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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's been years in the making and I've finally done it. Been grinding solo. Haven't had many customers, but I am doing the open, prep, live-firing, dished and close. I need another pair of hands.

I've posted on job sites and already have two candidates. Do any of yall have interview questions on file? Questions that will give me the best guidance on making my decisions?

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

I'll update yall on this kitchen open in the near future. I look forward to sharing with you. All of you have been exceedingly valuable on this journey of mine and I know it won't end here.

Peace
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What is the position going to be? Line cook, bit of everything?

Congratulations! Don't forget to recharge now and then (easier said than done, but very important)!
Everybody do everything. I'll be in charge of the cooking and the instruction, until im comfortable with their abilities to represent me on the plate.
 

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Might sound crazy, but then never claimed to be otherwise :~) but I like to ask at least one question that gets people out of their yada, yada carefully rehearsed answers.
One example would be:
What numbers between one and ten that when multiplied together give you the answer of 21?
The standard answer is of course 21.
I then ask is that the only ones? (this where I start really watching the person's reactions for clues into their personality) I get a lot of different reactions and usually some dead air space.
I then query, what about 5.25x4? This where it gets the most revealing...how open minded are they?...can they get out of the box without becoming defensive or offended?...how do they respond to a teasing wise guy?...can they adapt,improvise, and overcome?...go with the flow...or do their tighty whiteys get in a bunch?
I now return control of this thread to the viewers.
 

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I find that just having a conversation about anything can tell you a lot about a person...getting them to talk about others.

Do they engrandize anyone? Disparage people? And why do they do so? What do they really expect to get out of working with you? (Aside from a paycheck)
Can you get along with them? Enjoy tossing back a pint or two with them after hours?

Chances are you are going to spend more time with them awake and talking and working together than you are with your wife....and if you actually still love your wife...that's going to be a critical thing.
 

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I'm having to start the search over for property once again. Meaning that it's highly unlikely that we will get open this year.
The owner of the piece of property we were trying to lease and renovate was behaving in a completely deceitful way. We have spent the last two weeks trying to get a clean lease contract out of him.
No dice!

He is trying to screw his and our realtor out of their commissions, and put strange clauses in every lease he gives us as well as blatant errors in every contract. (To try and add more goofball additions)

So we are not going to do business with him.
Too bad for him. And us. We are going to be out for the architect...but we just don't trust him. We can't and won't lease from crooks.

We knew that we were pushing deadlines for opening on time. Already getting to be late in the season. Permits, construction crew, and inspections are hard to come by. We were going to get some assistance for everything from the city council and mayor...they were planning on helping us out.

So....it's over. Maybe we can find an existing place for sale and revamp. But it's not likely this late in the game.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm having to start the search over for property once again. Meaning that it's highly unlikely that we will get open this year.
The owner of the piece of property we were trying to lease and renovate was behaving in a completely deceitful way. We have spent the last two weeks trying to get a clean lease contract out of him.
No dice!

He is trying to screw his and our realtor out of their commissions, and put strange clauses in every lease he gives us as well as blatant errors in every contract. (To try and add more goofball additions)

So we are not going to do business with him.
Too bad for him. And us. We are going to be out for the architect...but we just don't trust him. We can't and won't lease from crooks.

We knew that we were pushing deadlines for opening on time. Already getting to be late in the season. Permits, construction crew, and inspections are hard to come by. We were going to get some assistance for everything from the city council and mayor...they were planning on helping us out.

So....it's over. Maybe we can find an existing place for sale and revamp. But it's not likely this late in the game.
Are you familiar with the concept of the ghost kitchen?
 

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Are you familiar with the concept of the ghost kitchen?
Yes....it's a centerpiece of our decisions.

We know that the properties we are choosing for our bakery is oversized for the initial retail out of it...but the subsequent locations are to be extremely minimal...pure retail with no back of house. We are wanting about five to six locations. Then there's the wholesale sales that we are expecting as well. We have already been approached for bakes and we haven't even built out yet.

But we want to grow incrementally and carefully each step. The market is here...just a matter of doing each step carefully and with forethought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Any tips on getting traffic in? I've beat feet and went to every bank, medical plaza and insurance tower in the area, introducing myself, the concept, and leaving menus with contact information. I'm consistently updating on my business' social media channels (fb and twit).
 

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Have someone standing on the sidewalk giving people tasting spoon size samples of your food. Beat feet again to previously visited places, but with same tasting samples this time. If local tv stations have cooking segments during noon news hour, get on one, of each station that has them. Any wineries or breweries in the area that might be interested in food and beverage pairing dinner with your place. Any farmers markets or street fairs with concession stands stalls, get one. The main thing you want to do is to get your food into people's hands and your face into their memory banks with the reason why you and your business is different and better than your competitors.
 

