The Landing Club & Café was a new and challenging opportunity outside of our core business and the typical café model. Synergy was instrumental in guiding us through unchartered territory from beginning to end. They modified the typical café to fit our smaller scale without sacrificing the customer experience that is so important to our brand. We were impressed with Synergy at every stage of our start-up from vision to design to our offering. We look forward to future opportunities with Synergy, and highly recommend them to others stepping into the known and often unknown world of food service whether start-up or enhancement of a current business.
- Alex McLeod, Vice President, Newland Communities
We were extremely impressed with the Synergy team during the training and Grand Opening period. Danny and Mark were very hands-on and patient with our new café team throughout the entire process. The attention to detail they displayed throughout the planning process served us well during the training period, which was extremely organized and planned out. We appreciated the reciprocity of ideas during this phase, in terms of what was working and what wasn’t, once we were “living” it, as well as their flexibility in making adjustments as needed. In addition to staff training on recipes, equipment, etc., Danny and Mark also assisted with merchandising, product display, vendor introductions and price negotiations. Overall, our café team felt completely comfortable and prepared to manage all aspects of the café operation when Synergy’s training was complete.
The result – a unique café model that is enhancing our guest experience and supporting our core business, which is selling community – and ultimately, new homes. Synergy provided our team with all of the fundamentals and the solid foundation needed to build a successful café operation, while still infusing creativity and original thinking to achieve our vision and ensure the café became an extension of our Waterset brand and a seamless part of our overall operation.
Since launching the Waterset café, we have enjoyed several productive follow-up calls with the Synergy team, and have also engaged them to create a full-service restaurant experience in our newest community in Washington D. C.
- Pam Parisi, Newland Communities
I just want to let you know that your “BBQ Discovery Exercise” in Manhattan, New York for Huck Finn’s BBQ headed by your “Restaurant Navy Seal Team” comprising Danny Bendas, Salma Abu-Ghazaleh and Karen Brennan was a discovery about myself
1) In the twenty years I have been in the restaurant business I learned a lot more about BBQ than I knew before this Discovery Tour
2) I came out of that exercise more confident than I was going in; so much so that when I open my BBQ restaurant in New YORK City ” I SHALL FEAR NO COMPETITION” That confidence is worth more to me than all the cool stuff you can do for our company. Its priceless with a capital “P”
3) In talking to potential investors ; the mere mention of your name is opening doors that would otherwise be shut.
4) In closing let me say i look forward to a very long relationship with “Synergy Restaurant Consultants”
Anthony Hernandez-Wallen, President, Huck Finn’s BBQ & More Inc.
Pollo Campero is a passionate place and your team brought your passion to the table as well. Your professional and straightforward comments were invaluable.With your help and insight we were able to streamline our operations and BOH design in our new prototype, which will allow us to reach our goals.
The multiple projects were completed flawlessly and allowed us to increase efficiencies while still improving our food quality. We look forward to working with Synergy again if the need arises.
Roberto Denegri, President, Campero USA
I want you to know that I and my team are very impressed by the thorough, comprehensive and professional job done by you and your associates. We have implemented a number of your recommendations with great success and there are many more suggested action steps that we are working on or contemplating doing.
The primary benefit to date has been that our team has taken a fresh look at our food, our presentations, our beverage offerings, our physical plant and our service standards. Your insights and suggestions relative to all aspects of our restaurant have had a catalytic effect, prompting our management to come up with many ideas for improvement on their own.
You gave us three reports: Branding and Marketing, Decor and Atmosphere and an extremely comprehensive and detailed analysis of our Operations, containing 15 sections. Every time I read each of these three I uncover insights and ideas that I had overlooked before. All in all I find the work that you have done for us to be a trove of actionable ideas and a road map of how to turn a mediocre money losing operation into a profitable one based on an enhanced brand, much improved offerings and procedures, and more effective marketing. Our sales have increased and I know that customer satisfaction is up….and the food tastes better!
