Category Archives: restaurant start up

What Exactly is a Restaurant Feasibility Study?

Image: Lucas Hayas /


So you’ve got a great concept for a new restaurant, or perhaps you’re thinking of expanding your eatery to new locations. This time is exciting, but before making plans and signing leases, it’s best to perform a feasibility study to help determine whether the proposed idea is worth pursuing. Read on here: Restaurant Feasibility Study

How do you compete with large chain restaurants?

Think of all the Denny’s and Norm’s and other breakfast chains that dot the landscape. That’s a huge monster to compete against!  How can your restaurant start up compete with these gargantuan restaurant chains?

Consider that every ordinary item on your restaurant business menu can be elevated to the extraordinary with a mere pinch, dash or sprinkle of something that enhances a taste beyond anything expected.

Think beyond the ordinary to a vast array of consumables in your restaurant that could be amped up with a slight change.  Dean and Danny’s offers:

  • Custom Spice Blends for your restaurant menu
  • Meat and Sausage Seasonings, Vacuum-Tumble Marinades, Rubs, Pumps, Injections
  • Soups, Salad Dressings and Sauces
  • Beverages, Gourmet Coffee, Cocoa Mix, Cocktail Flavorings and Spice Mixes
  • Dough Set-Ups for Rolls, Muffins, Breads, Cookies, Cakes, Brownies, Crusts for Pies, Pizzas and Calzones
  • Batters for Pancakes, Waffles and Other Breakfast Foods
  • Bulk Spices of All Types
  • Gourmet Seasonings
  • Snack Food Flavors
  • Private Label Manufacturing promoting your restaurant business

Delicious grill seasonings

Can you imagine the possibilities? Good! Let’s get cooking!

To Your Success…

Dean Small and Danny Bendas

Synergy Restaurant Consultants

Is your restaurant start up a gamble?

Here in Southern California we are inundated with gambling. Yes, Vegas still beckons from afar, but the local landscape is filled with all manner of Indian casinos and poker parlors.  The TV, radio, newspapers and freeway signage all lure and entice. Of course the odds are always in favor of the House. Yet what is so surprising is the volume of people who flock to play the slots with their astronomically bad odds of winning.

Perhaps the allure is that thinking is not required to play. I find that sadly true with so many restaurant start ups. A restaurant business plan is not part of the thought process, so the analogy with slot machines holds true…the odds of success are horrendously bad.


Any restaurant business can be an educated gamble. However, the odds turn to your favor when you develop a comprehensive restaurant business plan. Instead of a slot machine, you know play poker. The more you work a highly thought out business plan the closer you come to playing chess…an equally matched game; and no longer a gamble.

Learning any game takes time. Teaching strategies vital to restaurant business plan success…that is what we do best.

The phrase “learning your lesson” tips both directions. Let Synergy Consultants move you in the right direction to future success. Learn to move the chess pieces, not just pull the slot handle idly and hope for the best.

To Your Success…

Dean Small and Danny Bendas

Listless Shopping for Restaurant Startups

Have you ever gone to the market with a whole list of things to get, but didn’t write any of it down? How many of those occasions did you tell yourself “I can remember it all”? How many things did you forget? If those forgotten items drove you to another trip back to the market it cost you time, money, effort and set you back on other important projects. Perhaps this is the reason a person who is lost and drifting is called “listless.”


Now, look at yourself with a restaurant start up; a business without a comprehensive, written plan. Have you carefully written the recipes? Designed POS? Crafted training manuals? Created marketing concepts including targeted pre-opening parties? How are you selecting, training, scheduling and best utilizing your work force? These are just a few of the multitude of questions that must be answered for your restaurant start up to survive, much less thrive. In truth, there are not only lists of questions for subjects you haven’t even considered; there are entire categories that you probably never knew existed.

Instead of struggling in the dark, wouldn’t you prosper with a mentor that could guide you through the maze of a restaurant start up and set you on a firm course for success? With a 20 year history of accomplishment with over 200 of the most prosperous restaurant chains in the nation, Synergy is the guide you need.
So, if you are even thinking about a restaurant start up, the first thing on your list (and you are making a list…right?) is to go to and look at our list of what every restaurant needs before they open. Once you see it, you will want to call us to learn more.

To Your Success…
Dean Small and Danny Bendas


Watching the Big Dogs

So you are a starting a restaurant. Want innovation? Sometimes you have to study the Big Dogs and ask yourself how you can be a step ahead. How does the biggest dog, McDonalds, always stay at the front of the fast food pack? It is not because they were first or that their food is the best. It is because they combine well known standards with amazing research, innovation and efficiencies that competitors cannot touch.

As seasoned restaurant consultants, even we are impressed by McDonalds’ ability to take the obvious, rebrand it as their own, and make it stand out far and away above and beyond the best competitors in the field.

Take coffee. Numerous coffee chains that have been chasing the behemoth Starbucks for years without success. Then McDonalds decides to literally take over the Starbucks vise grip on coffee with McCafe. Efficiently utilizing a small space, a do-it-yourself approach, a lower price point, and a “greater convenience” sales pitch, they catapulted into the custom coffee market in a huge way…transforming how that entire market now is thought about and utilized by the public. It was a small menu innovation and suddenly a whole new concept swept the nation.

What’s next? Wi-Fi. Yes, McDonalds announced that by the end of this year, 2010, they hope to have all 14,000 domestic locations equipped with FREE Internet Service (well, three hours worth per customer, at least). If you have the choice among Burger King, Carl’s Jr, and McDonalds, and you know one has free Wi-Fi, which would you choose?  Which do you think any teen would choose? Do you think that will translate into many more Big Macs being sold? The bottom line is that the food does not matter. Keeping them in the store for hours will take care of that. They are betting on it, and I would suggest never betting against McDonalds.

And it will cost them a pittance to install and run Wi-Fi at each location.

The lesson here is not to disdain, but to learn and appreciate every innovation that might improve and enhance your restaurant business.


Restaurant Start Up and Supply Chain Management

For those of us with a passion for the restaurant business there is probably nothing more exciting or gratifying than the opening day of our new restaurant whether we are the owner or the dishwasher. However, it is working in the trenches of a “restaurant start up” that ultimately defines the success of your restaurant’s opening day as well as its long term viability.
During the “restaurant start up” process menu development/creativity, architectural design, and operations are the high profile players that receive a great deal of attention. Under the radar in the development and challenges of a “restaurant start up” is “supply chain management”. The best restaurateurs and chefs understand that the “restaurant start up” process is not complete without “supply chain management” expertise. They realize that a “restaurant start up” with a solid “supply chain management” program is a key to success.
A “restaurant start up” is a massive undertaking with many moving parts. Clearly “supply chain management” is one of those major “moving parts” and plays a significant role in the development of a successful “restaurant start up”. For the greatest success and economic value a “restaurant start up” requires the best knowledge and expertise offered by the industry for menu development, operations and training, architectural design, marketing and “supply chain management”.