The Restaurant Group Blog

Opening A New Restaurant: The Right Way

Opening a restaurant the right way

Is there a wrong way to open a restaurant? Indeed there is, as indicated by the high failure rate of new restaurants.

A popular belief is that 90% of restaurants fail within the first year. Whether this is true or not, no one knows. However, a study by Ohio State University indicated that 60% of new restaurants crumble after the first year, while 80% do not make it past five years.

Such dire statistics beg the question, “What should you do differently?” “How do you start a restaurant and ensure it succeeds?”

First Create a Business Plan and Do an Adequate Feasibility Study

The agreed-upon starting point of all the great businesses is to have a well drawn out business plan followed up by a study to determine if the plan is practical.

Next, Find The Right Partner to Guide You Through Concept Development

“A goal without a plan is just a wish,” said a wise man. Concept development ensures that your restaurant does not stay as merely a wish. It moves you forward by helping you come up with a long-term plan of action that perfectly aligns with your goals.

Essentially, the partner you hire will help you conceptualize your set business goals, trim the unnecessary, and strictly focus on what will guarantee success.

Select The Right Site

The benefits of starting right are well-known. With a new restaurant, picking the ideal location is the starting point that helps ensure you do not become a failure statistic.

You must analyze the demographic data of a location, examine tax data audits from nearby competitors to spot trends and consider security issues. Simply stated, research once, and then do it again and again.

With that done, and convinced you have the perfect location, it is time to consider the next step.

Develop A Restaurant Design That Works

Arguably, this the most exciting step. Beware though, because this is a step that trips many. While you might have an interesting and elaborate design in your mind, it might not necessarily be what’s best for your restaurant.

The best thing is to get an experienced consultant who will help you marry your designs with what the industry demands, and to see what has worked for other successful restaurants.

Create an Attractive Menu

If you’re starting a restaurant, you more likely have a great passion for food. Bring that passion when developing your menu, but also be very deliberate. Be sure you are offering unique menu options that your competitors do not provide.

Opening A New Restaurant The Right Way-TRG Restaurant Consultants Design Development Startup

Contact TRG Restaurant Consultants for assistance with your restaurant startup.

 

Restaurant Trends – Third-Party Delivery Expands among Restaurants

Restaurant Trends - Third-Party Delivery

As Third-Party Delivery Expands among Restaurants, Customer Base Broadens

 

Move over Domino’s, there’s a whole lot of restaurants doing delivery these days. 

A recent Los Angeles Times article about an NPD Group study reports an explosion of delivery by restaurants through third-party aggregators such as UberEats and GrubHub. In fact, the industry has seen a 20% increase over the last five years, according to Warren Solochek, NPD’s senior vice president of industry relations. NPD Group is a market research firm that recently published the study which monitored trends in food delivery between 2012 and 2017.

From the local deli to the big McDonald’s, why are so many jumping on the delivery bandwagon?

Looking at the study, Solochek believes more people are staying home, comfortable on the couch, streaming content all night long. Fewer people seem to want to bother with even fast-food drive-thrus, and restaurants are feeling it. “Restaurants have had to do something to get people to continue to use their product,” Solochek says.

Do the commissions to the third-parties pay for themselves?

Hard to say, yet, but the customer base broadens as people try restaurants they wouldn’t otherwise know about, much less drive out of their way to try. “If a restaurant isn’t in your neighborhood, you may not venture into that restaurant, so with delivery, we’re able to expand a store’s customer base,” said Jessica Lachs, of DoorDash.

Delivery is probably here to stay.

Kate Rogers reports for CNBC in “Postmates generates $1.2 billion since 2017, as on-demand economy heats up,” that this isn’t a trend, and experts like R.J. Hottovy, senior restaurant and retail analyst at Morningstar, believe it is here to stay, especially in urban markets. “I think where delivery works is really a byproduct of the market itself, how densely populated it is and spending patterns of consumers,” says Hottovy. “There’s been a debate over whether this is a fad or not, but I don’t think it’s going away.”

To find out if delivery services are the right addition to your marketing efforts, call or visit us at TRG.

