Meet the Team


Founder and Managing Partner, Since 1988

Dean Small, the founder and CEO of Synergy Restaurant Consultants, has more than 35 years of hands-on food service experience. In addition to leading Synergy for nearly three decades, he has owned and operated restaurants, bakeries, juice bars, and retail specialty food concepts.

Upon graduating from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Dean completed a two-year culinary apprenticeship at Windows On The World, at the time the number one sales volume restaurant in the world, located atop the World Trade Center in New York City. During his apprenticeship, Dean also served as personal executive chef to former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller. In 1985, Dean became Director of Culinary Development and Purchasing Manager at El Torito Restaurants, which operated more than 220 units and 12 restaurant concepts, with operations grossing over $420 million.

In 1988, Dean founded Synergy Restaurant Consultants to provide innovation and efficiency strategies to restaurants and food manufacturers. Since then, Synergy has been a food, beverage, and operations resource to over 225 national restaurant chains and independent operators. Dean earned a bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University and an AOS from the CIA.


Fresh paella in Ibiza, Spain

“Synergy is just that: a cooperative, combined effort in helping clients save money, make money and turn their dreams into realities.”