National Restaurant Consultants in Frederick, Maryland

NRC works with client in historic building turned microdistillery

By Sarah Ann Noel - July 17, 2019

National Restaurant Consultants president David Kincheloe has been on the ground in Frederick, Maryland, via Washington, D.C., working on a new, exciting restaurant project in this historic building. The restaurant will revive a creekside building that's long remained empty and unused, preserving its historic charm, and including a microdistillery as well.

Chris Kline, Jr. of the commercial real estate company Cline Scott Visco says, "My feeling is that these are the projects that are smart growth. We are using old buildings and bringing new life into them."

The project has sparked a lot of conversation among the Frederick community, but National Restaurant Consultants is equipped to guide the clients through the many different pieces of the process. You can read more about the project in the Frederick News Post.

If you want help navigating your new restaurant project, contact a restaurant consultant today.

Last Minute Fourth of July Ideas

If Independence Day sneaked up on you, National Restaurant Consultants has ideas for quickly getting in the spirit.

By Sarah Ann Noel - June 30, 2019

This week marks the Fourth of July in the United States, a celebration of our nation's independence, and all the freedoms we enjoy, from New York to Los Angeles, from sea to shining sea! We know there are huge celebrations being held in Denver, Phoenix, Chicago, and New York, not to mention all of the wonderful parties and festivities that will happen in every small town across America.

Though it's not a holiday with it's own "season", it's definitely one that people get into. From cookouts and special drinks to parades and fireworks, the celebratory spirit is palpable, and as a restaurant, your business can benefit on this day.

But if this day is "sneaking up" on you, fear not. Our restaurant consultants rounded up some last minute tips that will have you quickly prepared to lavish some patriotism on your guests over the long holiday weekend. 

First, dress up your cocktail and happy hour menus with these red, white, and blue drinks

No need to make major changes to your menu. Most people are on the hunt for all-American comfort foods on this day. But for some last-minute bites, take a look at this HGTV round-up.

Turns out, for celebratory desserts, all you need is a quick trip to the farmer's market. America the beautiful grows her own patriotic sweet treats, like this berry partfait and this flag-inspired toast.

If you want to add a little splash of patriotism to your restaurant decor, try these simple Popsugar solutions

Last but not least, put everyone in the mood with Spotify's top songs for Fourth of July!

Being festive and celebrating with your guests doesn't have to be tricky or expensive. It's important to remember that a restaurant is a great place for people to come together in celebration, and part of good service is facilitating that. For more ideas for fostering community in your restaurant, contact a restaurant consultant today!

Photo by Ryan Wong on Unsplash

Why You Need a Restaurant Consultant

National Restaurant Consultants offers many services and resources

By Sarah Ann Noel - June 25, 2019

Owning your own business can be overwhelming, for a number of different reasons. Owning a business in the hospitality industry comes with a myriad of particular challenges. National Restaurant Consultants has two offices, in Denver and Phoenix, but we travel worldwide to work with restaurants on any and all of these obstacles or concerns.

So how do you know you need a restaurant consultant? For starters, if you're starting-up, you might want some guidance straight out the gate. There's a steep learning curve to opening a restaurant, and your chances for success are much greater with an expert's help from the get-go. We have specific consulting goals and programs when working with restaurant startups, and you can read about our services for new businesses here

If you're an established restaurant--and even if you've had much success--that doesn't mean that you couldn't benefit from working with a restaurant consultant. We offer a number of additional services that could boost your business with efficiency, number crunching, and increased profits. Our Operations Analysis really kicks off this process, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your business, as well as next steps.

Perhaps you've been in business for awhile, but it's not going well. There's an assessment and action plan for that--and our consultants know what they're doing! We can turn your restaurant around. Or if that's not the option you want, our President David Kincheloe has written a white paper on tips for selling your restaurant

Whatever the concern, our restaurant consultants have you covered. Read our full services list here, and also checkout our other helpful resources. Ready to take the leap? Contact a restaurant consultant now!

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

The Best Food Events of Summer 2019

Our restaurant consultants will travel for food! Will you?

By Sarah Ann Noel - June 19, 2019

If you're serious about your food, then this is the blog post for you. Our restaurant consultants are fascinated by the idea of road-tripping--for food! Thankfully, Denver's 5280 Magazine had a similar interest this year, and they rounded up some of the best food events in the west in this article, 6 Road-Trip Worthy Food Festivals.

Certainly, being based in Denver and Phoenix, we are partial to the west; but food abounds across this great country, and if you've got an itch to hit the road, we found some other food events that would make excellent destinations: For a second opinion, here is a list of the 10 Best Food Festivals in the whole country! Happy food-vacationing! 

