Restaurant Startup

We Design New Restaurant
Concepts from the Ground Up

Our expertise in global cooking styles allows us to customize your concept whether it is a national chain restaurant prototype, regional counter service sandwich shop chain, or a single-location fine dining establishment.

We offer the following for restaurant startups:

Concept optimization

Product specifications

Menu engineering, design, and recipe development

Supply chain assistance

Complete front-of-house and back-of-house design

Management and staff training

Guest satisfaction surveys


The Culinary Systems Restaurant Startup Process

Phase 1: Define Concept

Think of this as the discovery phase. We will meet with you to review key components of your vision.

  • Style of dining (casual, counter service, fine dining, etc.)
  • Facility size, seating capacity, targets for daily covers, and proposed check average
  • Dining room experience/ambiance considerations
  • Concept name considerations
  • On-premise beverage offering (beer and wine or full bar licensing)
  • Concept-branded merchandise considerations
  • Preliminary ideations and potential positioning statement(s)
  • Consumer research using varying methods and processes
  • 3D concept renderings for discussion
  • Written food concepts with detailed descriptors explaining each one
  • Menu development and engineering
  • Sample menu(s) for testing

Phase 2: Develop Concept

This is when your ideas begin to take shape. We will take time to hone and test all the items we covered in the first phase.

  • Review research to optimize positioning statement of concept
  • Pare down written menu concepts for development of working menu
  • Begin product development, tableware selection, and ingredient procurement
  • Work with client-selected equipment company on kitchen design and front-of-house conceptual design
  • Preliminary training materials, menu matrix, and costing
  • Product prototypes for tasting and optimization
  • Recipes formatted for “ease of execution,” ensuring consistent quality and output

Phase 3: Optimize Concept

At this point, we should have a good idea of the restaurant concept and what the menu will look and taste like. We will continue optimizing products by tweaking portions, considering alternative plating options, and possibly making menu additions or deletions. A general manager’s participation might be advantageous during this phase.

  • All menu items will be presented and tasted for final approval
  • Final menu will be written; menu graphics and/or photography will be discussed
  • Menu matrix will be delivered for final costing, production streamlining, and determining of line labor and scheduling requirements
  • Finalization and delivery of training materials for kitchen and front-of-house

Phase 4: Train Concept Trainers

During this final phase, we will teach you how to focus on the employees you have hired to prepare food, serve customers, and represent your new concept. We will deliver all final, approved materials pertaining to menu and staff training. Ideally, your staff training should occur onsite.

  • Training of kitchen manager and general manager on all recipes, production, and line procedures
  • Training of all staff on plate presentation, quality measures, ingredients, product specs, and inventory control
  • Front-of-the-house server booklet review and training

“The success of a restaurant is made of the details. Our job is built from zero every day. In the morning, everything is raw – nothing is cooked.”
– Arrigo Cipriani

Brian G.

Director of Research & Development, Quaker Oats Company

“We had become stagnant in our product development effort, and our idea-generating process was not generating any new ideas. That's when we asked Culinary Systems to get involved. Their excellent culinary skills and practical product development knowledge allowed them to demonstrate concepts and prototypes that quickly became part of our product development program. We currently have several products in advanced development that are a direct result of Culinary System’s involvement. I know we will be working with Tony and his team in the future.”

Tom T.

Vice President, Nestle Food Service

“I can always rely on Culinary Systems, led by Tony Lagana and his team of culinary professionals, to deliver innovative, customer-correct products that exceed everyone’s expectations. Fast commercialization is our goal and they get us there.”

Ted B.

Vice President & General Manager, Barnes & Noble Cafes

“We asked Tony Lagana and Culinary Systems to design our new proprietary panini sandwich line. There were a large number of functional requirements for the finished product line, as well as operating restrictions within our cafes. Tony and his team met or beat our deadlines, truly over-delivered on program documentation, and, most importantly, created panini recipes that are now generating profits well in excess of plan for our café group. We will use Tony again!”


Culinary Systems can help you reach your goals! Please fill out the form below and a member of our team will be in touch.