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Todays Chef, Tomorrows Restaurateur -- Startup Tips by Restaurant Consultants Inc
Researching information for a recent business plan, I came across an interesting number of 54,000. What is the big deal about that? Over 54,000 new restaurant business licenses were applied for in the last twelve months nationally. That is over 4,500 new restaurant licenses every month, or 90 licenses per state per month.
Out of these 4,500 monthly licenses, I wondered about how many of these new applicants are experienced operators who are really qualified to open a restaurant. As a new restaurant startup specialist, I can sadly attest to the fact that very few of these persons are fully qualified, and as a result, my firm, Restaurant Consultants, Inc. stays busy aiding those who are wise enough to ask for aid in the early stages of a startup restaurant.
The truth is that few people (just starting up) are fully competent at each task in a restaurant. As a new owner operator, you will need to master these skills beforehand-or get help. Frankly, if you do not, you will personally pay the price of being less profitable, and possibly the ultimate price of going out of business. Let us look at a few broad areas where you may need operational assistance:
1. Concept Development: Can you create a concept, position it in the marketplace, and grow the concept through licensing or franchising? What is your exit plan?
2. Pre-opening: Are you able to produce a Feasibility Study, a Business Plan, a Demographic Survey, and schedule the opening around a timetable and budget?
3. Staffing: Are you familiar with employment law, hiring, training, establishing personnel policies and scheduling all of your staff around a budget? Did we discuss management training and development yet?
4. Standards of operation: You will need some operational guidelines to insure that everyone is on the same page. In addition, you will need a personnel handbook with job descriptions. Also, let's not forget the recipe book-with costed out menus, pictures, portions and prices.
5. Purchasing: Can you negotiate with vendors, can you obtain the very best pricing (do you know what the best price is?) and how do you know what your inventory levels should be at for your expected volume?
We have not touched on many other areas including marketing, sales development, cost controls, advertising, promotions, vendor relationships, alcohol management, office management-including accounting, payroll, taxes and other paperwork?and the list goes on.
Here are ten good reasons why you should use a restaurant consultant:
1. Avoid wasting money. Quality prior planning will help you avoid the unexpected.
2. Construction of a Feasibility Study will uncover competition and other barriers to your success. Done in the very early stages, this is your starting point.
3. Creation of a business plan will help you solidify your concept, your plan, and will cement your ideas in a written form-a blueprint for success. This is step two.
4. Become more profitable. Third party feedback is impartial, constructive, and will give you systematic methods on how to improve your operations.
5. Get the right team. Want top-notch people working for you? You will need the right systems in place to get and keep them. Why should they join your team? Quality human resource planning makes a lot of sense.
6. Implement the right systems. Squirrel or Aloha? Is a pre-check system the right one? Yes, these and many other questions will need answers. By getting help, you will save money, time, and heartache.
7. Get the right menu. It needs to be done right the first time. Which items are going to be the most profitable, and where should they go on the menu? Do you know how to fully use your most important selling tool?
8. Large or small projects are OK. You do not need a $6,000.00 project to justify using a consultant. Pricing is based on the size of your project, where you are located, and the nature of the work to be done. Besides, a price quote will not cost you a thing! In virtually every situation, the consulting fees that you pay will be more than offset by your newfound profits and a more efficient operation.
9. Vendor Negotiation. How are you going to avoid paying too much for your food? The author of this article has had major distributor experience as Director of business development. Did you know that you could save a lot of money when your consultant negotiates your food prices on your behalf? He has also owned restaurants and feels your pain when it comes to dealing with vendors. There are right ways to set up these relationships. Do not waste time or money doing it yourself.
10. Most importantly, you will get your restaurant open. Perhaps you have a concept, but lack the time, talent, or interest. We can open it for you! We can work with you side-by-side or simply hand it over to you-ready to go. If you are working now and want to open a restaurant on the "Side", it may make sense to go this route, and simply walk into your new open business. We are flexible, and you are always in the driver's seat.
You have your education, you have real world experience, and it's time to strike out on your own as a restauranteur. Do not go it alone. We are here to help you succeed it one of the toughest businesses around. Take advantage of your resources, and see www.restaurantconsultant.org for free tips on starting your new operation.
