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Restaurant Consultancy Jobs: What Should You Know?

Restaurant consultants are professionals who are hired by owners of food establishments to fix mistakes, improve systems and provide solutions that can prevent their business from closing down. As a consultant, you will not only be responsible for providing your expertise to improve different departments in the restaurant, but also make sure the venture is a success.

On this blog post here I am explaining how to hire a restaurant consultant. 

Some of the services that are involved in restaurant consultancy jobs include the following:

Pricing Menu Items

Restaurant menu

Balancing portion control with food costs can result in a productive menu for a restaurant. A restaurant consultancy job description will also require this skill for obvious reasons. Your aim should be to create a price point for the menu that can keep costs down while increasing sales simultaneously.

As a restaurant consultant, you should have the insight, experience and knowledge to help the owner pick and choose menu items that are affordable to make and meet customer expectations as well. Plus, the menu cannot be too long or too short. A long menu can place undue pressure on kitchen staff and inventory and if it is too small, you will sacrifice dish diversity.

Additionally, you will also be expected to hire skilled chefs who can make the menu come to life, from preparation to plating. To ensure that the chef does not go overboard or under delivers, you will also need to guide him/her on food costs per portion to ensure the menu remains affordable, yet profitable.

If after your meeting with the chef and the owner, the price of the menu items is still too high; your job is not over yet. At that point, you will have to determine if the establishment’s target customers will be willing to spend that amount. If you think they will be willing to do so, you will be responsible for telling the owner to include the pricey item on the menu and the reasons behind it. 

Determining Financing

As a restaurant consultant, you will also be responsible for evaluating how a restaurant is performing in terms of finances. This will involve a thorough understanding of its cash flow statement, cost of labour, sales and its profit and loss outlook. At this point, you need to evaluate the data and determine solutions and systems that can keep the restaurant performing.

This includes setting financial goals, determining options for investment, figuring out where the owner can get the money to finance those endeavours and keeping your eye on overall finances. Your aim should be to create a budget for the restaurant that will help you create a 5 year plan, ensuring the restaurant remains afloat.

This will include determining:

    Cost of the interior decor
    Space allocation costs for functional areas of the restaurant
    The budget for the bar, kitchen equipment and machinery
    Administration expenses
    Revenue projections as per costs and expected occupancy
  • Accounting system for the restaurant as per others in the area
  • Profit and loss account
  • Cash flow statement
  • Staff planning
  • Mitigation plan and risk analysis
  • Sales forecast
  • Balance sheet for the restaurant

Among other tasks that will allow restaurant owners to determine the capital they need to build up and generate from the business.

Besides these two main aspects, restaurant consultancy job descriptions may not mention some aspects that a consultant will be expected to provide. For instance, you may be asked to provide solutions for the interior decor, the design of the menu cards, branding and social media marketing as well. 

Recommendations for Novice Restaurant Consultants

Keep Stress at Bay by Keeping an Open Mind

If this is your first time providing consultation services to a restaurant, keep in mind that it is a learning process. If you allow the expectations of the owner, kitchen staff and diners to overwhelm you, you won’t be able to sufficiently tackle each problem.

Create a flexible plan after you are done talking to the owners and after you determine what the establishment needs to come out of its financial crisis. An unwavering point of view or plan may derail the business. Be prepared to tackle changes and most importantly, take your client’s needs into account when you are creating a plan.

Work With, Rather Than Against Your Client

Massimo Montone, Restaurant Keys | From Inception to Launch, Full Service Consultancy, Helping Investors, Brands and Operators Unlock The Full Potential of Their Hospitality Ventures

You will stress out if you cannot handle the fact that your ideas may not be what the owners are looking for. If someone asks you to ‘fix’ their restaurant but has no idea how to go about it or offers solutions that can do more harm than good, be diplomatic in your response.

Yes, even if you have experience fixing other restaurants and the client is a new restaurant owner, try to work with him/her. You will gain nothing by butting heads. You will be doing your client a great disservice. Without the owner’s involvement or insight, the work you do manage to accomplish will only take weeks to disappear and their money will be wasted.

To avoid this scenario, interview the client thoroughly and ensure he/she is willing to adopt any changes you propose. That way, the owner/client will have a team and a system in place that will keep his/her restaurant profitable long after you leave. In other words, ensure you collaborate with them so both of you can come up with sustainable solutions. 

The Bottom Line...

Of course, if after countless meetings you are unable to meet the client in the middle regarding their needs, do not hesitate to walk away. Chances are your solutions will be discarded as soon as you leave anyway. A restaurant consultancy salary will not be worth the heartbreak.

Do you want to know more? Browse through our blogs to receive more trade secrets. You can also hire our restaurant consultants for professional assistance. 

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About the Author

Massimo’s career has grown up through the restaurant world, starting as a waiter through to high-end restaurant openings within an operational management capacity. This depth of experience has allowed him to understand the business from both a guest’s needs to what a team needs, giving him the benefit of an all-rounded view and approach to problem solving.