As a former CEO of a large restaurant chain I have had experience with a number of consulting firms with stellar reputations. Synergy does not take a back seat to anyone The work you have done for Ignite Bistro and Wine Spot is top notch, and your fee was quite reasonable I look forward to having you help me in the future on other endeavors.
Frank Day, President and CEO Concept Restaurants, Inc.
When we were first developing LYFE Kitchen, we knew, from experience, that our concept would need a highly skilled team of consultants who could help us design our kitchen, fine tune a sustainable menu and a formulate a system of service and operations.We interviewed several firms but Synergy’s passion and experience made them stand out. Synergy brought their best and brightest to our multi-disciplinary requirements and helped create our amazing first restaurant which is now a huge success in Palo Alto.
Mike Roberts, CEO (Former President of McDonald’s)
I utilized Synergy Restaurant Consultants in 2009 while I was serving as Director of Operational Efficiency for California Pizza Kitchen. Dean, Danny, and Team performed a time and motion study on 350 prep ingredients and about 100 plate recipes. They delivered the study on time and in a very user friendly format that allowed CPK to then use that information to determine the labor portion of the fully burdened margin for every menu item. This allowed the company to then make much better menu pricing decisions as well as re-engineer recipes for items with good sales but a low margin. The time/motion information also allowed CPK the ability to assign a prep time for each item on a daily prep list to better allocate necessary prep hours and hold the employee accountable for completing that list on time.
Based on this good work by Synergy, I used their services again in late 2009 and early 2010 for a BOH Operations Assessment where we spent a week in 3 units identifying inefficiencies within CPK’s production model. Based on the recommendations in that study CPK was able to remove 40 to 60 BOH hours per unit per week from the labor schedules which was quite impressive. I very much enjoyed working with Dean and Danny and appreciated their in-depth knowledge of the operational aspects of our business. Please let me know if you have questions or comments and good luck in the future.
Dave Dwyer, Real Mex Restaurants, Inc.
For five consecutive years Romano’s Macaroni Grill has won the coveted Restaurant and Institutions Platinum Award as America’s Choice of Chains. Even so we felt a little too close to our own business at times to move our brand to the next level. This is where Synergy Consulting comes in.
What started as a simple desire to increase consistency and quality, reduce unnecessary efforts and simplify layers of complication built on seventeen years of evolution, resulted in a plethora of new and innovative approaches we never thought possible. Not only did our executive team fully embrace the recommendations but our front line managers also saw them as heroes and a voice for change.
The experience was well worth our time and money spent. Dean and Danny delivered beyond our expectations. I highly recommend Synergy to any restaurant operator seeking assistance and making their operation better.
John Miller, Former President, Romano’s Macaroni Grill
Fantastic Job! Both of you are so incredibly professional and talented, and your ability to work seamlessly in our restaurants with our Corporate Executive Chef and our Chef Partners was particularly appreciated. You’ve helped us to take a new look at how we execute our menu, recommended creative ways to take signature menu items up several notches. Moreover, you counseled us on various techniques to improve productivity and quality.
Having the benefit of your experience and expertise has truly made a difference in improving all aspects of our business.
Skip Fox, President, Fleming’s Prime Steak House and Wine Bar
We hired Dean and his team to do an overall business evaluation of our business, after having been open for almost two years. We hired Synergy Restaurant Consultants because we wanted a fresh, objective perspective on how we were running our existing business, and what new things we could do to improve our sales and control our costs. Dean and his team conducted a hands-on evaluation of our business, from top to bottom, looking at everything from how we prepare our food to how we market and sell our product. Upon completing their evaluation, they gave us a list of actionable items that we are currently implementing, and which we believe will generate an improvement in our business. We have been very satisfied with their work so far, and are bringing them back to do some add-on work in the coming months. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a fresh, objective perspective on evaluating any restaurant food business.
Marwan Salem, Founder & Managing Partner, Meze Grill
After almost two years of being in business, we realized we were in trouble and needed help. Our business was on the edge of survival and we needed an expert to save it. Our biggest problem was our menu.
We did our homework and located the most reputable food consulting company in the country. Synergy was cited as the most experienced and knowledgeable in food, operations, and marketing expertise. I engaged Synergy and they responded immediately.
