Posted On: May 25, 2023 by ChefsResources
Chef de Boss: 15 Leadership Tips for Restaurant Managers
As a professional chef or restaurant manager, you’re likely tasked with leading an entire restaurant or chain toward long-term success and profitability. While this may seem daunting, there are plenty of best practices you can follow and tips for restaurant managers to use to optimize their management approach.
The more you improve your management style and approach, the better equipped you are to contribute positively towards your restaurant’s culture and improve your service quality, productivity, and customer satisfaction rates.
Here’s how to manage your restaurant effectively, efficiently, and smoothly at all times.
1. Gain More Management Experience
The strongest restaurant managers and management teams have considerable experience in their respective positions. They understand the roles and responsibilities required to run a restaurant successfully and can exercise many of these roles and responsibilities to support their teams when needed.
Optimal management is closely related to understanding the challenges your team members face. When you understand this, you’re equipped to help your teams navigate these challenges. You can provide them with personalized support and workable solutions from your management perspective.
When you gain more experience and understanding of the roles of your management team members, you’ll also build greater respect between yourself and your team. This can positively impact everything, from your front-of-house operations to your kitchen.
2. Remain Personally Accountable
As a restaurant manager, you play a significant role in your establishment’s performance. True leaders step up and take full responsibility for their team’s performance and productivity.
One of the best tips for restaurant managers is this: when things go wrong, avoid seeking out people and factors to blame. Instead, focus on improving your performance to tackle future challenges. For example, you could seek new ways to train your team to ensure the same issue does not arise again. The better questions you ask, the better you’ll be able to secure beneficial results.
3. Identify Your Core Values
Your values are the foundations of your restaurant’s culture. Knowing them is a key part of being an effective leader.
Once you identify your core values, which can include transparency, trust, respect, hard work, dedication, and many other characteristics, you need to embody them in how you manage your establishment, your teams, and your restaurant’s processes.
4. Reduce Your In-House Divide
The restaurant and hospitality industries are well known for the divide between back-of-house and front-of-house operations. True leaders know that teamwork is essential in FOH and BOH operations and that every team member needs to focus on the greater picture to achieve optimal results.
Implementing bigger-picture mindsets and team-focused thinking practices are great ways to ensure your team members work together towards your establishment’s greater goals.
5. Invest in Education
Restaurant managers and leaders are never too experienced to learn more. Seek out respected managers, thought leaders, books, and publications in your sector to learn as much as you can about how best to manage your restaurant and your teams.
Leaders are always dedicated to improving their knowledge and skills to strengthen their teams and company cultures.
6. Take a Compassionate Approach
The restaurant industry is well-known for its long hours, tough jobs, and tenuous work-life balance. Your team members need an empathetic, compassionate leader to thrive, even under pressure.
The more flexible and compassionate you are towards your teams without compromising on essential processes, the better your restaurant will fare in the long term. This is also an effective approach to use to minimize staff turnover.
7. Trust Your Team
Ineffective managers are often convinced they need to micromanage their teams at all times to ensure good results. Your job as a leader is to support and trust your team members and only to correct them when necessary.
When you show your team you trust them, you’ll give them autonomy and ownership over their performance. Plus, you’ll allow them to find the best fit for their skills and abilities, leading to better productivity overall.
8. Schedule Pre-Shift Meetings
Quick pre-shift meetings are a great way to share important information before service begins. Even if you don’t have any important announcements or information to share before a shift, use this time to praise your team for what they are doing right and motivate them to perform at their peak.
9. Prioritize Your Customers
As a manager, you must ensure your customers are always satisfied, respected, and heard.
Set strict customer service standards to ensure that even temporarily dissatisfied customers become loyal patrons.
10. Delegate Tasks
Management roles can quickly lead to burnout. As such, delegate tasks to capable team members to save time and energy for tasks that need personal attention.
This approach also helps to ensure your team members feel trusted and empowered to work on your behalf, helping to build more trust and smoother workflows.
11. Focus on Positive Reinforcement
Your employees need positive reinforcement for a job well done. This enables them to see how they add value to your restaurant and how their hard work helps to advance your overarching goals.
Recognize your employees for their input and jobs well done to keep them motivated and ensure they feel respected and valued. You can also praise employees for positive reinforcement and well-deserved recognition during team meetings.
12. Create a Concise Onboarding Program
If you’re hiring new employees, it’s important to design an onboarding program that brings new hires up to speed with your culture, process, and expectations quickly and efficiently.
Ensure your program leaves room for questions and concerns so your new hires are ready to work towards your goals as soon as possible!
13. Manage Cash Flow
Managing cash flow is an essential part of running a restaurant. To minimize risk and maximize profitability, you must factor in expenses, revenues, profits, sales, and future projections.
Work with an experienced sales and finance professional to manage your cash flow. Alternatively, opt for an automated restaurant finance management system to keep your cash flow and profits looking healthy.
14. Invest in Marketing
Marketing is vital in the food service sector. As a restaurant leader, you must clearly understand your target audience to market your restaurant to the right people.
Gather data on your target customers, where to reach them, and their needs to supercharge your marketing strategies and sales figures.
15. Partner with a Mentor
Mentors can provide fantastic management tips and other advice for your role as a manager. Approach seasoned restaurant managers and owners in your industry and locate a mentor that understands your challenges and can provide actionable solutions and advice.
Use the tips above to enhance your restaurant management skills and keep your entire establishment running seamlessly.
Posted On: May 3, 2023 by ChefsResources
Make an Impression: 10 Tips to Make Sure People Keep Your Business Card
A business card often acts as a first impression of your brand or services. It’s a tangible representation of your professionalism and can serve as a reminder for potential clients or partners. Business cards are easily forgettable if not designed carefully or distributed effectively, and a poor design can lead to a very wrong impression about you. In this blog post, we’ll cover ten tips to make sure people keep your business card.
1. Business Card Design Matters
Your business card should reflect your brand and highlight what sets it apart from others. Choose a design that’s visually appealing and consistent with your branding. Avoid clutter and stick to essential information such as your name, job title, and contact details. Your business card design is as important as the way your professional LinkedIn profile looks. In this case, you are going to try using Vista Create graphic design software to ensure that the cover photo looks professional and eye-catching. Designing a card is no less crucial.
