[Concept Assessment + Development]
Our track record in running restaurants, our expert knowledge of demographics and trends, and our extensive network in the industry makes us the ideal team to assess and develop your projects. Bring us in early in the process, and we can vet restaurateurs for you, finding the right conceptual and practical fit. Who better to screen talent, after all, than restaurateurs who have done it many times over, at the highest level, and for more than three decades?
Very often the difference between the restaurants that succeed and the restaurants that struggle comes down simply to a matter of acquiring and keeping talent. Our connections in the industry are extensive, stretching across the country and the world, a result of the contacts we have built up over more than three decades in the industry. As a result, we often hear about chefs, sous chefs, GMs and assistant GMs who are looking to leave their jobs long before this knowledge becomes public. We have placed top-tier talent at every level, from Michelin-starred dining to neighborhood bistro to diner.
[P&L Analysis + Debt-Relief Strategies]
By all means butcher that animal yourself and use every last scrap — but if the rest of your operation isn’t every bit as efficient, you’re not primed to succeed. From contract management to labor optimization to P&L review, our Money Man does it all. If you’re a restaurateur, he can tell you where a chef is losing you money, or confront your landlord to tell him your rent needs renegotiating. If you’re a landlord, he can work with you in the planning stages, to make sure your investment is going to bear out.
[Service Training + Systems Optimization]
In an era when maitre d’s have become relics, the service staff is the public face of the operation. Unfortunately, most restaurants are too stressed in the weeks prior to opening to properly equip the men and women they have just hired with what they need to succeed; and after opening night there is often not enough time to attend to details. We offer, in effect, a training camp — a week of seminars and practice runs, with a focus on telling the story of the restaurant at every stage of the meal, thereby allowing managers and chefs to deal with other important business.
We are masters at making dishes pop. But deliciousness is seldom enough in an era driven more than ever by photographs and videos, and one in which every diner is a potential critic. Chefs emerge from our intensive program with the knowledge and skills to approach each and every plate as though it is a contribution to the conversation. As well, they learn to bring to their menus the same vibrancy and storytelling immediacy as they exhibit on their plates.
A diagnostic to identify operational flaws in the kitchen team. Setting up at the pass during the dinner rush, our chefs and critic sample dishes in the heat of the moment. Afterward, we sit down with the chef for a session of candid and constructive feedback. We’re not adversaries in the kitchen; we’re advisors, in the manner of the cutman for the boxer, there to bolster, edit, and offer strategies for survival.
Partly because of millennials, and partly because people are drinking the trophy wines less and less, wine lists are a-changing. With an assist from our staff sommelier, we will craft you a leaner, more evocatively written list, one that will reinforce the narrative, enable you to engage more directly with your guests and, yes, sell more wine, too.
Why do some restaurants get reviewed while others, even those of greater merit, don’t? Why do certain establishments crop up again and again in stories in food sections, blogs, and magazines, long after they have opened? Not because they are good, but because they are relevant. Because they have a narrative. We are experts in the art of narrative, and can help you to create a memorable and convincing one.
[Secret Shopping + Critic-Proofing]
What if you could get a review of your restaurant that takes a comprehensive critical look at all aspects of your operation — but that is for your eyes only and is never published? Our one-of-a-kind service is ideal for restaurants on the verge of opening, as well as for those that are in transition (new chef, new concept, menu change).
[Marketing Campaigns + Social Media Initiatives]
Combining the best of what is new (new media technologies and platforms) with the best of what is old (time-honored narrative techniques), we create unique content streams that get you into the conversation. And we will help to keep you there by showing the world that you are not just another place with food and drink; you are a content producer, a media entity, one that entertains and educates in addition to serves.