Ken Burgin

Restaurant Consultant

Podcast 6: How to Be a Successful Cafe, Restaurant or Foodservice Consultant

Many chefs, managers and business owners have built up years of experience running kitchens and restaurants. They often think about consulting as a way to take their career to the next level, and an opportunity to have more regular time with friends and family.

In this podcast, Ken Burgin talks to Shaun de Vries from Open Pantry Consulting, about how he’s developed his very successful consulting business, including the excellent Principle of Hospitality Podcast.

Topics they discussed:

  • Introduction to Shaun’s career from his first apprenticeship.
  • How do you respond when someone says they’re ‘sick of being a chef or manager and I want to be a consultant’?
  • What skills does a consultant need beyond being ‘good at running a restaurant or cooking’?
  • How has technology changed the consulting game?
  • What type of personality is best suited for the role of a consultant?
  • How should a consultant charge – hourly, daily, monthly or by project?
  • Managing cash flow once you work.
  • Legal protection and insurance for consultants.
  • Writing a proposal and doing a ‘reverse brief’ – given that it’s rare for people to supply a proper brief or even a Requet for Proposal (RFP).
  • Handling projects – deliverables, time frame, client expectations and handling ‘scope creep’.
  • Writing reports and recommendations – how formal should they be?
  • Building credibility as a consultant – cards, website, Linkedin, blog, social media. Do I need them all?
  • Ongoing marketing and networking – finding new clients.
  • Other types of work that comes up for consultants

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