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How To Choose The Best Consultant For You

Define The Problem and the Type of Consultant You Need

There are many types of restaurant consultants who advise operators in virtually every area of the business.To identify the type of consultant needed first requires accurately defining the problem or identifying the role you want an adviser to play.

Decide on Your

Definition of Success

How should the restaurant look and act or what will you have in your possession when the consultant leaves? What changes should have taken place? What would be the financial effect of a successful consulting engagement?

Begin a Preliminary Search

The goal of this step is to locate different consultants who appear to be qualified to assess the problem.  A great source is a referral from your business colleagues. Find out who they have used in similar situations and if they were happy with the consultant's performance.

Find Someone Local

This is very important decision to make during the selection process, as a local person will know the competition and the market well.  A national consultant will come packed with experience, but may have a short term disadvantage during the market analysis, which is something that may be overcome.

Select Someone Experienced

Although it may cost more, you get what you pay for.

Make sure the consultant you select has a good history and knowledge of your type of business. Establish whether the results are obtainable in a timely fashion.

Conduct a "Face to Face" Interview

This is very important to do before making a big decision like this.  While you can accomplish a lot over the phone, there is no substitute for a face-to-face meeting. Insist on it even if it costs you something for them to see your restaurant and visit you in person.

Ask For Previous Work History and Their Portfolio

Don't be afraid to ask to see some of their previous work.  Photos and systems should be available for viewing. 

Request a Written Proposal

A professional-looking, well-written proposal is a good sign you're dealing with a good consultant.  A proposal should contain these basic elements:Objective, Scop of Services, Qualifications, Fees, Expenses & Payment Schedule

How To Limit A Consultant's Time

Keep in mind you are paying for the restaurant consultant's time. As a
result, try not to waste his time by withholding information necessary to complete the project. A client who helps the consultant use his time wisely usually ends up with a superior work product at a lower price and in less time.

An Important Decision That Requires Some Thought

The decision to bring a consultant into your company is an important one. Some restaurant situations are tailor-made for a good consultant. They can save you time, money and help you solve nagging problems. But like anything in business you need to enter into the consulting process with your eyes wide open, aware that the ultimate success of the project depends on your ability to accurately evaluate your circumstances, choose the right people to help and then manage the process through to completion.

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