Hello my name is Jill. I planned on opening a restaurant concept that was new to the marketplace and the first challenge was that I have never been in this business before. I was put in contact with Jean Hagan by a referral, after having fired my first consultant many months into the project. I will start off by saying I could not have completed this project without her. Jean jumped right in with a plan of completion. One thing that definitely stood out was how she was 200% in favor of seeing this project complete and successful. Once she agreed to take our project on, she worked with us to better understand our vision and concept and how to best execute it so we could get open fast with a realistic plan of action.
Her continued passion and dedication to her industry is a testament to her many years of experience. From the middle of all the chaos to our opening, she was there for me and my partners every step of the way. There were many times, we, being green in this industry, wanted to go forward with things that we thought were paramount and she would always acknowledge our ideas, but then help us see the importance of a system, structure and a schedule in place to help us get open fast. She would always speak to me in a language that I could understand and her underlying intentions were to teach us and show us how to become owner-operators and why it was important to make some of the important decisions we made early on. I am very pleased that she was willing to come into our project mid-stream and incorporate our vision into a restaurant concept that we are very proud and pleased with.
Jean is a business owner and a restaurant consultant wrapped up in one body. With her guidance, we opened within a reasonable timeframe and within our initially agreed upon budget she put together for us in the beginning. I was extremely pleased how she was able to navigate among the mess we had created early on in our project as novices to this industry. At the beginning of the project, our construction schedule was months behind and our inspections were holding us back from opening. Jean put together a 15 day opening schedule for us and a detailed outline for hiring staff, training staff and all the admin, FoH and BoH procedures that needed to be in place for us to open and pass our inspections.
When we were finally ready to open, I could not have been happier to have had the opportunity to be mentored by Jean Hagan, she is an exception among consultants in her Industry. There were just so many aspects of this business we would have never been able to understand not to mention all the different people who told us bad information and really weren’t invested in our overall concept and vision. At opening we had a very successful start and the neighborhood is very pleased to have us.
After a few weeks of getting to know Jean and about her background in every facet of this Industry, from restaurant construction to the overall health and profitability of the business, it was not hard to completely trust her instincts and respect her experience. She has owned and operated many restaurants herself and made me feel very comfortable with helping us complete construction and make final decisions to help us meet our expectations in this first year.
I think that is what makes Jean different from the other consultants we interviewed and hired. She uses all of her years of hands-on experience and works closely with her clients as she helps to shape and define their concept and get them open and profitable fast. Not to mention, Jean has many resources and trustworthy individuals that were a part of her team to help execute her vision flawlessly. Their dedication to her and to our project showed me how much respect Jean has amongst her peers after 30+ years in this Industry. That is the biggest compliment I would think any consultant should feel very proud of. Her stellar reputation to execute and follow through puts her ten steps ahead of any consultant we could have hired on this project.
The great news is that we opened less than 6 months ago and we are still 100% satisfied and elated with the direction Jean gave to us so far. Of course there will be growing pains, as with any new venture, but I am so thankful to have had a professional such as Jean Hagan to help us get our first restaurant open. The next stages will be for her to guide us on how to grow our brand and launch our concept worldwide in the next five years. I have always been a firm believer in how you start off is indicative of how you will finish and with Jean’s help continued assistance on our project, I have no doubt we will reach our short and long term goals in the future. Her knowledge, insight and execution these past 9 months have been priceless. My whole-hearted recommendation to anyone, especially if this is your first venture, that if you are planning on opening a restaurant you should include her on your team from the start if possible!
Jill – The Waffle Chix