Aaron Allen – Restaurant Consultant, Speaker & Industry Analyst
A third generation restaurateur, Aaron Allen has held every industry position imaginable from line-level employee to unit manager. By age 19, he was running a $10m food and beverage operation at a 625-room resort. By 20, he was overseeing a $4m gulf-front Caribbean-themed restaurant that served over 1,800 covers per day. Having cut his teeth in operations, Allen eventually transitioned to restaurant-focused marketing including management posts at The Florida Restaurant Association, The Florida Restaurant Show, the Neighborhood Marketing Institute and venerable hotel brand, The Breakers, where he was responsible for corporate marketing for the $50m luxury food service operations. In 2001, he founded his own consultancy. By 2008, he’d skyrocketed the company to become the world’s largest restaurant consulting firm representing over 10,000 restaurants across six continents. Major clients included esteemed brands such as Starwood Resorts and Hotels Worldwide, The Cheesecake Factory, Red Robin, TGIFriday’s, FEMSA (Dos Equis), BJ’s Restaurants, Hofbrau, Land O’ Lakes, Marriott, SSP and dozens of other global restaurant chains, Regional Powerhouse Brands, high-volume independents, food and beverage manufacturers, distributors, resorts, entertainment districts, hotel chains and more. In total, he and his team have represented more than half of the Top 400 largest restaurant chains and Aaron has personally lead boots-on-the-ground assignments in 65 countries for clients ranging from startups to multinational companies posting in excess of $37 billion. Collectively, his clients around the globe generate more than $100 billion annually and span six continents and more than 100 countries. Aaron Allen has become one of the most sought-after restaurant industry media sources and most-quoted experts in the global restaurant industry. He has been a go-to source of expert industry analysis for esteemed media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, CNBC, BBC, The Guardian, Forbes, FORTUNE, TIME, Entrepreneur, Smart Money, Mashable, BuzzFeed, Oprah.com, The Washington Post, National Public Radio, and literally hundreds more influential news sources. His publicity skills and campaigns have also helped land clients features on The Food Network, Top Chef, Travel Channel, Bravo, Fine Living Network, and led to a number of pilot program invitations. A sought-after speaker, Allen has lectured around the world on important restaurant industry trends and innovative approaches to marketing, branding, design, concept development, culinary development and general business growth. He has presented to capacity crowds at the European Foodservice Summit, International Boston Seafood Show, Aquavision in Norway, Healthy Meals and Healthy Profits Conference, National Caterers Association, FSTech, The Restaurant Show (London), and for numerous other industry associations, conventions, corporate and franchise conferences, and universities. He has been top rated speaker and frequent guest lecturer for the University of Central Florida’s Rosen School of Hospitality.