The kitchen is the heart of any foodservice operation, whether it is a restaurant, a catering company, or some other type of commercial food and beverage outlet.
Running it efficiently and effectively is critical, and can often mean the difference between success and failure.
A new book, The Profitable Chef, by Jean-Pierre Eigenheer, Executive Chef S.C.E.C., is designed to take the guesswork out of running a profitable kitchen by providing a series of systems designed to turn the kitchen into a powerful profit center.
"The Profitable Chef is designed for anyone charged with running a commercial kitchen," Chef Eigenheer says.
"The book includes practical advice on food management – everything from ordering, receiving and storing to pre-preparation, preparation and service – as well as advice on managing costs (labor and food), menu development, sanitation, and safety, and crew motivation."
The Profitable Chef is as complete a look at kitchen operation as you're likely to find in a world filled with every sort of food knowledge, and all sorts of advice on opening a restaurant, and it's written from the standpoint of someone who has "been there and done that."
"I read some research a few years ago that said almost seventy percent of new restaurants fail within their first two years of operation," Eigenheer continues.
"And I thought to myself that lots of those failures could be avoided if the kitchen operations were structured for maximum efficiency and profitability."
Eigenheer, a Swiss-trained Executive Chef who has been in the business for over forty years, had developed a series of kitchen systems that had been honed to perfection over the course of his career, and had garnered much praise for them among peers and employees alike. Friends and co-workers encouraged him to begin writing them down. Before long, Chef Eigenheer's kitchen systems became the basis for The Profitable Chef.
"No matter how good a chef you are," Eigenheer continues, "you will not be successful if you're trying to run your kitchen operation by the seat of your pants. The idea behind The Profitable Chef was to give the reader a very clear blueprint for running a profitable and successful kitchen."