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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

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