National Restaurant Consultants works with premiere food spots all around the United States and internationally. For more information, contact a restaurant consultant today.

Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash

Cherish: Farm Fresh Eatery

East Valley Connect checks out Cherish in Arizona with National Restaurant Consultants' Jared Flowers

By Sarah Ann Noel - June 10, 2019

A few months ago, we were able to share notes and photos of our recent Arizona project, Cherish: A Farm Fresh Eatery. Recently, East Valley Connect collaborated with our restaurant consultant, Jared Flowers, to take you inside what makes this place wonderful and unique.

Enjoy the video--and for more information or to speak with a restaurant consultant, contact us here.

New Restaurants in Windsor, Colorado

National Restaurant Consultants comments on analyzing a market for new restaurants

By Sarah Ann Noel - June 5, 2019

In a recent Coloradoan article, Stacy Miller, Windsor's economic development director, expresses concerns over their polarized restaurant market. While the town boasts restaurants that draw crowds from Denver and beyond--hotspots like nationally-recognized Chimney Park and The Hearth, by the same owner--this destination dining is limite for Windsor's full-time residents.

Miller states that the issue is attracting casual, family-friendly sit-down restaurants that are go-to spots for Windsor locals, whether for an easy business lunch or a worry-free family dinner.

In the article, Miller descibes the issue like this:

"It's a conundrum why we can't get more" sit-down restaurants, Miller said. 

According to a consultant's economic study, Windsor loses an estimated $19 million a year in sales tax revenue from people who dine out of town. Much of that revenue goes north to Fort Collins or south to Loveland, cities with robust food cultures.

"We have a lot of fantastic restaurants that are creative and have wonderful chefs; people come from all over to go there," Miller said. "But every week somebody ... talks to me about getting a restaurant in Windsor." Despite longstanding efforts, Miller has been unable to nab the perfect fit.

And The Hearth chef, Jason Schaeffer agrees. "Our research told us there was plenty of disposable income ... and retail leakage was in the millions (of dollars)," he said. "So people are driving out of town to go to dinner elsewhere. That's why we decided to open Hearth." 

So what does it look like when a town wants to expand its existing food and hospitatlity market?

"Understanding what a market potential can handle in terms of number of restaurants, particularly in a smaller community can pose many questions and often limited answers," says National Restaurant Consultants CEO Richard Weil. "These answers truly lie in the demographics of the community and the propensity of attracting the nearby markets to frequent new and enticing restaurants. There are no right or wrong answers, but certainly caution for new restaurant owners to be sure that the restaurant in the smaller community can differentiate itself from the norm and other popular restaurants."

Regardless of the concept, the quality of food, or the perfected restaurant environment, restauranteurs should, first and foremost, understand the market they're movig into and how to make it a good fit. Our restaurant consultants are experts in this field and can conduct market studies for restaurant startups. Contact a restaurant consultant today.

Photo by Benjamin Zanatta on Unsplash

Last Minute Menu Changes

Why being flexible with your spring menus will work in your favor

By Sarah Ann Noel - May 23, 2019

Spring can be a tricky time. Our Denver offices have been getting snow all week, under overcast skies--an intense storm that's been somewhat unusual, even for Colorado's unpredictable weather. Our friends in New York broke out their winter gear on their way to a restaurant event last week, but now the sun is shining. And though the rumor is that California weather is always nice, it unexpectedly rained in Los Angeles yesterday. No one is safe from the fickle spring.

While our restaurant consultants are big advocates of the seasonal menus, which are both more appealing to guests and cost effective, we believe these same benefits apply to some small menu flexibilty. Though the supermarkets are currently filled with fresh summer produce, Colorado residents are still looking for "hibernation foods"--warm drinks and soups and hearty entrées. 

This is a thing to keep in mind when creating your special menus. If you've got an unexpected snowstorm plaguing what locals are expecting to be a bright and sunny spring day, capitalize on that and whip up a filling chili or bake a dense bread. Be a beacon of warmth, when that's what people need. 

This works outside of Colorado snows, as well. Is the rain unending where you are? Brighten up your menus--and your guests' days--with colorful cocktails on happy hour, reminiscent of the summer sunshine hopefully to come. When it does come and the heat and drought are unbearable, craft refreshing plates of watermelon and fresh lemonades to cool everyone down. 

It's excellent to have a sustainable, dependable, cost-effective plan for your menu; but remember that there is a lot of benefit in being relevant to the times, too. For more questions, contact a restaurant consultant today. 

Ben's Friends

National Restaurant Consultants takes a look at alcoholism and recovery in the restaurant and hospitality industries

By Sarah Ann Noel - May 16, 2019

Our restaurant consultants in Denver and Phoenix have worked in the industry all around the world, including in New York, Los Angeles, and Denver establishments where food is a popular attraction and the nightlife is prime. Anyone familiar with the work of the late Anthony Bourdain knows of the darker side of the restaurant industry--the stress, the hours, and the substances restaurant workers may turn to to alleviate these hardships. 

