The Biggest Threat to Kitchen Success

The Biggest Threat to Kitchen Success

Employing a crew of trained kitchen killers means you need brain power as much as cooking firepower.

So how do you get your cooks to think, troubleshoot, and work critically? Or do you?

Asking members of the biz for their insight on how they get their cooks to think, the responses fell shockingly silent. This quiet is surprising because we ask our kitchen crews to work harder, work faster, work cleaner.

“Work smarter, not harder” is cliche and familiar. But what are we doing as leaders in the kitchen to be a catalyst for thinking?

Historically - and depending on with whom you are talking to - restaurant failure rate within five years is somewhere in the neighborhood of 80%. Poor product? Sometimes. Location? Maybe. Fiscal mismanagement? Now you are getting warmer. Off-mission? A resounding yes.

Having a mission and actually understanding how to keep the train on those tracks requires intellect. And that is where we aren’t stirring the pot.

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The Importance of Cultivating and Maintaining Company Culture

The Importance of Cultivating and Maintaining Company Culture

Look at any well landscaped garden and you will see careful planning, care, and maintenance. Those are the same elements you need to create a restaurant culture that surpasses the average.

Culture is that secret sauce that separates the good from the outstanding. Restaurants can have the same ingredients and even the same menu items. What separates them often is that one thing that is hard to copycat and that is their culture. Even famous rock bands that break up and go on to form other bands often do not find the same success they had from before. Culture is something more organic and alive. Just like that immaculate looking garden, you need to understand the planning and work that occurred to create such a masterpiece.

There are three key elements to cultivating culture:

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4 Reasons Why Informal Training Is a Necessity In Your Restaurant

4 Reasons Why Informal Training Is a Necessity In Your Restaurant

When it comes to training, most restaurant owners tend to think that it means on-the-job training, where the trainee is an extra person on payroll, which spikes the labor percentage. 

Or maybe you've called in your team on a Saturday only to tell them that you hired a leadership speaker and you notice that they would rather be anywhere but at the restaurant that they had closed just hours prior. 

No matter what the situation is, as restaurant owners, you need to focus on developing your team and furthering their education without breaking the bank or focusing solely on a formal training strategies.

That is where informal training comes in and why it's an absolute necessity for your restaurant.

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6 Steps Towards Solving the Chef Shortage Problem

6 Steps Towards Solving the Chef Shortage Problem

It’s no secret.

I think we’ve all heard by now that there’s a “shortage of qualified cooks and chefs” across North America, the U.K. and Australia specifically. If you’re not experiencing it first hand as an operator or chef, you’ve surely read one of the numerous articles on why it’s happened.

How big is the problem? It’s got to the point now where we’re seeing operators offer financial incentives to the general public who refer a chef to them.  We've got to be realistic and address these issues now before it’s too late!

Before we go yelling about ‘millennials’ again, we can’t blame them wholeheartedly for this one. Owning a restaurant has become easier since the economy recovered and establishments are opening at a rate that the pool of qualified cooks just can’t keep up with.

When we then pair that with the ‘history of harassment’ within the kitchen, the ‘low wages,’ and the ‘long hours’— what we have is a bursted bubble. These problems are not the fault of millennials, many of these issues started before they were even born!

As an industry, let’s stop complaining, let’s stop feeding excuses, and let’s collectively come up with winning solutions. These solutions may not be for every concept and size of kitchen, they may not drive results overnight (it will take time), but it’s a start and we have to start somewhere.

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Why Rewarding Good Behavior Is the Oldest Trick in the Book

Why Rewarding Good Behavior Is the Oldest Trick in the Book

The simplest ways to retain employees and motivate them are often the most overlooked. Rewarding the best team members is increasingly important, especially now that we live in a climate that continues to deliver blows to the restaurant industry. Once tried-and-true models for running successful establishments are no longer relevant. Minimum wages and expenses associated with employees are climbing, food costs continue to rise, and the market never stops changing. Now, more than ever, is the time to examine a restaurant’s management team and best practices.

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