Restaurant & Foodservice

“I could not believe how different NECG was from other consulting firms. I have not experienced such a sense of collaboration and winning together since my days at P&G.”

-President, Food & Beverage Company

Our Clients

Our Expertise

Strategic Growth Planning

If strategic growth planning for restaurants has started to feel like a game of three-dimensional chess, that’s because it is! The number of variables today’s operators have to manage, and the disruptive threats that threaten profit and growth are increasing every day. Getting your arms around a 5-year strategic plan that you can execute with confidence may seem next to impossible.

In our work with a regional burger chain, we built a Strategic Growth RoadMapTM and executional plan, down to the smallest detail, that enabled them to create a 20% improvement in their return on assets. Through a combination of wargaming, scenario planning, and analogue modeling, we built the contingencies and agility required to ensure over-delivery, even in a fast-changing competitive market.

“Every aspect of our growth opportunity, and every potential pathway, was scrutinized, challenged, validated and optimized. Not only do we have a plan we can execute, but we also have a treasure chest of alternatives to draw upon in the future.”

-CEO and President – PE-backed Fine Dining concept

Brand Positioning

In the hyper-competitive world of restaurants, the challenge of building a differentiated and compelling brand positioning is greater than it’s ever been. As consumer tastes and behaviors evolve and new competitive entrants proliferate, the power of a distinctive and consistently reinforced brand is paramount.

In our work with a leading value-driven QSR concept, we refocused the brand on its culinary origins to create a distinctive “category-of-one” positioning that drove immediate and sustained growth.

“The folks at NECG get right to the heart of the matter. No BS. They don’t waste time telling us stuff we already know. They tell us stuff we don’t know.”

-CMO – national fast casual concept


Innovation is the lifeblood of a thriving restaurant business, yet most initiatives fail to deliver the impact they were intended to achieve. At the New England Consulting Group, we bring decades of operating experience across the full spectrum of innovation, from LTO’s to new service models, to not only improve the rate of success of each initiative, but also create enduring profitable growth.

Our innovation work with a leading pizza chain drove five consecutive years of double-digit growth through a consistent pulse of product news, blending permanent new menu items with special LTO’s while minimizing operational complexities to ensure franchisee profitability.

“They had a lot of creative ideas. Some we would never have thought of. But I think what made the difference was their total business view. The perspective only experienced operators can bring.”

– Chief Concept Officer, national breakfast chain

Mergers and Acquisition

Every week we read about a restaurant brand that has changed hands, whether a founder/owner is selling to private equity or a strategic, or whether the current owner/operator is trying desperately to exit, but often these decisions are being made with little insights into guest behavior or geographic scale.

For one of the worlds largest QSR restaurant portfolio managers, we identified not only the segments of the global market to pursue but also the brand/concept that would fit best into the portfolio and helped consummate the deal in a matter of months at a price point well below what bankers had told our client they would have to pay.

“New England’s knowledge of the business was greater than and different from our own, which permitted them to identify the perfect target, and a strategy for consummating the acquisition in record time and at an unbelievably attractive price to our organization.”

-CEO of multi billion-dollar QSR portfolio


In today’s hyper competitive world, building and maintaining brand loyalty is critical to generating positive, long-term engagement and consistently generating value. But, as behavioral scientists know, humans are rarely entirely loyal to anything. Most consumers are members of dozens of so-called loyalty programs, few of which they even use and most of which are little more than discount programs. Our loyalty practice has been built on 50 years of study of key psychological principles, including: positive reinforcement, meaningful reciprocity, social identity, and attainable rewards.

Our application of these and other principles for a leading coffee chain enabled a profitable renovation of their legacy loyalty program and drove significant gains in traffic, frequency, ticket, same store sales and market share.

“Working with NECG opened our eyes to inefficiencies, and frankly some outright waste, in our legacy approach to loyalty. The fresh ideas they brought, grounded in data and drawn from categories outside of our own, enabled us to achieve dramatic productivity gains in a totally revamped loyalty program.”

– CMO, leading coffee chain


The scarcest resource today is consumer attention. The fragmentation of media and explosion of enabling technologies in recent years have created a degree of complexity that challenges even the most capable marketing teams. Ballooning costs in media, technology requirements and human expertise have made the job of engaging precious consumer attention feel like a losing battle. Our disciplined approach to advertising and promotion strategy development helps restaurant marketing teams and their agencies navigate this complexity to create clear, compelling, and differentiated propositions that cut through and connect.

Based on deep insights and through rigorous segmentation, we helped a national sandwich chain to refocus its dizzying array of cluttered initiatives behind a consistent brand positioning, even as we expanded their guest base with targeted, relevant messaging that drove both new customer acquisition and increase frequency of guest visits. Furthermore, we helped them to reduce costs and dramatically improve their total return on marketing investment.

“Our ad agencies are great creative partners. But the strategic thinking we got from NECG took our work with them to a whole new level. What’s more, I was amazed to see how our agencies embraced the NECG team. I’ve never seen a consulting group with the spirit of collaborative partnership that the folks from NECG brought to our engagement.”

-VP Marketing, national QSR Chain


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