The definitive guide to reopening your restaurant business after COVID-19


What Our Readers Are Saying

This book was a great read – we are about to open 5 locations when the shelter is lifted, and this book literally covers it all. Great book for the restaurant industry and perfect timing Thank you

Gerry Dillard


Solid reading for any executive, owner or manager in hospitality Highly recommended

Susan Gordon

This book was a great surprise – not only does it help think about all the necessary areas to address when we reopen our restaurant chain, it has some great management ideas. I love the Coffee Breaks where Mr Ancill, talks about his experiences in consulting and some of his humor Great read

Jarred Falkwer

I really enjoyed this book, not at all what I expected. I was anticipating a good jolt of technical information, which was there for sure, however the author broke the book up with his stories and experiences which made the book a very enjoyable read with many good points of information. I think this book is a great reference for all HR and Operations managers and executives - great read

Susan Henry


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20% of all donations go to COVID 19 hospitality relief funds, the rest go towards the cost of producing this book and the Covid-19 Reboot team

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About Author


Robert Ancill

Robert Ancill is the CEO of and The Next Idea Group. Widely considered an authority on emerging and future food trends, restaurant concepts, brand positioning, food service, and design

Based in Los Angeles, Robert has overseen the launch of over 89 new brands and 800 restaurant or café openings or remodels. He has worked or consulted with clients in over 24 countries, including but not limited to: USA, UK, Kuwait, Dubai/Abu Dhabi (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Nigeria, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, China, Malaysia, France, Qatar, Afghanistan, Tanzania and Pakistan.

Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Robert joined the Glasgow College of Food Technology and graduated with the HCIMA qualification. During his career, Robert worked for a range of well-known corporations including: Aroma Café Group, The House of Albert Roux, Planet Hollywood, House of Fraser, Safeway, Panera Bread and HMS Host.

In 2002 Robert founded The Next Idea, a high energy, innovative international restaurant consulting agency that simply provides – The Next Idea. The agency specializes in new food and restaurant concept development, interior design and architecture, re-positioning, food trend research forecasting, marketing and restaurant franchising.

Never wavering from The Next Idea’s core values of Creativity, Excellence, Client Service, and Integrity, Robert has built The Next Idea from a one-client agency to an acclaimed international boutique consulting group with a broad range of small, medium, and large clients, and an enviable project portfolio. The company split in 2016 and operates consulting services under The Next Idea, and interior design under TNI Design,

Robert regularly takes on interim executive assignments. He is Chairman of Phood Farmacy, Design Director at Plant Power Fast Food, and Vizualization and Cad Director for Design i.

Robert is regularly quoted in the Media on global restaurant and food trends as well as food & restaurant opportunities in emerging and frontier markets. He is regularly speaking at conferences on topics relating to international growth opportunities, restaurant concepts, food trends and consumer behavior.

Robert is also active in the Non Profit world, supporting many good causes including, anti-slavery, cure and support for autism and child education in underdeveloped countries. In his spare time Robert is an amateur photographer, whose work has been featured in a number of magazines and websites, and can be found at:

Interview With Robert Ancill

Our Contributors


Maerav Chiprut

Maerav's career spans over 18 years in the Restaurant, Retail & Leisure Industries, with a focus in restaurant/cafe operations and training.

Maerav has managed over 60 restaurant/café openings in the UK & the US.

Maerav is responsible for all The Next Idea training activities, and has consulted with a range of food service operators; including Britney Spears, The Zone, Virgin Trains, Panera Bread, Viva Vegan, Phood Farmacy, Roscoes Chicken and Waffles, and Albert Roux Cafes.


Thelma Weaver

Thelma graduated from City University of New York-Hunter College with a degree in Media Studies and Psychology. Her background includes 12 years of diversified experience in project management, marketing, and promotional programming, in mobile communications, tradeshows and hospitality. Thelma began her career as Brand manager (freelance) for a range of well-known US and international brands, including Stella Artois, DKNY, Lufthansa, Boars Head, Jet Magazine, Snapple, Time Warner Cable, Estee Lauder and T-Mobile. She then became Project and Marketing Manager with Ring Plus, a dynamic start up telecommunications company based in Beverly Hills, California. In 2016 Thelma joined The Next Idea as Project Manager and Marketing Consultant, and has worked on multiple accounts including: Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles, Maria's Italian Kitchen, Poke O, The Hungry Trader, Phood Farmacy, Viva Vegam, and Steak N Shake. Thelma was Key Note Speaker on Marketing, Past, Present and Future, at the Bahrain Hospitality Forum 2017, and is Editor of all Client and TNI written communications.


