Startup & Growth

How to Make Quality Pre-made and Speed Scratch Work for Your Concept

Every chef contends with the balancing act of producing the variety and quality of foods that their customers and bosses want with the reality of the capabilities of their staff, the size of their kitchens and their budget. In the perfect kitchen there would be just the right amount of culinarians possessing all the skills, expertise and experience needed to consistently knock out any gastronomic whim of the powers that be, without breaking a sweat or going into overtime.

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The 5 Points of Proper Portion Control

Although portion control probably doesn’t top many chefs’ lists of the most fun or creative parts of their job, it is still an important task for which they are responsible. Without it, both sides of any restaurant’s basic equation - customer satisfaction & profitability - crumble. Let’s take a look at a number of ways that will help chefs master this essential part of running their kitchens. Good portion control depends on implementing specific systems and procedures at five distinct points in a kitchen’s workflow.

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10 Things You Can Do Today to Increase Menu Profitability

More and more operators are making the observation that it is getting harder and harder to make a buck in the restaurant business. Between fewer customers, many of who are demanding more satisfaction but expect to pay less for it, and rising costs, not to mention plenty of competition doing their best to rise to the challenge, they have a point. Much of the wiggle room many restaurateurs have had in the past in terms of profitability is gone.

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One Big Job: How to Hire your First or Next Chef

In almost any restaurant no position is more important than that of the chef. Of course other positions, such as the dining room manager and GM or owner/operator, are just as critical. But if the menu is not appealing, the food not consistently well prepared, the food costs not kept in line and staff turnover not kept to a minimum, the chances of any operation’s success recede to zero. Most operators understand this, which explains the level of apprehension, if not the genuine anxiety, that many feel when faced with the task of hiring a new chef. Let’s examine just what we should be looking for in a chef, and how to best go about finding it.

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Climbing the Ladder: Helping your Kitchen Staff Develop their Skills and Careers

One of the worst, but undeserved, stereotypes that the hospitality industry endures is the concept that it offers nothing but low paying, boring, dead end jobs to people who have no better options in life. But ask anyone who has been a proud member of our fraternity for any length of time and the overall impression you’ll get is just the opposite. It is an industry that has been consistently growing for years, has a genuine need for workers at every level of expertise and ability, and is hungry for people who are willing to work their way up the ladder as far as they are able to go, with little or no arbitrary limits placed on anyone willing to rise to the occasion.

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First Things First: Making Prep Work More Efficient

As any good chef will tell you, there is nothing more important than the part of each day dedicated to prep work. Without well-planned and executed prep, labor and food costs, as well as quality, are impossible to control. And although service time is where the rubber meets the road, prep time is where we install the tires. When our restaurant’s doors open, we all want our kitchens to perform like a perfectly designed, well-oiled machine from the very first order through to the very last dessert.

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How to Build your Holiday Business with Proper Planning

For many operators the promise of a strong fourth quarter can, at worst, partially make up for an otherwise lackluster year. On the other hand, if things are already going well, a strong finish will turn a good year into a great one. During the Holidays most peoples’ spending patterns loosen up, there are more reasons and occasions for individuals and families to splurge and celebrate and corporate revelry kicks into high gear (albeit not as high as a few years ago.) This is good news for restaurateurs.

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How to Drive your Business During Seasonal Slumps

When it comes to keeping our dining rooms filled, certain times of the year just seem to take care of themselves – others, not so much. If your restaurant is located near a beach, summer is probably fine, and winter might be good too; but the fall, when the kids go back to school, might be a little on the slow side. If you’re located in a ski town, when the conditions on the slopes are great, so is your guest count. But before the first snowfall arrives, or after the last is just a memory, depending on how much of a draw your area has for non-skiers, things might start to feel a more peaceful than you’d like.

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How to Conduct an Effective Menu Tasting for Your Staff

Everyone in the restaurant business understands and appreciates the fact that nothing is more important than providing great service. It is often said – and I, for one, agree – that great service can make up for mediocre food, but great food will never make up for miserable service. No matter how well thought out your wine list is, if it’s served by waiters who succeed in making your guests feel inadequate for their selection, everybody loses.

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Walking the Line

Improving Kitchen Efficiency & Quality Chef Training and Kitchen Management Article As restauranteurs and chefs, we do a lot of planning. Almost everything we are responsible for getting done requires that we think things through early enough to get the ball rolling soon enough to get each task accomplished by the time it needs to be done. We have to write our menu in time to source the ingredients, and have an inventory done in time to place an order by the deadline to get our delivery when we need it, schedule enough cooks to do the prep and work the line, and then make sure they are all shown exactly what we want them to do before they head off too far in the wrong direction; and on and on.

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