revenue stream or cost center from the bottom up. Through this exercise of intense scrutiny, we know that almost all of our clients have the ability to improve or achieve profitability from existing revenues, without reckless and short term promotions that their cash flow cannot sustain, and safeguard the future of their business.

All too often, we see companies implementing strategies with a ’shoot from the hip‘ mentality, without thinking of the repercussions of those strategies. Quick fixes to get customers through the door with too good to be true offers do not solve long term cash flow problems. Whilst labor is always the biggest overhead, getting rid of good staff to the detriment of customer service is also a short term solution which tends to lead to medium term problems.

With experience in dealing with struggling and often insolvent businesses, we are able to provide an emergency review of a business. During a first phase, we can identify immediate cost savings and reduce pressure on a cash flow. Whilst this is critical, equally critical is phase two of our review which entails creating the foundations for that business to run efficiently when we leave.

When we meet potential clients, we discuss ways to save money: vendor negotiations, procurement and inventory systems, dynamic labor recommendations. All too often, these customers simply go back to their business, slash costs and expect the business to right itself. The trouble for such companies is that slashing costs is not the answer. It is one of many benefits our services provide to immediately relieve the pressure however it is the ability to maintain this change and tighten up procedures that is a consultant’s value.

When we cross the road, we are taught to ‘stop, look and listen’ before we do so. Fixing a business should carry the very same message.  OnSite avoids short-termist strategies and focuses on the fundamentals of the business; a bespoke review of profitability, efficiency and sustainability.

This market is providing restaurant operators with an opportunity to revisit their business and conduct an audit from the ground up, identifying wasteful cost centers and untapped revenue opportunities. A good consultant is someone who walks in the door with information, teaches it to the client and leaves that wisdom behind. An experienced consultant can also save money, find money and create money and it is these benefits that OnSite’s clients capture by bringing us on site.


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