News

Opening a Restaurant – A Checklist for Restaurant Operators

Opening a restaurant is hard – there is no way around it. From first timers to seasoned restaurant groups; things will go wrong, problems will arise. You can mitigate many of these issues by being organized, planning ahead, and leaving
time to tackle the unforeseen.

We have put together a checklist to help you on your journey to opening. It is by no means an exhaustive list. Each project and each company will be different but we have tried to hit the big points you will not want to forget. We encourage you to tailor this list to your organization needs and have left space for you to
do so.

Good luck with your opening and we hope to someday work with you or just
stumble upon your new restaurant for a meal.

Mathew Focht
CEO, EMERGING

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Bain Fund Invests in Bamboo Sushi Parent

Investment will help Sustainable Restaurant Group grow

Bain Capital Double Impact, a mission-oriented private-equity fund, has led a new strategic investment in Portland, Ore.-based Sustainable Restaurant Group to grow its Bamboo Sushi and QuickFish brands, the companies said Tuesday.

The Boston-based Bain affiliate joined the New York City-based early-stage Kitchen Fund in the investment in Sustainable Restaurant Group, which has four full-service Bamboo Sushi units in Portland and one in Denver, as well as one limited-service QuickFish location in Portland. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

“We are firm believers in the idea that Americans are going to eat healthier, more sustainable food in the future than they do today,” Warren Valdmanis, a managing director at Bain Capital Double Impact, told Nation’s Restaurant News. “Bamboo Sushi and the Sustainable Restaurant Group are purpose-built to help evangelize and expand that trend.”

Valdmanis called Bamboo Sushi “the affordable Nobu,” and it sources its supply from sustainable catches or farms.

SRG founder and CEO Kristofor Lofgren is inspirational in promoting sustainable sourcing, Valdmanis said.

“Kristofor and his high-quality management team have done an exceptional job of tapping into a growing segment of customers who recognize that eating sustainability sourced seafood is not only better for you, but also better for the planet,” he said.

Sustainable Restaurant Group has built a supply chain that validates fishing
practices and excludes severely overfished oceans, fish fraud and health risks
associated with farm-raised fish. The company also has committed to expanding
awareness of sustainability and health and wellness benefits of fish consumption
through in-restaurant green initiatives and consumer programs.

Lofgren said the strategic investment will allow the company to expand into new
markets, with the plans for Seattle and San Francisco.

“With the benefit of Bain Capital Double Impact and Kitchen Fund’s impressive
restaurant experience, we are well-positioned to achieve our goal of providing
mindful customers with a premium sushi dining experience at a great value while

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Finding the Right Location in Today’s Changing Restaurant Landscape

“Since the Roman times, people have always wanted to ‘see and be seen’ and participate in a community. The experience people seek from a restaurant or entertainment anchor seems to make them more resilient in these changing times, and thus they are now the driving factors behind new developments, as well as developers’ efforts to remodel and increase relevance for existing shopping centers.”—Ashley Robinson.

A hot topic of conversation these days is the closure of America’s malls. But, according to Robinson, higher-end malls are taking advantage of the present retail environment to reinvent and reimagine their shopping centers.

With the big chain retailers that were once shopping mall’s anchor stores going the way of the dodo, fitness centers, indoor entertainment centers, and restaurants are stepping in to fill the role. Make that a lot of restaurants. Robinson references a time when malls only allowed 2 full-serve restaurants along with a mediocre food court in a shopping center of 1 million square feet of retail with 3 fashion anchors. Nowadays, she says, “A restaurant will often be 1 of possibly 7 full-service restaurants, plus a food hall with 7 to 10 unique, fresh QSR concepts with alcohol. Chef-driven concepts are growing more than many chains, and many have paid incredibly high rents that inflated the market to unsustainable rates when the sales dollars are that diluted.”

Many are blaming retail’s demise on Amazon and other e-commerce brands, and rightly so. Almost half of all U.S. households have an Amazon Prime membership. Amazon’s net revenue for 2016 reached $135.99 billion, up from $107.01 billion in 2015. That’s a big chunk of the consumer change. But Robinson believes there’s more to the story than the boom of online spending and that there is a way restaurateurs can take advantage of the changing times.

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How to Identify Locations, Choose a Site, and Negotiate a Lease

If you’ve decided to take the leap and open your own restaurant, you don’t need us to tell
you that you have a lot of work ahead of you! Don’t fret, though. That work is well worth it.
“Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another thing.“
Before you can start thinking of the creative aspects of your restaurant, like the menu,
décor and general ambiance, it’s important to get the nitty gritty out of the way: finding
the perfect place to house this establishment. Read on to find out how to identify the right
location and site, as well as negotiate your lease to get that restaurant started on the right
foot. After all, according to a 2005 study by Ohio State University, approximately 60 percent
of restaurants shutter within their first year, while 80 percent close within the first
five. Make sure the fruit of your labor isn’t part of that 60 percent.
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AceBounce Introduces Wonderball, a New Interactive Ping-Pong Experience

AceBounce, a ping-pong and dining concept debuted their newest attraction, Wonderball – which turns the surface of an ordinary ping-pong table into an interactive gaming experience. Using a digital projector and mapping technology; the Wonderball’s surface becomes a gaming screen that reacts to the ball and interacts with the gamers.

