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The P.I.A Equation: 3 Ways To Lower Vendor Pricing

Do you know what determines the pricing you receive from your primary food vendors? Surely it’s some complicated algorithm that takes purchasing volume, average delivery size and location and then performs some mathematical magic and determines exactly what your pricing is….right?  Right? Well yes and no.  All of these factors play a part in your pricing, but the most important aspect of your pricing structure is your sales representative.  Most sales reps won’t admit to having anything to do with your pricing, much less admitting to being a major influencing factor in determining your price margins.  After all, it is far easier to act like there is nothing they can do and it’s big brother’s fault your prices are what they are. The truth is that the sales rep is the single … Read entire article »

Filed under: Chef Life, Chef's Office, Purchasing

Confessions of A Job Hopping Chef

Oh no!  I am a job hopper. While I was working on a background page for my website, I started to realized that a quick glace at my resume would label me a job hopper. I hate the label “Job Hopper”, mainly because I never felt that I portrayed any of the characteristics of the stereotypical hopper.  I have never been fired, been socially or mentally unbalanced, and I’ve never left a position because I wasn’t capable of doing the job.  I have left every single place I’ve worked on good terms and have received glowing recommendations on my work ethic and many accomplishments. Additionally, almost every new position I’ve taken has been a progressive move, meaning that I have consistently moved to higher volume, higher quality establishments with larger staffs … Read entire article »

Filed under: Chef Life, Kitchen Staff

Free Basic Inventory Spreadsheet

I have received a few requests for just a simple no frills inventory sheet.  Not everyone needs a full inventory system like the 86inventory program we are developing over at Food Pro Resources.  If you have a small operation,  perhaps you just want to inventory a few items every week, or you need to inventory items just for a special event, here is a free spreadsheet template you can download.  Just fill in the white blanks and the sheet will automatically make the calculations for you! Click Here to Download: Basic Inventory **UPDATE** just added a copy of this document in Google Docs for you to use on any operating system! Click Here to access.   Do you need a custom spreadsheet or template designed?  Email me or follow me (@beingthechef) and tell me what … Read entire article »

Filed under: Chef's Office, Free Templates & Downloads, Purchasing

10 Reason's Every Chef Should Have A.D.D.

As I read this article on the advantages of A.D.D. or Attention Deficit Disorder by Jennifer Koretsky, I was struck by how many of these strengths are essential to being a good chef.  I have dealt with my own A.D.D. most of my life and had always considered it a blessing within my chosen occupation, but reading through this article helped to pin point the corelation between A.D.D. strengths and the characteristics of a successful chef. Creativity- It goes without saying, this is a big part of most chef positions and is usually what first draws us to the occupation. Drive- There are no successful lazy chefs, it is a hard job and without an insane amount of drive most would just flounder. Problem Solving- Whether it is coming up with the daily … Read entire article »

Filed under: Chef Life, Kitchen Staff

Don't just do something, stand there!

“Is your team there to support you or are you there to support your team?” This was the topic of conversation the other day between myself and a corporate VP.  There are times when the work is mostly driven by the Chef and the staff is just there for support, but this tends to work only in small venues. Our conversation started with a comment about how well I take care of my guests, to which I replied that I don’t do much for the guests at all because my job was to take care of my staff.  I then explained how it was my staff’s job to take care of our guests.  My job focus, I went on to explain, is to make sure my staff are trained, equipped and part … Read entire article »

Filed under: Chef Life, Kitchen Staff

Cell Phones Banned in Professional Kitchens

Photo by tomsun Do you believe in capitalizing on new tech in your kitchen or are you old school and think cell phones and such should be left at home?  I have watched as several companies tried, in vain I might add, to ban all cell phones in their kitchens.   I understand the worries and even the possible problems employees with phones might pose, but I do think that there are just as many if not more reasons to allow them. The Pros : Calling – This one is about as basic as it gets, but is often overlooked in it’s simplicity.  I have managed large properties and the ability  to call my cooks where ever they are working has improved my life considerably from the days when I had to walk all … Read entire article »

Filed under: Chef Life, Kitchen Staff

86inventory Is Looking for Beta Testers

Our sister site, has launched the new 86inventory program.  I’ll post an overview of the features and how it all works soon, but if you want to get in on the beta testing head there now and sign up for a free account. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Chef Life, Chef's Office

Need a Spreadsheet to Schedule Your Staff and Track Labor?

Ever need a simple spreadsheet tool to plan your staff’s schedule but also need to track your payroll?  Here is a spreadsheet that not only tracks your planned schedule budget but also helps to track your actual hours worked.  In addition to tracking individual employees, it also provides a entire staff overview. You can download the file here: Schedule Template with Labor Budget or you can use our template with Google Docs @ Schedule Template … Read entire article »

Filed under: Chef Life, Free Templates & Downloads, Kitchen Staff

Vendor vs. Store Analysis Sheet

Are you really saving money running over to that discount warehouse club every couple of days?  Use this spreadsheet to help determine exactly what (if any) savings you are actually getting! Download: Vendor vs Store … Read entire article »

Filed under: Chef's Office, Free Templates & Downloads, Purchasing

Free Menu Template

Here is a simple menu template that can be edited to include your menu item. Download: Menu Template 2 page … Read entire article »

Filed under: Free Templates & Downloads