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You’re interested in every facet of the business. The foodservice industry is your passion, and you know you have real talent. Are you thinking about how to become a chef consultant?
An established restaurant wants to break up old routines. A brand new eatery wants someone with experience guiding its opening. When these owners and managers ask, “What is a chef consultant?” you’re the answer they need.
Becoming a Chef Consultant: 7 Tips That Maximize Your Talent
Exactly what does a chef consultant do? Expect to cover just about everything. The job positions you to help foodservice operations solve in-house problems, maintain consistent standards and control food costs. These seven tips outline successful strategies that can launch your career as a chef consultant.
1. Formalize Your Knowledge
It’s not a requirement, but a degree or certification is a big plus. It tops off years of hard-earned industry experience with training you can’t get on the job. It also makes a positive impression on prospective clients.
You can choose from certifications, associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. You can master one or multiple fields ranging from foodservice and hospitality accounting to culinary arts and food health sciences.
2. Be Ready for Business
The chef consultant job description includes business management. Be ready to put your skills to work controlling food costs, fine-tuning inventory procedures and evaluating vendors. Be prepared to develop money-saving strategies from front to back of house.
As you implement new ideas, focus on ways to make changes easier for staff. Stay open to their feedback. Their insider knowledge helps you identify ways to hold down operating costs and ramp up restaurant profits.
3. Sharpen Your Culinary Skills
Add value to your career profile by mastering a variety of culinary traditions and trends. When you share techniques for perfect pan-roasting or in-house cold smoking, you show staff how to tap into their own creativity.
Even the QSR industry appreciates modifying menus with input from consulting chefs. Consumer response to health-conscious changes in fast food are very positive. Keep your culinary skills sharp and diverse. Use them to craft menu innovations that boost sales and drive repeat business.
4. Develop Staff Support
As a chef consultant, you assist staff with everything from prepping new recipes to plating new dishes. You come to the client’s operations with great ideas, but you need staff support to make innovations work.
Remember your days on the line as you introduce changes in prep and service. Guide staff through unfamiliar territory like learning sous vide or pickling Brussels sprouts. They want the business to grow too, so help back and front of house adapt to new routines.
5. Keep Your Markets Open
This unique field offers opportunities beyond traditional restaurant settings. You can find chef consultant jobs in all kinds of foodservice markets. These are just a few of the businesses that regularly hire consulting chefs.
• Hotels, resorts, and hospitality facilities
• Country clubs, sports venues and casinos
• Private and public colleges and universities
• Catering operations and food trucks
• Corporate kitchens and special event venues
6. Cultivate Premium Sources
Consumers are more conscious than ever about where and how their proteins and vegetables are produced and sourced. Position yourself as a consulting chef who brings the best to client tables. Network with growers and suppliers who consistently deliver premium products.
By cultivating these working relationships, you make sure a commercial kitchen’s pantries are always stocked with premium ingredients. From the freshest romaine hearts and heirloom tomatoes to seasonal seafood and artisan baked goods, know exactly what you can source from trusted national and local suppliers.
7. Always Give Your Best
Set the highest standards for your job performance, and then exceed them with every new opportunity. Turn your career as a chef consultant into a game-changing experience for clients by always giving your best.
• Never lose sight of the details that matter to your client.
• Appreciate how hard he or she works to make the best of operations.
• Continually improve your ability to communicate big-picture ideas.
• Be a source for new, efficient solutions to ingrained problems.
• Always respect the client, and keep in touch if or when the job ends.
Stay on the Road to Success
The foodservice industry stands strong, wide-open and filled with so many opportunities. Your career path can take multiple turns and still keep you on the road to success.
We hope our blog can serve as your resource for foodservice business information and inspiration. Wherever you work inside the industry, our teams here at Hitchcock Farms are always at your service.