Founded in 2007, Concept Consulting, Inc. is an industry-preferred source for results-oriented professional consulting focused on developing, protecting and helping to realize the full potential of retail and restaurant concepts -- from start-ups to nationally recognized brands.
The caliber of our clientele is a testament to our experience in guiding promising concepts through their initial and ongoing growth. We have earned the trust of world class retail and restaurant concepts, applying our disciplined growth strategies and knowledge of regional and national trade areas and markets.
Clients know they can rely upon us for practical guidance and execution of best industry practices; and they never have to question our fiscal responsibility and commitment to excellence in all that we do.
If you are looking to create momentum behind the growth of your brand, look no further than Concept Consulting.
Co-Founder & Principal
For the past 20+ years, Michael has applied his entrepreneurial vision, experience and knowledge to the expansion and protection of numerous retail and restaurant concepts. Throughout his career, he has advised private equity firms, corporations and franchisors on brand strategy, strategic market planning, site selection, contract negotiations and construction oversight, among other mission critical responsibilities. Michael's influence and expertise have been crucial factors in profitably shaping how, when and where brands expand geographically and how their brand stories evolve over time, capitalizing on data-supported shifting consumer trends and behaviors. His impressive client list has included Uncle Julio's, Primanti Bros., Anthony's Coal Fire Pizza, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, First Watch Restaurants and Baja Fresh, among many others.
In addition to leading Concept Consulting, Michael also serves as Managing Director of Notre Capital Ventures, a private equity firm which has created and launched eight companies that have resulted in IPOs on the New York Stock Exchange and have generated aggregate annual revenues in excess of $7 billion. Notre Capital has historically specialized in industry consolidations, but more recently has invested in high-growth technology companies.
Prior to founding Concept Consulting in 2007, Michael served as Vice President of Development at First Watch Restaurants, beginning in 2004 when the the nation's largest and fastest growing daytime-only café chain was acquired by the private equity firm, L Catterton Partners. Under Michael's leadership, First Watch increased its number of annual new restaurant openings from one in 2004 and five in 2005 to an average of 12 in both 2006 and 2007. He was instrumental in leveraging advanced consumer data analytics to determine site selection, which helped to double the number of locations in operation to over 100, and drive significant revenue and earnings growth for the restaurant chain. Today, First Watch employs 6,000 employees spread across 200 locations in 26 states.
From 1999 through 2004, Michael led Sunrise Development Services as its principal and Vice President. Similar to Concept Consulting, Sunrise provided retail and restaurant concept consulting services, including strategic market planning, site selection, broker relations, franchise relations during site selection process, lease negotiations and legal counsel management. Key clients included Baja Fresh Mexican Grill, a subsidiary of Wendy's, where Michael handled corporate and franchise store development in the Eastern region of the United States. He also led Quizno's new franchise store expansion in 11 Eastern region states. It was while working at Sunrise that Michael originally was engaged to advise on strategic development for First Watch Restaurants, before becoming its Vice President of Development.
Earlier in his career, Michael was Senior Vice President of Real Estate and Construction for Fleetwood Retail Corp., a Fortune 500 company focused on the retail sale of new manufactured housing. In this role, Michael guided the opening of 62 model home sales centers across the nation in two years. He previously served as Executive Vice President at Home USA, which was a company purposely created by Notre Capital to roll-up the U.S. manufactured housing industry. At Home USA, Michael was credited with building a national pipeline of 25 acquisition targets with collective revenues of over $300 million. The roll-up of these companies ultimately led to Home USA completing an Initial Public Offering and listing on the New York Stock Exchange, and subsequently being acquired by Fleetwood Retail Corp. a year later.
Michael is a graduate of West Virginia University where he earned a B.S. in Business Administration and Finance; and he completed the senior executive leadership program at the Center for Creative Leadership. He is also a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.