Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy New Year News.

Happy New Year. I hope for all that this will be a profitable new year in the restaurant business, especially. This year will be full of challenges but also full of unbelievable opportunities. Prices have come down on everything related to the restaurant business if you are a good negotiator. Landlords have considerably reduced the rental rates, equipment suppliers are writing packages well under the percentage rate that they are accustomed to, the cost of construction materials have dropped along with contractors costs. Like the housing market, if you have the money, there are extraordinary deals out there for you restaurant entrepeneurs.

The casual, fast casual and fast food segments of the food service industry have remained fairly strong throughout the country. We work with great companies like Hooters. Their revenues are staying strong. White-tablecloth is struggling a bit. They rely on white-collar big business for much of their weekday clientele.

There are ways of raising money to open a restaurant. The main thing is to have a great business plan to present to perspective investors, banks, landlords and leasing companies. In the business plan you must have a clear vision of your concept, a concept drawing and at least 3 years of financial projections. Because of the glutton of space available your land lord is a great source of money.

A few things we know for sure:
1. People are going to continue to eat. The casual sector of the food service industry will stay strong.
2. Rent and services can be negotiated to receive exceptionally good values.
3. If operated frugally, the restaurant and food service industry is extremely profitable. I know this may sound crazy but this is the time to open a restaurant.

I would love to encourage all to participate in our restaurant consulting blog. I would like for this to be a forum for the exchange of ideas. We are all in this together. There are so many wonderfully talented people in our industry. Your input can be valuable to someone's success as well as your own.

We will be starting our series on restaurant design trends starting this Monday. I look forward to a fun year.

Frank Stocco