We are consultants, and unfortunately this title is often a pejorative in our industry. The truth is that much of the impact most consultants have on a restaurant exits when they do. They merely served as a band-aid in lieu of much needed leadership. The changes don’t last, and the venue usually returns to their original ways, only now saddled with additional debt. It also doesn’t help that many jobseekers pad gaps on their resume with “consultant” which signals “unemployed” to more than a few hiring managers. It has a bad name – and justifiably so.
At their worst, consultants are like travelling faith healers, who promise they can cure ailments. They might believe in their abilities, but they don’t stick around long enough to see if they work. We at Korgen have met plenty of restauranteurs who previously hired consultants who had little lasting impact on their businesses. Because of this, they view consulting services with understandable skepticism.
There is zero value in merely pointing out issues. You do not require an alarm. You need measurable strategies, focused on long term solutions. This understanding is what makes Korgen Hospitality unique.
The following is what you can expect from us...
Initial Meeting: In order to determine if it is a fit, an initial conversation is scheduled in person with you. Usually lasting one hour we take notes and ask questions pertinent to your concerns (For example, if you are experiencing high COGS, we would ask about food/beverage bibles, vendors, staff testing, projected percentages, waste, etc.). If both parties are interested, we will schedule time for a member of Korgen to be in the restaurant. We follow up our meeting with an email of our notes to make sure we are tracking the same goals.
Observation: This is an opportunity to connect your concerns with how the restaurant functions. Meant to be as unobtrusive as possible, we will assess multiple areas (host stand, bar service well, expo, busser station) from a short distance. This is the time tor get a feel for the overall guest experience. Once again, notes are provided to you immediately upon completion.
Proposal: This is the time to determine what we can do to help and where our business model begins to diverge from other consultants.
1. We provide a detailed plan, catered specifically to your concerns. Much like a restaurant, you are provided the proposal, and like a menu, are encouraged to pick-and-choose the services you feel you need -- all with transparent pricing. The initial meeting, observation, and proposal are free.
2. Some of our services are complimentary. These might include beverage ordering software (as we can introduce you to a free service), online review training or helping to source managers.
3. We only charge for what is measurable. A common request from an owner is to “improve service.” The challenge is, how is improvement determined? Is this based on your online reviews, secret shopper scores, tip averages or simply manager opinion? All of these are subjective at best and do not clearly show whether our services have an impact. There are systems we can help implement (improved hiring and training, revisited staff manuals and ongoing education, elevating management table touching), but charging just for “better service” is impossible.
4. We only charge for what is likely to continue once we exit. This is the toughest part and often dependent on the management in place. Although we offer a myriad of analytic services which provide useful financial data (COGS calculation, product mixes, P&L reviews, etc.), so much is predicated on having talented FOH/BOH management. If a capable, yet underperforming manager is there, we will provide targeted training to ensure they continue building on the improvements we make and charge accordingly. If a qualified manager does not exist, we help owners navigate the hiring process. .We can monetize training a manager, but helping to hire one is a wild card for which we do not charge. This includes helping to interview potential candidates and post available openings on our social media. (Note: Although we are glad to help with your search, we are not a recruiting firm.)
5. We stay connected even after the contract is complete. There is no value to either of us if your restaurant slips. We make ourselves available to management and ownership for phone consultation long after the contract has ended, based on mutual availability.
Billing: Once you select your menu of services, we require 50% up front. The other half will not be paid until we sit down upon completion and you acknowledge everything was accomplished to your expectations. If you are not pleased with our work on a particular service, then you will not pay for that portion. That is no different than in a restaurant;: a guest not being charged for a dish they didn’t enjoy. Much like a table touch, we continually check-in with you throughout the process, provide progress reports, and gauge your ongoing satisfaction with our performance.
These are the reasons Korgen Hospitality is unique in the world of consultants. We look forward to chatting with you soon.