Posted by: jaybandy | January 12, 2017


Happy New Year everyone! Every year groups of food executives, purveyors, chefs and writers try to figure out the food trends for the up-coming year. As a Certified Executive Chef, it is not uncommon to get questionnaires from anyone of a number of groups about certain foods and products that may be a fit for the menu, or ask about what may well be the current food trending right now. Trying to create recipes and flavors that will make customers’ mouths water — and watching out for that food cost — is challenging to say the least.

As an industry chef, I tried to predict what my customers were in the mood for on any given month. It is not the easiest thing to accomplish. Regional foods are somewhat defined, and many of the trends tend to use an ingredient or a flavor in many different ways to appeal to those vast regions and demographics. But, drawing from many sources, and having a feel for movement within the industry, I can say that these are my top picks for 2017 Food Trends:

1) Global Cuisine
Global cuisines are always going to draw curiosity of guests especially with food television shows exploring every corner of the world. With that said, we will have to continue to fascinate guests and push the flavor profiles on menus. However, the lady trying to eat a small live octopus was more entertaining than the food she was trying to explain.

2) Flavors of Japan
Asian flavors have and continue to draw attention. A cuisine that has picked up some momentum is Japanese. While ramen continues on, two noteworthy items are Okonomiyaki (a kind of pizza/unfolded omelet with toppings) and Katsu Sando (crispy pork fried sandwich). It is taking a hold on menus on the West Coast restaurant scene as well as food trucks.

3) Different Meats, European Techniques
European items are also having a unique influence, as French techniques are being used for many mouthwatering creations. Chefs are experimenting with different cuts of meat and offerings from lamb and goat (an ingredient to watch), to new beef cuts like Vegas Strip and Merlot Cut. These different animals and cuts of meat are not only becoming a customer favorite, but also a favorite to restaurants and purveyors who are cashing in on new names for menu items, and old cooking techniques.

4) Artisan Pasta
Another European item to watch is pasta. Italian restaurants have always had the same crowd pleasing favorites, but artisan pasta is becoming a new and popular item. Flavored pastas like saffron, beet, spinach, red pepper, mushroom and squid ink are turning up on menus in a variety of shapes, fillings and sauces. It is a food-cost lover’s dream, as the ingredients and quantity made per recipe come out to pennies per portion, depending on the flavoring and sauces, of course.

5) House Made Sauces and Charcuterie
“Hold the Mayo!” may not be the case much longer as restaurants are developing “House Made” sauces for sandwiches, dipping sauces and drizzles. Other items that are tying in to the house made trend are charcuterie items. Charcuterie, ranging from smoked and cured meats to forcemeats like sausages, pate and terrines, draws curiosity and excitement to the menu.

6) Sustainable Seafood
Sustainable is also another word that is coming up on trends nationwide, as people are becoming more aware of products that can become extinct. This year, as in many years past, sustainable seafood still seems to be a draw for many customers. Menu creators will often utilize the words “local” and “sustainable” on menus to describe environmentally friendly products, and draw the attention of the eco-conscious customer.

7) Homestyle and Comfort Foods
The front page of Atlanta magazine and from the front page for the U.K magazine Delicious – Comfort Foods. IN BIG LETTERS! I have seen magazines that have the same headlines around the holidays especially around the American Holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Most of the magazines around the world will bait the American Audience with the Turkey and Ham, but I have not seen 2 different countries with the same headline. This is an interesting development because if you remember when fine dining started the nose dive it was during a very depressive time in American history, 9/11. People started wanting the feel good and comfort foods from childhood. Chefs reinvented cuisines for just this purpose. Be on the lookout for industry chefs playing around outside the box with comfort foods like Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes, Chicken and Dumplings, Hearty Soups in winter and lighter Soups in the summer. Look for some of your childhood menu items, but please draw the line at fruit cocktail in red Jello!

8) Take Away or Take-Out Foods
You will still see a strong business in people getting food delivered to the house by any means available. Also expect some restaurants that will to go orders on the phone or by phone AP and have it ready when they arrive. The continued trend of prepared food bars at grocery stores will also increase in sales numbers as working Americans will continue to look for convenience, and healthier alternatives.

