Restaurant consultancy Suited Hospitality launches in Napa Valley

01 June 2021 Consulting.us 3 min. read

Suited Hospitality, a consulting firm catering to fine dining establishments, has launched in Napa, California.

The firm’s team of four partners, who met while working at Michelin three-starred restaurant Saison, bring deep industry expertise in public relations, menu development, training, operations, and marketing.

The firm, which was founded in December 2020, provides chefs, restaurateurs, winery owners, and entrepreneurs with a comprehensive service offering covering public relations and marketing, culinary operations, menu development, business operations, and strategic partnerships.

Suited Hospitality's team is composed of founders Kristine Keefer, David Sisler, Mitch Lienhard, and Martha Cromar. Keefer previously spent more than a dozen years as director of communications at The French Laundry and the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group. Lienhard was previously chef de cuisine at Manresa, another Michelin three-starred restaurant, as well as campus executive chef at Bon Apétit.

Restaurant consultancy Suited Hospitality launches in Napa Valley

Sisler brings extensive experience in restaurant management and operations, having previously served as director of operations at SingleThread and general manager of Saison. Cromar has worked as an in-house and consulting digital marketer for nearly ten years, and was previously a professional chef.

Suited’s current client roster includes SingleThread, Manresa, and Piper Sonoma Wines.

“As long-time veterans who have worked tirelessly to make their mark in the industry, [we] possess a genuine understanding of its complexities and its challenges, especially in this new era,” said a release from the consultancy. “[We] strive to not only elevate [our] clients to greater excellence, but every facet of the industry, as well.”

Restaurants are among the industries most devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Fine dining has been even harder hit than certain parts of the quick-service segment, which were better suited for pivots to take-out, delivery, and mobile ordering. Fine dining is ultimately something that relies heavily on food and service excellence, as well as the in-person restaurant experience. That doesn’t translate especially well to digital delivery apps and take-out containers.

The National Restaurant Association reported that approximately 90,000 – or 14% – of US restaurants have closed permanently or long-term. Restaurant and food-service industry sales in the last 14 months were $290 billion lower than pre-pandemic projections, according to the industry association.

With vaccinations proceeding rapidly, many restaurateurs are looking forward to a more prosperous summer, however, especially with the prospect of outdoor dining. Forty-four percent of restaurant operators expect their average sales from April to June to be higher than in March 2021.

Restaurants are, however, also dealing with a widely-publicized labor shortage, despite an industry contraction of 1.7 million jobs. Many workers who left the industry during the pandemic have decided not to return, and restaurants are turning to various incentives, including cash bonuses and free food, in an attempt to lure them back.