Synergy Restaurant Consultants Develops Food Program For World’s Largest Women’s University

January, 2010

Synergy Restaurant Consultants recently met the challenge of creating an amazing array of food service venues for the world’s largest women’s university, a $4 billion school now being constructed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The immense campus is being developed over 25 million square meters, an area roughly the size of downtown Atlanta, GA. Within each of six colleges there will be numerous dining experiences designed to promote student interaction and indulge in cuisines from around the world. Additionally, as would be the case on any campus, the Student Union will have a major food emporium offering numerous cafes, food court style outlets and interactive cooking stations.

But, it doesn’t stop there. Synergy Restaurant Consultants also crafted concessions stations for two stadiums, dining areas for a convention/conference facility, Food facilities for student dorms, teaching staff housing, and executive offices for each college staff were individually designed. Even each college Dean has individual dining amenities. Education may be the university goal, but Synergy knows that food fuels colleges.

The Synergy Restaurant Consulting team played an integral role in developing the food programming, detailing all the foodservice venues relative to size, meals to be served, menu direction and overall concept. Synergy interfaced with design consultants regarding the development of the initial block planning regarding all foodservice facilities and the commissary.

Synergy Restaurant Consulting Managing Partner, Dean Small explains their concept solution. “The entire facility is supported by a central commissary thereby allowing for consolidation and efficient distribution of supplies to all the university facilities.”

Small continued.  There were challenges with gender issues within the culture that had to be addressed.  “This is a totally different culture with strict rules that had to be addressed and integrated into the various restaurant designs. Because female students and staff members must be segregated from male workers, the main university campus buildings are elevated, with the vast majority of support services, delivery access points, etc, occurring in the lower areas of the campus, almost underground as it were. The university campus areas are ‘ringed’ by a transportation ‘commuter’ system allowing students to more easily move about the massive facility. It was by far one of our most challenging assignments.”

Even with the restrictions there was room for creativity, a Synergy hallmark. There is the Casbah Café, a full service Moroccan restaurant the melds culture, décor and the exotic flavors of North Africa as well as the Euro Bistro, a sophisticated and whimsical design featuring an eclectic menu inspired by combinations of American, French, Italian and Greek cuisines.

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Sound Restaurant Business Plan

January, 2010

A Restaurant Business plan is a professional written document that describes the business that any operator wants to start, raise venture capital, and how to attract angel investors  and how it will become profitable when written correctly.

Business plans begin with a statement outlining the purpose and goals of any already existing business or start up and entails to show how the business owner and entrepreneurs to realize those goals, including a detailed marketing strategy.

A detailed business plans also contains a formal profit-and-loss projection and cash-flow analysis designed to show that if the business develops as expected, it will make money. The structure, content and format of business plans will depend on your idea and intended audience.

If you’re trying to raise finance from VC (venture capitalists), either corporate investors or angel investors, your business plan needs to show solid financial data and market research in a professional, polished package in chronological order.

Throughout the writing of your restaurant business plan you have to keep in mind your intended audience and why you are writing the plan.  Whats more important is that the plan outlines some specifics:

  • Type of market that you’re in – fast food, burgers, tacos, lobsters, etc..
  • Specific Food Industry – teriyaki chicken is popular in the northwest compared to the mid west
  • Customers – what does your customer want in the local area
  • Competitor – who’s the big dog, and how many?

This is why writing your  restaurant business plan is paramount.

Restaurant Niche

January, 2010

Before getting started with your business plan for restaurant.  We suggest that you find out a little about the niche within the restaurant industry that complements your personality.

First Decide

You have to first decide what specific segment of the food-service industry you want to enter. There are many commonalities among the different types of food-service businesses, there are also many differences.  While there is much overlap in the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful, your own personality and preferences will dictate whether you choose to open a commercial bakery, a coffee cart, a fine-dining restaurant or a different type of operation.

What Niche?

Once you have decided what business best suits you, you must figure out the niche you carve out in the marketplace.

For example, if you like–or at least don’t mind–getting up before dawn, your niche may be a bakery or a casual breakfast-and-lunch operation. Night owls are going to be drawn to the hours required for bar-and-grill types of restaurants, fine-dining establishments.