2. Use High-Quality Materials
Investing in high-quality materials for your business cards can make a difference in how people perceive your brand. Select a sturdy paper stock and consider adding special finishes like embossing or foil stamping to elevate the design.
3. Keep It Simple
A cluttered business card can be overwhelming and may diminish its impact. Ensure the design is balanced and legible, without sacrificing necessary information. Stick to essential details and avoid filling the card with unnecessary information.
4. Add a Call to Action
Encourage people to take action by including a call to action on your business card. This could be directing people to your website or social media platforms or offering a discount on your services.
5. Utilize Both Sides
Make use of both sides of your business card with essential information about your brand on one side and a call to action or additional information on the other.
6. Use Colors Wisely
Colors can evoke a particular mood or feeling and play an essential role in conveying the right image for your brand. Choose a color palette that’s consistent with your branding and ensure it’s visually appealing.
7. Don’t Underestimate White Space
Leaving some empty ‘white space’ can make your design look more polished and professional. It also makes the card cleaner and less cluttered.
8. Choose a Font Carefully
The font you pick can say a lot about your brand’s persona. Ensure it’s legible and consistent with your brand image. Remember to not combine many fonts in one card. It’s better to limit yourself to two fonts, one for highlighting or headings and one for other parts of the text.
9. Personalize It
Adding a personal touch to your business card can make it more memorable. Consider adding a handwritten note or a creative image that reflects your brand’s personality.
10. Distribute It Effectively
Finally, make sure to distribute your business cards effectively. Always keep your business cards with you, whether you’re attending a networking event or just running everyday errands. When handing out your business cards, take the time to engage in conversation with the recipient. This will help establish a connection and make the exchange more memorable.
Essential Information to Include on a Business Card
Your Name and Job Title: At the very minimum, your business card should have your name and job title. Your name is the most crucial information since it is what identifies you. Your job title is equally important as it lets people know what you do and what role you play in your organization.
Company Name and Logo: It should have the name of the company you represent, along with the company logo. The company name should be placed in a prominent position, and the logo should be visible enough to catch the attention of whoever receives the card.
Contact Information: Contact information is essential on a business card since it allows people to reach you. Include your email address, phone number, and physical address. You can also add your professional social media profiles. However, avoid cluttering your design with too much contact information.
Website: Your business card should also include your website’s URL. This allows the recipient to explore more about you or your company. Ensure that your website’s URL is simple and easy to remember.
Visual Hierarchy: How you arrange the information on the card is important. The information should be arranged in a way that draws attention to the most significant information first. Your name, title, and company logo should be visible at first glance, with your contact information following in descending order of importance.
A well-designed and distributed business card can make all the difference when it comes to leaving a lasting impression on potential clients or partners. By following these ten tips, you can ensure that people keep your business card and are more likely to remember your brand the next time they need your services. So, invest the time and effort into getting your business card right, and enjoy the benefits of increased brand recognition and growth.
Posted On: March 8, 2023 by ChefsResources
March 8, 2023
Following All the Right Pet-Friendly Restaurant Rules
Two-thirds of consumers call themselves “dog people” while one-third consider themselves “friends of felines.” Regardless of whether they have a dog or cat, however, most Americans consider their pets to be part of the family—and they like to bring them along when they dine, travel, and head to nature. If you have an existing restaurant, or you have just launched a new eatery, and you’d like to ensure it’s pet-friendly, ensure that your customers and staff are safe by adhering to the following pet-friendly restaurant rules and regulations.
Pet-Friendly Restaurant Laws Vary According to State
The first step to complete if you wish to open a dog-friendly food establishment is to request the relevant laws for your state. Currently, only a few states allow dogs to enjoy outdoor dining (no states permit indoor dining). They are: California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Read the fine print, because some states (for instance, Florida) require restaurants to apply for a permit from local governments.
Regulations Can Be Very Specific
NYC Health indicates the numerous specific obligations that restaurant owners must accept. These include only allowing dogs to enter dining areas from outside, the placement of barriers so dogs cannot access people walking on the sidewalk, the preparation of all food and drink indoors, and the postage of specific signs. These signs must indicate that only service dogs are allowed in interiors, companion dogs are only allowed in designated outdoor areas, and that companion dogs must be licensed and vaccinated against rabies.
Service Dogs are Exempt
Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, any certified dog must be allowed to enter a restaurant to accommodate its owner. However, there are certain guidelines that must be followed. For instance, the handler is solely responsible for the care and liability of the dog. Staff should be instructed not to pat or interact with the animal unless the owner permits them to do so. It can be very tempting to pat friendly pooches since therapy dog breeds are calm and very well-behaved. Just a few breeds acting as therapy dogs include Labradors, Poodles, French Bulldogs, King Charles Cavaliers, Pomeranians, Beagles, and Border Collies. In general, touching pets should be discouraged, since service staff touches plates, glasses, and other items and their hands should be germ-free.
Some Dogs May Be Excluded
The ability of a restaurant to accept dogs (or not) depends, to a great degree, on the infrastructure they have set up. For instance, in Maryland, the pertinent law stipulates that restaurant owners are responsible for choosing where the patio will be built and how big it will be. They also have the discretion to refuse entry to clients with dogs that are of a certain size or breed.
Restaurants are increasingly aiming to meet customer demands for pet-friendly eateries. However, the laws vary from state to state. If you are planning on welcoming dogs into your establishment, make sure to read the fine print to ace all the regulations from the word go.
Posted On: March 5, 2023 by ChefsResources
March 5, 2023
Everything You Must Know When Filming Cooking Videos
Cooking videos have become incredibly popular in recent years, with millions of people tuning in to watch chefs and food bloggers share their culinary creations on social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. Let’s quickly have a look at some of the stats for cooking videos.
- According to a study by Google, the number of food and cooking videos on YouTube has increased by 280% since 2014.
- In a survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association, 55% of adults said they watch cooking shows or online cooking videos at least once a month.
- The most-watched cooking channel on YouTube, Tasty, has over 21 million subscribers and 5 billion lifetime views.
- A study by Burst Media found that 78% of viewers watch cooking videos to get recipe ideas and inspiration.
