If it's related to foodservice, we can help.

The restaurant industry was already one of the most complex businesses in the world before the Fourth Industrial Revolution arrived, introducing new consumer demands for innovation and convenience, new technologies for managing operations and connecting with guests, and a fast pace of disruption that has helped upstart companies and segments leapfrog established organizations. Now, risks are coming out of nowhere, threatening to blindside even the savviest leaders.

Aaron Allen & Associates is a global strategy firm focused exclusively on the foodservice and hospitality industry. Clients come to us when embarking on seismic transformation and initiatives important to the history and critical to the future of their careers and companies. 

We help hospitality businesses be brilliant at both hospitality and business.

Ultimately, we help our clients solve their most complex challenges and achieve their most ambitious aims in areas related to growth, performance optimization, enterprise value enhancement, cross-border expansion, portfolio strategy, sales-building initiatives, opportunity identification, prioritization, and sizing, development of a modernized investment thesis, transformations, and turnarounds. 

Combining deep and diverse experience and expertise and applying a holistic and integrated approach with focus on delivering results (rather than just reports), some of the ways we support our clients include: 



Industry and Market Landscape | Consumer Trends and Evolving Dining Behavior | Category and Competitive Landscape | Opportunity Identification and Sizing



Performance Measurement Systems | Predictive Analytics and Models | Matching Performance to Market Conditions | Projections and Forecasts | Qualitative and Quantitative Insights



Marketing Audits and Program Assessment | Strategic Plans and Budget Allocations | Go-to-Market Strategy | Toolkits and Playbooks | System-Level MarTech Initiatives



Corporate Communications | Publicity and Earned Media | Reputation Management | Associate Engagement | Positioning and Key Message Development



Operations Audits and Assessments | Guest Journey Mapping and Experience Design | Sales Mix and Cost Optimization | Throughput and Service Time Optimization | Performance Measurement and Optimization



Where to Play, How to Win | Business and Brand Strategy | Feasibility Studies and Business Plans | Investor Presentations and Models | Cross-Border Plans and Budgets



Turnarounds | Renewal and Revitalization | Brand and Portfolio Strategy | Concept and Prototype Development | Corporate Goal Setting and Organizational Alignment



Enterprise Systems Review and Gap Analysis | Partner Identification and Sourcing | Establishing Business and Technical Requirements | Integration and Implementation Support


Private Equity

Sector Landscape | Investment Thesis Ideation | Commercial Due Diligence | Operational Due Diligence | Post-Acquisition Plans and Priorities | Operating Partner

There is more data produced every 48 hours than in the first 5,000 years of recorded history — and most of it can be accessed with a quick search on a free platform. However, not even the most advanced artificial intelligence known to man, with all of the world’s data at its disposal, can answer the kind of complex and human-centric questions you need answers to when aiming to be among the best in the global foodservice and hospitality industry. That’s when we can help. 

How We Work

There are four primary ways we structure work and teams. The drivers are based on the number and seniority levels of team members, time, travel, granularity of analysis (from anecdotal to quantitative), size of the system and geographies included in the purview, economies gained by sequencing with other work streams, and other technical requirements necessary to deliver on intended outcomes.

Short-term sprints that can be completed in 15–45 days. Strategy sessions, feasibility studies, second opinions, market landscape reports, assessments and advisory not requiring fieldwork, site visits, or more than three (3) Associates to be involved with deliverables presented electronically and telephonically or at our offices in Chicago.

Typically 6–12 weeks with a dedicated Engagement Manager and multi-disciplined team of 5–12 Associates with requirements for travel, fieldwork and site visits, in-person presentations, and comprehensive work product such as long-range corporate plans, commercial and operational due diligence, and enterprise-level diagnostics and performance optimization program development.

After the completion of a first phase project or engagement, we typically structure subsequent work for on-going advisory services and implementation support on a retainer basis in 6– 24-month commitments. Dedicated resources and support functions are applied (ranging from the assignment of a support coordinator to an outsourced C-suite executive or in-market practice area leaders stationed at the client location).

In select cases, we engage on a gain-share basis with blended compensation models that put some fees at risk in exchange for stock, equity, revenue, or profit share. These partnerships fully leverage our global know-how and know-who and are often best suited when we serve as an operating partner (including working with private equity firms acquiring and growing restaurant chains or partnering with foodservice technology companies to support expansion). These arrangements can be complicated and time-consuming to co-create based on defined targets and timelines, so we only move forward with such an arrangement after first completing an initial project or engagement. 

Interested in working together?
Let us know how we can help.

Or you can give us a call at +1-312-701-3500