Investment: What are your fees?

Just as with any bespoken product, the cost of a tailor-made consulting project will vary based on the unique requirements and scope. But there are some basic “rack rates” to help you design your budget. All rates are for direct consulting with Aaron Allen one on one or with Aaron as lead with an AA team.

  • Hourly

  • Day

  • Retainers

    $25k min
  • Projects

  • Evaluations


Hourly rate

$350 via phone; $450 for in-person meetings; this option is best suited for independent operators who may have just a few tough questions or nagging challenges that can be diagnosed and resolved without a site visit. This is also an appropriate first step for someone interested in a full engagement but not yet ready to commit. A phone call or in-person meeting can help foster a mutual sense of trust before executing a Letter of Intent.

Day rate

$10,000 plus travel expenses. Rate includes in person meeting in addition to the development of support materials, such as initial discovery, data analysis, conceptual artwork design, pre-meeting discussion and review, tailored concepts specific to client, and necessary follow-up required.


Retainers are managed in two ways: Annual retainers start at $100,000 and are the best choice for advisory board participation; ongoing coaching and support; and monitoring and guiding the company’s marketing plan implementation. These include weekly and monthly phone and email support, quarterly on-site visits and planning sessions.

Alternatively, monthly retainers are the best option for strategy and implementation assignments. These start at $25,000 per month and include a more hands on approach from Aaron Allen and the appropriate team members (graphic designers, architects, interior designers, financial analysts, etc).


New restaurant concept development: Varies by project scope; $100,000 minimum. The average is $250,000 over a period of 4 to 12 months.

For projects not exceeding 90 days, such as investor due-diligence reports, chain restaurant marketing audits, business plans, or brand strategy development and presentation, a minimum investment of $25,000 is required.


For those without a defined budget or scope, a project evaluation is conducted and charged at either the hourly or the day rate.


If these rates seem high, consider what the costs look like when a project is under planned or fails. Penny wise, pound foolish has been the siren call for an eternity. There is always someone cheaper. It’s not our business model and we rarely work with clients who take this approach either (it’s nearly impossible to give the best guest experience and highest quality product if your pandering to the lowest denominator).  The restaurant business is an expensive poker table to sit at. We stack the odds in your favor and to do so need to pay top dollar for the best talent, systems, and afford for experimentation at our cost to shorten development cycles and costs for our clients. Look at it this way – if someone told you they could create a billion dollar concept for less than $250k – selling franchise rights (for example) time and time again for $25k a whack – would you think something was fishy?  Sure you would. Because it would be suspicious.  Because billion dollar restaurant companies didn’t get turnkey concepts developed for under $250k and in less than 6 months. We all have to be realistic with what it requires to build the next industry juggernaut.

We regret that we cannot offer free initial consultations. See How We Work for other FAQs.

References are available upon request provided a mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) has been executed and that both parties have signed an initial Letter of Intent (LOI).