- According to research by Hubspot, social media posts that include videos receive 48% more views than posts without videos.
So, if you’re a chef or food blogger looking to join the trend, you’ll need to have a good understanding of filming techniques in order to create high-quality videos that capture the essence of your dishes. In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about filming cooking videos, from planning and preparation to editing and promotion.
Planning and Preparation
Before you start filming, it’s important to plan and prepare in advance to ensure that your video goes smoothly. This includes selecting recipes that work well on camera, organizing ingredients and equipment in advance, and creating a detailed shot list that includes all the angles and shots you want to capture.
One thing to keep in mind is that not all recipes translate well to video. Some dishes may be too complex or time-consuming to film, while others may not be visually appealing enough to capture viewers’ attention. When choosing recipes to film, look for dishes that are colorful, visually interesting, and easy to follow along with.
When it comes to organizing your ingredients and equipment, make sure everything is within reach and easy to access. This will help you work efficiently and minimize the risk of mistakes or accidents. As for your shot list, aim to include a variety of angles and shots that showcase your dish in the best possible way. This might include close-up shots of the finished product, shots of you cooking or plating the dish, and shots of the ingredients.
Setting Up the Kitchen
Once you have your recipes, ingredients, and shot list ready to go, it’s time to set up your kitchen for filming. One of the most important considerations is lighting. Good lighting can make all the difference in the quality of your videos, so it’s worth investing in some lighting equipment if you don’t already have it.
When it comes to choosing a camera angle and framing, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure the camera is steady and not shaky. This might mean using a tripod or stabilizer. Second, consider the angle that will best showcase your dish. This will depend on the shape and size of the dish, but in general, it’s best to shoot from a slightly elevated angle so viewers can see what’s happening in the pan or on the cutting board.
Finally, make sure your kitchen is clean and organized. Cluttered countertops or dirty dishes in the background can be distracting and take away from the quality of your video.
Now that your kitchen is set up, it’s time to start filming. There are a few key techniques you can use to create visually stunning cooking videos:
a. Capturing the perfect shot of food
When it comes to filming food, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, use a tripod to keep the camera steady and avoid shaky shots. Second, select the appropriate lens and aperture for the shot. This will depend on the look you’re going for, but in general, using a shallow depth of field (which blurs the background) can create a professional, high-end look. Third, use natural light or add artificial light to enhance the look of the food. Finally, pay attention to composition and plating to create visually appealing shots.
b. Utilizing time-lapse and slow-motion techniques
Time-lapse and slow-motion shots can add visual interest to your cooking videos. For example, you might film a time-lapse of vegetables roasting in the oven or a slow-motion shot of sauce being drizzled over a dish. These shots can help to break up the action and create a more dynamic visual experience for your viewers.
c. Incorporating handheld shots
Handheld shots can add a sense of movement and energy to your cooking videos. For example, you might film a handheld shot of you adding ingredients to a pan or stirring a pot. These shots can help to create a more immersive experience for your viewers and make them feel like they’re right there in the kitchen with you.
d. Using multiple camera angles
Using multiple camera angles can help to keep your videos interesting and engaging. For example, you might switch between a close-up shot of the food and a wider shot of the kitchen. This can help to break up the action and create a more visually interesting video.
Editing and Post-Production
Once you’ve finished filming, it’s time to edit and post-produce your video. This includes adding music and sound effects, color grading, and cutting together the footage to create a cohesive story.
When it comes to choosing music for your cooking videos, it’s important to select tracks that complement the mood and style of your video. It is as important as choosing a suitable writer to write my essay. For example, you might choose a lively, upbeat track for a fast-paced cooking video or a mellow, relaxing track for a slow-paced cooking video.
Color grading is another important aspect of post-production. This involves adjusting the color and tone of your footage to create a cohesive look and feel. For example, you might adjust the temperature of your footage to create a warm, inviting look or add a cinematic color grade to create a high-end, professional look.
Promotion and Distribution
Once your video is complete, it’s time to promote and distribute it to your audience. This might include sharing your video on social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube, as well as embedding it on your website or blog.
One effective way to promote your cooking videos is to partner with other food bloggers and influencers in your niche. This can help to expand your reach and attract new viewers to your channel.
Another important aspect of promotion is to optimize your video for search engines. This includes using relevant keywords in your video title and description, as well as including tags and annotations to help viewers find your video.
While Summing Up…
Filming cooking videos can be a fun and rewarding way to share your culinary creations with the world. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this post, you can create high-quality videos that capture the essence of your dishes and engage your audience. Remember to plan and prepare in advance, use good lighting and framing techniques, and edit and post-produce your footage to create a cohesive and engaging story. With a little practice and patience, you can become a master at filming cooking videos and grow your audience in no time.
Claudia Jeffrey is an Assistant R&D at Crowd Writer, where she applies her expertise in research and development to help improve the company’s products and services. With a passion for innovation and a sharp analytical mind, Claudia is committed to making a positive impact in the world of business and technology. Along with that, she loves cooking and has future plans to come up with her own channel.
Posted On: February 28, 2023 by ChefsResources
February 28, 2023
Why Do You Want a Restaurant Virtual Assistant In the Kitchen?
It’s not an overstatement to say that managing a restaurant is challenging. Not only do you have to keep track of what’s going on on the ground in real-time during fast-paced food serving, but you also have to monitor things in the background, such as the finances and supplies. Perhaps a restaurant virtual assistant is what you need to simplify your life.
Virtual assistants, or VAs, are remote employees with specific skill sets that provide you and your business with administrative aid. They can help you manage the background aspects of the business so you can keep more focused and lead at the forefront, or take some time off yourself.
Below are some reasons you should consider for hiring a restaurant virtual assistant for your business.
They Provide Administrative Aid
Aside from particular jobs that require certifications to perform, a virtual assistant can handle most of the administrative work to keep your restaurant running.
Since running a restaurant business with multiple staff can make the administrative part of handling a business burdensome, you can delegate administrative responsibilities to your virtual assistant. A VA’s administrative specialties include answering and making phone calls, data entry, mail organization and management, and more.
Additionally, now that you have a virtual assistant to handle general administrative tasks, you will have more time to focus on building your business.