<p”>Wonderball currently offers six gaming experiences – three visually enhanced and three traditional games. “The philosophy at AceBounce is to exceed expectations in everything we do and to constantly innovate – it’s not enough for us to just rely on how fun it is to play ping pong; we aim to create a totally new experience, an AceBounce experience,” says Adam Breeden, Founder and CEO of AceBounce

AceBounce is looking to open 20 new, wholly-owned venues across the world by 2020. “Being at the forefront of the social entertainment industry for many years means we can now encompass a greater range of concepts in different territories. Now is the time to leverage our extensive experience to bring to market more concepts within this fast-growing category, as well as embark on a more ambitious roll out plan.” Adam Breeden

For their US expansion, they are looking towards Emerging Concepts, to ensure they find the best locations. “Emerging Concepts is very excited about expanding the most innovative entertainment company, Social Entertainment Ventures in the United States” says Mathew Focht, CEO at Emerging Concepts.

AceBounce Founder Adam Breeden and Social Entertainment Concepts are also behind the concepts Flight Club opening in Chicago in 2018 and Puttshack.

Using Analytics, Silverspot selects Brookfield, Wisconsin for Midwest Expansion

Silverspot Cinema announced plans to open their first Midwest location at The Corners in Brookfield. The boutique theater shows both Independent and Hollywood films in an intimate setting paired with a variety of cocktails and food options. Owner Gonzalo Ulivi is a third-generation cinema operator whose family still operates cinemas in Venezuela.

Ulivi conceived Silverspot when he noticed a need in the US market. “US cinemas were in need of elevation, there was only one type of multi-plex to serve all types of demographics.” Ulivi and Silverspot have been ahead of the curve as high-end theaters have continued to become more popular in the states.

With three current locations in Florida: Naples, Coconut Creek and Miami (coming soon) as well as a location in Chapel Hill, NC; Silverspot is poised for growth. The decision to expand to the Midwest came at the end of an extensive search process utilizing Acutely, a company that uses a deep learning data intelligence model to determine core customers that influence site selection. By breaking out customers into VIP, Core, and Frequent Visitors, Acutely has helped Silverspot understand their target consumers. This understanding is used when evaluating potential new locations and allows them to come up with more accurate sales projections than have previously been possible. Mathew Focht, CEO at Acutely points out “When choosing a new location, you are making a multi-million-dollar decision. Making a mistake can be catastrophic so combining data intelligence with traditional real estate methods is essential.” Ulivi added that “Acutely has been instrumental in extracting relevant information from our customer data and helping to understand our consumers travel distance.”

The Corners at Brookfield is Silverspot’s next location, but Ulivi has no plans to stop there “We plan on continuing to expand, one unit per year.” Look for Silverspot to open at The Corners in Spring, 2019.

Opening Second Location

So, you think it’s time. Your second location. You’ve had quite the run of success with your
first, and expanding seems like the right thing to do. However, it’s important to consider all
variables when creating something larger. Whether it’s just a second location or an empire,
there are several key features in determining whether a second location is right for your
business.
Can it run without you?
As a restaurant owner, you’ve probably been
in the trenches daily, from baking bread to
cleaning toilets. It is important to fully realize
whether or not your establishment can run
without you, and if not, a second location may
be the worst idea you’ve ever had. It starts
with a sound team, and a leader you can rely
on to take your place. This is why having a
steady manager/partner is very important to
your success. If you can trust this manager to
take over the ship while you are gone tending
to a second business, you’ll be able to manage
a true enterprise.
“First and foremost, having management that
is ready to open another unit is key. This will
give new career opportunities for current staff
to move up, as well as new employment for
those seeking work.” Mathew Focht, CEO of
Emerging.
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Ashley Robinson joins Emerging as Vice President

Emerging announced today that Ashley Robinson has joined the firm this month as Vice President. Ashley comes with a wealth of experience within the industry and will utilize her vast knowledge to help restaurants grow successfully. By leveraging the many brands within the Emerging family, Ashley will provide multi-layered solutions for her clients in all aspects of their businesses. Ashley is excited to put her passion and expertise to work for today’s best brands and help make them tomorrow’s success stories.

Ashley finds true passion for the brands that she has the pleasure of working with. While obtaining her BA in Political Science and International Relations at UCLA, she was recruited by Main and Main, Inc. a boutique tenant representation company, and has now been in Commercial Real Estate for over 15 years. After 7 years as a Broker in Los Angeles specializing in growing restaurants, Ashley went in-house as Director of Real Estate for retailer Coldwater Creek, Inc. In 2011, Ashley diversified her experience further and learned deal making from the “other side of the table” with LA based mixed-use developer, CenterCal Properties, LLC. As Sr. Leasing Director, Ashley worked on several outdoor regional lifestyle properties. Including developing a million-square foot shopping center from dirt. Ashley joined Kona Grill, Inc. in 2016 to lead their real estate efforts in North America. Living and breathing the P+L from an in-house perspective and working the entire country, from Puerto Rico to Hawaii, elevated her expertise to that within the top-tiers in the industry. Through Emerging, Ashley was retained by Kona Grill and continues to act as their in-house real estate expert.

Mat Focht, President of Emerging said, “Ashley’s breadth of experience and industry knowledge make her a key addition to the Emerging family. I know that Ashley’s drive and passion will be an asset to both our company and our clients.”

About Emerging: Emerging is a family of companies that elevate restaurant and entertainment concepts to be among the top in the industry. Emerging provides the most valuable resources to today’s emerging operators and concepts. Emerging helps operators scale at a sustainable pace while maintaining high quality on all fronts — food, service and ambience. http://www.emerging.com