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As big and clear of open / hours signage as local ordinances allow. There are so many places that we've never tried becasue we were not sure if / when they were open. It's easier to just go to a "usual" than to try to find out, and people want easy right now.
 

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Any tips on getting traffic in? I've beat feet and went to every bank, medical plaza and insurance tower in the area, introducing myself, the concept, and leaving menus with contact information. I'm consistently updating on my business' social media channels (fb and twit).
Best response I've been able to get for return corporate/business is simple. I have a "fish bowl" customers put business cards into for "a drawing". Everyone wins (got this idea from gym memberships). We give them all a free catering for 6-8 people that we amaze them and include all our event/catering options on menus and 10% off their next visit. It's basically marketing money up front but once they experience how bad ass we are, 80% come back repeatedly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Have someone standing on the sidewalk giving people tasting spoon size samples of your food. Beat feet again to previously visited places, but with same tasting samples this time. If local tv stations have cooking segments during noon news hour, get on one, of each station that has them. Any wineries or breweries in the area that might be interested in food and beverage pairing dinner with your place. Any farmers markets or street fairs with concession stands stalls, get one. The main thing you want to do is to get your food into people's hands and your face into their memory banks with the reason why you and your business is different and better than your competitors.
 

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I'm with ya!
I ain't fit for public consumption either. I need to be behind glass and metal bars. (But I'm going to shave my beard as I'm tired of beard nets and I don't get out much anyway)

This is why they make teenagers and college students. They can stand out there with a pre-rehearsed speech and look all pretty. They may not be very bright off script but they look good.
 

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Any tips on getting traffic in? I've beat feet and went to every bank, medical plaza and insurance tower in the area, introducing myself, the concept, and leaving menus with contact information. I'm consistently updating on my business' social media channels (fb and twit).
Actually,
Location is so important. I'm sure you know that your sign is important...foot traffic vs highway traffic and all that jazz.

Farmers markets and fairs are good for getting the name out.

But also look to the affinity groups to come hang out. This includes "recovery" groups. Like AA or Anger management. Veteran groups, "more than moms" groups.
Your place will have a certain atmosphere that you promote but maybe kid groups? Might work...soccer teams and baseball. Writers groups (nanowrimo)

Summer menus and traffic is always slow. Ice cream helps. (Root beer float out myself yesterday)

Don't expect traffic to increase until Fall. If anything the next two months are going to be dead. Too hot out in the northern Hemisphere to eat out much except for a few places and that's a late night crowd more interested in drinks and appetizers than full meals.
Offices and office parks are still dead...drive through windows are still doing above average business. So if you can work out a take-away menu that is nice and convenient...might get some business that way. Disposables are spotty for showing up. Some weeks the stuff you order arrives and some weeks it doesn't.

I myself looked at a business buyout yesterday....not much of what they had been doing is going to carry over if we buy the place. Old building on a town square is going to provide challenges. (Historical societies and all that jazz)
So I'm trying to figure out these induction cooktops because a normal hood is going to be too expensive and cause a nightmare.
And a complete overhaul of plumbing and electrical. And can I re-arrange the place to make it actually produce....

Hopefully I've given you an idea or two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
News. I've managed to hire a prep cook that I used to work at Boiler House, here in San Antonio. I worked with him for two years, so i know what he is capable of and how to manage him, as well.

Also, one of my sons just graduated, and has asked to come on board for the summer while he attends school. He trained in culinary in school and performed so well, that he's helped the Chef of the program on personal catering events. Plus, he was raised by myself and his mother, who is an excellent cook.

So, I have hands on deck for now.

Now, to get people through the door.

Thank you all!
 

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News. I've managed to hire a prep cook that I used to work at Boiler House, here in San Antonio. I worked with him for two years, so i know what he is capable of and how to manage him, as well.

Also, one of my sons just graduated, and has asked to come on board for the summer while he attends school. He trained in culinary in school and performed so well, that he's helped the Chef of the program on personal catering events. Plus, he was raised by myself and his mother, who is an excellent cook.

So, I have hands on deck for now.

Now, to get people through the door.

Thank you all!
San Antonio?
River Walk and Alamo district rocks.
The park area ain't bad either.

The late night crowd is going to be your thing. Things don't come alive until 9pm there.

But I'd check on affinity groups there...church groups, recovery groups and clubs. Give them a little discount to make them feel welcome and they will be happy.
 
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