Whether you’re looking for qualified restaurant consultants or seeking new opportunities as a consultant yourself, we prepared this guide on restaurant consultant salary trends, top restaurant consulting firms and what to expect in terms of the hiring process for this role.
With the restaurant industry’s constant pace of innovation, staying up to date on where the industry is trending offers benefits to both employers and hopefuls alike.
Restaurant Consultant Salary in the U.S.
The average restaurant consultant salary in the United States is $69,000 per year—a higher amount than those received by some top-level positions in the restaurant industry, such as restaurant general managers.
Below are some restaurant consultant salary averages in major US cities
New York City
The average restaurant consultant salary in New York City is around $81,000 per year.
In this city where property prices are notoriously high and stringent regulations govern restaurant operations, restaurant consultants are hired for their knowledge of the local real estate market and private equity advisement.
Miami offers an average restaurant consultant salary of $66,000 annually.
From mom-and-pop establishments to high-lux eateries in the city, restaurant consultants in Miami provide guidance on location selection, lease negotiations and even menu development, ensuring that the offerings align with rich, local tastes.
The average restaurant consultant salary in Chicago is $72,000 per year.
With the city’s diverse culinary landscape offering a rich tapestry of restaurants, together with the locals’ high regard for their own food and drink, the demand for restaurant consultancy services is substantial.
The average restaurant consultant salary in Los Angeles is $77,000 per year.
Restaurant consultants in L.A. maximize the vibrant influencer culture, food truck and pop-up concepts and multiculturalism evident in the city to deliver specialized services.
What Factors Affect a Restaurant Consultant’s Salary?
Understanding the factors that impact a restaurant consultant’s salary is essential for those looking to embark or continue to thrive on this path, as well as those in the hiring business.
These insights will guide you in navigating your earning potential within the industry.
1. Geographic Location
In bustling culinary hubs and major metropolitan areas with a thriving restaurant scene, consultants often have access to a larger client base and higher-end establishments, leading to higher earning potential.
Meanwhile, those in smaller towns can tap into underserved markets and build strong local connections.
2. Establishment Type
Consultants specializing in fine-dining restaurants, upscale establishments or renowned chains may command higher fees due to the complexity of their operations, brand reputation and higher financial stakes.
3. Project Scope and Duration
Larger projects that require extensive research, analysis and implementation strategies may come with higher compensation. Additionally, longer-term consulting engagements often offer consultants more stability and predictable income.
4. Expertise and Specialization
Consultants who possess in-demand skills such as menu development, culinary innovation, food safety and compliance, operational efficiency or concept creation may be able to negotiate higher fees given their specialized knowledge.
5. Reputation and Track Record
Consultants with a proven history of successful projects, positive client testimonials and industry recognition are often sought after and can command higher fees based on their established expertise and credibility.
How To Negotiate a Higher Restaurant Consultant Salary
Effective negotiation strategies are crucial when trying to secure a higher restaurant consultant salary. Here’s a concise and practical guide to get you started.
- Research market rates: Begin by researching the current market rates for the position with similar experience and expertise.
Understand the restaurant consultant salary ranges prevalent in the industry, considering factors such as geographic location and establishment type.
- Highlight relevant experience: Emphasize your specific experience and achievements demonstrating your value as a restaurant consultant.
Showcase successful projects, cost-saving initiatives, revenue growth and any unique skills or specializations that set you apart.
Clearly articulate how your expertise directly benefits the restaurant and justifies a higher salary.
- Quantify your impact: Whenever possible, quantify the impact of your work in terms of financial gains, operational improvements or client satisfaction.
Use concrete data and metrics to substantiate your value proposition.
- Showcase client testimonials: Gather testimonials or references from satisfied clients and the positive outcomes you’ve delivered.
Client feedback adds credibility to your negotiation, reinforcing your value as a trusted and effective restaurant consultant.
- Demonstrate industry knowledge: Highlight your up-to-date knowledge of industry trends, emerging technologies and best practices relevant to the restaurant industry.