9) Table Wares are becoming more modern and giving chefs a beautiful palate for the artistic expression of the food
So many more glassware designs and shapes are allowing chefs to use the bowls and plates to drizzle, drip and smear to highlight the course the chef is serving to the customer. A customer eats with his eyes first and then picks up the knife and fork.

10) Non-Alcoholic Drinks. I am a chef that has been to Walt Disney World way too many times
But as my wife and I sat in a Hotel on property with some sort of libation with a chunk of fruit and a bamboo back scratcher stuck it, we could not help to see kids with the same cups filled with a very similar colored liquid with a chuck of fruit and backscratcher. It was then I knew that Disney had a grip on a market. So when I could not help to over hear the guest with the kids say to his wife, “same price with or without alcohol.” This is grabbing the market in many places around the country. Utilization of freshly squeezed fruits and glassware for adults and children certainly can execute a kids menu with these drinks on it.

Honorable Mention) Children’s Menu Developments
Young families will be looking for places that they can enjoy dinner and take the children with them. Menu developers will focus of course on what children eat, but also appeal to Mom and Dad by having healthier items to choose from off menus specifically designed for them.


Posted by: Jay Bandy | July 21, 2016

When to Hire a Restaurant Consultant

When restaurants face nagging problems or about to enter a new stage of growth, it is time to consider a consultant. Operating costs, menu execution, customer service, marketing, supply chain or profitability have been troublesome or concerning without any sight of improvement it may be time to consider that assistance. In the long run, the ROI of a hiring a consultant can quite high by helping you resolve profitability issues and operational problem or avoid a costly mistake in the startup or expansion.

The consultant, being an objective outsider, can recognize issues more clearly. Then suggest and assist with implementing solutions more effectively than you, managers and your staff. When you’re close to a situation there is a tendency to being mired in the details and not be able to come up with a solid strategy and corresponding tactics to overcome the problems with the business. Consultants provide an objective point of view that is based on facts of the situation and the business.

A consultant brings to your business ideas and solutions that have been successful in other operations. Consultants have specialized knowledge, skills and experience to assist the operator with a combination of problem-solving, planning or implementation services depending on what the situation dictates.

Here are areas where a restaurant consultant will help you:

  • Site selection and concept development
  • Turnaround situations
  • Initial startup and project management
  • Menu development
  • Supply chain setup and management
  • Operations and profit assessment
  • Marketing
  • Growth strategies including franchising
  • Operating systems & procedures
  • Staff training programs
  • Technology solution including POS
  • Outsourced assistance

At Goliath Consulting Group, in most cases, we start with an operational assessment to provide you with insights on the underlying problems affecting performance as well as recommendations for solutions and the effect it is having on your business. Other engagements tackle a specific need: build a marketing plan, update the menu, develop a business plan for growth etc. We have the skills and experience to help you improve the situation you are facing.

Learn more about how Goliath Consulting Group can help you at: or contact us at:

Posted by: Jay Bandy | April 9, 2016

The Arrival of Technology in Restaurant Business

Technology has radically altered the way we do business and live our lives. A lot of tasks have been automated and others, which still require human input, have been greatly simplified making life easier for the entire human race. The process has just begun but it has already affected all areas of our lives so the restaurant business is no exception. From the onset, it appears that the restaurant business has a model which is heavily dependent on people, starting from the chef to the waiter who delivers the food so the question which naturally comes to mind is how is the restaurant industry getting benefits from the incorporation of technology in its business? Let us show you how.


Ordering on the go. Smartphones have radically altered the process of takeaway for many popular fast food chains. Customers can simply open up the app of their favorite fast food chain on their smartphones and order anything from the entire menu to their liking. The app will tell them the approximate time it’ll take their order to be prepared. Once it is prepared, they can simply collect it from the counter or drive-thru. This saves the time customers had to spend in long queues when they ordered after getting to the restaurant. Also, it reduces the pressure on the kitchen staff as by giving them some space as the orders are not constantly pouring in.

