These are some answers to the questions we’re most commonly asked. Just click on the question to see the answer. And if you don’t find the answer you’re looking for, please let us know.
We’re a global strategy firm focused exclusively in the foodservice and hospitality industry. You can think of us as a research company, think tank, innovation lab, or management consultancy. You can learn more about our Founder/CEO Aaron Allen here.
Clients come to us to better understand and capitalize on future of foodservice implications, source capital and concepts, seize M&A opportunities, undertake cross-border expansion, find countermeasures to declining sales in saturated and slowing markets or categories, and discover new approaches to their planning processes to anticipate and take action in the age of the rapid evolution of disruptive technologies, evolving consumer dining behaviors, and increased competitive dynamics.
We help determine feasibility and build bullet-proof business cases relative to cost and performance optimization, brand positioning, commercial and operational due diligence, post-acquisition plans and long-range value enhancement programs, as well as a wide range of technical and cross-functional business initiatives.
We serve in a strategic advisory capacity to senior executives of emerging and established restaurant brands, hotel chains, foodservice industry suppliers, technology companies, private equity firms, institutional investors, and other entities with interests and stakes in foodservice. The short answer here is: if it’s related to foodservice, we can help.
We have a few options for working together, ranging from executive planning sessions or consults to more comprehensive engagements and partnerships. Regardless, we’d start by learning about your goals so we can work to find the best way forward.
Each project is priced according to its unique scope. We know that’s not the most informative answer, but it’s true. Our work is dynamic — not template-based — so it’s tricky to give a templated answer here.
Our firm currently specializes in middle-market foodservice chains with revenues of $50m or more (our average client is a ~$1b system). That said, we do our absolute best work when projects are exciting, challenging, and commissioned by a client with a compelling sense of purpose, and we work with companies of all sizes if the fit is right. We’d rather use that as a barometer for who we work with rather than potentially arbitrary metrics.
We love an entrepreneurial environment and have created dozens of concepts from the ground up. With that said, we are now at a point where — unless there is a specific level of involvement — our resources are more often applied to organizations further advanced in the business cycle.
While we have a global presence, we have headquarters in Chicago and Orlando. With the evolution and improvement of technology, the tools of the trade — phones, tablets, computers — have become more portable, and so have we. So now our office is anywhere our clients need us to be.
We don’t strive to be the biggest consulting firm in the world, but we do have the same analytical firepower, all focused on the foodservice industry. Our core team is made up of ~20 Associates, led by Principals and Practice Area Leaders. We curate custom-tailored, fit-for-purpose teams (usually consisting of 6–8 full-time equivalents) depending on our clients’ needs.
A well-known tenet of success is to hire top talent in their field, which is exactly what Aaron has done at our firm. Those who endeavor to emulate successful companies look to staff rosters to fill their own ranks. By not listing the names of our team members, we free them from the distraction of responding to headhunters so that they can concentrate on the needs of our clients.
We have experience working with clients in more than 100 countries. We travel to client locations to conduct site visits and in-depth interviews with key stakeholders, and we also have internal communication methods that enable us to work across borders (and oceans) efficiently and effectively. Our clients come first, and we strive to make ourselves available whenever we’re needed, regardless of time zone differences.
We have a proven approach to our work (including historic, current, and future analysis working across functional areas and down financial statements). One of our mottos is that innovation doesn’t come with a case study. We apply tried-and-true frameworks when appropriate and invent new ones when the work calls for it.
Because we are lucky enough that our passion and profession are one and the same, we do our absolute best work when engagements are exciting, challenging, and purpose-driven, with those who are committed to advancing our industry.
We believe that the most successful organizations are those that look forward to radically reinventing themselves and that the best way to reduce costs is to increase sales. We think that long-term strategy beats short-term tactics, and operate under the notion that service is above us — not beneath us. We think that businesses that find the intersection of purpose, passion, profit, and potential not only achieve the greatest success but also make lasting impacts on their industry and the world.
Confidentiality is at the crux of our business. Our client list, as may be expected, includes many esteemed brands throughout the world. We are restricted both by confidentiality agreements and the boundaries of our own ethical sensibilities from disclosing our clients past and present, and therefore do not provide full client lists.
We have consistently helped clients achieve top-line sales improvements of double-digits or more while simultaneously maintaining cost optimization targets. We develop sustainable systems for improved corporate culture and morale and provide clients with global reach through unparalleled international resources. As we mentioned, we are fanatic about client confidentiality, but we’d be happy to provide case studies for reference once we’ve connected and have the necessary paperwork in place.
We do. This work typically comes after one of our first phase engagements, so we’d go into more detail with regard to implementation support once we’re working together. (Rest assured that we won’t leave you high and dry after an engagement, and we won’t push a further scope of work on you if it’s not of interest.)
Great question. We’re often seen as something akin to a secret sauce, but you’d find plenty restaurant industry executives who are familiar with our work. Regardless, we’re glad you found us.
We often tell our clients not to try to be the best of the best but to become the only one who does what they do. After all, “betterness” is subjective.
We’re different because we’re solely focused on the restaurant industry — it’s all we do, and we do it well. We like to say that where others see stars in the sky and random data points, we see constellations and meaningful connections. We take the rigorous approach of a traditional management consultancy and infuse it with the instinct and intuition developed over decades of experience and thousands of engagements.
If you have a question that you didn't find an answer to, please let us know and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.