Rather than spending time and resources on day-to-day operations yourself, you may use them to think strategically about the firm in the long run. This free time allows you to define goals that drive your company’s performance and long-term development.
A Restaurant Virtual Assistant can Manage Your Website and Social Media
You can build a following and create leads with excellent social media and website management, but this can be time-consuming for a full-time restaurant owner or manager.
Fortunately, you can ask your virtual assistant to update your website, write blogs, and create social media posts while you directly connect with your audience or generate leads at a client’s house or event.
A gleaming website and active social feed are critical elements for attracting new customers, and your virtual assistant can help your company keep the voice and following you want.
They Can Handle Bookkeeping
Keeping track of incoming and departing finances can be time-consuming. You and your employees are already preoccupied with meal preparation, meal planning, deliveries, and inventory management.
You can let your VA handle the bookkeeping to free up your time for more critical tasks. They can send and archive invoices. They can also send individual reminders to clients who have not yet paid.
They Can Manage Your Projects
Although positive criticism and improvements can provide a more efficient process for your company, business managers working on multiple tasks at once can tunnel their vision and lose sight of the bigger picture.
You can ask your VA to examine business data to aid your restaurant business. From this examination, they can craft project proposals and spearhead their execution. The overall process can save you time and money since you’ll have to oversee the entire project rather than do it all alone.
Alternatively, using inventory management software or an AI in a supply chain, you can automate your business data examination and workflow.
What is an AI in a supply chain, you ask? Essentially, the focus of AI in supply chain optimization should be on finding solutions to problems that affect business. Production planning, demand forecasting, inventory management, routing, dynamic pricing, fraud detection, and quality control are a few examples of these difficulties.
They Can Keep Track of Your Schedule
Maintaining your schedule might be as hard as working. Allowing your VA to handle your hectic schedule will keep you from forgetting things and checking when you can squeeze in emergency appointments.
Your VA can also assist with setting up and managing online or phone bookings. You can ask them to send reminders as the event dates approach to ensure you prepare better for the engagements.
Your virtual assistant can also keep track of the equipment and meal plans you’ll need for the day. They can pre-arrange shopping delivery, ensuring that you have everything you need. This is especially useful for cultural holidays when you require unique ingredients for specific holiday dishes.
They Can Handle Your Emails
Clients, both prospects and onboarded, have questions, and most of the time, they have lots of those; do you have time to answer them all? If you’re wise, you will delegate them to your virtual assistant!
Your restaurant virtual assistant may respond to all basic comments and questions on your behalf, prepare templates for frequently asked questions, forward more complex emails & comments to you for review, and even create and spearhead entire email marketing campaigns for you.
Additionally, email marketing is still one of the best marketing strategies. A regular schedule of effectively crafted marketing emails can convert leads into long-term customers, which is always beneficial in keeping your restaurant afloat.
They Can Lessen Your Overall Operational Cost
Instead of engaging a full-time employee to accomplish a minor task, you can employ a virtual assistant. You’ll only have to pay for work they performed because they usually charge hourly or by commission.
Furthermore, because they operate remotely, you won’t have to pay for overhead costs such as their internet connection, laptop, or other office space-related charges.
Hiring a VA can also help you save money on training expenses. Consider this: when you hire a first-time employee, you must invest significant time and resources in educating them in various areas of their position.
However, with virtual assistants, you won’t have to worry about training them because they can work on specific and general jobs they already excel, enabling them to begin working immediately.
You may have already realized by now that a virtual assistant for your restaurant business may perform almost any activity you can think of. They provide excellent administrative help by giving them all the tasks you don’t want or don’t have time to complete.
At the end of the day, managing your restaurant still falls on you. It’s up to you to hire a well-trained virtual assistant that inevitably comes at a steeper price or train them on your own as part of your general workforce.
Posted On: February 13, 2023 by ChefsResources
February 13, 2023
Cut Back on Food Waste: Top Tips for Restaurant Owners to Get More Bang for Their Buck
Restaurants are in the business of giving guests a great time out. The food they provide during that experience is just a bonus. When people go out, they want to have a nice time. This involves a great atmosphere, a delicious meal, and a memorable experience with loved ones.
To accomplish this goal, however, restaurants need to operate on a very narrow profit margin. Any waste, no matter whether it is wasted time from an employee standing around doing very little or having food waste itself, is going to cut into that profit margin.
That’s why cutting back on food waste is so critical for restaurant owners and why you need to rethink how you use your ingredients and how to get more bang for your buck.
Food Waste Statistics
Food waste is a growing problem in wealthy nations, one which is a slap in the face in countries facing food shortages. Overall, it’s estimated that one-third of all food produced around the world is wasted every year. This amounts to 1.3 billion tons, all of which could have been used more efficiently with just a little bit of planning. The United States is a huge culprit of food waste as well. It’s estimated that around 40% of food here is thrown out.
What does this mean in real terms? In regards to cost, that’s the equivalent of throwing out $218 billion – that’s from food in the US alone. Food waste also produces massive amounts of greenhouse gases. In fact, if food waste was a country, it’d be the third worst polluter in the world.
Restaurants aren’t exempt, either. An estimated 22 to 33 billion lbs of food waste is produced by restaurants each year in the United States. This is due to either the ingredients no longer being acceptable to restaurant standards or because customers don’t finish their plates, and the leftovers have to be thrown out.
Why Restaurant Owners Need to Take a Proactive Approach to Food Waste
Restaurant owners play a critical role in reducing the amount of food waste produced. Unfortunately, the food service industry contributes significantly to the problem, with up to 10% of all food purchased being thrown away uneaten. This not only has an impact on the environment but also results in significant economic losses for your business.
To address this issue, it’s important to understand the root causes of commercial food waste in restaurants. Over-ordering, poor storage practices, and inefficient preparation techniques are some of the main factors that contribute to waste in the food service industry. Additionally, menu planning, portion control, and better use of leftovers can also help to reduce food waste in your restaurant.
By taking a proactive approach to reducing food waste, you can improve your bottom line while also helping to protect the environment. Implementing measures such as regular waste audits, menu planning, and staff training can help you to identify areas for improvement and reduce the amount of food waste generated by your restaurant. As a restaurant owner, you have the power to make a positive impact and lead the way in sustainable food practices.
