Tools Of the Trade

(10 /05 /2016)

An industry friend of mine asked me a question the other day that I hadn’t really thought about too much.  He asked me ‘what my favourite kitchen tool was?  He had been reading an article highlighting the favourite tools of celebrity chefs and passed remark that his was, of course, his knives.  He had collected a great selection over the years and decided that these were the tools he couldn’t live without.

So I got to thinking as well and I agree. When I first started out in my career my kit of knives was invaluable and the best thing since sliced cheese, especially with the dark memories of my first day on the job with two cases of blue pumpkins and a well-worn knife with a blade that resembled corrugated iron to get through the prep! Needless to say I have a great appreciation and respect for a set of knives!  I still have that first kit, even after more than 30 years in the business and they are all in great order!

But after thinking it through a little more, I explained to him that perhaps I had grown up a little and my must was a good paperwork program! Boring I know, but paperwork is my least favourite thing about my job.  He was quick to agree with me about his dislike of paperwork.  I went on to talk to him about the reason I was always looking to find a system that would gather the data and highlight the issues was because it would ultimately save me money.

Imagine if you are running a $50k a week business and your food cost was set for 30% that would be $15k. Now I explained to him that you find out that your food cost blows out by a further 10% that would be a further $5k. That’s now $20k into your bottom line…that hurts!

Now think about implementing a system that helps you monitor changes as they happen – increased food prices, wastage, under performing menu items, over ordering, if you can see these things in real time then the bottom-line doesn’t hurt as much because you have a clear picture of what is happening and you can adjust how you react.  He agreed that it was an interesting point and that saving cash made sense! Now to convince him to replace the steak knives with a good program?

There’s  a thought!! Do I get a free set of steak knives with that!!!


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