Most individuals are oblivious of the copious drudgery encountered in running food courts and other food businesses. The general perception of customers on these establishments is the common means of to end. However, you will be puzzled once you realize that running such businesses is not a simple art. Food business CEOs know the strain and struggle! There are hundreds of things that take the wrong path and consequently devouring your business.
Difficulties start from planning the menu, accounting, and even figuring out your food facility. Doing all by yourself is a recipe for failure, and that’s where foodservice consultants come in. You can’t empty by the Atlantic by a tablespoon; you need every tool from your arsenal! In this case, food service consultants will provide everything at your disposal, making your food court thrive.
Who is a Food Consultant?
Foodservice consultants are individuals specialized in scopes of work, for a fee, they work as clients’ advocating their goals and comforts. In food services, they offer proficient insights on the hospitality restaurant designs, the layout of facilities, and how to choose the right kitchen equipment. Others may also offer advice on menu choices, accounting, obtaining ingredients, or upsurging service speed. With all things reflected, food service advisors are crucial in the general management of the food service industry.
What Does a Food Consultant Do?
A food service consultant can be hired to work directly with a designated client. On the other hand, others work as subcontractors hired by the architectural department overseeing the project.
Despite the workplace variations, a food service consultant’s work is solely to help the client. Still, in terms of work, a food service consultant expertize is ideal for firms’ management advice. That may be business plans, menu recipe development, human resource templates, cost analysis, and control.
Additionally, given that there are complex projects, foodservice consultants can help the managing committee set the project goals, make basic specifications to allow RFPs developments, and vet bids.
Significant numbers of foodservice consultants are from FCSI, making them qualified since they have passed the industry-based knowledge exam. They have professional skills, and they abide by ethical and professional conduct. FCSI consultants have a continuous education system, and they have a worldwide network with other consultants.
Independent consultants don’t sell equipment. However, other consultancies deal with equipment. They have a continuous relationship with clients and thus the knowledge of the pertinent equipment needed. Some consultants also become turnkey executors working on covering designs, starting from the equipment staging, installation to the startup.
Upfront payment to hire a dealer designer consultant is usually less and sometimes evens none. The dealer gains profit from the specified equipment. Of course, you may incur extra expenses on the equipment. Despite all these, an independent consultant designer may not get competitive bids for the specified equipment; it can be a wash! Nonetheless, should you be using a dealer-based firm, they will specify their arsenal equipment. With all these at your disposal, how do you get to choose the right food service consultant?
How to Choose a Food Service Consultant for Designing Functions
1. You Have to Get Informed
Lenny Condenzio, the COO of the FCSI based in Boston, says that food executives find it hiring a food service consultant because of ” lack of experience and being unaccustomed to new trends. They are vulnerable and oblivious of the right questions to ask the team selecting the designers. He advises that one should get in touch with the food service professional peer associations. Since they have timely based workshops on service consultants’ selection
2. The Vetting Process
Failure to vet the food service consultant designer before contract signing is a recipe for catastrophe. Many food service managers tend to pick whomever the architect brings. It’s a wrong pick since you will stay with your restaurant or kitchens for the span of years. You, therefore, have to do your homework, ask them for their resume with the references. The consultant that you look for must be fully and actively involved in the foodservice division’s professional organization.
How Does the Food Service Designer Consultant Work?
1. They Ensure Continuous Communication With the Project Team.
Whether it’s the architect, clients, or the construction engineer, open communication is the principal task of the foodservice consultant designer.
However, running the task at hand varies depending on whether the architect or the client hired the consultant. Usually, the architect harmonizes the team, though the client can suggest if the consultant should be the oversight personnel. However, the common goal is one efficacy. Kristin Sedej, the FCSI principal, says at Chicago, “We neither are engineers nor architects. Nonetheless, we need to work together to satisfy clients’ expectations.”
Additionally, Robert Doland, the FCSI principal at Jacobs’s land in New York, says his work is divided into two. That is between working with the client and as a subcontractor for the architectural firm. Should he be working with the architect, he limits contact with the client. “The architects focus on information flow and data coordination and not the food service’s inner functioning.”
In both cases, their sole goal is to explain to the client about the work scope and help them understand how to work with the professional team. As a foodservice consultant, given that you are hired, you have contractual obligations to that person. Architects hire foodservice design consultants as they have the best drawings and have minimal problems in the construction field.
Therefore, as a food consultant, the only diligence required is advocating for the clients’ best interests. Additionally, a good foodservice design consultant must also communicate and educate the client throughout the process.
2. They Make Documented Reports.
In consideration of all these, the documentation of all decisions is also a service provided by the consultant. According to Gene Clark, the president of food service equipment in Lancaster, a food service consultant’s job is not to tell the project team the DOs and DONTs. Instead, he says their work is to document all the ongoing conversion in the entire process mainly.
