FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Who is Aaron Allen?

Aaron Allen is both a who and a what. Click here to find out more about Aaron Allen the person. Aaron Allen & Associates, the company, is a global consultancy comprised of experienced professionals, who deal exclusively with hospitality clients.

What does “global consultancy” mean?

You can’t just take a vacation to Italy and tell the owner of the trattoria you ate in that he should adjust the lighting and call yourself a global restaurant consultant. Aaron Allen has worked on projects in 65 countries, from start-ups to turnarounds, from American companies going abroad to foreign companies coming to the U.S., from fast food to ultra high-end gastronomy — all cuisine types — from marketing assignments to construction management assignments. We’ve worked on six continents — and we’re ready for the first call from Antarctica.

Where is the list of your staff members?

The names of staff members are not listed on the website. This is not to create an aura of mystery but to remove a distraction. A well-known tenet of success is to hire the best people you can find, which is exactly what Aaron has done. Those who would endeavor to emulate successful companies look to their staff rosters to fill their own ranks. By not listing the names of our team members, we free them up from the distraction of responding to headhunters so that they can concentrate on the needs of our clients.

Can you provide a list of references?

References are available if the project warrants them. Aaron Allen receives over 800 inquiries annually, but we accept only five clients at a time. Because of that exclusivity, many of our clients tend to be large, global companies. Some of them are happy to oblige requests for references; others require a level of confidentiality from us that would preclude discussing the project or giving out their contact information. All of them, however, prefer to focus on building their own businesses rather than helping us build ours. Therefore, executive-level contacts are provided for projects exceeding $25,000 USD and only after the execution of a letter of intent (LOI). In addition, work samples and portfolio are provided following completion of a mutual nondisclosure agreement.

Do you give free initial consultations?

It’s true for everyone, but more so for consultants: time is money. An initial call to discuss the scope of the project is free (your cellular carrier’s rate may apply, of course).  Subsequent consultations, whether by phone or onsite, require the signing of an LOI and a retaining fee.

Where are your offices?

They used to be in Lake Mary, in a modern office building with several thousand square feet that covered multiple floors. And then it occurred to us that no one opened a restaurant inside our office space. We were spending all our time at the clients’ sites — as we should — and the offices were serving as little more than a symbol of prestige. And with the evolution and improvement of technology, the tools of the trade — phones, tablets, computers — have become more portable. So now our “office” is anywhere we need to be. While we have a global presence, our primary bases for operation are Central Florida and Central Europe. There’s no single place with a big fancy conference room to impress potential clients, but at least they know that when they’re working with us their fees aren’t being used to pay for the utility bill of an empty space.

What are your fees?

Each project is priced according to its unique scope and desired outcome. But generally, the minimum rate is $350 per hour for phone or Skype calls and day rates start at $10,000. You can find a list of our project fees here.

Do you only work with big clients?

We work with anyone who has the sufficient budget to bring a project to fruition. That doesn’t have to mean millions of dollars. But it does have to mean they have the capitalization necessary to begin the work. Dreams are nice — just about every successful business started with one. But the inconvenient truth is that it costs money to turn a dream into a reality. The good news is that we treat your budget as if were our own money, and stretch it as far as possible. But we’ll also tell you if we think you’re underfunded, and then help you decide whether to recapitalize or adjust your expectations. We don’t accept clients just to earn a fee; we only accept those clients we know we can help achieve success.