How we work with our restaurant & retail clients
We are the industry resource for companies ready to grow sustainably and prepare for their next capital event.
RestauranTRAK is America’s only free benchmarking service that enables restaurants to easily assess sales and overall performance against the local market. Enhanced by our key integrations-leading POS manufacturers and restaurant technology companies, businesses make better decisions about sales, pricing and promotional strategies.
Experience and data science to generate real-time, evidence-based observations that reduce risk and maximize revenues across the food, entertainment and retail industries. Data Scientists at ACUTELY create proprietary, deep-learning sales projection models that have proven to place our clients at the forefront of business development.
In partnership with operators and investment firms, Consolidated Concepts optimizes efficiency, streamlines contracts and boosts profitability. By leveraging expertise in supply chain management, operations, distribution, produce management and spend management technologies, our team develops customized resources and support programs to increase multi-unit restaurants’ productivity and reduce costs.
A strategic real estate partner with today’s leading restaurant and entertainment concepts. We are an extension of the operator’s team, measuring the real estate opportunities across the country. As real estate experts we negotiate with developers and landlords on our client’s behalf to maximize returns and minimize risk.
A staff activation solution for venues to educate and incentivize employee performance. In partnership with PayBev, a beverage marketing agency, Tipzyy implements POS integrated sales competitions to drive top-line sales and engagement. Staff promotions pair with POS while tableside education increases sales and enhances the customer experience.
No operator should be making their real estate growth plans based on real estate alone. The EMERGING Score converts sales, cost drivers and a wide spectrum of proprietary industry data collected from thousands of restaurants to create a white space analysis for increasing the company valuation. Applying objective data analysis and sophisticated market expertise reduces financial risks and damaging blind spots.
Jon Hegwood joined the Emerging family of companies in 2019 as Vice President of Emerging Capital Partners out of the Chicago office. As a proven real estate professional and financier, Jon works with investors and equity partners in helping support owners and operators with strategic real estate and capital solutions.
Prior to joining Emerging, Jon worked with a leading national real estate advisory firm before founding his own real estate investment management company specialized in structuring and sourcing real estate partnerships and joint ventures.
With an innate entrepreneurial spirit, Jon understands the challenges business owners face and can assist in realizing untapped opportunities for growth.
Jon holds his real estate license in Illinois and is an active member of ICSC, CCIM, and YREP.
Frederick is a career technology entrepreneur with more than 20 years of early to expansion stage business experience. He has an extensive background creating and monetizing novel technology platforms for media and brand advertising, and consumer direct marketing.
David Stockwell’s expertise and passion in real estate stems from his unique background of working both on the retail and development side of the shopping center industry. His career started with General Growth Properties Inc. as a Regional Leasing Agent where David was responsible for leasing shopping centers in the Philadelphia, Delaware, and Baltimore markets.
After working for GGP, David chose to broaden his horizons and became a Retail Broker with The McDevitt Company. With The McDevitt Company, he oversaw all lease negotiations and site selections for Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, We the Free, Terrain, Paper-Source, L'Occitane En Provence, Blue Mercury and Blu Sushi in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.
Prior to coming on board with Emerging, David was a Retail Site Specialist for Katz and Associates in their Charlotte Office. He oversaw site selection and lease negotiations for Bar Louie (NC/SC), Pholiciulous Inc., TCBY, Yong Kong Street, FUWA Teppanyaki, Wireless World, and Pinot's Palette. David was also responsible for identifying and developing new business opportunities with landlords and tenants seeking opportunities.
Ryan McCarty, Senior Data Analyst and Director of Real Estate at EMERGING, enjoys blending the art and science of real estate for restaurant/retail operators.
Prior to joining EMERGING, Ryan worked with a boutique real estate firm that specialized in restaurant tenant representation. Ryan helped tenants to define and execute strategic development plans, connect to data partners, and prepare site approval packages for various boards of directors.
Ryan earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Texas Bar Association.
Nicole is an Associate at EMERGING, responsible for growing and managing the EMERGING Partner Program. She brings with her a passion for working with people and supporting her clients and team members. Nicole has prior experience in program development in the healthcare and hospitality industries.
Nicole graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in Health & Human Physiology and certificate in Aging Studies.