Tabletop check-outs. Nobody likes it when the waiter takes away our credit card for what seems like an eternity, it makes us deeply uncomfortable as we’ve all heard stories of credit card fraud and identity theft after paying in a restaurant through our credit card. Some entrepreneurs have developed solutions for self-checkouts right on your dinner table. The device is essentially a tablet running a proprietary software which displays your bill and gives options to order other things before you leave. It saves a lot of time for the restaurant, allowing them to service more diners in the same night and the customers don’t get uneasy as the credit card doesn’t get out of their sight while the online payment process is protected by encryption.

Create your own food. Technology has really changed the food industry to the point where it has started to define how food is prepared and how customers too can participate in the process. The choices have also been significantly increased. One ice cream machine by the vendor MooBella can deliver a mind-boggling total of 96 variants pf ice cream using a standard set of ingredients and any of these flavors can be had in less than a minute. It reduces the need for staff and saves time in the delivery of ice cream, many cafeterias, and fast food restaurants have shown an interest in this.

Restaurant Management Systems. An important aspect of running of any restaurant is the proper utilization of its resources and for this many software solutions have been developed which can be easily installed on your tab and can give detailed views of all information related to tables, inventory, orders etc. in real time.

The question for most restaurant owners is “Where do we begin?” That’s where the Goliath Consulting  Group team can help by sifting through all the technology available, choose the solutions that best fit your organization and develop an implementation plan to get you up and running.


Posted by: Jay Bandy | March 31, 2016

Current State of Food Safety in the Restaurant Industry

As restaurant managers, operators or owners, we like to think that we can never fall victim to an outbreak of food-borne illness. As consumers, we like to assume that we cannot contract a food-borne disease while dining at a restaurant. While everyone likes to think that they are taking all the precautions to prevent food-borne diseases, the fact remains that these diseases occur way too often. A report published by CDC in 2015 cited that food-borne diseases are on the rise. As such, it’s now more important than ever before for food establishments to re-evaluate their food safety practices to reduce the risk of food-borne illnesses.


Ever wonder how these pathogens end up in restaurants? Unfortunately, there are several ways pathogens can find their way into restaurants including guests coming with them, the food supply etc. If a restaurant doesn’t adhere to safe food preparation protocols, these pathogens are likely to survive and with time, gain the ability to cause harm to guests. So how are restaurants doing when it comes to food safety? Believe it or not, CDC studies have found that restaurants are the most common sources of food-borne diseases. There’s a lot of room for improvement and a number of precautions that restaurants can take to reduce the risk of food borne diseases.

FOOD SAFETY black stamp text on white

The problem
The food service industry and medical professionals are increasingly becoming concerned about the increased number of microbes that are now resistant to food preparation methods, antibiotics and storage methods. It’s even more unfortunate that few consumers hardly view their own food safety practices as potential hazards.
Other factors that contribute to increased incidents of food safety issues include change in consumer lifestyles and demographics, change in the food system where the lines between food service operators, retail grocers and food process are fading as well as advancements in science and technology have allowed for better methods of detecting disease causing pathogens.

Many restaurant owners and consumers begin to worry about effective food safety measures when an outbreak occurs. They somehow forget that prevention is better than the outcome of dealing with a food-borne illness outbreak that can have quite a negative impact on the public and the brand.

Types of food-borne diseases that impact the industry
There are more than 250 food-borne diseases caused by prions, metals, toxins, parasites, bacteria and viruses. The most common ones that affect the food service industry that also pose a dire threat to humans include norovirus, listeria, E. coli, hepatitis A and salmonella.
E. coli: Even when ingested in small amounts, these bacteria can cause damage to the intestines. Effects of the bacteria include violent vomiting, mild discomfort and in extreme cases, death. It spreads by a fecal-to-oral route where contamination can occur at the farm and if not cleaned properly, the guests at a restaurant can easily ingest it.
Listeria: Unlike other bacteria that need high temperatures to thrive, listeria can survive on lower temperatures. It spreads through cross contamination in food and can be quite dangerous especially for individuals who aren’t immunized. For pregnant women, listeria can cause infant mortality.
Norovirus: Frequent outbreaks of norovirus have compounded a concern for food safety especially in the restaurant industry. The virus is highly contagious and often spreads through human-to-food-to-human contact especially as a result of poor hygiene practices in food service environments. And whether or not they show symptoms, humans can still transfer the virus.

