Articles Comments

Being the Chef » Archive

Your Restaurant on Facebook

Did you know that if Facebook were a country it would be the fourth largest in the world?  Facebook is the undisputed king of social media with over half a billion users estimated by December 2010.  Have you opened your restaurant location there yet?  The website Nation’s Restaurant News offers an excellent article on Facebook Tips for Restaurants. For those of you wondering what the hell social media is and what it’s good for, check out this video: … Read entire article »

Filed under: Chef Life

The Back Door Job Theory

Image via Wikipedia I mentor many young cooks who are looking for work and lament to me on how they cannot find a good job.  Almost all of them say that they have spent days or even weeks filling out applications and emailing resumes, all to no avail. The best advice I can give these cooks is get out there and get in front of the manager or the chef who is doing the hiring. Face to face is still the best way to get hired. Most chefs and managers do not have the time to read through an onslaught of emailed resumes, especially since a large portion of these applicants are not properly qualified for the  job anyway. For instance, the last time I placed a job posting on Craigslist, I received … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, HR

Butcher's Yield Worksheet

Great worksheet for calculating a Butcher’s Yield: Google Docs Link: Click Here For Excel Download: Butcher’s Yield Report … Read entire article »

Filed under: Chef Life, Free Templates & Downloads

The Right Way To Increase Motivation

Here is a superb video on the science behind motivation, and trust me when I tell you that you may be quite surprised by the results. This is an animated video of a talk given by Dan Pink at the TED Conference. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Chef Life, Kitchen Staff

Recipe Costing Worksheet

Here is a spreadsheet that I developed that helps to calculate recipe costs as well as food cost and food cost percentages. Costing Worksheet (click to download Excel file) Google Docs Template (click to use with Google Docs) … Read entire article »

Filed under: Free Templates & Downloads

How To Pick A Sales Rep

Do you pick your sales rep? If you’re like most people, you just take whichever salesman walks through the door when your looking for a vendor. Seems OK, right? Well, let me ask you this, would you place a help wanted ad in the paper and then just hire who ever walked in your door from the ad? Of course you wouldn’t! Your sales rep makes his living off commissions from your purchases, so in essence, he works for you and you should pick a rep just as you would an employee. If you are new or relatively inexperienced, you are going to want a very knowledgeable and experienced sales rep. However, just as an experienced employee demands a higher wage, a top salesman is going to cost you. My personal choice? … Read entire article »

Filed under: Chef Life

The Fastest Way To Drop Those Unwanted Food Cost Percentages

Lower your food cost today, without changing how you do anything and maybe even put some of that savings in your bank account!  [Pause for cheesy infomercial music] We work in a world of percentages: Food Cost Percentage, Labor Cost Percentage, Profit Percentage. The list goes on and on and we face tremendous pressure and often depend on achieving our percentage goals so that we can make our bonuses or even keep our jobs. There are hundreds of articles floating around the web on how to lower food costs, usually all great guidelines and industry standards, however, one of the simplest ways to lower food cost is almost never mentioned. “You can’t put percentages in the bank!”… or can you? The fastest way to drop your food cost is to manage your margin percentages … Read entire article »

Filed under: Purchasing

Thank you For All The Things I Never Do

This morning, for some reason I noticed the trash can in our employee locker room.  Nothing special about this trash can, but I realized that I had never myself taken it out, nor had I ever asked anyone else to take care of it, but it has always been taken care of ever since we opened this building.  I know what you’re thinking, “Whooptee do! Some one took out the trash.”.  It may seem like a small thing, and indeed it is, but the important part is that I didn’t have to ask and I’ve never had to do it.  I started thinking about all the little things like this that I have never noticed over the years.  I am all over the big items, finding and fixing problems, but … Read entire article »

Filed under: Kitchen Staff

Crossing The "Fault" Line

Two Hundred guests had come to dinner that night for a prime rib dinner that was now way over cooked.  I was a sous chef at this time in my life and still had quite a bit to learn about management. Being young, arrogant and driven, I “knew” I was ready to be the chef of my own property, so this was a pretty big blow to my esteem.  The previous week, our dishwasher had been cleaning the alto-sham and must of turned the temperature dial up when he was wiping the front of the equipment. Then on the night we needed to cook the prime ribs, my cook seasoned the beef, through it into the alto-sham, set the timer and walked away never checking the temp. As dinner time approached  … Read entire article »

Filed under: Chef Life, Featured, Kitchen Staff

How to Kill the Motivation of your most Productive employee

Sometimes you just know that you blew it.  It’s funny that even if you know the right answers, you can still take the wrong actions.  By reacting to poor advice from a manager, I almost killed the motivation of one of my strongest employees. Here is how the scenario unfolded: In an impromptu meeting with one of our fellow managers, I was told how a particular employee seemed to have too much down time when I was off property and was playing around too much.  Most chefs have had to deal with this from time to time and many chefs deal with this weekly, and as a result get very little time off.  But this was especially troubling for me, as I pride myself on building teams and systems that enable … Read entire article »

Filed under: Chef Life, Kitchen Staff