*Kevin Moll is the President of Denver based Restaurant Consultants, Inc., and a published author with over 30 years of hospitality experience. His startup services are available worldwide for projects of all sizes. He can be reached at 1-800-961-6005 or visit http://www.restaurantconsultant.org
Everything I Need to Know About Business I Learned From My Nametag
So there I was ? sitting in the audience of an on-campus seminar. Surrounding me sat hundreds of fellow students; each of us wearing one of those little, handwritten, adhesive nametags. When the event was over, we all filed toward the exit. I approached the door and noticed a small trashcan filled to the brim with ripped up, used nametags.
Franchising in The Middle East There Will Bring Significant Opportunity for US Based Franchisors
As stability emerges in the Middle East there will be significant opportunity for the Franchising Community. Arab Franchising appears to be of interest for those seeking economic growth in much of that region of the World. They are more excited about economic expansion than we are in the US. They seem to understand the benefits of many small businesses employing millions of people and rightfully so. Check out this article:
Specialty Advertising in C-Stores
It appears the mini-blimp indoor theme and concept is making significant headway. We have seen them in the halls of Congress sniffing for anthrax. What else can we use them for? C-Stores can use Mini Blimps Advertising and Surveillance to prevent Shoplifting. These can be paid for by beer vendors, soda vendors as advertising signs, which float around the store like a pool sweeper around the family pool. It does not have to be a blimp shape, it could very well be any shape such as a giant banana or a football?
Learning and Growing
As you reflect on this year and prepare for next year, what are the lessons you have learned in business and how do you plan to use those lessons to grow your business in the year ahead?
Its Spring - Time For A Compensation Program Tune Up
Now that winter has passed, the annual ritual of spring cleaning is in full swing. Spring cleaning is more than cleaning the windows and clearing the cobwebs that hid in the corners during the winter. "Spring is a time to take a serious look at your compensation program and begin planning for the next budget cycle. Depending on your organization's fiscal year, it may also be time to determine appropriate market adjustments and pay increases for the coming year," said Michael Maciekowich, National Director, Astron Solutions.
Pressure Washing Aircraft Hangers at the Airport
If you are looking for a way to own your own business using a pressure washer or expand your current pressure washing business you might consider cleaning Aircraft Hangers out at the airport. Why Wash Aircraft hangers? For one it can lead to much more work cleaning all sorts of things at airports which is an encapsulated market. Larger airports have terminal buildings, staging areas, parking structures, fuel depots, retaining walls, security vehicles, airport shuttles, rent-a-cars and of course aircraft. If you get a job cleaning a hanger or several you will be seen by others who need services desperately.
Setting Up a Pressure Washer Rig to Clean Concrete
Maximum efficiency in the cleaning industry is a key to survival and higher rates of income. The trailer or tuck unit needs to be set up so that you can use a garden hose and external water supply, because you never know when you are going to need one for concrete or other types of jobs. Any new rig should also come with quick releases between the tank and the intake tube to the pressure washer. There should also be a valve that is turned so the water is running from the black tank that now holds the external water that comes in if you are running thru an unmodified hot water pressure washer skid unit with a float tank.
Keep TRACK of your Business Relationships and Gain Profits
How do you know when an alliance needs to be monitored and tracked?
Where To Get Money For a Franchise Idea
How often have you thumbed through a business opportunity magazine, noticed a franchise opportunity advertisement, and felt you'd really like to get in on that...if only you had the money? If you're like most who are seeking greater opportunity and wealth, this probably happens with you more often than you care to admit, except perhaps in strictly private conversations.
Franchise Rule to be Revised; Why?
The FTC, Federal Trade Commission, is considering modifying the franchise rule. So far it has be a ten-year process; just imagine working that slow in your business? In 1995, 1997 and 1999 when the comments were first considered and taken in, which spans a ten-year period. When you combine those comments with this current rule making period they may have broken the record for the longest rule making session since voting on the slavery issue; one heck of a long rule making period by any means.