Building the foundation of an effective food safety program
Having an effective food safety program in place is important for protecting the public and the employees in a restaurant. Considering that the CDC has attributed more than 1300 deaths, almost 56000 hospitalizations and 9.4 million illnesses to food-related pathogens, the issue of food safety in restaurants is a matter of urgency. The success of a food safety program is highly dependent on several factors including ensuring that employees are trained and understand the importance of food safety.

A good food safety program should have a few essential characteristics some of which include:
• Identify the hazards and determine the risks involved
• Implement systems that can help combat the risks
• Prohibit your workers from coming to work while ill
• Follow the proper cooking instructions such as internal temperatures
• Provide an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for guests to use when they come into the restaurant
• Wash hands frequently, when preparing food or after visiting the washrooms
• Implement processes to prevent cross-contamination

Monitoring food preparation and service during every shift keenly is important if restaurant owners, managers and operators wish to minimize the risk of food-borne disease. Working with and not against local food safety departments is also a big step. All shift managers should also consider enrolling for ServSafe classes offered through your local restaurant association and the National Restaurant Association.

For more information on Food Safety in Restaurants, contact us at or visit our website:

It is vital for restaurants to manage and monitor their reputation online for very obvious reasons. If you have a great restaurant, people will rave about you offline because of your amazing food you serve to them and the wonderful experience that they enjoy at your place. If you have a poor online reputation management strategy, or you have no strategy at all, you miss out on the chance to enhance your brand’s image. Measuring your brand’s online presence is of great importance.

A Question Mark drawn on a blackboard

The Importance of Social Listening Applications
You need to know what is being said about your restaurant’s brand on the internet. A strong online presence is a vital element of your marketing and should be part of your action plan. This is regardless of how small or large your business is and regardless of which industry your business belongs to. Outbound marketing will reinforce your brand and a web presence will help you represent the reasons why your restaurant is so great. Thus identifying and evaluating conversations about your brand, your services and your competition become vital.

Social Media Platforms to Monitor
Numerous social media platforms have come up in the recent past and it is necessary to monitor conversation on such platforms. There is Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Pinterest for example. There is no doubt that it can be quite hectic to monitor all these social media platforms. There are tools available that can help you keep track of conversation that centers on your restaurant. Google Alerts is a great tool because you will get notifications through email anytime appear somewhere on the web. You also get links to reference sites and you are able to recognize what is being said.

Importance of Determining Your Traffic Sources
Google analytics will help you determine your traffic source and you can develop advanced segments for your website as well as for your social media platforms. Google Analytics helps you track website visitors and also helps you determine which social media platforms to use to drive traffic to your website. Generally, numerous online platforms promote interaction among users regarding a specific product or service. Evaluating the influence of your restaurant online will assist you in understanding the influence of your brand online. Finding out how your brand exhibits itself to its audience and how its online reputation is perceived will enable you to create a favorable brand impression.

How Restaurants Can Handle Social Media Effectively
While many restaurants might be using social media, not many are using it productively. Some restaurant businesses have not made plans to use social media effectively and as a result, they are not getting good reaction online. The benefits of social media might not be seen instantly but raising online brand awareness will have a long term benefit and will increase the bottom line. A good presence online can have dramatic effects and bring about great success for restaurants. One approach to having a great online presence would be to have online competitions and to have insightful topical issues on food and nutrition. This can have a dramatic increase in your restaurant’s online presence. With more people talking about your restaurant online, this active engagement can bring about more customers walking into your doors. If you position your restaurant business online as a brand with healthy food for example, people will want to be associated with your business.

The Importance of Online Reputation Intelligence
To manage your online presence, you must control what appears when people Google the name of your restaurant. But this is not enough. You should essentially analyze the negative sentiments that appear online about your restaurant and you ought to address them. A majority of customers will probably read online reviews before making a decision to walk into your restaurant. What they read might determine if they want to do business with you or not. The simplicity of reputation management is that businesses learn what customers are talking about with regards to their experience with the specific business. Reputation monitoring will locate comments and observations from new sites, blogs and social networks and help you get the full picture of what people talk about your restaurant. Positive word of mouth will propel foot traffic into your restaurant. Negative word of mouth will on the other hand destroy your restaurant business. Knowing what is negative about your business can help you make key changes.

