With over 80 years of combined restaurant experience as owners, operators, consultants, authors and educators, W&W Restaurant Consulting Group works with aspiring restaurateurs to create their own successful restaurant concepts.  Their process varies based on each client’s specific needs, but can encompass all or some of the following tasks and processes:

Starting A Restaurant Checklist

Defining the Vision and Concept, Menu Development

  • Are you matching a concept to a location or a location to a concept?
  • Is the vision executable as a viable restaurant concept?
  • Can the concept generate cash flow to support your lifestyle expectation and provide a reasonable return on investment?
  • Is the concept proven (by other similar successful concepts) or are you creating something new and thereby dramatically increasing your risk?  If so, are you willing to accept that increased risk?
  • Does your menu effectively reflect your concept?

 

Funding the Project

  • Do you understand what it will really cost, allowing for professional services, pre-opening rent, deposits, construction costs, F F & E (furniture, fixtures & equipment), branding and pre-opening marketing costs, start-up costs and working capital?
  • Are you self-funding or will you be using bank financing, investors or a combination of both?
  • How long will it take before you’re breaking even and how much money do you need accessible in the mean time?

 

Creating the Business Plan

  • Is your business plan comprehensive and professionally constructed?
  • Is your business plan designed to specifically target the audience you are showing it to (bankers or investors)?
  • Is it a “road map” for you to guide you through the process of opening your doors to the public?

 

Finding the Right Location

  • Have you identified the best local commercial broker to support this effort?
  • Do the potential locations’ demographics support your concept?
  • Are ingress and egress, as well as visibility and accessibility adequate?
  • Are the terms of the lease optimal and acceptable (cost per square foot, length of lease, tenant improvement allowances from the landlord, rent abatement during construction, lease guaranty, etc.)?
  • Can the location’s physical interior attributes effectively accommodate the concept?
  • Are governmental entities going to present obstacles through restrictive codes or ordinances?

 

Constructing the Restaurant

  • How do you identify the best architect and builder?
  • Is your lay-out taking into account the best possible work flow in both the back-of-the-house (kitchen) and front-of-the-house (dining room and/or bar)?
  • Do the finishes (materials and colors) fall within your budget, and do they effectively match your concept’s brand?
  • Is your agreement with your builder (general contractor) clear and specific as to timeline, cost overruns, payment schedule, etc.?

 

Establishing the Strategic Marketing Plan

  • What are your internet and social media strategies?
  • How will you support your brand with colors, graphics, uniforms, etc.?
  • What are your initial short and long term advertising strategies?
  • What is your commitment to community, charitable causes, conservation, sustainability, etc.?

 

Creating the Operational Systems

  • What are the relationships that you establish with vendors to ensure the best service and pricing (including food, beverage, supplies insurance, professional, maintenance, etc.)?
  • How do you set up the daily, weekly and monthly operational routines that ensure consistently excellent operations?
  • What’s the best POS (point-of-sale and cash register) system for your specific concept?
  • Will you outsource your bookkeeping and accounting functions or conduct them in-house?
  • Will you use a payroll service?

 

Building the Team

  • How do you select the right management candidates?
  • How do you recruit your staff?
  • How do you structure your opening schedule and adjust it as you and your team’s level of competency rises?
  • What is the best way to set up training for opening your restaurant?
  • What’s the right way to structure your ongoing training?