For example, food prices are one of the biggest challenges experienced by restaurateurs today—something you should definitely know as a professional, or up-and-coming, restaurant consultant.
- Leverage networking connections: Leverage your professional network to gather insights on restaurant consultant salary ranges and industry standards.
Engage with colleagues, mentors or industry associations to gain a comprehensive understanding of prevailing compensation practices.
- Articulate growth potential: Express your commitment to professional development and continued growth within the restaurant consulting field.
Highlight any plans for acquiring additional certifications, attending relevant conferences or expanding your skill set. This also demonstrates your long-term value to the organization.
- Be professional and confident: No one likes a consultant who doesn’t exude confidence. During the negotiation process, maintain a professional demeanor and be confident in your abilities.
Communicate your expectations, but also be open to constructive dialogue.
Along with considering the above aspects, don’t forget to discuss other components of your compensation package, such as bonuses, performance incentives or opportunities for advancement.
Remember: negotiation is a collaborative process. Approach the discussion with a win-win mindset to create a mutually beneficial agreement.
10 Top Restaurant Consulting Firms in the U.S.
Below is a list of some of the top companies in restaurant consultancy that might be a good fit for the role you’re looking for:
Coyle Hospitality is a renowned global hospitality consulting company headquartered in New York, with 37 other locations in the U.S. and many more abroad.
They specialize in providing comprehensive business intelligence and customer experience evaluation services to various businesses, especially the hospitality industry.
National Restaurant Consultants is a food service consulting firm headquartered in Denver dedicated to providing expert service to clients, from family-style restaurants, coffee shops and delis to full-service restaurants, resorts and hotels.
Their sister firm, Anesis Consulting Group, is reserved for higher-end projects.
Blackwood Hospitality is a specialized full-service advisory and consulting company based in New York City, Los Angeles and Hudson Valley.
With services including menu and concept development, marketing and food and beverage strategies, Blackwood Hospitality’s team comprises restaurant professionals, restaurant brokers, former restaurant owners, managers, graphic designers and other experts.
TRG Restaurant Consulting is a management and consulting firm that assists restaurants and hospitality businesses with their operational needs.
Their headquarters are based in Miami, and their main focus is restaurant startup support, guiding them from ideation to capitalization.
Last Word Hospitality is a comprehensive hospitality consulting firm based in Los Angeles that provides strategic solutions to restaurants, hotels and bars.
They have a team of experts with different specializations, aiming to build a strategy around their partners’ brand values.
Aaron Allen & Associates is a global restaurant consultancy firm in Chicago serving clients worldwide. With their expertise and extensive network, they assist food service and hospitality companies across 6 continents and 100 countries.
Clark Wolf Company is a restaurant and food business consulting firm in New York City and Sonoma County with many successful projects in big cities like Las Vegas, Orlando, Los Angeles and Miami.
Their clientele comprises restaurants, property holders, real estate developers, public relations firms and accounting firms.
Synergy Restaurant Consultants offers services from restaurant operations and concept innovation to training and education through workshops, webinars and scholarships for students interested in food service.
The company’s headquarters is located in Newport Beach.
New School Consulting is a boutique hospitality agency in Los Angeles offering a variety of consulting services from concept creation and support to administration, branding development and operations management.
RealFood’s direct partnership with restaurant owners, facility operators and property developers allows them to define concepts, design food service spaces and deliver outstanding end-user experiences for a wide range of clients.
Their main office is in Newton, with additional offices in Orlando, Scottsdale and Yarmouth.
Find the Best Restaurant Consultant Salary & Opportunities With OysterLink
OysterLink is a budding hospitality platform that aims to connect employees with employers in the hospitality industry—from restaurants to hotels and beyond.
By joining OysterLink, aspiring restaurant consultants can find job opportunities that match their skills and qualifications. OysterLink also offers insights into restaurant work, skills enhancement, network building and everything you need to thrive in the restaurant industry.
For employers, OysterLink offers access to top talent from entry-level to managerial positions, helping hiring managers navigate the grueling labor shortage and high turnover rate in the restaurant world.