Dealing with Social Media Correctly
When you monitor social media, you will get information that you must respond to. Such information can be negative at times. You must respond to negative social media in an appropriate manner. Never try to justify yourself because that might hurt your brand. Everyone else reads comments both negative and positive. Never blame the person who commented and try to be balanced and professional in your responses. Always be brief and do not go on for too long or you will reveal too much. When you keep it simple, the customer might be encouraged to approach you directly and this might resolve a matter amicably. Comments should be treated as consumer research and this will help your restaurant. It is always important to think like the customer and put yourself in their shoes before making any replies. Social media can help your restaurant business but can also destroy you.

For information on Goliath Consulting Group services, please visit: or email us at:

Posted by: Jay Bandy | January 8, 2016

New Sponsorship with the Georgia Restaurant Association.

We’re now a GRA Sponsor and proud to be a part of this vibrant organization that is an advocate for restaurants in Georgia and offers a wealth of benefits to its member restaurants.

Jay Bandy has been elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Restaurant Association for 2016 – 2017. Goliath Consulting Group has been a member of the GRA for six years and we welcome having one of our team serve on the board.

Visit our updated website at:



Posted by: Jay Bandy | September 10, 2015

What is Restaurant Consulting?

Whether you want to unveil a whole new restaurant concept in your market or simply upgrade your menu, Goliath Consulting Group offers a full suite of restaurant consulting services to independent restaurant operators and chains.

modern kitchen and busy chefs

Kitchen and Restaurant System Assessments

As your process partner, Goliath will guide you through the steps to create, open and run your restaurants. We’ll leverage our experience with single store operators and multi-unit chains — inside and outside the franchise industry – to ensure an on-time opening, lower costs and more profitable operations.

In 2015, we’ve been busy building our team and adding services that our clients have been asking for including: apps, online recruiting and HR. To meet your changing needs, Goliath also has added new business tools to our menu of services. For additional needs, we’ve identified and vetted industry leaders who can add value to your operation.

Commercial Space Renovation with New Metal Stud Framing

Restaurant Development – Sizing Up Opportunities

Under the leadership of Jay Bandy, so far in 2015 Goliath has successfully revamped the training and operations of Stacked Pickle sports bar chain in Indiana, set up franchise development and franchise operations systems for Mrs. Winners Chicken and Biscuits, and guided several independent operators through critical makeovers. Current projects also include development of a Mediterranean concept going into Ponce City Market in Atlanta, menu development and operational systems for Georgia Reese’s in Indianapolis and operational and strategic support services for the Cheeseburger Bobby’s chain in Georgia.


Jay has 29 years experience in the industry and a proven track record in developing new restaurants, project management, training, strategic planning, restaurant operations and marketing.

Our core list of restaurant consulting services includes:

– Menu Analysis, including Pricing, Recipes and Design

– Brand Strategy, Marketing and Social Media

– Profitability Analysis, taking a “whole restaurant” approach to systems and processes

– Restaurant Development, including Site Analysis, Construction Management and Opening Support

– Franchise System Development

– Business Planning and Strategy using the Five Pillar System

– Supply Chain Management and Consulting

– Training Manuals and Classes

– Operational Systems and Manuals

Take a deeper dive into our restaurant consulting services at our website: or email us at: for a consultation.

We’re located at mile marker 9.25 on the Atlanta Beltline, 154 Krog Street, Suite 190, Atlanta, Georgia 30307


Mrs. Winner’s is poised for growth throughout the south according to brand owner John Buttolph. Get all the details in this article written by Jame Ritchie for the Triad Business Journal:

Goliath Consulting Group provides consulting to Mrs. Winner’s Chicken and Biscuits and other restaurant brands throughout the US.




