If your productivity is at risk as a Chef Entrepreneur then everything else is out the window. As the Chef you are not only worrying about the prep, the cooking and the finished product. You are a business owner, sales person, leader and much more.
Being an entrepreneur can be overwhelming, but combine that with being in the culinary world, it is a level beyond. I have been there, so I know first hand. I also used to create gluten free breads and pasta in the years before gluten free bread was in every grocery store. So we would be up until all hours of the night in my kitchen almost an hour from my home, get home only to wake at 4am to print labels and do bookkeeping for an upcoming event, then get the kids to school and do it all over again.
Life in the kitchen is hard work! I admire all of you who are committed to it all. So let me share what I learned (and wished I had implemented sooner!).
Realizing I couldn’t sustain those crazy hours for long, I started to create a workflow system that made everything faster and ultimately serviced my clients better.
Establishing Quality Standards – For your business to really flourish, you need to have standards in place that are the catalyst for patterns which then create routine. The thing about creating this level of excellence (notice I do not use the word perfection, we are not striving for perfection, we are striving for excellence, I will go into this in a later post.) is that you have to stick to it and you have to create an accountability plan.
Work it backwards – Write a detailed list of everything you want your ultimate business to look like and the standards you want to implement.
Create Categories – This may feel overwhelming at first. It can be anything from taste and cuisine, online presence, kitchen standards, etc.
Map out each category with detailed lists in order to achieve these goals. This map/list establishes your patterns and standards for each category.
Now create a detailed checklist for each category and not only share it with your staff, but train them how and why you are moving to this system.
Tip: This will also help you flush out any gaps in service, equipment, staffing and/or training you may have.
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