Ken Burgin

Restaurant Productivity


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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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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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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Health & Wellness Guide

Health and Wellness Guide for Restaurant & Cafe Staff – Sample

Our employees often lead high-stress lives: long hours, heat, tension and a lack of proper breaks or time to unwind. It’s the nature of hospitality, but we can’t ignore the negative effects on health and wellness if we are going to fix the problems of staff shortages and our failure to attract career-minded people. The broader issues of health and wellness also underpin concerns about mental health – the old saying ‘a healthy body means

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Restaurant Employee Welcome Pack

How to Create a Welcome Pack for New Restaurant or Cafe Employees

What’s in your Welcome Pack for a new employee? These are easy to set up, and will have you standing well above your competitors – most of them just say: ‘hello, there’s your apron and locker, now get to work!’ A great way to make a positive impression right at the start. Present the pack in a ring-binder that can have documents easily added or taken out – better than in a folder that can

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Customer service problem

Using Restaurant Negatives to Create Positive Improvement

A little negativity can sometimes be useful – tapping into the very human tendency to complain can yield a whole range of useful material when teaching customer service. A recent workshop I ran on ‘quality service’ was going nowhere fast: a group of strangers, a cold room and first topic in the morning. So I decided to pop the cork and ask each table to come up with their 10 pet hates when visiting a

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