How to Cut Back on Food Waste in Your Restaurant
Cutting back on your food waste offers many benefits, with cost savings the priority for businesses. The good news is that, in this case, what’s good for your bottom line is also good for the planet. Cutting back on food waste means spending less and earning more when you use these top tips:
Reuse Ingredients as Much as Possible Per Meal
The best way to cut back on food waste is to reuse ingredients in as many dishes as possible. This doesn’t mean that you end up offering the same flavors over and over again, just that you remix the base ingredients in new ways to get the most out of your order. This is an essential practice in any restaurant, but workshopping your approach and your menu on an ongoing basis is the best way to find the sweet spot that cuts back on cost and waste.
Use Dried Ingredients
Think fresh is the only way to go? Think again. If you have been struggling with using up all of the fresh ingredients, see if switching to dried works instead. You could use dried spices, from Olam Spices, for example. You can dry ingredients in all forms. Take the example of garlic. You could choose to get garlic in powder form, but if you go to the right supplier, you could opt for chopped, minced, organic, or granulated instead.
This is a good way to add different flavor profiles to dishes without keeping large quantities of ingredients that don’t get used very often and go out of date much faster. You can get that extra strong garlic flavor by using dried minced garlic without needing to store it fresh.
Let Customers Take Food Home
Always offer customers the opportunity to take their leftovers home. This is a simple way to let your customers get more value out of their meals, and it will also reduce how much food waste your restaurant produces on any given day.
Properly Sort Food Waste
If your area collects food waste, you must have your employees throw out food (and only food) into a specialized bin. Food waste collection sends waste to an industrial composter, which cuts back on the emissions produced by food rotting. Instead, it will be given a second life as fertilizer or even as biofuel.
Expand Your Offering
Want to cut back on food waste and boost profits? Sell ingredients to the public. If you’ve created a special spice seasoning mix that’s a huge hit amongst customers, work to start selling that mix out there on the floor. This way, you can use up every grain of your purchase to boost your sales and actually improve customer satisfaction. If customers use your spice mix at home, it’s even free marketing whenever they have guests over!
If you offer fresher products for customers, then a good way to avoid waste is to use a pre-ordering system. You can sell meal kits, for example, ahead of time. Have last order cut-offs and a set pick-up day, so you only prepare what’s actually been sold.
Seal For Freshness
Many ingredients can enjoy a longer lifespan by being properly stored. Your business, for example, could save on food waste by using a vacuum sealer on its fresh ingredients. Storing food in the fridge or freezer in the right containers is also essential. When it comes to storing anything, however, remember to properly label best by dates and regularly re-organize your stores so that food doesn’t get left behind and is used while it’s still good.
Posted On: February 13, 2023 by ChefsResources
7 Smart Tips for Opening Your Own BBQ Restaurant
Nothing soothes the soul quite like juicy, tender cuts of meat smoked to perfection and served up homestyle with your favorite barbecue sauce. Over the years, BBQ has become a staple in American cuisine and a potentially very lucrative market for chefs looking to start a restaurant.
If you are thinking about opening a BBQ restaurant of your own, there are several important factors you should consider to set yourself up for success. Here are 7 tips to help you start a BBQ restaurant that will earn the approval of investors and customers alike, and become a culinary staple in your community for years to come.
1. Do Your Research
Before opening a new restaurant, your first step should be market research. You will want to take inventory of existing BBQ options in your area. If there are already BBQ restaurants around you, there may not be enough demand for another.
During this initial research phase, you will also want to define your target audience and think about how your business can address their needs. Ask yourself questions like: “Who do I envision coming to my restaurant?” and “how can I tap into demographics that are most heavily concentrated in my area?” If you live in a large college town, for instance, you will most likely have a different target audience than you would if you lived in a very rural area, and will want to make different decisions regarding decor, menu, marketing strategies, and more.
2. Find Your Niche
Once you have taken stock of restaurants (BBQ or otherwise) in your area, ask yourself: what’s missing? What can I offer at my restaurant that other nearby restaurants currently lack? Once you’ve identified gaps, you’ll know what you need to do better with your business, to provide the community with options and experiences that they can’t find elsewhere.
You can consider, for example, different regional BBQ methods, and whether you want to offer your customers something familiar or introduce them to dishes they may not have tried before. Popular American BBQ styles include:
- Kansas City
So if you already have a large Texas BBQ presence in your area, it may be smarter to specialize in a different style of BBQ. If there are already a number of large, sit-down BBQ restaurants in your area, you may want to open a faster, less formal alternative. Specialization is key.
3. Location, Location, Location
Another important factor to consider is the location of your restaurant. Because BBQ restaurants are typically family-oriented, it’s smart to open your restaurant near a church, school, theater, shopping mall, or other places where families frequently congregate. You’ll want to choose a restaurant space that has enough room for multiple families to comfortably enjoy a meal without feeling overcrowded.
Strategically choosing a restaurant location also gives you the opportunity to get creative with your business. If there is a farmer’s market in your area, for example, where restaurants consistently offer different types of cuisine, you can capitalize on existing traffic by opening up a small food stand within the market. If you identify a location in your community where there is a vibrant nightlife scene, you may want to consider the logistics of opening up a roadside food stand to serve barhoppers looking for a late-night snack. It’s all about serving the community’s needs and choosing a location that best allows you to do that.
4. Serve a Variety of Quality Dishes
Perhaps the most important factor in attracting and retaining customers at your BBQ restaurant is to produce high-quality food. You’ll want to ensure that your menu has a variety of offerings for people with different food preferences and tastes. If all of your meat is cooked and served with spicy hot sauce, you run the risk of alienating customers who prefer milder flavors, and vice versa. For this reason, you should offer a range of different dishes and a variety of sauces that customers can choose between. Because BBQ restaurants are frequent sites of family gatherings, you’ll also want to ensure there is an adequate kids’ menu.
To serve your customers high-quality food, it is also essential that you do your research and invest in high-quality, long-lasting BBQ equipment. First-rate kitchen components like a high-quality BBQ grill island can help you serve consistently delicious food during even the most hectic shifts.
