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Food Business: How to Run a Restaurant as a Former Chef

When great chefs want a little more independence, they decide to buy their own restaurants. There are many reasons for doing this. To begin with, it means that chefs don’t have to take orders from other people. But they often don’t realize what goes into running a great restaurant. Being a chef and being a business owner are two very different tasks. If you’re thinking of making the move, here are the key differences to be aware of.

Cooking is Not Accounting

One of the most important tasks you’ll have when running a business is balancing the books. This is essential because no business can survive if its accounts are not in order. This is how businesses get into financial tangles, and many businesses fail as a result. And just because you know how to cook, that doesn’t mean that you know how to manage money. You should take courses and learn from others if you have no experience of managing a business’s accounts. Hiring the right help is important too.

Shouting at Your Team is Not the Same as Managing Them

We all know that chefs that run kitchens are under pressure. And this is why they often end up doing a lot of shouting when trying to keep everything ticking in order. This is fine for a hot, busy kitchen environment. But if you try to run a business and manage a wider workforce in that way, you won’t get very far at all. You need to learn how to manage a team and give them the support they require to do their jobs well. Running a business is more about taking calm and practical steps, as well as decisions.

Good Food Alone is Not Usually Enough for a Good Food Business

Creating good food is obviously essential when you run a business. You can’t afford to shy away from the task of creating great food because this is what customers care about. But, at the same time, you will have to wear your business hat and be aware that good food alone isn’t enough. You also have to think about how you can reach out to people and turn them into paying customers. Companies that provide things like social media for restaurants can help you reach people in a modern way. And you will also need to make the exterior of your restaurant appealing to attract people inside.

Creativity Matters for Both Tasks, But in Different Ways

Creativity matters when you are a chef. And it also matters when you run a business. This is one of the areas of overlap that should be embraced. But they are different forms of creativity, and you should be aware of this. For a start, when a chef is creative, he or she creates great food and gives people a taste experience they haven’t had before. But creativity in the world of business is all about making the business more appealing to target customers. Think about how you can transfer your cooking skills across to your marketing efforts.

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About the author

Carma Spence has been experimenting in the kitchen since she was four years old and loves trying out new recipe ideas. She is the author of Bonkers for Bundt Cakes and Your Perfect Pie, as well as author and contributor to several more non-food-related books. With Carma's Cookery, she is taking her passion for empowering people and blending it with her passion for cooking, gift-giving and entertaining.

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