What Restaurants Are Doing to Try and Lure Millennials

Restaurant Millennials

With millennials expected to outnumber baby boomers by 2019, it follows that businesses are desperate to capture and keep the attention of this social media-loving generation. Restaurants are no different.

Just Two Weeks Ago, At the Beginning of This Month, Applebee Released an ASMR Video on YouTube Aimed at Millennials

ASMR is an Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It’s a tingling sensation often experienced at the back of one’s neck when watching or listening to something that affects you deeply.

The video by Applebee is an hour-long video of different proteins sizzling and cooking over a grill. The idea is that consumers will connect with the sounds and visuals of the cooking protein and identify with the brand’s comfort food.

So far, the video has been viewed 4000 times. An executive at the Applebee insists that the only way to capture the attention of millennials is to be a bit different and think of social media from a broader perspective.

Whether it works is a question yet to be answered, so we can only wait and see.

A Restaurant Conference in Chicago Recently Addressed How to Build Loyalty Among Millennial Customers

The Restaurant Revenue Growth Conference via notable speakers attempted to help restaurateurs generate ideas that connect with millennials and are in line with 2018 consumer trends. Numerous restaurateurs attended because they understood how important it is to capture Millennials.

Verdict

Across the United States, restaurants are coming up with different strategies to try and attract the Millennials. Social media is no longer enough, it requires something else, something different.

While the above strategies might not work for you, it’s critical that as a restaurant owner, you find ways to do the same because there is clearly a need for the restaurant industry to capture the attention of Millennials.

 

How to Open a New Restaurant

How to Open a New Restaurant

5 Key Steps on How to Open a New Restaurant

Owning a restaurant can be a good way to make money as an entrepreneur. The constant flow of customers plus the stability the restaurant industry enjoys guarantee continuous flow of revenue throughout the year. Although having a restaurant may look like an easy way to make a living, it takes a great deal of effort, money and time to actually get the business up and running. Here are some crucial tips on how to open a new restaurant.

Develop a Concept

With hundreds of thousands of restaurants existing in the United States alone, it may seem right to think that all ideas have been exhausted and that there is nothing new you can create. This is absolutely wrong.  At TRG Restaurant Consulting, we help clients develop fresh and highly effective concepts for their restaurants. Our experts work to ensure that the concepts conform to the visions of our clients as well as their preferences for location, time, type of menu and style of service. We then research the market, study potential competitors, create a plan of action and prepare a comprehensive report to help our clients smoothly implement the ideas established in the concepts.

Develop a Brand

The brand matters. It is the voice of the restaurant in the market. It tells the story of the restaurant, including its key objectives and what it stands for. At TRG, we help clients create brands that express who they really are and what they believe in. Our branding gives customers a reason to share with others about your restaurant and instills confidence and trust in them. Branding services offered include graphic designs for signage, logo, menu and business cards, and internet marketing.

 Design the Kitchen and Bar

A perfectly designed kitchen and bar create a lot of space for storage, cooking, dining and dishwashing, provide good workflow and help the restaurant comply with health and building codes. TRG Restaurant Consulting experts design kitchen and bars that enhance efficiency, worker productivity and safety. They ensure proper architectural and interior design layout and offer professional installations, equipment selection, food service layout, ventilation system drawings and many more.

 Create a Business Plan

A business plan is an important tool that helps guide decisions in a restaurant. It provides clarity on the key goals of the business, from operations to finance and marketing. Our team of experienced and highly qualified experts provides up to 30 pages of business plans. The plans feature one and five-year profit and sale projections, mission statement, marketing overview and a rough draft of the menu.

 Conduct A Feasibility Study

A feasibility study is a factor an aspiring restaurant owner should consider. It looks at how viable the business ideas are by identifying potential problems and possible successes. At TRG, we conduct a preliminary analysis to screen the ideas established in the concept, conduct market surveys, analyze all relevant data and provide final recommendations to our clients.

Feel free to contact us today for free consultations and comprehensive feedback on our services.

Restaurant Consumer Trends: Dealing With Declining Lunch Sales

Restaurant Consumer Trends - Lunch Sales

Restaurant Consumer Trends

 

At your restaurant, you may have noticed a phenomenon that is definitively occurring nationally: lunch business is sagging a bit more than it used to.