Do you like to deal with the public, or are you happier in the kitchen? If you’re a people person, choose a food-service  that gives you plenty of opportunity to connect with your customers.  Maybe you’re the company type of person, you’ll probably lean more toward a commercial type of business, perhaps a bakery or even a catering service, where you can deal more with operational issues than with people.

These are just some of the things to consider when coming up with a niche in the food industry that fits you.  If you need more ideas in restaurant industry, let Synergy Restaurant Consultants help.

Robbery Issues in Restaurant Industry

December, 2009

Fast Food Robberies don’t happen much, but it is still a big concern for many operators of fast food joint.

There are many security challenges faced by fast food operators. Their outlets are usually on a main road, or near a freeway. They are located in both high-crime and low-crime areas. They are open from early morning to late at night. Employees are mostly young and inexperienced, and frequently work alone or with only a few other co-workers per shift.  It is a cash-based business. Also, depending on your local area,  fire code regulations dictate that businesses open to the public must leave their doors unlocked during business hours.

Factors For Successful Robbery

The two main factors that perpetrators consider when choosing a location to rob is lots of available cash and the ability to get away clean. Robbers prefer isolation, lone victims, good escape routes, and few witnesses, in addition to the probability of a good score.

Synergy Restaurant Consultants Advices

We recommend an evaluation of the entire business operation.

  • Utilizes effective application of proper lighting both inside and outside of the restaurant
  • Strategic use of video surveillance cameras and audio monitoring systems
  • Silent alarm systems, panic buttons and alerts
  • Proper training for employees, and the presence of additional security personnel.

Thinking outside the box

  • Be sure to have a time lock out on safes so that nobody can access the cash, at later times in the day.
  • Invest in non slick shoes for employees, due to grease on the floor. For would be robbers coming in to the cash register has to walk on the tile floors.  The slickness of the grease will slow them down, giving the employees an advantage of engaging the silent alarm and run!

Another thing that saves fast food restaurant from being robbed is the sheer numbers of employees and customers. Most robbers are looking for a more secluded easier target.  In law enforcement they call this “Psychological Deterence”,  “hard target”, you’re making more difficult for would be robbers to rob your establishment.  Nothing is foolproof, but you can slow them down by making it more difficult to rob.

If you have more questions give us a shout, Synergy Food Seasonings Restaurant Consultants.

Sample Restaurant Business Plan

December, 2009

Here are some steps to opening a restaurant, most of the  info require some more thinking. You should  have these steps documented in your restaurant business plan. These are samples of  what should be in your business plan. This is just part of a bigger list.

  1. Clarify your concept and put all the proposed details–from decor to dessert choices–in writing. If you can’t write about them, they need more thought.
  2. Prepare for a plethora of paperwork, including byzantine building codes with regulations covering everything from kitchen exhaust systems to interior finish requirements.
  3. Find an ideal location. Do a demographic study of the surrounding area. Research the amount of foot traffic and the availability of easy parking. Then negotiate a lease you can afford.
  4. Plan your menu early in the game. Kitchen layout and equipment purchases depend on it. Reduce your equipment costs either by purchasing used equipment or leasing new.

Opening a restaurant does require many things and be sure to have it well thought out and put the steps into a business plan. If you need help on a certain task or question about restaurant start ups, give us a shout or push the big red button.

Opening a Restaurant

December, 2009

Opening a restaurant is complicated; it involves many areas of expertise. The task of opening a restaurant successfully and staying successful is best accomplished with proper planning from the start. Opening restaurants correctly is what Synergy Restaurant Consultants specialize in and do very well.

Concept assessment, financial analysis, menu innovation and facilities design are part of opening a restaurant. Operating systems, management development, hands-on training and opening support are other development areas for a restaurant opening. Synergy turns visions of opening a restaurant into award winning realities.

So give us a call or push the big red button on the top right for more information on how we can help you with restaurant start ups.

