Restaurant Consultants Inc. and its founder Joe Spinelli have often been recognized and asked to comment on restaurant industry trends, unique projects and food service industry forecasting. Below is a sampling of the food service, business and main-stream media where Restaurant Consultants, Inc. has been referenced or quoted.
Spinelli was a consultant for Starbucks when the chain decided to launch a hot breakfast service in the mid-2000s under the somewhat ominous name, the Warming Program. Washington was deemed an ideal Warming zone, and Starbucks hired Spinelli to secure permits and help retrofit dozens and dozens of locations with coolers and TurboChef ventless ovens.
"So the news broke this week that after years of working out the details, Amsterdam Falafelshop will finally start franchising its delicious fried chickpea concept. As Joe Spinelli told me on Monday, the Adams Morgan falafel operation could soon become a monster, with more than 100 shops within the next seven years." – Tim Carman
"Joe Spinelli's career in the restaurant industry spans 39 years. During that time he has personally owned and operated several restaurants in addition to launching several other restaurant-related businesses including a custom millwork company, a refrigeration sales/service company and an electrical contract service company specializing in electrical contracting to restaurants and commercial businesses... Joe Spinelli has personally been involved in more than 8,900 restaurant-related projects." – John Klakamp
February 3, 2010
"This tavernization, if you'll excuse the phrase, of former destination establishments seems like the obvious by-product of an economy in recession since December 2007, and I say exactly that to veteran consultant Joe Spinelli, who opened more restaurants than I've probably dined in. Spinelli is a kind man; he suffers fools with half-formed theories. Sure, he explains, the current economic climate has rained down on fine-dining, white-tablecloth restaurants, forcing them to cling to life preservers.. But most eateries fail, he says, not because their concepts are flimsy or their food flaccid but because the owners, looking for cheap rent, pick the wrong location." – Tim Carman
January 21, 2010
Restaurant Consultants Inc. supported business, Pete's Apizza, opens new restaurant location in Washington, DC.
February 3, 2009
Joe Spinelli has been in the restaurant business for more than 30 years and he's probably consulted on more restaurants than most people have eaten in. He doesn't think the downturn in our economy is affecting Washington, DC restaurants as harshly.
January 22, 2009
Amsterdam Falafel turns to franchising experts to develop a viable plan to corner the Washington, DC falafel market.
January 1, 2009
The principle of Restaurant Brokers & Developers offer some excellent insight into restaurant opportunities in today's market. "I've got more development projects in the works than in any recent time."
May 22, 2008
Worried about starting a new business? A franchise is less risky than creating a company from scratch.
September 2, 2007
Resident experts on restaurant deal making weigh in on restaurant sales. "There are two (types of) sellers: those who need to sell and those who want to sell."
July 13, 2007
Richard Sharoff takes his franchising ideas to the next level. "My vision is to help these emerging restaurant concepts and create a better, smarter and more efficiently run business."
July 1, 2007
FranPoint Partners defines the factors used to determine if a concept is franchise ready.
June 1, 2007
Hamilton-Clark Refrigeration Design & Management World Newsletter
LLC, FranPoint Partners has already attracted the interest of several growing restaurant chains seeking to elevate their concepts.
May 14, 2007
Local restaurant executives form partnership to serve restaurants who decide to franchise.
May 11, 2007
Three classmates at Cornell University develop a chain concept and solicit the support of Joe Spinelli and Restaurant Brokers & Developers to support their endeavor.
April 30, 2007
DC restaurants seek permitting for sidewalk cafés to allow patrons to dine outside. "Every restaurant that can do them does (sidewalk dining.)
February 6, 2007
Joe Spinelli is tapped by Bebo Trattoria to expedite the permitting process for their Arlington, Virginia location.
Spinelli spoke about the franchise route to ownership of a foodservice business is like" paying for someone else's mistakes.
May 19, 2006
Downtown's growing restaurant reputation is luring chefs from near and far, while allowing landlords to get more selective. "Years ago you couldn't give away (a) place in Chinatown. Now you can't find it under $65 per square foot."