5. Have a Solid Business Plan
Creating a comprehensive business plan is crucial for any restaurant owner and a good way to forecast your business’s potential for success. A good business plan should serve as a blueprint for your restaurant, outlining critical details like funding, staffing, procedures, menu theme, and more.
Not only does having a well-thought-out business plan make it easier to manage your finances, account for potential business pitfalls, and plan for your restaurant’s future, but it also makes your restaurant much more attractive to investors. Not having a well-developed business plan can be a huge red flag for potential investors, who see a good business plan as the key ingredient to a successful business.
6. Get a Grasp on the Financials
For first-time restaurant owners, it’s key to have a clear understanding of the capital required to start a business and to stay on top of the financial details that go into keeping your restaurant afloat. You’ll need to get an idea of what initial start-up costs will look like. Typically, new restaurants are subject to a number of startup expenditures including rental costs, licensing, permit costs and more.
Once you move past the initial startup costs, you’ll have to plan wisely for the financial future of your business. The best way to go about this is by creating a comprehensive and realistic operating budget that accounts for factors like total sales, inventory cost, labor costs, and other expenses that will ultimately determine your net income. To keep track of expenses, restaurant owners can greatly benefit from tools like food cost calculation forms and declining balance sheets, which can help keep them organized and make the right business decisions to increase their profits.
7. Develop a Marketing Strategy
Having a well-developed marketing strategy is critical to attracting new customers, increasing brand awareness, and building customer loyalty. To keep up with competitors, you’ll need to establish a strong social media presence on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Posting about daily or weekly specials is a great way to reach new customers and build brand awareness by keeping your restaurant’s name at the top of their news feeds. You can take advantage of social media before your restaurant is even open to build interest in your brand, and after to spread the word of promotions, raffles, and other special offerings that build customer loyalty.
Another unique way to build brand awareness and set your business apart is by selling signature products in-house. If, for example, you have a special BBQ sauce recipe that is unique to your restaurant, consider bottling and selling the sauce at your restaurant. If you have an established brand logo, you can also consider selling signature merchandise like t-shirts, hats, and the like. Products like that are essentially free advertising, turning your customers into brand ambassadors.
Make Your BBQ Business Dreams a Reality
The idea of opening a new BBQ restaurant can be overwhelming, but rewarding. If you take the time to do the proper research, plan a delicious menu, create a viable business plan, invest in the proper equipment, and strategically market your restaurant, you’ll have all the tools you need to make your business dreams a successful reality.
Posted On: December 14, 2022 by ChefsResources
December 14, 2022
What Are Activated Almonds?
Are you looking for a new and interesting ingredient to add to your recipes? Almonds are one of the most delicious nuts with a satisfying crunch and a good supply of minerals and vitamins. Some even consider them a superfood. If you want to add a little something special to your culinary dishes, almonds are a flexible ingredient that can be applied to numerous culinary dishes. You can roast them, turn them into almond milk or butter for baked goods, or chop them and add them to salads. The recipes for these sweet and savory treats are endless, and you probably know many of them.
But do you Know anything about Activated Almonds?
The health world gets consumed by a new trend every day, and activated nuts such as almonds are among the latest popular ideas. However, the concept of activation is nothing new and has been around for hundreds of years. Only now, the scientific and culinary communities are paying attention to their benefits and better taste. So what are activated almonds? How are they better than raw almonds?
What Is Activation?
Activation is an ancient method for preparing food that many Aztec communities used to preserve seeds, grains, legumes, and nuts. It’s a simple process of soaking the food in salt water for a certain period.
Activated almonds are prepared by soaking the raw nuts in the solution for 7 to 24 hours. Afterward, the almonds are dried at low temperatures. Ancient cultures used to perform this dehydration under the sun. However, the process is much simpler now with dehydrators that maintain the nuts’ crunch and nutrients.
This soaking and dehydrating process is nothing groundbreaking, but it breaks down the phytic acid in almonds to activate them. Almonds in an activated state offer numerous benefits that regular almonds don’t.
Activate Almonds Yourself
You can activate almonds and use them in a variety of recipes, antipasto, or charcuterie boards in your kitchen. You will need a dehydrator and 24 hours of your time to do it properly. Below are the steps you must take.
- Warm water
- 2 tablespoons of salt
- 3 cups of raw almonds
- Place your almonds in a large bowl.
- Dissolve salt in enough warm water to cover your almonds.
- Pour the warm salt water over your nuts and soak them for 24 hours.
- Drain the salt water and rinse the almonds under running water. They should look nice and puffy at this point.
- Pat the almonds dry and line them on a dehydrator rack or a baking tray.
- Dry the almonds in the dehydrator for 12 to 24 hours.
- You can also dry the nuts in the oven. Set the oven to the lowest temperature and stir the almonds occasionally until they are ready.
- Your activated almonds are ready when they are dry and crunchy.
- You can place the activated nuts in clean glass jars or paper bags. Store them in the fridge or freezer to add a crunchy touch to your recipes.
- Ensure the almonds are completely dry before you store them to make them less susceptible to mold.
- You can add extra flavor to your almonds by sprinkling them with your favorite herbs and spices before putting them in the oven or dehydrator.
- Almonds are not the only nuts you can activate. You can repeat this process with any other nut you like. However, remember that other nuts will need different soaking and drying times.
While you can activate almonds in your kitchen, the process is time-consuming and prone to errors. You will have to watch out for mold growth, keep an eye on the almonds as they dry so they won’t burn, and dedicate a whole day to the process.
Instead of doing it yourself, you can buy activated almonds from online organic health food stores for a more convenient option and a better quality result.
What Are the Benefits of Activated Almonds?
Raw almonds are very nutritious. An ounce of these tasty nuts contains 6 grams of protein and 14 grams of healthy fats, plus a plethora of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E and calcium. They are great for the eyes, heart, blood pressure, and more. So why activate them?
Well, adding activated almonds to your recipes will not only make your chef resume shine but offer numerous advantages to your customers. Let’s look at some of these advantages.
Better Absorption of Nutrients
Raw almonds have a natural chemical called phytic acid that protects them as they grow on trees. Once they mature, this compound turns into phytate, which attaches to the nut’s minerals and hinders their absorption by your body. The activation process breaks down the phytate enzymes and allows your body to absorb more nutrients.