According to market research firm NPD, lunch visits were down 4 percent at the end of the year, a notable decline in a broader context that has restaurant business in general sagging at all times of the day.

Why Lunch is Losing its Luster

Simply put, people have fewer reasons to leave their homes. Busy office workers are turning into busy home office workers, no longer commuting to business districts that tend to support a healthy community of restaurants. Working from home increased 24 percent over the last decade.

On the more casual end, one-time lunch customers who used to work in brick-and-mortar retail are largely moving out of that flagging sector and taking on work as subcontractors. Rideshare drivers, online customer service, and many more options are filling up the economic strata that once had a regular base of workers commuting to the same location every single day.

How to Attract New Lunch Diners

Value is the main driver. Yet diners aren’t looking for the cheapest food possible; fast food restaurants have also seen a decline during this same period because while people are dining out less, they’ve also raised their standards.

Here’s how restaurants can improve their lunch business: Customers want consistent quality, for lower prices. This is a tough proposition for restaurants to meet, but it isn’t impossible. Smaller lunch menus built around the most popular dishes lower overall food costs, streamline kitchen operations, simplify the server’s role, and keep regular customers happy due to all of those facts combining at once.

Focus on serving a few great dishes you know your customers love, cut out the food waste inherent to maintaining a larger menu, and you’ll likely see greater earnings on your lunch business overall.

 

For help with your restaurant contact TRG Restaurant Consultants.

5 Things Every Restaurant Owner Must Know

Open a Restaurant

 

Owning opening a restaurant is a fun and exciting experience. However, there are things that everyone must be aware of going into the business. Here are the five most crucial things every restaurant owner must know before opening.

1. Know Your Concept- To be successful, a restaurant needs a clear concept. Often, people go into the restaurant business knowing what food they like to eat or cook, but fail to have a clear image of things like atmosphere, dining style, and decor. To begin, a restaurant owner must develop a concept statement. A concept statement will include your culinary theme in terms that are broad enough for menu versatility but narrow enough for identity. Next, describe the atmosphere and dining style. Dining styles to consider are buffet, casual, fast food, bistro, cafe, counter service, and fine dining. Finally, your concept will be complete when you choose the decor that provides cohesion of the menu, atmosphere, and dining style.

2. Know Your Customers – Identifying your target market is a crucial step. To do so, you must understand how your restaurant concept will appeal to this group. Think about your customer in terms of demographics like gender, age, race or ethnicity, income level and geographic location. These factors will determine to whom you will market restaurant and help you develop successful advertising campaigns. It will also serve as a guide for you to use as you further develop your concept.

3. Know Your Community – It is important to know the community in which your restaurant is located to best determine hours of operation, peak hours, pricing strategies, and special promotions. If you are located in a bedroom community you could expect to have a larger evening and weekend service, whereas a community of retirees would be markedly different than a college town.

4. Know the Rules – The restaurant business operates under a number of regulations from the health department to regulations involving pay. There will be state and local regulations as well. You must ensure that you are in compliance with all these rules and regulations before you can expect success. A few employment regulations to be aware of are the minimum wage and tips reporting requirement. Depending on the size of your workforce you need to also be aware of human resources issues such as documentation of employees and discriminatory hiring practices.

5. Know Your Bottom Line – Most people that go into the restaurant business, do so for the love of the food, not for the love of crunching numbers. Understanding the business side of things, however, is one of the most important things a restaurant owner should do from the start. If you are new to the industry, taking classes in hospitality management and hiring an experienced management staff are two important first steps.

To learn more about the restaurant and hospitality industry and to discover how we can make your dreams of restaurant ownership a reality, connect with us today.

The Benefits of an Efficient Commercial Kitchen Design

 

Commercial Kitchen Design

Commercial Kitchen Design

The layout and design of your commercial kitchen matters. These are some of the main reasons why it’s worth it to focus on creating an efficient commercial kitchen design for your restaurant.