September 27, 2002
Southern Blues faces hard times in downtown Baltimore, Maryland. "That situation shouldn't be hard to turn around…When you've got a hospital (in the neighborhood) you've got to be doing 20 percent of your business in carryout…"
July 26, 2002
DC based seafood chain branches out with fast-food style kiosks. "The concept is likely to find a big market."
March 29, 2002
Joe Spinelli and Jim McGinnis of Restaurant Brokers & Developers support Armand's Pizzeria in establishing several new locations.
November 10, 2000
Joe Spinelli and Restaurant Brokers & Developers supports successful local pizza chain in acquiring new locations.
May 23, 1997
Steak Around franchise delivers an alternative to pizza and Chinese food in the Washington, DC market.
"On behalf of my fellow owners, who include family-farmers from across the country; please allow me to convey our thanks. The project was completed on-schedule thanks largely to your pre-construction, construction and opening consulting services; the professional standard that defines and separates your organization from all in the industry."
-Tom Prescott, Project-Manager
"I don’t know what is more impressive- the fact that you’ve helped my firm for over 20 years or the fact that together we’ve completed over 100 building projects in the DC metro area. You’re responsible for many of our most successful projects being completed and occupied on time, which is no small feat in the DC environment."
Armand's Pizzeria & Grille
"During each of these projects you have provided me with excellent advice and consulting services regarding site selection, store design, food service equipment selection, permit expediting, and construction management."
-John Deem, President
Ben's Chili Bowl
"Over the last 50 years, Ben’s Chili Bowl has found that the relationships we’ve developed have been important to us running an efficient and profitable business. Joe, our relationship with you has allowed us to benefit from your wealth of knowledge in pursuing our new business project. Your attention to details and follow up has been critical to our work projects being completed."
-Kamal Ben Ali
"As operators opening for the first time outside of New York your knowledge of the issues, your tenacity to beat deadlines and your attention to detail were invaluable to us. Your years of being an operator blended with your unmatched knowledge make you a consultant that no operator in the area should attempt an opening without having you on their team."
-Jeff Kadish, Partner
"Your tremendous knowledge and expertise, coupled with a great personality and outstanding work ethic, have made this a most comfortable and rewarding professional relationship. I can truly say that you’re the best at taking a simple idea and turning it into a full blown operational concept."
-John W. Powell, Jr. Vice President
Brailsford & Dunlavey
"Restaurant Consultants, Inc. staff was a major factor in our company's success. As a result, we completed and opened our project on time and within their proposed budget."
"Thank you very much for all of the work you and your group did for Café Deluxe in expanding our restaurant on Wisconsin Avenue. Without your help along the way I think we would still be waiting to open the restaurant. I was very impressed how professional your group was when interacting with our General Contractor and employees with the District of Columbia."
-Tom Baldridge, CFO
"I worked with Joe Spinelli on Central-Michel Richard at 1001 Pennsylvania Ave, NW. In an era when many professionals over promise and under deliver, Joe is an example of the opposite. He set realistic expectations from the outset and then went the extra mile to deliver an outstanding result. I will recommend him to my colleagues and will clearly do business with him in the future."
-Mark Sandground, Jr., General Counsel
"In all of the restaurants we’ve opened, you have been front and center with us and many times leading us. Especially for an independent restaurant group, having people like you on the team is extremely important, even critical. I am proud of my company, proud of what we’ve accomplished and established and proud to be associated with you personally and professionally with Restaurant Consultants, Inc."
-Michael Kirby, Founder
Columbia Equity Trust
"Regarding the Occidental Restaurant & Café du Parc at the Willard Hotel; thank you for your responsiveness, professionalism and assistance in completing two relatively complicated restaurant renovations in DC."
-Edward Lash, Sr. Vice President
"Your knowledge of and experience with the complicated permitting process, historical preservation of existing building, architectural review board requirements and code and inspection requirements for foodservice facilities in D.C have been extremely valuable to our company over the past ten years."
-John Jankowski, Project Manager
"Joe's knowledge and expertise were invaluable and critical to the project's advancement. He anticipated perfectly when we could expect objections on the part of the DCRA and worked closely with the architect, MAPs and general contractor. Equally important to my business partner and myself, however, were Joe’s demeanor and professionalism during this nearly year-long process"
-Susan Holt, Managing Director
Fogo De Chao Churrascaria
"Choosing Restaurant Consultants to be part of our team proved to be the smartest decision we made. Your highly professional guidance and assistance during pre-construction, construction and final opening made our project run smoothly and successfully. Thanks to that we were able to stay within our schedule and open in record time."
