9 Tips for Starting a Restaurant Consulting Business


You want to start a restaurant consulting business. This may seem like a distant dream, but with a solid plan you can make it a reality. Here are 9 expert tips to help you start your own consulting business.

  1. Get hospitality education
  2. Gain hands-on experience
  3. Your network is your best asset
  4. Document your work
  5. Know the laws
  6. Build your website
  7. Marketing is worth investing in
  8. Start small
  9. Collect reviews and references

Your business can thrive in this new era of hospitality

Our free guide will walk you through the future-proof restaurant tactics that’ll add flexibility to your business—a key to thriving in the new world of hospitality.

1. Learn hospitality education

A degree or formal qualification in management, hospitality, or culinary arts will help you start your own restaurant consulting company. An academic background is essential to understand the hospitality industry and the unique needs of a restaurant.

Your educational background will provide technical, bureaucratic and business information related to hospitality, and you’ll also gain knowledge in:

  • Food service essentialsThis includes food safety procedures and presentation standards
  • Financial competency,The fundamentals of accounting, financial management and finance
  • Interpersonal skillsManagement of staff and conflict resolution
  • Marketing strategies including customer data analysis

2. Gain hands-on experience

A degree in management or hospitality administration will give you all the technical knowledge required to work as an advisor. But, you will be able to handle the fast-paced and challenging tasks of running an establishment. Through direct experience, you’ll learn how to manage people, train employees, resolve problems, design a menu, and much more.

Try to work in as many different restaurants and as many positions as you can to become the best consultant. This will help you understand the business from multiple perspectives and on many different levels.

You will also be able to establish a network of contacts by working with prominent chefs and restaurant groups when you start your consulting business. These contacts will give you the opportunity to develop your skills in a challenging and successful environment. Additionally, your employers will be able to provide you with references that will help you grow your company.

3. Your network is your best asset

Restaurants are in business of people. It takes a lot of hands and effort to open and manage a restaurant. To be a successful consultant, you need to build a strong network to help with the opening and operation of a restaurant. 

Many of the procedures that will be part of your job will be expedited if you have contacts in the city council, fire and health departments, and the food industry. These contacts are essential to executing your work correctly. The best way to grow your community organically is to build relationships through your academic institution or restaurant experience.

The number of industry contacts you have will also increase your value as an advisor. Your network can also be a great resource for word-of-mouth exposure that will help you grow your business.

4. Document your work

You will gain valuable experience in the restaurant business and be able to include these tasks in your portfolio. Documenting everything, from the execution of a large event to the implementation of new workflows, is worth it.

Photograph any restaurant-related work that you do, any ideas you come up with, and any contributions that you make. Photos, reviews, content, and feedback will all be useful in designing your website and marketing you business.

5. Know the laws

Different laws apply to restaurants in different states, counties, and cities. There are many options. Restaurant licenses and permitsEach area will have its own requirements and you will need to contact different authorities. If you are looking to expand your consulting business, it is important to be familiar with the specific hospitality laws of each area. This will help you consult with knowledge regarding the area’s specific rules and standards. Restaurant owners who don’t have this knowledge may find it a great resource.

6. Build your website

Effective, informative, and eye-catching websites are essential for business professionals. If you are looking to start a consulting business, make sure your website is attractive to potential customers. Your website should contain:

  • About us:A concise and compelling elevator pitch to tell potential customers about yourself and why they are qualified for the job.
  • ServicesA list of services you offer and the cost range for each
  • A portfolio of work:A page dedicated displaying the restaurants that you have worked in and the contributions you have made.
  • Contact information:Contact form with links to your social media channels

For SEO and marketing purposes, you might consider adding a blog to your website. Are you unsure where to begin? You can write about your experiences, give information resources, or interview restaurateurs and fellow consultants about best practices.

7. Marketing is worth investing in

However Word of mouth is bestThere are many ways to increase your digital marketing efforts to promote your restaurant consulting company. Writing original and informative blog posts. maintaining your social media channels, and opening YelpGoogle My Business pages will increase your website’s visibility online.

There are many effective ways to promote your company without spending a lot of money. If you feel like you can learn more, don’t hesitate to take some marketing and SEO courses to take small steps to market your business.

restaurant consulting business

8. Start small

Your first consulting experience is essential to get your big break. You might be tempted to offer to work at discounted rates to get your foot in to the door and build a resume. You must start somewhere when you want to start your consulting business. So, be open to all opportunities and build good relationships. To ensure customer satisfaction and good reviews, take on a task you are capable of managing and succeeding in.

9. Collect reviews and references

To build your brand, gain credibility and build your brand, encourage your customers, colleagues, and anyone who has worked with you to review your company on the internet. Make sure you’re Responding to any negative comments, and don’t be shy to ask happy customers to be your references. As a resource for potential clients, you can create case studies of your most successful clients and your best work.  

Why do restaurants require consultants?

Due to technological advances, consumer trends and changes in hospitality laws, the hospitality industry is constantly changing. If your menus are stale, it’s often worth the investment to hire a food consultant to refresh your kitchen or beverage consultant to take your bar menu up a notch. You can also keep up-to-date with the industry by:

  • Consistently read restaurant-related publications such as Eater. Modern Restaurant Management, QSR, Nation’s Restaurant News and Food Tech Connect.
  • Keep in touch with industry colleagues. Learn from your peers.
  • Participating in workshops and attending conferences.

Learn more about equipment and software that can elevate your restaurant to the next level. Chat with one of our experts today!

Cyndy Lane

Cyndy is business journalist with a focus on entrepreneurship and small business. With over a decade of experience covering the startup and small business landscape, Cyndy has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, insightful and approachable journalist. She has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners and is able to explain them in a way that is relatable and actionable for her readers.