If you have been following me for awhile, you probably noticed that in January I held a two-day business planning workshop and this week I hosted another business planning workshop at my commercial kitchen and office in Fort Worth, TX. This event is designed for the chefs in my coaching programs, as an opportunity to meet in person, have them connect with the other chefs in my program and come together and get things DONE!
Even if you were not able to make it to my workshop, I wanted to share some of the surface-level takeaways from my business planning workshop.
1) Stay on Top of Consumer Food Trends – I gave a whole presentation on consumer food trends that people are currently craving and how chefs can incorporate them into their culinary business. Food Business News is a great resource for staying on top of these trends. Some of the trends I highlighted included using jack fruit as a “meat” in vegetarian dishes, the increasingly popularity of snacks and how they are more like “lunch” items now, kefir and adding international flare to every day dishes. The presentation made everyone hungry needless to say!
2) Ask for Media Kits Before You Write or Get Published by a Magazine or Other Publication – My Marketing & PR Manager taught the chefs at the workshop how they can get their foot in the door with publications so they can start writing for them and also have their business written about in magazines, newspapers, online blogs and more. She shared the importance of getting published to establish credibility in your community, share your expertise and unique take on food and to act as free marketing for your business. One of her tips included asking editors for media kits (or find them on their website) before you ever think about doing something with a publication. Media kits will provide you with demographics of their readers like household income, college degree, where the copies are distributed, etc. and this will help you know if your target market reads them or not and if it’s worth being in.
3) Use Snag a Job to Find Chefs to Add to Your Team – We had Shawn Wenner, founder of Entrepreneurial Chef do a presentation on hiring and training employees. He shared a great resource with us called “Snag a Job” where you can find full-time chefs or even chefs who just want to pick up a shift. and he shared how to make sure things go smoothly from the moment you hire them. One of the best tips he shared was that we have to be willing to have tough conversations when an employee is not making the cut or something they are doing goes against your company values. He said that beore we we need to write down and set clear expectations for not only the behavior we expect from an employee but also the quality of work and the type of work they need to be producing.
4) Break Your Goals Down into Quarters and Prioritize Them – At every business planning workshop, I always go over everyone’s goals for their business and have them fill out detailed worksheets that help them break down their goals and really prioritize them and itemize them out to make sure they get done. One of the ways that we do this is take a worksheet and divide into four quarters and put each of the goals for 3 months and ways that you are going to accomplish them. It’s easy to chase shiny objects as business owners so this really helps you focus on the most important goals you need to reach in that 3-month time period.
5) Create a Marketing Plan to Guide Your Marketing Efforts – My Marketing & PR Manager showed the chefs how to write up their own marketing plans so they have a clear plan for attracting more clients and measuring ROI and the different tools they can use to see how their efforts are paying off. Here is a template of a similar plan they put together that you can download yourself from Track Maven.
These were just some of the topics discussed. Each business planning workshop I do focuses on different business topics based on topics the chefs in my programs have requested and that I know they need to work on. While this is just the very surface level information that was shared, hopefully it gave you some insights into what you can be working on and doing in your own business.
“I just want to say THANK YOU to Deb, Candice, Gina, and Deb’s kitchen crew for the two day we just had, it is SO much work for you. WOW am I inspired with ideas and keeping on track. It was just the kick in the butt I needed to get in gear again. If you are not coming to the two days events you have NO IDEA how much you are missing out on. I understand being busy, having not enough money to come but these workshops make me money. Plus you get the support of each other and a chance to step out to look in and refresh yourself. Truly I don’t think I would be where I am without these 2 day workshops. AMAZING!” – Chef Wendy
If you’re interested in learning more about my coaching programs, click here and maybe you can join me at my next workshop for chefs!