Joshua Merel

Josh is a Vice President of Alliant Insurance Services, Inc. A national insurance brokerage firm based in Newport Beach California.

After 20 years as a restaurant operator and franchisee, Josh made the transition to the insurance business in 2000. Utilizing his experience as a businessman and restaurateur, Josh has developed a unique and effective approach as an insurance professional. His client base includes multi-unit restaurant operators, mid-market manufacturers, contractors, and retailers.


Sara Rivera Partner/Senior HR Consultant/Employment Law & Employee Relations Specialist

Sara holds a degree in Business Administration from Wagner College in New York City. An immigrant from Central America, Sara quickly knew that her professional career would be in any field that was about advocating for people and providing resources for their betterment. Sara’s professional bilingual career began in the field of Risk Management for St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. There she sat on the Safety Committee Board for 5 years. She was then initiated to the Human Resources field for the hospitality industry with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts in 1992, where she mastered all disciplines of HR with a focus on Employment Law, Compliance and Training. In search to further her career, Sara accepted the position of Director Human Resources with Fairmont Hotels in Santa Monica, CA. There, she successfully negotiated a 5-year contract and established a good working relationship with Local 814, H.E.R.E.. During her tenure, she worked in both union and non-union environments with a focus on Labor Law and Immigration Compliance.

In 2001, Sara left the hotel industry to service as a VP of Human Resources for various independent restaurant chains throughout the U.S. making her knowledgeable in wage and hour laws and compliance regulations for many states.

From these experiences, Sara pursued a consulting career. She brings her coaching and advisory role to a wide variety of industries including hotels, restaurants, automotive, non-profit organizations, manufacturing and technology. Sara has helped many organizations with Strategic Planning, Performance Management and all disciplines of HR. Sara has been associated with ECG since its inception in 2003.

Sara is an active member of Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), the National Human Resources Association (NHRA), the Council for Hotel and Restaurant Trainers (CHART) and HR California. Sara is also certified to assess and train on numerous behavioral assessments such as DISC, Batrus Hollweg, and the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team.


Andy Hobbs

Andy Hobbs is a native of Orange County, California. He served four years in the U.S. Army as an Infantryman and four years in the California Army National Guard, again as an Infantryman. He's a graduate of Cal State Dominguez Hills and earned his master of arts, organizational management, from the University of Phoenix.

Andy's experience in repair and maintenance includes the Disneyland Resort, Montage Laguna Beach, Montage Beverly Hills, the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, the Monarch Bay Beach Resort, and El Gallo Giro Restaurants. He's also an adjunct professor at Fullerton Community College in the Construction Technology Program. In his free time he enjoys cooking, microbreweries, reading, and spending time with his family. Andy currently resides in Anaheim, California with his wife and daughter.

Talya Raphael

Talya Raphael

Talya Raphael, MSc is a medical student with a Masters in fundamental virology from the Pasteur Institute (Paris, France). Her numerous laboratory placements have included analysis of retroviral sequence upregulation in HIV-1 positive individuals in the Infectious Diseases Department at King’s College London (England) with Dr. Stuart Neil; epidemiological analysis of circulating enteroviruses and human parechoviruses in outpatients with influenza-like illness in the Lombardy region during the 2014-2015 winter season in the Virology Laboratory of the Università degli studi di Milano (Italy), with Dr. Sandro Binda, which was published in the European Scientific Conference on Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology (ESCAIDE) and in the Società Italiana di Igiene (SItI); and lastly a work placement at the Pasteur Institute (Paris) in the « Virus and Immunity » laboratory run by Dr. Olivier Schwartz where her final year MSc thesis was entitled “a mycobacterial virulence factor modulates the synthesis of the HIV-1 viral envelope in vitro”.

As part of her current medical degree, she has also worked in different hospitals and wards such as oncology, general surgery, hepato-gastroenterology and dermatology. She is a trained EMT and has volunteered with ambulance services in Israel.

She will be continuing her degree as a 4th year medical student in the fall of 2020 and she hopes to pursue a career in Public Health once graduated.

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