Category: Tips and Techniques

September 3 / Restaurant Consulting

Sorry it’s been a little quiet around here lately. There’s a good reason, though. I’m almost done with my first draft of my e-book on how to become a restaurant consultant! Hooray!

I’m working hard to detail the steps I took to building my business as a successful restaurant consultant. I want my book to serve as a resource for anyone who wants to start their own consulting practice, creative business in the food industry, or be a private chef.

I’m eager to publish because I want to help as many people possible to find the answers to questions about starting their own business as a restaurant consultant or private chef.

March 5 / Chef Advice

valentines day restaurant tableFinding good resources for inspiration or direct support within the food and beverage industry can be difficult. There are websites and food publications like Saveur, Lucky Peach, and Bon Appetit that may have helpful ideas you can use. Restaurant books, chef memoirs, and exposés on the service industry can give perspective and ideas. Reality television shows like Restaurant Impossible, Top Chef, and Kitchen Nightmares can entertain and teach by example.

But it is face-to-face conversations with restaurant professionals that many in the food and beverage business lack the most. Thanks to the restaurant industry’s long hours, pace of business, and fierce competition restaurant leaders can easily get isolated from each other. Many restaurant pros rarely see fellow comrades, unless they run into each other at the same late night noodle shop or bar. And even then, we are frequently too exhausted to share quality resources or ideas.

Restaurant Unstoppable: The Pod Cast

Last week I was approached by Eric Cacciatore, creator of Restaurant Unstoppable, to be a guest on his weekly podcast. Restaurant Unstoppable is a weekly radio show that features industry professionals’ insights and tips on what it takes to succeed in the food and beverage industry.  I had to admit I hadn’t heard of Eric’s show, but I was intrigued by his enthusiasm and dedication to growing an online resource for restaurant professionals.

Restaurant Unstoppable is a place where restaurant people can share insights and ideas that can be accessed at any time of the day. Bravo! I like what Eric is trying to do, so I agreed to be interviewed. Who doesn’t want to be part of building something cool?

Eric sent me a rather detailed questionnaire before our interview. His questions about what it’s like being a hospitality consultant got me thinking about simple solutions I could share with people in the restaurant business.

Here are a few hiring tips I shared:

  • Smile when you interview applicants.  If the applicant is unable to smile, don’t hire them if they are applying for a front of the house position.
  • Have open interviews once a month, even if you don’t need people. It lets your current staff know how important doing great work is and it keeps you open to finding extraordinary people.
  • Pay great people more. When you find great people, pay them a little bit more than average if you can afford it. Even $.50 more an hour can go a long way in making a difference in the choices of barista or counter person. Paying more encourage great people not to go elsewhere.
  • Feed your team. Once you get a great team, make sure they’re fed. Offering a great staff meal can go a long way in making your food workers happy and perform well.
June 5 / Business

cranberry date juice blend

If you’ve even played around with the idea of opening a juice bar, you’re not alone. Lots of people–about one in ten new restaurant owners today–want to invest time and money into turning fruits and vegetables into liquid gold. I work as a restaurant consultant in the city of Los Angeles and in a few city blocks there are at least one or two juice bars and there are more on their way. Fresh juice bars are a $5 billion dollar business that’s projected to grow from 4% to 8% a year.

So why is a fresh juice bar such a popular idea? Well, if you think running a juice bar is easy, think again. There is no such thing as easy in the business of food.

Search the internet for suggestions of how to start your own juice bar, and you’ll find advice that suggests that location is the most important thing to figure out first. After that, they say, come up with a business plan, and then come up with a concept.

As someone who has worked in the restaurant industry for over two decades, I humbly suggest you consider something else first: is running a juice bar something you want to do for the next five years?

Freshly pressed juices are the newest food fad. Lots of people want to get in on a business that promotes a healthy, on-the-go lifestyle for health conscious people who want to take care of their bodies in a fast and efficient way.

Juice, my friends, is the new cupcake.

March 29 / Chef Advice
September 24 / Breakfast Food
October 2 / Blogging Insights
September 13 / Asian
March 5 / Asian
February 24 / Chef Advice
January 29 / Chef Advice
January 28 / Chef Advice
January 4 / Bartending
December 31 / Bartending
December 28 / Chef Advice
December 21 / Chef Recipes
December 10 / Asian
October 27 / Bartending
August 31 / Bartending
August 5 / Farmers Market
July 29 / Chef Advice