Make Better Use of Your Space

First of all, depending on the size of your kitchen, you might have very limited space. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to expand or move to another location, however. By putting a focus on setting up your kitchen in a more efficient way, you can make the best possible use of your limited kitchen space.

Get Things Done More Quickly

Getting things done more quickly in your restaurant is important. The faster that you and your employees are able the handle prep work, the faster you can move on to other important tasks. Plus, when you have a restaurant full of customers, you probably want to be able to serve them as quickly as possible. By making your kitchen more efficient, you can get things done a whole lot more quickly. This can help you greatly improve your restaurant and the experiences that your customers have when they dine there.

Make Things Easier for Your Employees

By making your kitchen more efficient, you can make things much easier for your employees. By making it easier for them to get their job done, you can allow them to focus on doing the best job possible. Plus, your employees are sure to appreciate the steps that you take to make things easier for them.

Many restaurants have kitchen set-ups that are less than ideal. By focusing on having an efficient commercial kitchen design, however, you can improve operations in many ways. Luckily, this is something we can help you with. If you would like to find out more about how to make your commercial kitchen more efficient, contact us at TRG Restaurant Consulting. Along with helping to create a more efficient kitchen space, we can help you improve operations in your restaurant in many other ways as well.

For a free consultation on commercial kitchen design and layout contact TRG.

Restaurant Feasibility Study: Why You Need One Now

Restaurant Feasibility Study

 

A restaurant feasibility study is an important step when considering starting a new restaurant. A simple feasibility study could save you time, money, and a huge headache.

What is a Feasibility Study?

A feasibility study evaluates the variables in a particular project, such as starting a new restaurant. The study takes into account the cost of material and labor. However, it doesn’t stop there; this study tries to identify every possible problem that could arise during the project. It inspects the market to determine if it will grow and evaluates the current competition. The study also looks at the business model to ensure that there are no issues with the plan. The study takes into account the skills and resources the investors provide in an attempt to determine if they have the tools to start and run a business. These are just a few aspects of feasibility studies. To see the complete list, visit The Restaurant Group.

Why Should You Get a Feasibility Study

It is important to understand your business plan and the market down to the most minute detail. A feasibility study will likely bring up issues that you didn’t realize were a possibility.

This study won’t just tell you if you have the funds to open a restaurant; it will inform you as to whether or not you also have the resources, tools, and market to open a successful restaurant. This knowledge is invaluable.

Feasibility studies give you the opportunity to be a step ahead of any issues. Solving an issue before it even becomes a problem, sets you up for success.

How to Get a Feasibility Study

If you are starting a new restaurant and want a feasibility study, visit The Restaurant Group to get more information and a free quote.

The Restaurant Group has 7 years of experience consulting with new and established restaurants across the country. This company is detail oriented and dedicated to provided exceptional services. The expertise that The Restaurant Group provides will surely be a vital tool as you begin your new business venture.

10 Key 2018 Restaurant Trends To Look Out For [Part 2]

2018 Restaurant Trends

2018 Restaurant Trends (Part 2)

The restaurant industry is constantly evolving and changing, from marketing to delivery, to service – each segment of the industry has experienced a massive shift. This will continue throughout 2018 and for restaurants to succeed, it is important to keep an eye on what trends are emerging in 2018. Here is part 2 of 2018 Restaurant Trends:

6) Upscale casual atmospheres will be on the rise

Restaurants will need to balance upscale options with casual ambiances going forward as that trend seems to continue full-steam in 2018. While casual upscale dining might sound a little contradictory, it does not need to be.

Restaurants should focus on striking a balance between premium ingredients and offerings while retaining a level of casualness in terms of the restaurant atmosphere itself to provide customers that experience. This could extend to keeping bookings and reservations somewhat casual and allowing for more walk-ins, or with its decor and music choices.

7) Greater focus on aesthetics

In a world driven by social media marketing, restaurants must absolutely focus on the aesthetic value of their food. While that does not mean that quality or innovation needs to take a backseat, but there must be a greater emphasis on presentation and looks of the dishes themselves.

With more users embracing visual platforms such as Instagram to document their experiences, restaurants must consider how to incorporate that into the overall dining for customers.

