The Business End of Opening A Restaurant or Catering Business
I recently received this paperback book So You’re A Chef - Now What? from Chef Deb Cantrell’s publicist. Since I’m more interested in cooking techniques and not opening my own restaurant, I’ve been “reluctant” to pick it up.
But once I did, I found all sorts of interesting information directed to anyone starting a business, not just someone who’s opening their own restaurant. This book is for all the people who have learned how to cook and be a chef in culinary school but not provided the skills to run a business.
Chef Deb Cantrell
The author, Chef Deb Cantrell, is an executive chef who also wears the hats of dietary consultant, public speaker, author, personal chef and mentor to culinary professionals. Deb trained at the Culinary Business Academy, Fort Worth Culinary Institute and the Culinary Institute of America.
Chef Deb is now actively involved in a number of charity events and co-founder of Cuisine for Healing. This nonprofit group is dedicated to providing healthy food education and nutritious but tasty meals available to those with debilitating diseases.
So Now You’re A Chef - Now What?
Did you know that “99% of restaurants and culinary businesses fail within the first few months of opening?” That’s what Deb’s book addresses and helps young culinary entrepreneurs discover the principles needed to be successful in their culinary businesses.
I like the way Chef Cantrell breaks down her book. Each chapter looks at a specific topic important to any business and then drills down to those areas that would be important to someone in the culinary business. For example, here is a list of the different subjects by chapter.
Pricing and Money Management
Marketing and Strategy
Security in Your Business
Each of these chapters then has a list of Tips that offer different Tools and Strategies to implement the goals of each chapter. For example, the first chapter, General Business, has 39 Tips from the different “phases of business” to “investing in yourself”.
The second chapter, Pricing & Money Management has 15 Tips on various strategies like “Are You Providing What People Are Buying?” and “Dealing with Price Resistance”. Each Tip offers important advice for dealing with the money aspect of your business.
The next two chapters, Marketing & Strategy and Branding were most interesting to me because I can use Deb’s advice for my own cooking website. Yes, her tips do require some effort to make them happen but if you want to succeed in your restaurant or any business for that matter, you have to put the time and effort into making it happen.
The final three chapters look at Planning, Security in Your Business and Mindset. I especially enjoyed reading the Mindset chapter, especially the tips on Affirmations and The Power of Visualization. These may sound touchy-feely but they are not. They are important tools for anyone in any business.
I always like to see what reviewers say on Amazon. They usually are regular people offering their pro’s and con’s on books and products they’ve tried. Here are a few for So You’re A Chef - Now What?
“Thorough, Practical Advice! - Chef Deb Cantrell knows her stuff! As a culinary professional, I found the book to offer very practicable advice with things I can do today to improve my business. I was impressed with how thorough she was and I especially liked her insight about setting up security for your emails, websites, etc. because that is something I didn't think about when setting up my business.”
“Not just for chefs! Great business advice for all entrepreneurs - Deb shares the nuts & bolts of building a successful business. She is candid, informative and open. Even though she is targeting the culinary industry, I learned ideas for my businesses (I am not a chef) related to processes and customer satisfaction. Read and take notes!
To read more about this book and purchase it at Amazon, go to So You’re A Chef - Now What?