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EMH Insights

A Restaurant Ripe for Expansion

When most people think of New Orleans—tourists and residents alike—the first thing that comes to mind is the city’s food. Be it the quantity of excellent restaurants, the culture that revolves around culinary distinction, or the countless festivals celebrating everything from poboys to tomatoes, New Orleans is a city renowned for its appreciation for and dedication to serving up some of the best food in the country. Even Regis Philbin said that “you get a taste here in New Orleans that you don’t get anywhere else in the country.” If Regis said it, what further proof does anybody need?

The city’s love for food is reflected in its support for new restaurants: New Orleans recently ranked third in the country’s major markets for best place to open a restaurant, and is gaining ground on the cities in the top two spots (Orlando and Las Vegas). Tourism in the city has never been higher, and this too is producing significant benefits for the culinary industry in New Orleans, as restaurant sales from tourism spiked $124 million last year. As tourism continues to rise—last year $5.47 billion from tourists poured into the city, and this is only expected to increase—restaurants continue to grow. Simply put, the time to open up a restaurant in New Orleans is now.

Acting upon the opportunity available in New Orleans for restaurant expansion, owner Phil de Gruy of Phil’s Grill approached EMH consultants about opening up a new location in the Warehouse district. Phil already had two successful stores to his name, and he wanted to take advantage of both the economic potential of downtown New Orleans, and the growing importance of the tourism industry to the city. EMH consultants conducted a market feasibility and financial analysis of the new downtown location, resulting in a pitchbook and presentation to be made for potential investors. Because of the diverse backgrounds of our consultants and principals, EMH was able to assist Phil not only with understanding the financial potential of his newest restaurant, but also the technicalities of how that restaurant will operate. For more details on the project and how EMH helped a successful restaurant owner increase his presence in the city, please see the Phil’s Grill case study on the “Project Study” section of our website linked above.