Why Chef Consultant Fees Are an Investment in Your Long-Term Success
Case #1: You’ve been in the restaurant business for years, and things are going pretty well. The dining room is full most nights, back of the house runs smoothly, bills are paid and no glaring problems. But you’ve been reading the online reviews, seeing the same complaint: your place features the same dated menu, same preparations/recipes flavors, served in the same setting. It’s as predictable and comfortable as eating at home. Which is not what you want to read.
Case #2: You’ve saved, begged, borrowed and convinced the right investors that now is the time to open a restaurant. You lack restaurant experience, but there’s plans, drawings, ideas, concepts, contractors and suppliers ready. This is the place that will redefine dining in this city, if you can get everything done on time and within budget.
Both scenarios are familiar to restaurant lifers and others familiar with the food scene. It’s a tough business prone to cutting many corners, especially when you consider 60% of restaurants fail within the first year of business and 80% fail within the first five years of operation. One of the ways restaurateurs save money is failing to get outside help and avoiding chef consultant fees. But a failure to invest in your restaurant isn’t a savings. It’s not just about money
What Does a Chef Consultant Do?
Chef consultants and their fees involve more than someone walking in and tossing out your entire menu. They also bring certified, experienced and professional help. Your dive bar-owning Uncle Billy may have years of experience, but he’s not the go-to guy for training your staff in sous vide, cold smoking meats, manufacturing and marketing your house salad dressing or menu costing.
If your specials aren’t selling, the menu’s outmoded and there’s no creativity in your culinary concepts, the consultant’s goal is to review everything, from suppliers and storage to preparation and presentation, food handling practices, cost and flow. What’s on those plates is your centerpiece; if those plates keep coming back to the kitchen half-consumed, that’s your profits consumed by waste.
A typical chef consultant’s fee covers the following:
- X (subhead below with details Creation of operational consistency and best industry practices.
- Y (subhead below with details) Capturing the prep, plate build and execution standards “recipes” add consistency, profit and control.
- Z (subhead below with details) Completing the food material sourcing, ingredients, ingredients specifications equal inventory and a cost business model
Your entire restaurant concept is part of the plan
Your food is the star, but everything around it plays a supporting role. A restaurant is a coordinated effort to entertain and engage guests, not simply feed them. The consultant is the coordinator for the development strategy, so the finished product is smooth and seamless. The deliverables involve the food with all of these elements in the many supporting roles. Menu, Menu Engineering, Inventory/Procurement, Recipes, Restaurant Brand Identify, with operating tools to control labor and food cost.
Your culinary and operating team has a new player on their side
The consultant isn’t there to belittle, bully or backstab. Their job depends on your satisfactory success, because if you’re happy with the end result, you’ll provide a testimonial, referral and stay in contact for future business dealings.
But the consultant’s job is to call it as they see it
You’re not paying consulting fees to get “yes, boss!” answers to every question. You need facts and meaningful strategies to initiate change. That means hearing things you don’t like, disagree with and deal with in ways that alter your business model. Being uncomfortable and out of the box equals measurable results. Which is what consultants bring to the table with their years of experience.
The staff receives personal and specialized instruction
A chef consultant translates to training, development and guidance just for your establishment. There’s no cookie-cutter solution to every dining dilemma; the consultant is addressing your unique situation with unique solutions.
The staff isn’t going away to school
The best classroom your restaurant staff has is their own kitchen and dining room. In this familiar space, there are no distractions, attendance is assured and post-instruction practice is as close as the prep counters.
Chef Services Group Offers More than Your Average Chef Consultant
At Chef Services Group, we deliver the total restaurant concept from start to finish, including:
- Manufacturing and launching of new products,
- Designing and furnishing your kitchen and dining room,
- Training your staff in the newest cooking methods,
- Photographing and marketing your restaurant
- Reconstructing your menu to reflect local food availability, seasonal products and changing taste trends.
Our 30 years of chef consulting experience offers detailed research and analysis in nutrition, culinary experimentation, food science and training. Contact us for a full list of services and view our accomplishments. Find out why we’re the first choice when your focus is on food.