Synergy also had a marketing expert who put together a marketing strategy for us. My partner was concerned that their plan would entail thousands of dollars of investments in advertising that doesn’t work. Instead, they used modern social media marketing techniques and age old direct marketing practices that did work. Synergy also helped to directly improve our bottom line by showing us how to decrease our expenses and minimize waste.
What impressed me most about Synergy was that they really listened to our needs and over delivered and exceeded all expectations. Calling Synergy was the best investment and decision for my company and I would highly recommend them to any struggling restaurant. My biggest regret is that we didn’t call them earlier. The investment in you guys has translated to an over $80,000 savings over 3.5 years. Thats an almost 5,000% ROI per year. I guess that means you guys are worth the money!
Solomon Solomonov, WiPie
As a result of Synergy’s efforts, we have seen significant improvement in guest frequency, improved operating efficiencies, increased sales and guest satisfaction scores, and improved bottom line profits. I would strongly recommend Dean and Danny to any organization with a desire to improve food quality, upgrade menu selections, and objectively assess current operations with an eye toward positive improvement.
Jim Nowodworski, CFO, Burgerville Restaurants
We entered a relationship with Synergy Restaurant Consultants that began with a thorough Operations Assessment and Operations War College, involving nearly a dozen of our key associates. As a result, Synergy has completely revamped our menu offerings, instituted professional management practices, provided training, monitored execution and followed up extensively as we progressed through our makeover. We have significantly reduced both food and labor costs. Additionally, our customer counts are positive for the first time in two years, with the first quarter… being the best in the history of our company.
Bradley S. Lomax, President, Water Street, Inc.
I wanted to take a moment to tell you how pleased we are with the operational review of our company you performed. The results of your study have given us a clear picture of where we are, with an exceptional step-by-step plan we can use that will set ourselves up for major growth. You and your company provide a truly unique set of skills that has been immensely beneficial to us.
Tim McEnery, President, Cooper’s Hawk
Ruby’s is a full service family restaurant of 39 locations in Southern California. Synergy began a comprehensive process of evaluating our kitchen efficiency levels and throughput. The process included situational analysis, setting up quantitative goals and measures, establishing methodology and four days of operational evaluations. The results were extremely insightful and educational. We anticipate significant cost savings as a result of their recommendations. We are confident we will be able to achieve all of our goals and look forward to using Synergy again.
Fred LeFranc, Chief Operating Officer, Ruby’s Diner, Inc.
Danny and Dean spent the time necessary to completely understand the Saltgrass operating system by working numerous hours in many of the Saltgrass units. The Synergy team made change easy with their ability to create all the operational documents, manuals and recipes necessary for fast and effective change. Synergy’s talent for recognizing strengths, weaknesses and opportunities has made Saltgrass Steak House a more profitable and efficient business.
Mitch Murray, Executive VP Operations Saltgrass Inc.
Over the period of two to three months, Dean and Danny have worked tirelessly with our team to not only understand the food production process and operational flow of a Vietnamese restaurant but also studied the cultural aspects of the operations.
The end product is a meticulously assembled set of documentations that we believe not only provide a structural approach to the operations system-wide but also deliver a consistent handling of our products.
Eddy Thio, Director of Operations Aureflam
We were developing a steak and seafood restaurant concept and had limited restaurant experience, and wanted to avoid expensive pit stops along the way. After my initial meeting with Dean of Synergy I told my financial backer that if we hired Synergy Restaurant Consultants our restaurant would win awards. Synergy played an integral role in every step of the process in the creation of Corbin’s Grille. It took less than six months to be awarded Utah’s Best Kept Secret by well regarded Utah Business magazine. Retaining Synergy as a partner was unequivocally the best decision I made.
Jake Garn, President, Corbin’s Grille
I just wanted to send you a short note of thanks for your participation as our keynote speaker at the 2012 Northwest Foodservice Show in Seattle. Your seminar, Trends with Benefits, was well received by attendees who, overall, considered it highly engaging, well researched, and packed with informative and useful information. Your participation helped to make this year’s 50th anniversary show a spectacular success.