Ashley Robinson joined EMERGING as Vice President. Ashley will utilize her vast knowledge and leverage the many brands within the Emerging family to help restaurants grow sucessfully. Under the platform Emerging offers, Ashley brings multi layered solutions for her clients in all aspects of their business, allowing the real estate and the the brick and mortar locations to thrive. Ashley is excited to put her passion and expertise to work for today’s best brands and help make them tomorrow’s success stories.
Ashely finds true passion for those brands she has the has the pleasure of working with. While obtaining her BA in Political Science and International Relations at UCLA, she was recruited by Main and Main, Inc. a boutique tenant representation company, and has now been in Commercial Real Estate for almost 15 years. After 7 years as a Broker in Los Angeles specializing in growing restaurants, Ashley went in-house as Director of Real Estate for retailer Coldwater Creek, Inc. for over 3 years. This experience allowed Ashley to learn big and small markets alike, from Seattle, WA to Durango, CO.
In 2011, Ashley diversified her experience further and learn dealmaking from the “other side of the table” with LA based mixed-use developer, CenterCal Properties, LLC. As Sr. Leasing Director, Ashley worked on several outdoor regional lifestyle properties, with focused efforts in N. CA, Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, Salt Lake, UT and Boise, ID. Working on the Landlord side allowed Ashley to enrich the surrounding communities in which she worked and develop a Million SF shopping center from dirt. This tenure also allowed her to work with small local business owners and help them bring their dreams to life. While a smaller part of her career, working as a Landlord/Developer was one of the most rewarding times in her professional development.
In an effort to dive further into the world of growing restaurants, Ashley joined Kona Grill, Inc. in 2016 to lead their real estate efforts in North America. Living and breathing the P+L from an in-house perspective and working the entire country, from Puerto Rico to Hawaii, elevated her expertise to that within the top-tiers in the industry. Through Emerging, Ashley was retained by Kona Grill and continues to act as their in-house real estate expert as well as others.
Megan Schmidt is an Associate at Emerging Concepts, with responsibility for national tenant representation and leasing, market research, and supporting all members of the leasing team.
Prior to joining EMERGING, Megan worked as a Senior Analyst at EY, a big-four accounting firm, in their Transaction Real Estate group, performing commercial valuations in almost every asset class including, hotels, industrial, medical, and retail.
Megan earned a BBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a double major in Real Estate & Urban Land Economics and Marketing. She holds her real estate license in Illinois and Wisconsin and is an active member of the Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association and mentor in the Wisconsin Real Estate Student Mentorship Program.
Mathew has a passion for helping best in class restaurant and entertainment operators onto growing as recognized national leader in their category. Mathew has served hundreds of restaurant–entertainment owners and developers of lifestyle and mix-use centers. Mathew is founder of Emerging Concepts and Emerging Capital Partners, and co-founder of Consolidated Concepts and Acutely. Mathew has helped exciting concepts expand nationally with focusing on real estate, capital, operations, and reducing operating cost.
Mathew has worked with following restaurants and entertainment concepts; Silverspot Cinema, Blue Sushi, Pour House, City Works, Doc B’s, The PUB, Levity Live, Improv Comedy Club, AZN, TAPS, Flip Side, 3 Palms, Blue Lemon, Adobe Gilas, Bar Louie, Concepts America, Devons Seafood, Houlihans, Cheesecake Factory, Brio, Bravo, McCormick & Schmick, Blue Martini, Hyde Park Steakhouse, BICE, Lucky Strike, Houstons, Cameron Mitchell, and many other restaurant and entertainment concepts.
Prior, Mathew was Principal of Sierra Advisors and Vice President of RKF Retail Property Advisors providing comprehensive leasing, marketing, and consulting services to owners and developers of malls, lifestyle centers, and mixed-use projects. Responsible for securing national expansion sites for over a dozen top restaurant and entertainment emerging chains and executing leasing for the restaurant tenant mix for hundreds of thousands of square feet around the U.S. Prior to RKF, Mathew was with Pyramid Companies and Steiner & Associates where he was responsible for restaurant leasing and development the firm’s superior-regional malls and mixed-use lifestyle projects.
Mathew earned a Masters of Business Administration in Finance and Real Estate and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Cincinnati. He is a member of International Council of Shopping Centers, Urban Land Institute, and National Restaurant Association.