-Fernando Barreto, Expansion Manager
International Contractors, Inc.
"I would like to personally thank you and your staff for the assistance and guidance you provided during pre-construction, construction and closeout stages of the project. I can honestly say without your help we never could have achieved our aggressive construction schedule of four months."
-Bruce Bronge President
"You have been an invaluable part of my team in building KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Long John Silvers and A&W Root Beer restaurants in my tenure with YUM! Brands over the last 10 years. Your experience and knowledge has proven time and again to be the key that has opened the gate to successful restaurant openings."
-Joe Celento, Realtor
Just Fresh Bakery Cafe & Market
"You have been a tremendous resource that we are pleased to have on retainer. Whether during design, construction or operations, you always seem to know the answers to the questions that stump others."
-Sean Clancy President
Moctec Mexican Products
"I want to thank you for working with me over the last 28 years and for your help with the three moves we made as we expanded. Your assistance in the planning, purchasing, installing and implementing of production lines for the production of Mexican food products speaks highly for your insight and understanding of production processes and as well as your ability to be a quick study!"
-Victor H. Vazquez, Founder/CEO
"With 850 restaurants around the world, we have run into many unique environments and we rely upon services such as yours to assist with local knowledge and support. Our expectations were exceeded and without your help, we likely would have endured significant delay and lost revenue."
-Fran McDonald, Vice President
Organic To Go
"Your knowledge and expertise have been invaluable to our success with the introduction of Organic To Go to Washington, DC. The guidance provided to us by Restaurant Consultants, Inc. has been integral to our entire process from construction planning to exterior signage, and everything in between! Without your help, we might still be building the first or second café, not celebrating commencement of construction on the 5th!"
-Michael Johnson, Vice President of Business Development
"You are always one of the first vendors I reach out to en sure that the process is properly structured to succeed. The number of times you have achieved a solution to what appeared to be an insurmountable problem is too many to count"
-Todd Barry Goldstein, Regional Director of Construction
Star Restaurant Group, LLC
"Working with Restaurant Consultants has made what is often a difficult process easy. Your timeliness and attention to detail was crucial in allowing us to open Zola Wine & Kitchen on time."
-Dan Mesches, President & CEO
Starbucks Coffee Company
"Your knowledge and expertise has been invaluable to our operation. We are simply able to forward the plans to you, knowing that once they are in your hands, the work will be performed with integrity and competency. Your involvement in getting the Warming Program off the ground for over 180 units has been vital to its success."
-Ed Flaherty, Facilities Construction Manager
TGI Friday's / CFC Management Company, Inc.
"The most amazing part is that you are just as efficient and professional with a one store start-up as you are with a 300 store known concept. You treat each project as if it were the most important relationship to your team."
-Linda Sherman, National Project Manager
The MHG Group of Companies
"Over the last twelve months you and your firm have handled two projects for us—CIRCA at Dupont and a Greenberry's Coffee and Tea store in Rockville, Maryland. Your attention to detail, timeliness of filings and inspections, and perseverance with the requisite government departments have proven invaluable to our corporate planning."
-Stephen P. Guvula, President
Vucurecich Simons Advisory Group
"Over the past year, you have been an invaluable asset to both Founding Farmers and Agraria Restaurants. Building an 8,750 sq.ft. Two-story upscale restaurant in Washington, DC, and within the IMF building, had a potential to be a very complicated ordeal for an out-of-state company like us. I would not consider embarking on another project in DC without your services and recommend you and your team to anyone building in Washington, DC."
-Lara Hardcastle, Project manager
"Your in depth knowledge of the many DC Supplemental Codes proved invaluable during our challenging build out in a 100 year old building. Further, your availability at all times went far beyond what could have been reasonably asked or expected."
-Bo Davis, CEO
YUM! Brands, Inc.
"I have dealt with numerous consultants in my career in fast food development and I am proud to say that you are one of the best."
-Bharat Parikh, Construction manager