What She Does
As a Culinary Consultant and Personal Chef I provide an expertise in the strengths you’ve developed in your business and some of the weaknesses that have crept in. I work as an advocate for you. My mission is to observe, evaluate and optimize the performance of your organization. I specialize in institutional cooking settings and as intimate as catering to the individual needs of two clients.
The objective is to minimize risks and costs. Bringing someone in who is objective to closely monitor where you’re losing costs, time and especially credibility.
Kitchen Roles Are Pivotal
Take a look at your kitchen. Are the roles in your kitchen properly positioned? Is there an advocate in the kitchen that isn’t being utilized? Will you invest your time or money into a futile situation based on ‘I’ve known them a long time?’
There’s a misconception that there has to be ‘tiers’ in the kitchen…i.e. Executive, Sous, Lead etc. That works, if it works. Not all kitchens are able to function that way. Knowing what works and does not is imperative. How do you minimize the risks of losing time and money?
If I had a facility that catered to 250 people I’d operate it differently than I would a restaurant that seated thirty at a time. A seasoned and experienced Chef knows their role and would assess if the kitchen needed a Sous, Lead, Pastry, Prep…etc. If you have a small kitchen those roles are minimized or obsolete at best. In a facility that has Managers, Dietitians, Aides, Chefs, Leads and so on and so forth… you need to do an assessment to make sure those roles are properly placed.
A Sous Chef for instance bears most if not all the responsibility in the kitchen. Ranging from disciplining, training, staffing, changes and stepping in when the there’s a gap in the flow of the kitchen. It’s not just a title it’s one of the most substantial roles in the kitchen. The question remains, are they needed? Are there enough capable staff equipped with the knowledge as a Sous Chef? If so, the responsibilities can and should be extended to your staff.
A culinary consultant is not the answer to it all. They are however the person who will conduct an audit, assess the situation and call on other expert consultants if needed. A culinary consultant, one who is well versed is essentially the kitchen supervisor. They will improve the organization by collaborating on menu/recipe development, assist in the training the kitchen staff and implement the necessary guidelines to ensure a successful running kitchen.
What’s Up With the Turnovers?
The turnover rate in the hospitality sector topped 70 percent for the second consecutive year. There’s a lot of circumstances that some into play: temporary hires, students and wages. In an ultra-competitive marketplace, knowing how to manage the potential gaps employee turnover can cause is a game-changer. From food safety to operational policies and procedures, risks lie around every corner. There are four ways to mitigate employee turnover risks.
Training, retraining and unlearning are key. When new employees come on board there should be a person or dojo(place of the way, how to)in place for them to learn from. If you have available staff training every new hire are they being trained properly? Has that individual been retrained in the past six weeks? Are you allowing unlearned behavior to carry on to the new employee? These are just a few of the circumstances that come into play when we ask ourselves why the turnover rate is so high.
Seeking the assistance of a Culinary Consultant ensures that you don’t lose focus from your core objectives. Creating a great atmosphere, delivering the best possible food and providing extraordinary customer service. It boosts moral in the kitchen and eventually mitigates turnover.
Great Management = Exceptional Staff
Upon delving into a kitchen, we start at the top. The basis to any well run organization are their leaders. Leaders aren’t always found in management, there are a few hidden gems amongst the staff. ‘The Advocate’ that goes unnoticed, but someone notices.
“Leadership styles differ, but at the core, good leaders make the people they are leading accomplish more than they otherwise would. The most effective leaders do this not through fear, intimidation or title, but rather by building consensus around a common goal.” – Tom Madine, CEO and president, Worldwide Express
Assurances for your employees, customers and partners should be advocating the philosophy of “Quality First”. The quality of staff to employees, to food and to customers. The trickle down is effective.