Ken Burgin

Restaurant Productivity


ChatGPT and Menus

Using ChatGPT’s Code Interpreter to Improve Restaurant Menu Profits

ChatGPT recently released a new feature called Code Interpreter, that allows you to upload a spreadsheet of data and ask for an analysis. So I asked it to ‘Give me 10 ways ChatGPT’s new Code Interpreter could analyse and improve menu profitability for a restaurant or cafe? Give answers that appeal to a restaurateur or accountant with fairly sophisticated financial understanding and good analytical skills.’ Here’s what came back: ChatGPT’s Code Interpreter can add significant

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Restaurant Christmas

Prepare Now for a More Profitable Christmas

Don’t just reprint last year’s menus, plus the same decorations and corny music! Plan for this to be the busiest, most efficient and profitable time of the year. Prepare the Special Menus Finalise the Festive Menus – it may be months away, but customers want menu and price certainty. Think about how to deliver a great experience with fewer staff – that might mean more self-service and product outsourcing. Review the range of menu styles

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Increase Dessert Sales

How to Make More Money with Dessert Sales

The lack of dessert sales in most restaurants and cafes is positively unAustralian! Considering how profitable they can be, this needs to be fixed immediately – it’s usually the result of unattractive appearance, poor sales skills, the wrong menu placement, or prices that are too high relative to main course items. Desserts can create a strong first and last impression, and there’s money to be made when you mix sugar, air and water with flavour!

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Hospitality Christmas Photos

40 Photo Ideas for Your Restaurant’s Christmas Social Media

Social media posts thrive on visual content, and there are dozens of opportunities to take all sorts of photos during the Christmas season – food, decorations, people and local scenes. They will look good on Facebook, Instagram and your website. Snap and share, and many can be used again next year. Gather props – Christmas balls or decorations, Santa hats and strings of lights – they will all be useful. Starting the Day – setting

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What’s your Business Plan B for when the Caronavirus hits Australia?

I’m still trying to process and understand the implications for restaurants, cafes and foodservice – the news keep unfolding every day. I’ll keep updating this over time – so much to consider… Last year we had more than 1.4 million tourists from Chinese, many of them travelling in groups – new bookings have now been stopped. How exposed is your business to overseas tourists? Even my Uber driver this morning said he often has Chinese

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Short video honours the hard work of Kitchen Hands…

This Canadian documentary spends time with the kitchen hands at several Montreal restaurants, highlighting the fast, heavy and relentless pace of their work. Without them there are no clean plates, no pans for chefs to cook with, no clean floors or cutlery for the table. It’s a job often done by people of colour and the marginalised, showing how the hierarchy still works in manual labour. We say we ‘couldn’t live without them’, but they’re

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Free Recipe Software

Free Recipe Software – plus other recipe costing options

Accurate and up-to-date recipe costing is the sign of a professional chef and kitchen – your profits are built one recipe at a time. Easy-to-use recipe software and costing calculators are essential tools in a modern kitchen. I found CookKeepBook through a social media mention, and it seems to have all the functions for recipe costing software that an independent operator needs. There are other excellent high-end recipe costing apps and food cost calculators such

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Interviews with Ken Burgin on Restaurant Management and Podcasting

It was great to meet Adam Yee through Linkedin, when I commented on an article he wrote a few months back. He’s a food scientist and also has his own podcast, with the discussion often focused on food flavours. It’s a topic that was on my interview wish list, and now I had found an expert! Enjoy the discussions I had with Adam on his My Food Job Rocks podcast… Interview: My Work as a Restaurant

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Simplifying Business – a Good Theme for 2018

Simpler is usually better. Processes can be done more quickly, there are fewer costs, fewer moving parts, less need for highly-skilled staff, and fewer mistakes – this is not about ‘dumbing down’. Make SIMPLIFY your theme for 2018, rather than a list of ‘resolutions’ that are soon forgotten. To get started, make a list of things that seem to be complicated and difficult. Ask your staff – they’ll have plenty of suggestions! Here are a few

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How to Measure Restaurant Kitchen Costs and Efficiency

There’s a business saying: ‘if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it!’ Smart managers need reliable and accurate figures on which to base decisions. If there are problems, you can take corrective action quickly. If you are having success, you’ll know what to do more of! They also give a fuller understanding of what happened – if it’s a quiet month (when  suppliers are telling you ‘everyone’s quiet!’) you may see that some of

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