From Line Cook to Restaurant Consultant

A good restaurant consultant has been in your shoes and the shoes of every person in your restaurant. We didn’t wake up one morning with all of the answers (nor do we claim to have them). We’ve been on the line buried in tickets, we’ve been at the table with that one unhappy guest whom you can’t seem to catch a break with, and we’ve been the manager on duty when half your staff calls out sick and left to seat guests, wait tables and expo at the same time…we’ve been there. This is why we do what we do.

Back in the day, some of us started as line cooks – some of us even as dishwashers. We’ve come in to prep at 5am for brunch and we’ve missed numerous holidays just to serve those beloved guests we always aim to please. We worked our way literally up the food chain and eventually ended up running those kitchens. Why do our days as a line cook help you now that we are your restaurant consultant?

We have felt your pain…so we know how to help

We understand the importance of how to hire those line cooks and dishwashers. We know what questions to ask and we aim to help you screen your potential employees so that you are not left high and dry on a Friday night. Hiring goes beyond asking questions like “Can you work weekends?’ or “How many ounces are in a cup?”, we know how to dig deeper and put the prospect to the test, so that halfway through training we aren’t scavenging for new hires because the first time around wasn’t good enough.

We know how to aim to keep those line cooks happy. A happy line cook means a clean station, fresh plates and a positive kitchen vibe which make their way on to the dining room floor. We consider employee incentive plans to create a “want to work” environment instead of a place that people dread to go.

Let them learn to appreciate the value of a clean cook, provide custom chef uniforms and the opportunity to purchase or earn the equipment that they need in order to run safe, productive shifts.

We also encourage ongoing training programs to help expand on the cook’s knowledge which will eventually lead to career growth and an experienced management team for you. Perhaps during pre-shifts we add a training element…blend pastry with culinary, show a pastry chef how to sear the perfect steak and show a line cook how the ice cream is churned daily.

It’s ok to not know how to do something so long as you find someone who does.

These are just a few small examples where a restaurant consultant’s experience can help you fill in the details that you might not think of. Imagine how a team of consultants added to your own knowledge can help with the ongoing management. Think of us, your restaurant consultant, as your team member, on all levels. We are here to speak for everyone from the dishwashers to the general manager. We want to cover those details for you and make this adventure as comfortable and successful as we can.

Ariel Worbler – Blue Orbit Restaurant Consulting

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