Phytates also make raw almonds harder to digest. Therefore, eating a handful of raw almonds can cause digestive issues such as nausea and bloating and make you feel uncomfortable. As activation breaks down these compounds, it makes them easier to digest, allowing you to enjoy more of the activated almonds.
Raw almonds have toxic tannins on their skins that can leave a bitter taste in the mouth and create a chalk-like feeling. These tannins are removed during the activation process, leaving almonds with their naturally sweet flavor and extra crunchy texture.
Longer Shelf Life
Raw almonds usually have up to 8% moisture. This moisture is reduced to 1-2% during the activation process. Therefore, it gives activated almonds a longer shelf life. Even if you freeze the activated almonds, you will still get the beneficial nutrients and the delicious crunch.
Add Activated Almonds to Your Recipes
Now that you know all about activated almonds, you can easily add them to your favorite recipes and share them with your customers. You can pair them with fruit purees and yogurts or add them to your signature salads. Try activated almonds with this unique Caesar salad on a stick recipe for an explosion of flavors on your palate.
Posted On: November 28, 2022 by ChefsResources
November 28, 2022
7 Tips for Opening a Second Restaurant Location
Imagine this scenario: the business at your restaurant is going great. Everyone on staff is satisfied, regulars are returning, and business is booming. Opening a second restaurant location might start sounding like a good idea when business is this good. However, creating a second, third, or twenty-first restaurant is never simple. It needs careful preparation to execute without any excessive discomfort.
Don’t be daunted if you want to expand your company’s reach but aren’t sure how to do so because we’ve consulted the pros. Everything you need to know to run a chain of profitable restaurants, from when you open the first one until long after the last one closes its doors, is right here.
Opening a Second Restaurant Location? Here’s how to make it Simple and Smooth.
Opening a second restaurant location is a significant decision. You shouldn’t be hasty just now. Even if your first restaurant is a massive hit with the public, that doesn’t mean you’ll have the same level of success with your second.
Success is possible if you approach it with the same planning and hard work as you did when launching your first one. Getting top-notch gear for chefs and finding the right staff to hire is just scratching the surface. So here are the most important things to keep in mind if you consider expanding your restaurant business.
1. Know if You’re Ready for Expansion
When things get rough, it’s easy to notice that it’s time to make some changes. Perhaps a few simple tweaks are enough, or there are even reasons to move a restaurant to make it work. However, when it comes to expanding your business, things are not as simple.
So before you even start considering opening a new place, you need to be sure you’re ready for this step. There is no foolproof method of determining if your business is prepared to expand into a second location. But an excellent way to determine if this is the case is to answer the following questions:
- Do you have so much going on that you simply cannot deal with the influx of people?
- Do you get customers that make the trek from faraway cities to dine at your establishment?
- Is there enough funding for this kind of venture?
- Can you expect a financial boost if you launch a second restaurant?
- Do you have the dedication and energy to put in the time?
- Do you have reliable, trustworthy leaders who can take on extra responsibilities in order to free you up for the new venture?
If you’ve responded yes to every one of these questions, congrats are in order. The time has come for you to launch a second eatery.
2. Finalize your Funding
Without initial funding, your new business venture will remain just an idea. Do you plan to use personal savings to launch, or will you seek company loans? Also, your current restaurant must be financially stable. When you have stabilized your existing business’s finances, you may begin thinking about how to best finance your next adventure.
You may need to apply for a business loan to get your new firm off the ground. Taking out a loan is a typical tactic, but it requires careful planning and analysis. Business loans could be the correct choice if you don’t mind spending thousands of dollars in interest to launch your company faster.
3. Focus on Finding the Right Location
It’s likely that if you’re thinking of launching a second restaurant, you’ve already found the perfect spot for your first. The stakes are high when looking for a place to plant your new business’s roots, but with enough planning, you should be able to discover the ideal location.
When deciding where to open your new restaurant, keep the following in mind:
- Select a site that is sufficiently removed from your current eatery to avoid competition with yourself.
- You should research the local food scene to ensure that your restaurant concept will be well received.
- Research the demographics of a potential new neighborhood and spend some time there to get to know the locals.
- Avoid immediately developing an emotional investment in a new place.
- Consider how easy or how hard it is to get to the location.
- Is there adequate parking for your customers?
4. Create a Detailed Business Plan
As you’re not a complete novice in the restaurant business, you already understand the need to have a well-thought-out business plan before opening your doors. Simplify your life by sticking to a routine that already works. If you were successful the first time, you might be again.
System duplication might help you keep track of your expanding business. For instance, if both of your restaurants utilize the same payroll software, point-of-sale system, point-of-sale terminals, computer software, and website platform, you’ll be able to run everything more smoothly. Or, given the importance of a menu design, why not copy it to your new location if the first one worked well?
5. Develop a Great Marketing Strategy
It is difficult enough to promote a single restaurant, let alone several. As you craft your marketing strategy, your new restaurant’s target demographic should be front and center. You probably picked up a wealth of knowledge on how to advertise to the locals throughout your demographics study phase of site selection. Therefore, if you want your message to have a possible impact, you must use this data.
However, don’t make mistakes and rush into promoting your new location on social media. Instead, plan for how you’ll do so in a way that will attract and keep customers.
6. Leverage your Staff
It goes without saying that when it comes to the success of your first restaurant, you owe a lot to the formidable team you’ve put together. Now you need a plan to make sure your new hires are just as fantastic.
However, the first thing to do is to assess the current team to see who can take on more responsibility. Promoting from within is one of the finest ways to assist your employees in developing professionally and bringing in new hires who can learn from the best.
It’s highly recommended that you use your present personnel as trainers for your new hires to provide a uniform experience for your customers in your establishments. For your first company, setting out a training manual and an employee handbook as soon as possible is essential. These will serve as examples of acceptable workplace behavior and hold workers accountable for their behaviors.
7. Acquire Tools, Materials, and Stock
Lastly, it’s time to purchase equipment, supplies, and inventory. First, gather an accurate count of the tools and resources you and your staff rely on to deliver a seamless experience to your customers day in and day out. It will give you a good picture of what you’ll need at your new place.
