Source: What is a consultant – Foodservice Consultants Society International
WHAT IS A FOODSERVICE CONSULTANT?
Generally speaking, a foodservice consultant is an independent professional advisor who, for a defined scope of work and related fee, works as an advocate for their client in achieving their goals through the design and implementation of foodservice facilities and/or operations/management systems. Consultants provide expertise, knowledge and experience to provide assistance that does not exist in-house, or by providing resources not available at the time. As independent professionals their primary focus is the welfare of the client organization that they serve.
- Very knowledgeable in the foodservice and hospitality industry
- Provides specific/specialized expertise
- Usually involved for limited, specified period
- Brings high degree of industry experience
- Advises and educates clients on wide range of topics
- Provides independent, objective advice
- Facilitates between project team and foodservice operations professionals
- Acts as an advocate for foodservice operations
- Enhances client’s business
COMMON FOODSERVICE CONSULTANT SPECIALITIES INCLUDE:
- Accounting & Finance
- Beverage System design
- Capital Budgeting
- Compliance Certification
- Contract Management
- Dietary & Nutrition
- Due Diligence
- Equipment Surveys
- Facility Assessments
- Finance Raising
- Food Safety & Hygiene
- Human Resources
- Interior Design
- Kitchen Design
- LEED Planning/Design
- Mgt Recruitment & Development
- Master Planning
- Operating Procedures & Systems
- Operator RFP Selection/Monitoring
- Revenue Generation
- Strategic Financial Analysis
- Workshops and Education
- Architectural Design
- Business Strategy
- Code Compliance
- Concept Development
- Culinary Development
- Energy & Environment
- Executive Coaching
- Feasibility Studies
- Food Production Systems Design
- IT Systems, Sourcing/Mgt
- Laundry Design
- Legal Advice/Litigation Support
- Marketing & Promotion
- Menu Development/Engineering
- Operations Review & Re-Engineering
- Quality Management
- Space Planning
- Waste Management Design
- Workstation Ergonomics/Design
HOW CAN I TELL IF I NEED A FOODSERVICE CONSULTANT?
- A decision has been made to undertake a development/design project involving construction of new foodservice facilities.
- Ownership/Management have made a decision to renovate existing foodservice facilities
- Ownership/Management had identified a need to have an evaluation of existing facilities conducted as part of a long range capital budgeting process
- Ownership/Management has identified the need for a master planning exercise
- A decision has been made to develop or re-engineer a foodservice operation/concept
- Ownership/Management believes that operational performance could be improved but is not sure what to do to make those improvements
- Ownership/Management does not have the specific knowledge and skills necessary to solve an identified problem
- Ownership/Management has the necessary knowledge and skills but does not have the time necessary to solve the problem
- Ownership/Management requires an independent, third-party opinion, either to confirm a decision or to provide alternatives
- Ownership/Management’s efforts have not produced the desired long-term results
HOW DO I FIND A COMPETENT FOODSERVICE CONSULTANT?
You can seek referrals from a variety of sources for help in finding and selecting a competent foodservice consultant. Your network of professional colleagues, your trade association and the local restaurant association are all good sources of information. You may also choose to turn to the Foodservice Consultants Society International for assistance. We have an online consultant search function on this web site or you may contact one of our administration offices closest to you.
WHY CHOOSE AN FCSI MEMBER AS YOUR CONSULTANT?
When considering a foodservice project, a FCSI consultant should be your first choice. FCSI is the only such consulting society that operates on a worldwide basis. FCSI maintains a global focus with members in over 45 countries dedicated to providing the highest quality of service. FCSI consultant members must abide by a strict Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. They work efficiently to achieve total client satisfaction and always maintain independence from the supply side of the industry.
The FCSI Code of Conduct is guided by three master principles (in order of priority):
- The Client’s Interests
- The Public’s Interests
- The Profession’s Interests
Consultant members are required to participate in the FCSI Continuing Professional Growth program by attend educational seminars that focus on cutting edge developments in the foodservice industry. Members also have the benefit of networking with other professionals in the foodservice industry during Society sponsored events and activities. In order to gain acceptance into the Society, members must meet strict criteria assuring their experience and over all professionalism.
HOW DOES AN FCSI CONSULTANT OPERATE?
Foodservice consultants operate as independent business people with firms ranging in size from one person to large operations with multiple offices around the globe. Some consultants work primarily close to their home base while others are spanning the globe with projects on several continents.
– Independent of the supply of goods to the industry
- Does not supply/sell equipment
- Does not work for a commission
- Serves only the best interests of the Client
– Negotiates a fixed fee for a defined scope of work prior to beginning an assignment
– Could work directly for owner, operator, developer, or architect
– Normally has several clients concurrently
MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE:
There are a few factors to consider when selecting the correct foodservice consultant for your undertaking:
- Ask colleagues and other well-informed industry executives for several referrals. Check each one’s credentials and give each candidate the same criteria for your project.
- Ask for references and follow up on them, asking:
- Were you satisfied with the services performed?
- Would you hire this consultant again?
- Did they meet your deadlines?
- Did the consultant coordinate properly with other specialists on the project?
- Ask each consultant to describe their best approach to your situation. This isn’t asking or details – just a general description of the problem-solving process.
- Visit and inspect some of their projects. If that’s not possible, call the operators and talk frankly about their level of satisfaction with the consultant’s performance.
- Attempt to interview each finalist in person. Face-to-face meetings are invaluable.