by Bill Schulz, MCM
Culinary Search Associate
Leading a successful food service operation demands consistency along with continual monitoring and followup. Being an Executive Chef has placed unique demands on you, but I know… deep down you love what you do. You have a passion for the business; you have to, in order to put up with its demands. Here are a few tips to consider which may help keep you on track.
- Number one, accept it. You chose this profession so enjoy what you do. Being an Executive Chef is actually a privilege. Be a Leader!
- Realize from the start that you can improve the product and its delivery, but you will never change the members. The best you can do is to keep a positive attitude; get excited and educate the members to make them try alternate choices
- Make a sincere effort to understand member expectations. Keep a pulse of the operation by listening to the members, talking to the employees,
- and observing at every given opportunity. Then, do something with the information you’ve gathered. Knowledge is a powerful tool, but only if you use it.
- Keep yourself at the head of the parade. With each new year, never rely on what you have done previously. Always review menus, as opposed to just “rubber stamping” and using the same menu, year in and year out. Keep the operation fresh and appealing.
- Be a team player! Surround yourself with capable staff to help and support your goals, and do whatever is necessary to keep a good repoire with your fellow department heads.
- Use statistics to help guide the operation. When was the last time you did a statistical look at what menu items are selling, or why some members do not use the dining rooms? Where is the operation headed? You may be surprised with the result.
- Benchmark your facility with other operations. Get out of the Club and see what that new restaurant or club down the street is doing.
- Get the members talking…try new and unique things, but never forget the traditional club favorites.
The food service profession is certainly one of the most difficult to thrive and survive. Consider the number of restaurants that go out of business annually; a very telling statistic in every major city throughout the country. The difference is, you can’t close your clubs dining room doors… you’re in this for the long haul. There is enormous satisfaction in our profession, and striving to make your kitchen operation the very best it can be is very gratifying.