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Having been in the food and beverage industry for over fifteen years, we regularly meet people who are very passionate and keen to set up their own restaurant. Ribbon Consulting can help with this, as well as with a variety of other services that will reduce the risk in your new venture.

I want to set up my own restaurant - how can you help?

At Ribbon, we offer bespoke hospitality consulting that can help you establish a unique and profitable restaurant in the UAE, GCC and India. We work hand-in-hand with you every step of the way, from creating a business plan and feasibility study, to developing the concept, creating your menu, finding a suitable location followed by complete project execution and management. We cover all stages including pre-opening, opening, and ongoing management to ensure your restaurant is a success.

I have an idea for a restaurant concept – can you tell me if it’s viable for this market?

Yes, we can. Our in-depth feasibility studies will show you whether your restaurant concept is likely to succeed or not and where it would stand in the market versus direct or in-direct competitors. If your restaurant concept is viable, we can then consult on the next stages with the ultimate aim of bringing your concept to life.

Can you help select the best location for a new restaurant?

We certainly can. Our team has over 15 years’ experience in the UAE and India, and are experts in identifying the right criteria for locations. Our large networks of real estate partners help us in finding the ideal location with the required technical provisions for a given concept. This process includes an in-depth analysis for each shortlisted potential venue, including identifying the area’s demographics, local competitors, tastes & preferences, spending power etc. We also conduct site feasibility and analyses for your concept to ensure the business model is adapted to suit the location.

How much does it cost to build a restaurant?

The total investment or capital required for building a restaurant is subject to various factors including the size and type of operation, the number of units to be built, whether the concept has been designed already or not, the location requirements for the concept, and the overall execution strategy. Broadly speaking, multiple units, versus single unit businesses, will bring the cost per unit down and benefit the overall business in the long-run. A unit in a Tier I mall could cost 20 – 50% more than the same sized unit elsewhere i.e. as a standalone, in a community, commercial tower, Tier II mall etc. It is critical to also understand that in addition to the initial capital required to setup the restaurant, some amount of liquidity should be maintained for working capital needs for at least a period of 12 – 24 months following the restaurant opening, as the restaurant reaches a self-sustenance stage.

How long does restaurant development take?

The length of the process depends on where you are with your concept. If you already have a fully designed concept ready to go, the process can be quite quick, depending on a suitable location being found. However, if you need to create a restaurant brand from scratch, this will take a bit longer, as it is important to go through a detailed concept creation process to make sure you will be left with a brand as you imagined. Our methodology is based on a three-step approach, which covers the following:

Phase Timeframe
Business Plan & Feasibility Study 6 – 8 weeks
Project Build & Execution
  • Concept, Menu, Supply chain, Fit out, Recruiting, Training, Company Set up,
    Brand registration, and Pre-opening.
Typically 6 - 8 months
On-going Management
  • General management
  • Accounting & Bookkeeping
  • Social Media & PR
  • On-going HR support
  • Menu Engineering
  • Troubleshooting
  • Vendor Management
  • Supply Chain Management and Enhancement
  • Quality Assurance & Audits
  • Customer Care Management
Recurring 1 year contracts
How do I recruit the right people?

Our team can help with recruitment for both back of house and front of house restaurant staff. It is vital that your team reflects the values of your brand and is able to effectively communicate your concept through high levels of service to guests. In a market that is renowned for a high staff turnover, we also advise on strategies to assist with retention that goes beyond simply offering higher wages.

Do you work in other parts of the GCC?

Yes, our vision is to be the hospitality consulting firm of choice in major cities across the GCC, and we are on our way to achieving this.

What if I have a restaurant already but I’m struggling to operate it?

In addition to financial and strategic planning and project execution, our services include managing existing restaurant operations, to improve profitability and further expand the brand. We can provide a hands-on approach to identify areas under pressure where additional support might be needed.

Should I Franchise or build my own brand?

Both have their pros and cons – depending on your needs, we will advise on which strategy is best suited to you. Franchising brands comes with a proof of concept, either in the same country or internationally, and a well-established infrastructure, that will help you launch your unit quickly and in the most efficient manner. However, this comes at a price – both qualitative and quantitative i.e. high upfront investment in the form of franchise fees, on-going royalties, marketing fees, lack of control on the brand, challenges with menu adaptability and so forth. Building your own brand is a more time-consuming process and faces higher risks as the concept is not yet tried & tested. On the positive side, if successful, you have complete ownership of the brand and will be able to adapt, evolve and expand the brand at your own pace and comfort.

Our team of experts will be happy to answer any other questions you might have
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