One of the most common questions I receive as a chef is, “What should I be doing to be successful at my restaurant?” When someone asks me this, I always think about the most basic thing anyone could, and should, do: cook good food! But how exactly does one achieve that?
Here are 9 Tips for Succeeding as a Chef:
Have a Passion for Food
Bobby Rahman: There’s no way a person can succeed in this field without passion. You can’t just choose a career because it pays well. You have to love food and enjoy preparing and presenting it. It is by combining passion with intelligence that you’ll be able to find your way to success. As a matter of fact, I’d even say that it’s imperative.
Bobby Rahman: You can start by preparing simple dishes at home. Don’t be afraid of experimenting. That’s how you learn how to cook great meals. Over time, with enough practice, you can begin preparing more complex recipes and cultivating more advanced techniques. You just need to start somewhere.
Bobby Rahman: While not necessary, consider attending cooking schools in your area. They are a great place to meet people and an even better place to begin figuring out what you enjoy cooking the most.
Invest in Good Kitchen Supplies
Bobby Rahman: A well-stocked kitchen is vital for any restaurant. They’re for daily use, and even one broken knife or pot can seriously hinder your cooking process and hurt your profits. So, it’s best that you splurge a bit and get high-quality kitchen supplies that will last you a long while — rather than cheapening out and getting supplies that are more likely to break because it uses cheap materials or because it was manufactured poorly.
Learn from Past Successes
- While it’s important to follow your instincts when starting a new restaurant, remember that past performance is also important.
- Look into what others are doing in the restaurant industry as well. Carefully observe how they’ve gone about building and establishing their business. This should give you ideas on what improvements you can make for your own restaurant.
Learn from Other Chefs
Bobby Rahman: There are no strict rules when it comes to learning how to cook. So, despite common misconceptions, there is absolutely nothing wrong with following the recipes or copying the cooking techniques of other chefs – anyone who say differently is ridiculous.
As an extra tip, keeping a video record of your progress can help you remember what you did right and what you did wrong during your preparation and, if you’re looking to inspire other chefs, this footage can go a long way of building up your own personal and professional reputation if you post it online for other chefs to learn from!
Invest in Appliances
Bobby Rahman: Whether you need a new refrigerator or a new oven, buying the right equipment can make a big difference in your restaurant’s operations. New equipment costs money, but the difference it makes in how your food tastes may be worth it. Consider purchasing professional equipment if you can afford it. Do some research online to see what restaurants in your area are using to see what works best.
Bobby Rahman: It takes time to build up a reputation for a restaurant. So, it’s important that you are consistent with how you are preparing your food. By letting the taste speak for itself in this way, you’ll find customers coming back again and again just to taste the flavors of their favorite dishes once more. And, of course, as with any business, customer satisfaction starts with your attitude. So, make sure that you treat your customers well to further enhance your customers’ perception of your restaurant — which will serve as a solid foundation for your long-term success.
Develop Clarity and Solid Concepts
Bobby Rahman: There is no quicker way to fail than operating a restaurant with no clear direction. So, write down your goals and what you want to accomplish with your restaurant. And, while you’re at it, go talk to people that know better than you. Learn from them so that you can know what to expect. It’s impossible to be 100% prepared, but having a clear vision of how your restaurant should look and feel will go a long way in making sure that you are on your way to building a restaurant that people would come back for.