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Running a Restaurant/Unique retail Ice Cream concept

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Question
Hi David - I have been working on a unique ice cream retail concept that combines a few successful retail ice cream and chocolatier concepts.  The concept would broaden the product offering away from the unique ice cream ice cream to compensate for seasonal ice cream sales drops, but the additional offerings will still be consistent with the concept and branding.

I have a strong background in retail, customer service and in marketing and advertising, but I am weak in food service experience.

Since this basic concept doesn't exist except for a few single one-off locations (which are not exactly the same), I am needing some expert advice on the viability of the concept.

Answer
Erik,

My apologies for taking this long to reply.  I simply missed the All Experts email telling me I had a pending question.  We were working with a client in Las Vegas and I was skimming my email and I assume I just overlooked it.

There are multiple ways that we can help you to assess the viability of the concept, but I would definitely need more information in order to be able to help you.  It is most likely beyond the scope of a free service.  That being said, let me ask you a few questions.  Have you prepared a business plan yet?  If so, I would love to learn more about the concept you are proposing.  If not, that is one of the services that we offer.  We also typically recommend that you have us prepare a set of interlinked "what if?" financials that are geared to give you what we call, "proof of concept."  We isolate and identify all start-up costs, expected occupancy costs, debt service requirements, seating and sales worksheets, labor cost worksheets and finally a very realistic Pro Forma.  If the concept makes sense based upon these projections, then we would go forward with the business plan.  If not, we will tell you why not.

I am always open to talking with entrepreneurs about their new concept ideas.  If you would like to email me directly and arrange a time to talk for a bit with no fees and no pressure, I would be happy to do that.

Thanks!

David Foster
Foster and Associates
dfoster@fosterandassociates.net
(417) 877-0428 office
(417) 849-1903 cell

Running a Restaurant

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David Foster

Expertise

We have been in the restaurant industry for over 40 years and consult with restaurants, casinos and hotels nationwide. We love helping restaurant operators succeed and can answer any questions related to restaurant start-ups, business plans, operations, labor costs, food costs, liquor costs, employee turnover, marketing etc.

Experience

I am a seasoned foodservice veteran with nearly 42 years experience in the industry. My extensive background includes overseeing multi-unit, multi-concept restaurant operations ranging from cafeterias to fine dining, and everything in between. I have a strong hands-on operations and marketing background that give me a unique insight into the “Real World” challenges of the restaurant industry. I have extensive concept development, menu and recipe development and kitchen layout and design expertise. I am effective in analyzing operational needs and identifying practical solutions in today’s very dynamic foodservice environment. In the industry, I am respected by my peers and have served on the Board of Directors of the Missouri Restaurant Association and have been a featured speaker on the subject of Home Meal Replacement at various national events. I also served on the Culinary Advisory Board of the Ozark Technical College as well as serving on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Ozarks.

Organizations
Member of the National Restaurant Association, Past Board Member of the Missouri Restaurant Association, Past Board Member of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Ozarks

Publications
The Consultant, Seasoned Views (a trade magazine for the restaurant industry)

Education/Credentials
Attended Drury College, Springfield, MO, Varsity Management, SRI

Awards and Honors
I have had restaurant projects featured in The Consultant (a magazine for foodservice consultants with worldwide circulation). I was honored for achieving the highest level of management competence by the Selection Research Institute.

Past/Present Clients
Sugar Creek Casino, Classic Rock Coffee Company, Mark Twain Brewing Company, Springfield Brewing Company, Bruegger's Bagels, M&M Grill, Paco Joe's, Holiday Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Buffalo Run Casino, Golden Corral Corporation, Crosswinds Café, Chinese Chef, Mr. Dunderbak's Old World Market & Café, Bullfeather’s Wings and Grille, Mainstreet Market, Bear Rock Café, Cartoon's Oyster Bar & Grill, T's Redneck Roadhouse, Jim's Steakhouse, Neighbor's Mill Bakery & Café, Crazy Vine, San Francisco Oven, Maria's Mexican Restaurant, Andy's Frozen Custard, The Granite Club, Umi Japanese Steak, Seafood and Sushi, Springfield Grocer Company, US Foodservice, Premium Standard Farms, Smithfield, Dakota Organic, Kraft Foods, Allens, Inc.

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