We engaged Synergy Consultants to leverage their knowledge of the restaurant world as we developed a new television series for NBC that involved launching a small restaurant chain as a prize. As the producers of Top Chef, we know the food world quite well, but the inner-workings of how restaurants get opened and how they are operated was a bit more foreign to us.
Synergy delivered precisely the analysis we needed well within the aggressive timeline we had set. As a result, we were able to take a very well thought out plan to NBC that had a very detailed breakdown of the costs associated with the endeavor as well as a timeline for us to work from. In the end, NBC ordered the project to series and the work Synergy Consultants did for us was invaluable.
Ross Jacobson, COO, Magical Elves
The knowledge and experience that the Synergy team brought to the table was instrumental in our ability to put a complicated deal together with multiple entities. As I have said in the past, our first meeting exceeded our expectations by a long shot and I was amazed at what we were able to accomplish in a limited period of time. Synergy’s ‘out of the box’ thinking and expertise in concept development, branding, financial modeling and development of our business plan added a degree of experience and professionalism that very well could of been the deciding factor in us getting such a sizeable loan. Having the Synergy team on my side was a great investment.
Things here could not be better. We are currently West Virginia’s largest independent restaurant according to our Sysco representative. We are looking to reach 3 Million in our first year! We currently employe 72, and if our off site catering continues to grow we will have to add more. Our December is booked solid and we are looking forward to our anniversary on Febuary 21st.
Thank you and your Synergy team for giving us the tools and confidence to have such a tremendous start.
Robert Sydenstricker, Founder and President, FireSide Grille
We interviewed numerous consultants and finally decided that Dean and Danny of Synergy Restaurant Consultants were best suited to support this endeavor because of their vast experience working with chains and their culinary, operations and training knowledge.
The Synergy partners played a pivotal role facilitating a Best Practices Round Table with our senior management team, facilitating the updating all of our operations manuals, training and recipe books.
We recognized the value of having Dean and Danny as our as our culinary partners and they were instrumental in filling the pipeline with numerous menu items that are signature to our brand. These guys are food gurus – hire them!
Stephen Silverstein, Not Your Average Joe’s, Founder
My experiences with Dean and Danny ranging from specific projects to audits, to their presenting concept ideas for venders have all achieved our objectives. Their unique combination of culinary skills, hands on experience, creative juices, and worldwide perspective bring results. They provide a good recipe for success.
Bob Taft, Chief Operating Officer, Fuddrucker’s
We hired Dean and the team at Synergy to help us mold our restaurant idea into a viable concept for the Washington, DC market. With Dean’s guidance, our original idea, that in hindsight was somewhat one-dimensional, has evolved into an exciting brand that has the potential for great success and scalability. I highly recommend Synergy for restaurant start-up services and welcome the opportunity to work with them in the future on additional phases of our restaurant project.
Mike Halpern, CEO, Franchise Consulting, LLC
I wanted write this letter to let you know how pleased I am with the outstanding service you and your team have given us on the Daytona Beach Pier project. This project was on a fast track, and Synergy jumped right on board. You had an associate travel to meet with us within a few days of our initial call, and less than 2 weeks later, the final 50 page proposal to the city was submitted on deadline. Your dedication and efforts in helping me to address all of the city’s concerns in the RFP has not gone unnoticed. During the scope of work, I was always able to rely on the flexibility and initiative your team brought to the project; and due to their creativity I felt assured that no stone went unturned. Thank you Synergy again for helping me turn my interest in this project into a reality.
Barry Clarambeau, Managing Partner, Big Kahuna
We wanted to get an outside perspective of how we can improve our execution and operating systems with the goal of improving our financial performance and driving guest frequency. Their process was extremely thorough and provided us with a very detailed report that addressed immediate opportunities for operations and menu improvement and numerous suggestions on ways we can achieve operational excellence and improve the overall dining experience for our guests without raising labor costs.
We were extremely impressed with the quality of their