8) Healthy options for children

With so much focus on the millennial market, many restaurants have overlooked how to make their dining healthier for adults and children. That demographic holds a significant market share, so it is crucial that they are not left ignored.

With the increased importance of healthy food and diet, restaurants should also look for ways to provide children with healthier and creative food options. Parents will appreciate the effort, and that will go a long way in building long-term loyalty.

9) Local wine, beer and alcohol pairings

Alcohol is an important part of menus and many customers enjoy having a local feel with both their dishes and the alcohol they choose to pair it with. For 2018, restaurants should research and look for local options to provide this part of the experience and really innovate on how to showcase the best of what the area has to offer.

Whether it is partnering with local distilleries, wineries or breweries for long-term menu inclusion or even designing pop-up events to showcase local alcohol with food pairings, there are many ways to get creative with this.

10) Greater inclusion for those with dietary restrictions

Many restaurants have dragged their feet when it comes to updating menus to accommodate different dietary restrictions. However, many customers are increasingly choosing to go vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free – just to name a few and that means restaurants must adapt accordingly.

Consider taking a look at menus that have not been updated for a while to see where these options could be fit with existing options. Or consider adding new dishes that will be appealing to this new set of customers and how you can create a great experience for them where other restaurants may not be able to.

 

Contact TRG for your restaurant consulting needs.

10 Key 2018 Restaurant Trends To Look Out For [Part 1]

 2018 Restaurant Trends

2018 Restaurant Trends (Part 1)

The restaurant industry is undergoing a constant wave of change, especially with the evolution of digital technology. From marketing to delivery, to service – each segment of the industry has experienced a massive shift.

This will continue in 2018 and for restaurants to succeed in the new year, it is vital to keep an eye on what trends are beginning to emerge for 2018 and strategize on the best ways to leverage these for individual success. Here are just a few that are sure to dominate 2018:

1) A major focus on sustainability

One major aspect of the business that restaurants must focus on in 2018 is sustainability. Whether it is zero-waste cooking or improved efforts to recycle and reduce waste – sustainability must be at the heart of it.

Not only is it necessary from an environmental point of view, but it is something that greatly resonates with consumers and can be incorporated into the restaurant experience as a whole.

Savvy foodies enjoy knowing that the food they are consuming is created under ethical and sustainable standards and this can be a major force in marketing and advertising as well for restaurants themselves.

2) Constant innovation

The truth is, digital media has contributed to setting much higher standards when it comes to food, presentation and menu innovation among consumers. Customers want menus that have a global feel, a range of diversity and the knowledge that the restaurant itself is dedicated to innovating the food experience.

For some, this might mean incorporating more exotic and different ingredients (this could include grains, powders, and ashes – just to name a few). Or it might mean rethinking menu staples to offer a fresh twist on classic items.

3) A continual embrace of technology

From an operational standpoint, it is imperative that restaurants continuously embrace technology and incorporate it as best as possible for a seamless experience. Automating key parts of the restaurant experience is one facet of this, as is using technology to really understand the core of your business.

There is now a wide availability of data that can be used to improve the consumer experience and that will become a major factor for success for restaurants. Using data and technology to really understand your customers and their preferences, and creating a customer journey accordingly will be a major trend for 2018.

4) Customizing the experience

Whether it is more choices in ingredients or creating an experience through rewards or loyalty program, customization needs to be at the heart of every operation.

Restaurantgoers are now increasingly expecting a level of personal service with their food experience, and restaurants need to able to scale their technology efficiently to deliver on this. This could start from the very beginning of the customer journey when they book their table to when they arrive, but that element of a personal touch must be there.

5) Seamless delivery integration

Speaking of personalization, customers also enjoy a new level of convenience that was not present before. Restaurants should increasingly look for methods to integrate delivery options as well in order to reach wide customer bases.

This might mean partnering with local delivery agents, or even starting with smaller steps to integrate takeaway options for customers as a starting point to see the level of demand for other options.

 

Contact TRG for your restaurant consulting needs.

Interested in Working With The Restaurant Group?

Send a message to set up a meeting with our team

Contact us now