Also, they ensure that the documented reports are well communicated and understood by the professional team. Should the client need to make revisions, the documented reports come in handy. They are a useful aid in explaining the impact of revisions on time and budget shifting.
3. They Deal with Revisions and Improvisations.
Even the most well-thought projects are inevitable to changes along the way. There are consistent changes in the still growing multi-operation food courts or even the restaurants. With these phlegmatic natures, Schmitt suggests that an agreeable contingency fund must be established. That way, provide that there are changes that need to be done; the grim situation will be dealt with without affecting the planned budget.
The primary course of revisions and redevelopments are the changes done on the managerial bodies. Whether it’s the administrator, the food managing company, or the executive commis chef, the newly appointed members in charge will want a different working kind of an environment. A large project design can take up to almost two years, and staff changes in many foodservice operations are quicker. It calls for flexibility from foodservice consultants; they will issue designs that will allow for future swapping reinventions.
Other Fields of Food Service Consultants Include:
1. They Offer Food and Nutrition Services
When it comes to food and nutrition, the consultant helps the food companies’ clients and organizations build menus and recipes. Such consultants have an educational background in health, fitness, and diet. They offer compendious analysis on the client’s menu at hand, making suggestions on what should be added, changed, or excused. Archetypal, their workplace is confined to specific geographical locations and offices.
2. Bringing your Food Court up to Speed
Food service consultants analyze competitors. They give you insights on what they are doing to get customers and the quality of service they provide. Foodservice consultant will also tell you about the best menu and recipe in town. With such info at your disposal, your food court gets well braced up for competition.
3. They Help in Inventing New Products, Recipes, & Offering Food Recommendations
Food service consultants are mostly nutritionists, meaning they can help you develop unique recipes. Their expertise in food companies is essential, provided that a new food product is being made. They research the additives and ingredients required in the process. On food recommendations, they provide advice concerning food handling, storage, and expiry dates.
In addition to all these, food service consultants generally focus on foods’ nutritive values. It’s a powerful means of making customers contented and, to an extent, makes the food appealing to more people. The foodservice consultant will also provide the food specification showing its compositions.
They tell the exact number of protein, vitamins, calories, and other proteins in the food.
Since people are becoming more aware of food and health, such aid is substantial and critical.
The General Process of Picking a Food Service Consultant
1. Look at their Certification and Affiliation.
The primary step is ensuring that the person you are considering for hire is certified. They should also be members of a high rated food organization. There are many foodservice organizations, highly-reviewed with a positive reputation. Memberships to such bodies are given following strict criteria and stringent rules. There are also examinations given meaning, and their members are qualified.
Additionally, these organizations, whether local or even international, are vetted and worldwide connected to other consultants. Choosing a member from these organizations exposes you to a higher success probability.
2. Check their Food Service Qualifications.
The field of food consultancy is ever advancing, and so to speak, it’s now a full discipline and no longer a small expert niche. It’s imperative that you should hire someone qualified in food management and hospitality. If you go for a certified consultant, consider yourself to be having a well-trained, qualified consultant.
3. Make Inquiries on the Area of their Expertise
The next step is to become aware of the specialized area of work of the foodservice consultant you are hiring. There are experts affiliated in specific fields and types of restaurants. So, given that you are running a fast-food chain, your consultant for hire must be experienced in the fast chain field.
A Food Service consultant is specialized in managerial tasks, accounting, and facility planning, and food quality too. It is up to you to identify the scope of work in which you need a consultant.
3. Consider your Budget and Fee
Another critical factor to consider and yet the determining constraint is the budget. You can evaluate and center on the choices depending on your budget and the FSC fee. It not logical to hire a highly paid consultant while you have the liberty to choose whomever you see as qualified for your endeavor.
Do you Want a Nutriment Overhaul Adviser?
To determine whether you require a food service consultant, you must answer the question about your food facility’s success. Do you need to be successful? If yes, then employing a food service consultant services is a must.
You are already going through various expenses: kitchen equipment, table, staff, and decors, among others. It’s such a significant investment, but the question, are you willing to let all of it fade by failing to pay for a consultant’s advice?
Having a food consultant can heavily impact your business. With their aid, you can modify your food court; make its design and layout resplendent. You also get to update your menu and be in a competitive mood. Voila! You still get the best kitchen crew, and anything you want can be done. It sounds like a perfect investment.
The Bottom Line
Okay, ladies and gentlemen, running a restaurant, food court, and food facility without enlisting third parties’ advice is hectic. Hiring a foodservice consultant determines how serious your business is and how long you want to stay in the game. No reason can deter your business progress. Realize your objectives and shield your hoards by employing the expertise of a food service counselor. Their expertise is the spark you need to hitch your wagon into a star!