Luis Lara works with some of the top concepts and private equity firms in the restaurant industry. He is responsible for identifying opportunities for restaurant companies to reduce cost and improve their profitability. Luis has helped clients add millions of dollars to their bottom line without disrupting the restaurant’s operations or affecting quality or the integrity of the brand.
Prior to joining Emerging, Luis worked for a top Illinois financial institution, BMO Harris Bank, and for two of the leading technology companies in Chicago, Careerbuilder and Belly. Luis graduated from the business school at Elmhurst College with a double major in International Business and Finance.
Spending the majority of his career in hospitality, Alan brings extensive experience and knowledge in fundamental business facets including real estate, data analytics/site selection, supply chain, operations, marketing, and technology. Inherently entrepreneurial, Alan has been a cornerstone in building the EMERGING family of companies. Over the years, Alan has worked closely with hundreds of leading restaurant and entertainment groups throughout the country; consulting on creating strategic real-estate expansion plans, fundraising, and building supply chain infrastructures. Alan deploys a dynamic understanding of both growth and operations; having been instrumental in creating back-of-house efficiencies and reducing cost through negotiating distribution agreements, manufacturer contracts, and implementing technologies to help optimize day-to-day operations. Alan holds a degree from Depaul University in History/Pre-Law and Hospitality Management and Leadership. He holds his real estate license in Illinois and is an active member of ICSC.
Haywood joined Emerging in March, 2017, bringing with her a background in restaurants and hospitality. Prior to joining Emerging, Haywood and her sister bought and returned to profitability a quick-serve café in California. She overhauled the business by changing the sourcing, menu, branding, social media presence and built a catering program from scratch. Haywood operated it for three years before selling it to move to Chicago.
Haywood grew up in California and played basketball while earning a Psychology degree from Yale University. She studied food and beverage marketing and menu engineering at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale.
Having spent half his life shaping the web, Aaron excels at molding creative concepts into functional and user-friendly applications. His work with top brands like Google, Nickelodeon, Warner Brothers, Nike, HBO, Kimberly-Clark and Allstate has netted him two Webby Awards, a pair of IMA Interactive Media Awards, and a Horizon Interactive Award. Based in New York, when Aaron isn’t plugged in to technology, he can be found hiking the Catskill mountains.
Veronica has extensive experience building brands nationwide and creating comprehensive sales-driving solutions in the beverage industry. After completing her MBA, Veronica spent eight years working in the advertising agency world creating award-winning campaigns across channels. Her business background coupled with her creative experience fuel her passion for innovative strategy and technology.
As a director in the Chicago office, Robert is responsible for national tenant representation and leasing. Robert joined the Emerging Concepts team 2016, bringing with him a background in finance and commercial real estate. Prior to joining Emerging Concepts, Robert worked at R.J O’Brien (a founding member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange) and Milliman Financial Risk. Robert then spent a year working in acquisitions, specializing in mixed-use assets. Robert has an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for the restaurant industry. Born and raised in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin Robert earned his bachelors degree in Economics from Indiana University and Master of Science in Real Estate Finance from Depaul University, Chicago. He holds his real estate license in Florida and Illinois and is an active member of ICSC and CCIM.
Patricia has worked in client management within multiple industries including social services, healthcare, and insurance. Patricia brings with her a desire to provide the highest level of service and to support her client’s best interests.
Keith writes in the spheres of education, film, comedy, and politics. As a freelancer, he has created engaging copy and video content for hospitals, small businesses, documentaries, and political candidates. In 2016, he was an organizer and regional digital lead for a presidential candidate (hint: she lost). He is also licensed to operate a forklift.
Jennifer has nearly a decade of experience in a wide range of design roles, most recently as Creative Director Dharma, a humanitarian aid platform. She has worked extensively in User Interface and User Experience design for both web and mobile applications, and she also has a strong background in branding, marketing, and communications.
Hudson joined Tipzyy three years ago as it's first employee! As COO, he manages the product development and operations teams. He uses his extensive background in team building and project management to deliver high quality products and customer service to Tipzyy clients.
Hudson has held senior roles at leading interactive companies and gamification for over 20 years. He has managed multiple Mobile Gaming Groups and responsible for client management and overall direction of several apps in parallel. Has extensive history with product vision, client coordination and project management for games, educational apps and consumer branded mobile apps.