Here are just some of the tips to help you with this aspect:
- It’s essential to ensure your new appliances will fit in the designated area by taking the appropriate measurements.
- You need to consider the available area before making any furniture purchases.
- Obtain the necessary permits and ensure that your restaurant complies with local zoning laws.
- Use the same equipment, as it will be easier for your present workers to educate your new hires.
Good luck opening a second restaurant location
On top of everything we’ve listed, there is a lot more to consider, but we hope our article was enough to give you a rough idea of where to start. Opening a second restaurant location will be a breeze if you take your time to plan everything in detail and avoid doing anything in a rush. We wish you the best of luck!
Posted On: November 26, 2022 by ChefsResources
December 6, 2022
Cork and Pork: The Perfect Wine Pairing for All Kinds of Meat
Great food and drink are a match made in heaven. But understanding the complexities of flavor combination is much harder than it looks. Beverages are paired with meat for their delicately nuanced levels of sweetness, acidity, and subtle notes of flavor and fragrance.
To make the most of any meal, you need to pair it with the right beverage. With a glass of wine that perfectly complements a dish’s flavor profile, any meal can go from ordinary to extraordinary. Like magic, the acidity, sweetness, dryness, or richness alchemizes to produce something truly delicious and memorable.
But pairing the right meat with the right wine is not as simple as many people think. It takes know-how, experience, and a little bit of practice to get it right. To get you started, we’ve paired the most popular meats with their ideal beverages so you can plate a truly extraordinary meal:
Red Meat Wine Pairings
A staple in almost every restaurant that caters to carnivores, red meat’s rich and often gamey profile is typically best paired with a robust drink that holds its own.
Due to its depth of flavor and relatively high fat content, beef is best paired with earthy, brawny red wines that can contend with the richness of this meat. Especially so in the case of a fattier prime cut or richly marbled wagyu. Due to their bold, smoky overtones, tannin-rich vintage wines such as Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah are some of the best pairings for beef, whether it’s done on the BBQ, in a pan, or reverse seared in the oven. Avoid drinks that are too sweet or fruity, as they may overpower the flavor of the meat.
Similar to beef, as it’s relatively high in fat, lamb is best paired with darker red wines. A Shiraz, Chianti, Pinot Noir, or even a Bordeaux blend would make excellent companions to a succulent lamb dish. If the meal isn’t too heavy, you can also pair lamb with a full-bodied white Chardonnay.
Despite its lighter color when cooked, pork is classified as red meat, as it has a higher myoglobin content than chicken or fish. However, aside from pork belly and bacon, pork is lower in fat than beef or lamb, and chefs often marinate the meat to ensure it doesn’t dry out when cooking.
Juicy red wine and pork is a classic combo, with sweeter, plummy varieties like Syrah and Pinot Noir being frequent favorites. However, if the pork is particularly rich, pairing it with a lively white can be equally delicious. Think juicy Chenin Blanc, Riesling, or even a fruity Rosé.
Poultry Wine Pairings
Poultry meat is mostly white, soft, and low in fat. This makes it an ideal companion for daintier drinks that can match the level of lightness.
A tender piece of chicken pairs excellently with woody white wines such as Chardonnay, Viognier, and Sauvignon Blanc. All of them have common ground: zesty, floral notes and a light, bright finish on the palate. Any mild white wine that’s matured in oak is typically a good companion to white and brown chicken meat.
Due to its similarity to chicken, turkey also pairs well with oaky white wines such as Chardonnay and Riesling. However, you wouldn’t go amiss with a low-tannin red wine like Pinot Noir, or even a chilled Rosé if you’re serving some of the darker meat of the bird.
What separates duck from other poultry is its fat content. This makes for a richer, more indulgent meat that can handle the intensity of certain red wines while still complementing a fresh white.
Tuscan reds like Chianti, Marcillac, and Barolo are all robust enough to pair perfectly with roasted duck without overpowering it. Deeper reds like Merlot and Pinot Noir can harmonize with the rich sweetness of duck, while late harvest Riesling makes a great white option.
Seafood Wine Pairings
When people think of pairing wine with seafood, their minds usually go straight to light whites. But while the fresh, citrusy, and sometimes floral notes of white wine do make excellent partners to fish, the options aren’t quite as limited as you’d think.
There are too many species of fish in the sea to make a wine listing for each, but we can go through some of the most popular choices that have greater availability. Light, flaky fish like hake, cod, or sea bass are best paired with similarly light and refreshing wines such as Muscadet, Sauvignon Blanc, and Champagne.
Fatty, dense fishes like tuna, mackerel, and salmon bring a lot of flavor and richness to the table, which allows them to pair well with bolder beverages. Dry Rosé, Pinot Noir, and White Rioja are all popular choices.
Sea-floor dwellers like lobster, crab, prawns, and shrimp all fall into the crustacean category. With distinctive, powerful oceanic flavors and light, sweet flesh, crustaceans require the balance of weighty white wines to do themselves justice.
Viognier, Marsanne, Pinot Gris, and Italian Vermentino are all full-bodied enough to match the deep-sea flavors of this meat without overpowering its delicate texture.
The mollusks or shellfish category includes iconic seafood delicacies, such as oysters, scallops, and clams. These expensive meats are soft, buttery, and very delicate in flavor, so the wines they’re paired with must have similar soft characteristics.
Light, citrusy white wines like Champagne, Muscadet, and Sauvignon Blanc make excellent friends with oysters and scallops, while clams are best matched with dry Rosé or high-acidity Riesling.
Perfecting the Art of Pairing
Chefs around the world have been developing the skill of food and wine pairing for thousands of years. These days, you’ll also find food pairings with beer, gin and other beverages, yet wine remains the most popular. There are so many different wines to try that pairing possibilities remain seemingly endless.
There may be some rules around which drinks pair best with which meats. But at the end of the day, flavor combination is a personal preference. These recommendations are based on food science—acidity, sugar levels, tannins, and so on—however, they aren’t unbreakable laws.
That said, following this guide for meat and wine pairing is a great place to start if you’re unsure about what your guests might like best. When in doubt, taste and taste again!