Recently, our CEO Richard Weil stumbled upon a related article on Poached, about alchoholism and recovery in the restaurant industry. It sheds light on the use of alcohol among restaurant employees.

"After a long and busy shift, blowing off steam can be a necessity and for a long time, turning to alcohol has been an easy option. In some ways, it’s just natural in our industry since we’re always around it: we serve alcohol all day, we traditionally get a shift drink after every shift and we work odd hours where only a few establishments remain open by the time we clock out — most of which are bars," writes Ashley Lange.

It makes it easy to see the why and how behind restaurant employees' alcohol use; but the next question is, what can be done about it?

Thanksfully, Lange's Poached article offers up a great solution: a support group known as Ben's Friends. 

"Ben’s Friends participates in the conversation on alcohol and substance abuse in the Food and Beverage industry by creating a safe space for those in recovery and offering support through acceptance, dialog and community," says Lange. 

Her article goes on to encourage restaurant owners and managers to keep an eye on things.
"As a restaurant owner or manager, there are constructive ways to encourage a healthier lifestyle for your employees and it can all start by laying out expectations and not turning a blind eye when you notice an employee who is drinking on the job, clocking on intoxicated, or even frequently showing up hungover. In instances like this, Bakst believes having an open conversation is a great start to being supportive."

Please take time to read the full article here, and you can learn more about Ben's Friends here. Our restaurant consultants are experts in restaurant operations, a lot of which is reliant on dependable, healthy employees. Contact a restaurant consultant today to help make sure your staff is at its best.

Photo by Michael Discenza on Unsplash

Employee Retention in the Hospitality Industry

National Restaurant Consultants is teaching their clients how to be better employers

By Richard Weil - May 7, 2019

National Restaurant Consultants president David Kincheloe's friend Brent Tilson published an article in Forbes Books online, addressing the importance of hospitality businesses working to retain their staff.  Tilson noted, “Over three million employees have left their jobs voluntarily every month since June 2017, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Keeping good employees is becoming harder and harder for employers, and retention is at an all-time low.”

At National Restaurant Consultants we have been working with our clients across the country to become better employers. How you treat your employees matters! Tilson wrote, “in 2018 over 40 million employees quit their job and the vast majority of new hires are quitting their current jobs and moving to the new opportunity”. 

Why are these employees leaving? Staff members aren't quitting their jobs--they are quitting their managers or owners of the restaurants. It is well published that bad management is the number one reason people leave. Employees surveyed by UDEMY responded that 56% of the time, they feel their managers are not qualified to lead; and 60% survey believe managers need managerial training. This study further indicates lack of management training, interpersonal skills, and poor organizational hierarchy and protocols. 

National Restaurant Consultants can review your management's organizational alignment and create customized training solutions to help your management team become better leaders. Your ability to attract and retain quality staff, improve your overall guest service, and employ the type of management that truly leads, will result in reduced expenses of staff turnover and the eventual increase in profits and cash flow your restaurant needs. Contact a restaurant consultant for help!

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash


Death & Co. in Denver

National Restaurant Consultants visits this NYC hotspot, bound next for LA

By Sarah Ann Noel - May 1, 2019

What began in the East Village of New York City has made its way to Denver, and our restaurant consultants were pleased to finally stop by Death & Company last weekend to take in the grandeur of the setting and sample the newly refreshed cocktail menu. With an ambiance of luxury and mystery, D&C offers a broad book of housemade cocktails, organized flavor profiles, rather than by specific liquors. 

We sampled the Sister Ruby--creamy, sweet, and topped with cocao nibs--as well as the Good Enough Gatsby, perfectly crisp with pear-infused brandy, cinnamon, and an aloe leaf. The cocktails are thoughtful, from construction to presentation, delighting all of the D&C guests (including non-drinkers, as there are many mocktails available as well). Of course, this makes sense considering the release of their cocktails book, Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails

Located in the lobby of RiNo's Ramble Hotel, Death & Co also serves up a varied food menu, offers weekend brunch, and stays open late. 

Death & Co is bound for Los Angeles next, and we feel their presence in Denver is proof of the still burgeoning food scene of our home city. To see more delightful cocktail presentations and learn a bit more about Death & Co, visit their Instagram.

Our restaurant consultants enjoy sampling new and exciting restaurant locations to keep a finger on the pulse of what's happening in the industry. Contact a restaurant consultant today to see what we can do to bring your restaurant in-line with the current, most popular practices and trends.

Image via Death & Co website.