Our Services



    site planning

    urban planning

    site surveying

    schematic design

    design development

    construction documents


    construction administration

    job site supervision

    project coordination

    LEED certification

    sustainable design



    program development

    space planning

    schematic design

    design development

    contract documents


    millwork detailing


    logo development

    signage applications

    menu systems


    facilities and equipment inventory

    schematic design

    equipment selection

    contract documents


    point-of-connection plans









    market analysis

    in-market audit

    audience | user exit survey

    focus group facilitating

    market segment

    market position


    in-market audit

    competitive swot analysis

    competitive price analysis

    menu gap study


    brand marketing strategy

    marketing plan

    public relations plan

    event strategy

    brand communications



    site selection criteria

    pos systems applications

    hr management strategies

    training manuals and programs

    finance, accounting and controls

    operational manuals and processes


    structural engineering

    mechanical engineering

    electrical engineering

    civil engineering

    environmental testing

    materials, land, and soils testing

    audio | visual design

    security systems

    brewery | process consulting

    laundry consulting

    traffic | parking consulting

Our Methods

  • Onsite-Insight®

    *Onsite-Insight, a division of Knauer Incorporated, was developed in response to the hospitality boom in the 1990s when many new sites were being developed and existing properties were being redeveloped. Onsite-Insight is a methodology utilizing a step-by-step process to survey and evaluate locations for future development or to determine what needs to be done in an existing location. It encompasses all related entitlement and ordinance constraints put on a property by authorities having jurisdiction. It includes a thorough review of applicable building code requirements and the related fees. It takes all aspects into consideration: utilities, mechanical and electrical services, health department requirements, fire ordinances, liquor licensure, and signage, and compiles the information into a due diligence document for the client. One of the most critical aspects of Onsite-Insight is thoroughly surveying all site conditions and recording them for any and all future development. The methodology is completely customizable to any client’s specific needs.*

  • Brand DNA®

    differentiators, nuances, and attitudes

    The letters “DNA” are an acronym for “Differentiators, Nuances, and Attitudes.” In application, Brand DNA takes form as a collection of five to seven key words or phrases that epitomize the guest experience. In a food and beverage business, these five to seven key words and phrases describe the look, feel, and vibe of the place; they will describe the food, beverage, and service expectations and, in general, what the brand will be like for the guest.

    Since the guest is the center of the universe in all successful businesses, the brand experience is defined through the customer’s eyes, not ours. Ideally, following a visit to your operation, a customer would describe his or her guest experience to a friend in a manner that is similar to or a direct match to the stated Brand DNA.

    brown eyes and blonde hair

    Just as biological DNA determines what characteristics a person has in their genetic makeup, Brand DNA determines what is “baked into” a brand or concept. The key words and phrases have been chosen carefully as they are not only a brand aspiration in terms of what we want the guest to “get” about the concept; they represent the very essence of the genetic code of the brand–how the brand concept is hardwired.

    Color selection, lighting, furniture, music, uniforms, menus, product communication, signage, restrooms, staff profiles–virtually every guest interface is an opportunity to communicate the brand. All of it must lock together seamlessly into a pure, real, and meaningful experience. Power Brands deliver their message over and over, loud and clear, and on a consistent basis.

    survival of the fittest

    Every decision about all guest touchpoints will be influenced by referring to and adhering to the DNA. As such, the Brand DNA acts as a guide and a filter for ownership, management, and staff brand ambassadors–all people who collectively serve as architects of the concept. It represents as blueprint for success from the onset of the project through the life of the business.

    During the creative process of concept development, Brand DNA is critical in establishing boundaries and articulating the desired end result. Once operational, Brand DNA acts as an objective measure to determine “what it is” versus “what it should be.” By properly utilizing Brand DNA as a tool, concepts will evolve and become fortified, resulting in a richer, more clarified version of the experience.

    Without Brand DNA, concepts are at risk of becoming diluted or convoluted over time. The Brand DNA Rule is that all decisions must support at least two points of the stated Brand DNA and contradict none.

    the tribe

    The brand guest base is made up of members of a tribe. They are bound to the tribe on the basis of what they value, sharing key, common beliefs and lifestyles. Each part of the Brand DNA is designed to be obvious to and have value to this like-minded target audience. Like all tribal communities, the brand tribe will have many different types of individuals with differing roles that make up the group. They will vary in age, occupation, and social status and can be quite diverse. The brand therefore represents a gathering place where rituals, traditions, and predictable tribal behavior will be carried out by all members.

    Should the safe, attractive environment or the value proposition be perceived by the tribe to have changed, even slightly, it is possible that the connection between tribe and concept will be broken. The tribe then migrates to seek value and connectivity elsewhere. Changing the tribe’s collective belief in an effort to regain trust and loyalty is a complex and costly proposition.

  • Sketchbook

    Once the Brand DNA is defined, Knauer compiles all of the project data; the target market, the comp set, the concept statement, the Brand DNA itself, along with name and logo options into a SKETCHBOOK for our clients. We utilize this to develop a site plan, a floor plan, and ultimately a 3D model of the building, the space, and the adjacencies, so a client can see their project as their customer, the guest, will soon see it when built – from every angle. But, we don’t stop there. We further articulate the design in the SKETCHBOOK with a palette of colors, materials, lighting designs, furnishings, fixtures, art, accessories, table top, and even server uniforms. Many times, we provide menu direction and specialty items for the client to ponder, leaving no stone unturned. From “soup to nuts”. The SKETCHBOOK communicates all aspects of the project allowing the client to immerse themselves in their project so they can make informed decisions. This tool is invaluable to our and our client’s success. Building the project digitally allows us to look at and flush out many design options. We can then produce better and more complete construction documents for the trades to build the project. It is not unusual, as a matter of fact, it is intentional for the SKETCHBOOK to be indistinguishable from the finished project. After all, that is the goal.

Knauer Logo