Ken Burgin

Restaurant Productivity

Staff Recruitment & Management

job applicant questions

Questions in the Minds of Restaurant Job Applicants

They may not be asked openly, but they will influence whether the applicant wants the job or not. If the managers or owners doing an interview raise and answer these job applicant questions, they will have a better rapport with applicants. And don’t forget, people are always looking for answers to their questions; if you don’t provide them, they may make them up! Questions in the Minds of Chefs or Cooks Applying for a Job

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Flavour Training

Taste the Difference: 40 Flavour Training Activities for Restaurant Staff

Designing a food-tasting program for front-of-house staff is a fantastic way to enhance their appreciation and knowledge of food, which in turn can significantly improve the guest experience and average customer spending. Here are 40 training activities for chefs to run for waiters and front-of-house staff within a 15-minute session. They are designed to be engaging and educational and build a competitive spirit. Consider creating a scoring system for each activity to add a competitive

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Kitchen Team

We all need the Support Team!

Knock, knock…Ken, can I see you for a minute?When some people knock on your door it means only one thing – they’ve come to say goodbye: they’re quitting. Maybe one of the quieter type, more reliable and not fired up with fresh ideas. Easy to overlook as you’re putting out fires with the troublemakers who take up most of your time. Not as glamorous as the cool and creative ones who are bubbling with new

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Restaurant Manager

Have you chosen the wrong person to be manager?

Henry Mintzberg, the great management writer talked about the real work of managers, and saw the following characteristics of their work: They perform a great quantity of work at an unrelenting pace – they are busy! Their work is marked by variety, brevity and fragmentation – lots of short activities. They prefer to manage issues that are current, specific and non-routine (rather than planning for the future). They prefer verbal rather than written communication –

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Restaurant Manager Training

20 Challenge Situations for Training Restaurant Managers & Head Chefs in Problem Solving

These are designed for training restaurant managers and head chefs in problem-solving and resource allocation. They don’t have easy answers and will require trade-offs and some difficult compromises. Some of the ways to use these situations for training and coaching… Let people choose the one they want to answer and give them 5 minutes to make notes and prepare their answers. Share and compare. Cut them into strips and let people choose one randomly to

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restaurant training games

30 Quick Training Games for Restaurant & Cafe Staff

Use these enjoyable and instructive games to engage your front-of-house and kitchen staff – they’re designed to prepare and run quickly. And a reminder of the old trainer saying: what we learn with pleasure, we never forget! Make sure to take photos and share on your social media channels. Designing short training games or ‘microlearning’, involves several principles to ensure they’re effective, engaging, and suitable for the purpose: Relevant to the work environment and reinforce

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ChatGPT for training

How to Use ChatGPT to Create Training Material for Restaurant & Cafe Employees

I love using ChatGPT to develop training activities and materials for restaurant and cafe employees. I’ve used it here to brainstorm ideas for training modules for waiters, managers, cooks, head chefs, and baristas. The prompt I used is at the beginning of each section, and notice how I’ve built on one training suggestion (for tea) in the Barista section at the end, asking for the idea to be expanded. This is using the Chat in

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Employment Page

How to Create a Powerful Employment Page on your Restaurant or Café Website

With ever-increasing staff shortages, it’s time to use your own website as part of the recruitment drive. A good employment page will attract quality applicants and ‘sell’ them on the benefits you offer. Even a small business can make a big impact, especially as many of the large operators are doing very little in this area. On the internet, every website starts as equal! The employment page should talk about what you offer and why

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Improve Restaurant Management

Using the 80-20 Rule to Cut Costs and Improve Restaurant Management

The 80/20 Rule is simple – it says that a relatively small number of causes (about 20%) is responsible for a great number of effects (roughly 80%). This is good news – if you find out what the 20% are and work on them, you can have a significant impact on sales improvement, cost reduction and improved restaurant management. This often means 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers (particular individuals, or

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Staff health and wellness

Staff Health and Wellness Means More Speed and Productivity

At a recent management workshop, a restaurant owner asked in exasperation, “Just how much do we need to be ‘mother and father’ to our staff?” This followed a discussion about staff, healthy eating and the junk food that many of them choose to consume (like cola drinks loaded with sugar). So how much? The key is to be a modern parent – supportive, not nagging, open-minded, firm but flexible. Recognise that staff want a job

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