3 Ways To Make Certain Your Business Fails
Most small businesses incorporated in 2005 will fail by the year 2007. No matter the industry or the economic times in which the company was initially conceived, the fact remains that businesses fail on a daily basis due to general lack of knowledge and know-how. What follows are my opinion on three very common methods to ensure not only mediocrity but failure as a business entity in today's world.
Pressure Washing Market Niche
Those who are in the pressure washer business should not neglect the Hotel exterior cleaning niche. Many five-star hotels spend significant dollars in making sure that their grounds are meticulously cleaned. There are also many regular hotels, which take pride in their hotels. It would be wise to have a customized sales letter and/or brochure made especially for this type of service, with follow-up information on your website.
Private Franchising is not Real a Real Franchise
One major issue not being addressed right now in the regulatory definitions which guide consumers and lawyers in business opportunities and franchising is the new term being used; Private Franchising. The Federal Trade Commission decided it would revise its definitions of such opportunities in 1995, but failed to address this issue. The use of the term; Private Franchising has grown over the years.
Why Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Should
As the owner or an employee of a small-to medium-sized business, you might have never thought about media monitoring. Maybe you are not even sure what exactly is meant by this and have thus ignored it so far. But you should take some time to get acquainted with the concept of media monitoring. For companies of every size, it is a crucial tool for market success.
How to Get Started As A Government Contractor
Becoming a contractor or sub-contractor for the U.S. government can bring in lucrative, on-going revenue to your small business. But doing business with the government is very different than typical business-to-business selling.
If You Want To Be Remembered...
Send handwritten notes. That applies whether you're a guy or a gal. It's not about being touchy-feely, it's about maintaining good business relationships with the people you know and the prospects you meet.
Electronic Franchise Disclosure and E-Signature Future for Investors
It has been discussed allowing Franchising companies to electronically disclose franchise documents to the public and prospective franchisees. If the Federal Trade Commission wants to make UFOC information available electronically through email to catch up with the newest technologies then it will get complaints and make up another rule saying no unsolicited UFOC maybe sent through email.
Top 10 Record Keeping Mistakes Business Owners Make (and How To Avoid Them)
If you interviewed business owners of failed businesses, a majority will tell you that they didn't understand or feel comfortable dealing with the "book work". Your ability to understand and perform day to day accounting tasks in your small business is a critical success factor. Here are some tips to help you avoid the most common mistakes business owners make.
Tracking Revenue For MORE Profits
The revenue history is a vital piece of your power page and you need to record that information. Keeping track of client revenues should not be done in a paper format, it should be recorded electronically. It is too easy to make mistakes when calculating by hand, the results of the data entry can then be recorded into your power page. You need to date these numbers as they can change quite rapidly and you will want to know if there is a growth pattern. You will also be aware of diminishing returns and flat areas. Familiarize yourself with how they report earnings because each company has their own unique way of presenting the information to the public or its employees. You are probably asking yourself why you would bother tracking financial earnings of a company you are doing business with, or even one that is not yet a client. Believe it or not, financial information gives hints as to the success of the sales force, the marketing efforts, and the leadership of the executives. The financials can paint a picture that says more than what you are being told. If you still do not believe me, read through the next example.
Truck Wash Business Case Study
Often smart entrepreneurs look for out of the way businesses, things out of the mainstream but businesses, which have a good customer base and steady incomes. This is an extremely interesting story. I had always considered the mobile truck washing efforts to be very profitable and believed that fixed truck washes were a big waste of money. That was until one year when a new franchisee joined our team from Oklahoma City. I run a franchise company called the Car Wash Guys; www.carwashguys.com. Turns out the franchisee was formerly employed by Blue Beacon Truck Washes the largest chain of truck washes in the US. They do about $138,000,000 per year with 80 truck washes and the company is very closely held. Tim our franchisee was a truck manager for them and before buying into our franchise and started washing cars in OKC even though he knows truck washing best. He had a two-year non-compete with his old company, which we have honored in OKC. He has tons of experience and had indicated to me that the business is sound and we should really get into it. Later that year I sold a franchise to a person in WA State who owned car washes (5) and he made a deal with a truck stop on an Indian Reservation, he never started the plan, but the numbers we ran on the spreadsheet looked great and very profitable.
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