Ken Burgin

Restaurant Productivity


How to Support Staff to Give Productive Feedback & Suggestions

Your staff have plenty of bright ideas, but do they know the best way to present them? If you want your staff to keep taking a positive interest in your business, you may need to teach them about ‘managing upwards’. Sometimes known as ‘managing the boss’, and it’s a lot more than knowing how she likes her coffee or what beer he drinks. Many staff have bright ideas for new menus, equipment, service and efficiencies.

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How Hospitality & Restaurant Trainers can Work Remotely: a Survival Guide…

Hospitality training has usually been done in person – we hospo people like to ‘stand up and do it’. With the restrictions and closing of many restaurants and cafes, there’s an urgent need to present training in new ways. We need very different tools and completely new methods – traditional workbooks with pen & paper don’t translate very well. Here’s a bunch of tools, resources and ideas to use and experiment with… Understand the world

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Sharing ideas about how to make Webinars more interesting

It was great to share my thoughts with the Facilitation Queen Leanne Hughes, about how to make webinars more engaging and interesting. With looming restrictions on live gatherings, they have to be in the toolkit of every trainer and meeting facilitator. The SilverChef webinars I’ve started have had a great response, and this method of teaching and learning is becoming much more familiar and popular. Here’s Leanne sharing her experience, and drawing on the ideas

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Understanding the Science of Timing – When to Take Action [Short Video]

Social psychologist Dan Pink has released a fascinating new book called When – the Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. I love the way he does a massive amount of research, then presents his conclusions in an appealing way that can assist us all to be more effective. Here’s a short interview with Dan Pink about his research, and how to work out when is the optimal time to do our best work. Short videos like

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8 Enterprise Skills – the New Essentials for a Well-Paid Hospitality Career

The New Basics is a very interesting report on the Enterprise Skills young people need for the new work order. It’s been prepared by the Foundation for Young Australians, and they have a steady stream of good articles about work and wellbeing. Enterprise Skills are transferable skills, and Technical Skills are those specific to a particular industry. It’s a good checklist for people who are thinking about moving into or out of hospitality, and finding

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What Profits Are Used For: An Explanation for Restaurant Staff

Sales – costs = profit. It’s simple. If profits are good, there are more smiles and generosity – the fundamentals of hospitality. If money is tight, there’s not much for extras, and shortcuts will usually cut into service and quality. It’s easy for staff to misunderstand the profitability of a business – they assume that you’re making money on the first coffee sold on Monday morning, and it’s $3.50 profit on the $4.00 price. The

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The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us [Training Video]

You may have seen this short video, but have your staff? Motivation is one of those constant issues with employees, just like ‘productivity’ and ‘wage costs’. You want to motivate them, and get your managers and head chefs to help with the process. And hopefully you’ve employed people who are self-motivated? But what is motivation? This short animated video from Dan Pink is an excellent starting point for a discussion with managers, or with all your

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Two Restaurant Service Techniques That Add Style and Pizzazz…

People keep saying that ‘fine dining is dead’ – maybe. But there are lots of techniques from traditional fine dining that add flair, service speed and a point of difference. And with the first one shown here, silver-service, it’s also quicker and more efficient – one of the many ways you can exceed expectations. If you have employees who have worked in a traditional restaurant, ask them to train the other service staff – it’s

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How to Run an Effective Trial Shift at a Cafe or Restaurant

For a waiter, server or bar position, a trial shift can give a snapshot of the applicant’s abilities and suitability for the job. You want to check their speed, skills, attention to detail and personality, all in the space of a few hours and when they’re going to be nervous. What you don’t want is to have them doing too much ‘real work’ with customers that could go wrong – taking orders, making drinks your

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