Georgia Restaurant Professionals invites you to help raise money for the Atlanta Community Food Bank on September 9th at Social Vinings. The Atlanta Community Food Bank is our favorite charity and we invite you to make a donation to the ACFB and mingle with restaurant professionals in September.LaurieInvite

Creating a stronger franchise system starts with the recruitment and selection process of new franchisees. Finding and recruiting top franchisees specific to your business model doesn’t have to be based on gut feelings or guesses by your team. Rather, franchise assessment tools are bringing clarity and consistency to the franchisee recruitment and selection process.

One such tool, Proven Match, has a 93 percent success rate when it comes to predicting the accuracy and future performance of prospective franchisee candidates. The company integrates seven behavioral dimensions into one comprehensive psychometric assessment to identify the profile of top performing franchisees within specific business models.

Identifying those individuals who are most likely to succeed is more than looking at their age, net worth, education and income. What other areas should you focus on before onboarding a new franchisee? Consider the following five areas to qualify candidate compatibility:


  1. What are the values and motives of the candidate?

Motives are the only true predictors of behavior and performance. Why does this candidate want to be a business owner? What kind of business owner will they be? These questions can be answered by better understanding what the candidate’s driving factors are for wanting to be a franchise business owner.

When speaking with a candidate, you may find that the individual aspires to be an influencer and is excited by innovation and new ideas. If so, a start-up franchise where they can make their mark or perhaps a cause-based business opportunity would be best suited for that candidate. On the other hand, an individual that values stability and security may find success in a mature brand with its firmly established processes and procedures.


  1. What type of leadership style does your franchise thrive on?

As a franchisor, it’s important to understand what type of leadership skills are required of your franchise owners. Turning towards your current top performing franchisees, you can use their style as a benchmark to compare against incoming candidates.

Does the franchise owner role require the individual to be an autocratic leader, making all of the decisions at the manager level? Or, is a collaborative style more conducive to the work environment? Leadership style will play a direct role in determining the direction of the business and employee motivation. A good leader can produce happy, motivated employees, which translates to higher productivity and a successful business.


  1. What is your ideal franchisee’s work style?

A candidate’s work style refers to those aspects of their personality pertinent to running a business. This includes managing time and resources. Work style can help determine how a candidate will prioritize, what type of workplace that individual will create, and identify particular strengths and weaknesses.

Take for instance a candidate who has a primary work style of a director. You can expect that individual to have strong administrative and leadership skills, work at a fast pace and create an efficient and structured workplace. If the franchise requires the owner to be the face of the business, then you are looking for a candidate that is enthusiastic, outgoing and social, in other words, a work style characterized as “promoter.”


  1. How does the candidate respond to rules, systems and procedures?

When assessing your candidates’ ability to follow rules and regulations, what you are reviewing is their compliance score. How willing are they to follow a certain set of procedures?

Depending on the life stage of your franchise, the systems may still be developing and evolving. If so, then it’s important to understand if a candidate can be flexible as those standards are changed and updated. Candidates unable or unwilling to follow policies and procedures, however, may find that franchising is not the best business ownership option for them.


  1. What core competencies are complementary to the business?

Core competencies refer to a candidate’s set of transferrable professional and technical skills. When reviewing potential franchisee’s skillset and business acumen, look for those areas that complement your own. For instance, does your franchise model thrive on building excellent rapport or helping others make educated decisions? Then perhaps you are looking for someone who has strong sales and promotional skills.

Assessing your candidates prior to bringing them into your franchise system allows you to not only recruit a better quality candidate, but also achieve greater retention. Knowing what to look for, however, begins with assessing your current top performing franchisees. They can be your best reference to understanding what values and motives, leadership and work styles, compliance and core competencies to look for during your recruitment and selection process. If you are ready to develop a consistent and accurate system that takes the guesswork out of identifying top performing franchisee candidates, it may be time to try a proven behavioral science assessment.

*Content provided by Proven Match to Goliath Consulting Group

About Proven Match

Proven Match is a franchise behavioral assessment tool designed for franchisors to recruit and identify ideal franchisee candidates. Powered by franchise industry leader FranNet, the Proven Match process combines neuro-linguistic programming technology with FranNet’s knowledge of more than 25 years in the industry. The comprehensive psychometric assessment is composed of seven behavioral dimensions and equips franchisors with insights about the specific and successful franchisee profiles in their system. For more information on Proven Match, visit

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