Emerging ConceptsPrivate Equity

The Challenges for Early-Stage Restaurant Concepts

At EMERGING, we work with restaurants and entertainment concepts as a strategic partner supporting their growth using data science, managing supply chains, promoting investment strategies and developing hiring solutions in a tight labor market. In the 25-plus years and hundreds of restaurants we’ve served, we’ve watched the restaurant landscape transform.

Today, the restaurant industry is consolidating, and private equity firms have been quick to join the efforts. In fact, private equity-backed restaurant chains account for almost 10% of all restaurants in the U.S.

The Challenges Early-Stage Concepts Face

Knowing the challenges is the first step in addressing them and creating the means to overcome them. Our experience informs us that one of the challenges these companies face as they attempt to expand includes precise, accurate, and targeted location strategies and managing real estate procurement on a national level. 

They also face supply chain management and sourcing issues as expansion leads to more complex requirements. Pricing, distribution, and local opportunities all determine the bottom line. And, of course, with today’s challenging labor pool, attracting and hiring highly-qualified staff has created a monumental hurdle.

The fourth common issue among early-stage concepts is access to capital. To address these challenges, we’ve developed the strategies and technology that allow these concepts to scale growth while mitigating risk. Let’s take a look at just a few of the many opportunities.   

Using Data to Support Growth

Data analytics reveals critical insights about your customers. This information is then used when targeting new locations, minimizing expansion risks. Data scientists use big data and data obtained from your POS system and mobile devices to determine actionable insights into your expansion plans. 

We’ll come up with several opportunities for expansion based on customer analysis, maximizing your revenue potential. This includes a deep understanding of your VIP customers, including where they live and work, how they get to your restaurants, and their buying habits. Utilizing the information that big data now gives us, we can provide a turnkey solution for site selection.   

Supply Chain Cost Reduction

The truth behind the saying that we don’t really know what we have until it’s gone was forever emblazoned in our brains in 2020. Of course, that was only the beginning. The pandemic and the choices we made left a supply chain crisis few of us have experienced in our decades in the restaurant industry. 

Today, one of the greatest challenges is getting your supply chain in order during your expansion strategies. This is particularly vital for those restaurants that locally source high-quality, fresh food. 

In 2009, we founded Consolidated Concepts. Ordering, inventory control, recipe costing, price verification, and contract management are consolidated and unified, creating seamless operations while reducing operating costs. We bring $10 billion in annual purchasing power to the table, as well as a wealth of knowledge in procuring products and negotiation.

Finding the Right Workers

As Kelly Clarkson sang, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” While the pandemic left much heartbreak in its wake, it also accelerated restaurants into the age of technology. Mobile apps, delivery services, and the all-important website became front and center. We knew that someday we’d get more technologically advanced and develop our digital presence; we just didn’t know the immediacy of that requirement. 

Now, we do. At EMERGING, we’ve been blessed to be a part of a group of data scientists, engineers, real estate enthusiasts, and artists, all working together to create a platform built to help restaurants succeed. When the changing labor market severely impacted our clients and the industry, we knew we had to help develop a solution. And, Target Workforce was born. 

Target Workforce is a proprietary technology that revolutionizes hiring. Using the latest technology, we can help you find the highest quality trained staff at the lowest recruiting costs. It’s all done through advanced geo-location, targeting qualified restaurant workers in your area. 


Why are restaurants having supply chain issues?

Several factors brought on the supply chain disruption. These included labor shortages, increased consumer demand, manufacturing slowdowns, and port delays. The entire supply chain was affected, from chicken wings to alcohol, lettuce, and takeout containers. Even when they could get supplies, the costs reflected the shortages and the high demand. 

At EMERGING, we could help our clients weather the storm because of our extensive and well-developed supply chain partners and the processes we’ve developed throughout the years across the nation. 

Why is there a labor shortage in the restaurant industry?

The restaurant industry was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. Establishments closed, and workers were laid off. In the aftermath, past employees questioned returning to an industry that couldn’t always support them in a crisis. As a result, many went into other lines of work, and those that returned wanted increased earnings, benefits, and a better work-life balance. 

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