Restaurant Consultant

October, 2009

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Viral Marketing For Steak Eaters

October, 2009

steak seasoning

Here are some factors that makes up a  successful restaurant design, sometimes this has to do with the type of food in the restaurant. One of the many popular are restaurants that specializes in steaks and prime rib.

What we advise our restaurant clients is to  engage more with their customer for repeated businesses. Share information of recipes and ways to prepare steaks with their clients. Or share the many brands of steak seasoning that the establishments uses.

There are many different type of steak seasoning and everyone has different tastes. But, if you know that your customers are the spicy eater then by all means introduce the relevant spicy seasoning.

Ways to share and spread the word is by mouth, and online marketing. You can create a profile on twitter, facebook, friend feed, etc.. These are some of best social media site to spread the word. You can still apply social media locally to your area.  We will cover this in later articles.

Tell your customers when you’re having specials, discounts on meals on days of the week. Give them that popular steak seasoning recipes that they can do at home. These are some social marketing ideas that Synergy Restaurant Consultants advices to all of our clients.

Mobile Apps Easy Search For Restaurant

October, 2009

Mobile apps is huge and mobile users continue to download their applicable apps. At this time Google search dominates on mobile, but mobile apps, Apple owns  70% of the market.

With Apple apps online store recently opened up beginning of 2009, they have had over a billion downloads for mobile apps.  Yes, many are free downloads, but still the charged ones rolled in at $150 to $300 million dollars as I type this article. Not bad!

We’re not saying to abandon your website on the internet and get it optimized for organic search. However, for marketing of your business you need to know that there will be more people carrying a smartphone or mobile device than a laptop.

That means mobile apps for iPhone, Google Androids, Blackberry/Palm sales will climb due to the directness of the app. Bear in mind this is for mobile device/smartphones, and its the simplicity of getting information quickly versus typing into a query box.  Here are some examples of iPhone apps:

  • looking up a local business category (e.g. “energy efficient window”) in Google, I use the Yellow Pages app, which will even automatically calculate my location via GPS
  • looking up a local taxi company when I’m traveling, I can use the Taxi Magic app on the iPhone (again, it will automatically get my location from GPS if I allow it)
  • looking up local restaurants or a restaurant consultant in Google, I can use the Yelp iPhone app

A final example points to one of the reasons why mobile apps trump mobile search. Mobile search you don’t always know whether the text you click on in the search results will be viewable or optimized on your smartphone. But if you have a mobile app or site that’s designed for that smartphone/mobile device then you can be  confident that a search using that app will quickly return results (and links) that are optimized for a smartphone/mobile device.

Here’s another factor, the limited screen size and computing capacity of smartphones force developers to make their apps super-focused on a specific task. This automatically guards against feature-creep and makes most apps simpler and faster to use. As a matter of fact, there are some sites and services where I prefer their iPhone apps view because the smartphone version is much more focused, easier to navigate, and faster.

Mobile specialized apps (iPhone, Androids, Blackberry/Palm) are providing a much more tailored experience than mobile search portals like Google and Yahoo.

Here’s a comment from Jason Hiner Editor-in-Chief of Tech Republic – ” I fully expect smartphones to become the most widespread global computing platform in the next five years, driven heavily by the developing world, where the smartphone will be the primary PC for the majority of users. As smartphones become more dominant, it is going to naturally migrate some power and influence away from search (and Google) and toward mobile computing applications”.

So what does all this have to do with the restaurant business? Everything, as a marketer you want to expose your brand any way you can.

If you have a restaurant website make it mobile optimized for quick loading, and razor focused on topic!

E-Mail Marketing For Restaurant Marketing

October, 2009

Many restaurants use coupons to generate business. But is there more to it than coupons?  Yes, one marketing type of campaign is email marketing.  Don’t think its all about spamming your customer.  E-mail marketing is what Seth Godin calls permission marketing.

Permission marketing is basically the customer is giving you permission to send them information about your restaurant and specials that is going on via e-mail.

E-mail marketing is a great way to spread your brand and engage with your customer. Budget permitting you can set up shop with twitter.  For twitter you can designate an employee to answer any questions and provide any assistance for your clients.  If you need more advices leave a comment or check us out on Synergy Restaurant Consultant.