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. [pricing_table][pricing column=5 featured=”no” title=”Hourly” price=”$150 – $1,250″][/pricing] [pricing column=5 featured=”no” title=”Day” price=”$10k”][/pricing] [pricing column=5 featured=”no” title=”Retainers” price=”$100k minimum annually”][/pricing] [pricing column=5 featured=”no” title=”Projects” price=”$25k minimum”][/pricing] [pricing column=5 featured=”no” title=”Evaluations” price=”Custom”][/pricing][/pricing_table]

Hourly Rate

$150 – $1,250 per hour depending on Associate and consulting discipline.

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, culinary development team, operations specialists, etc). Retainer engagements are typically calculated based on a percentage of sales basis for companies with revenues in the $10M – $500M (USD) range and are tailored based on the needs of the client and situation to levels between .05% – 3% of annual revenue.


New restaurant concept development: Varies by project scope; $100,000 minimum. The average is $300,000 over a period of 6 to 12 months; with turnkey concepts averaging considerably higher (in some cases capital investment is reduced on a blended equity compensation structure). 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 those who want the cheapest choice).  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).