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Question: 
I have a commissary kitchen for three fast-casual concepts within a block of one another. I am opening another location of two of these concepts across town, about 15 minutes away. I am debating whether to have my existing commissary serve all five locations, or start a second one (the new locations have a big kitchen space). Any advice?
Answer: 

The main advantage of having your kitchen as close as possible to your service line is freshness—something is lost the further production happens from consumption....

Question: 
I want to add a veggie pasta to our menu, but don’t have a good answer to the labor required. Can I get them precut? Or is there a machine that’s better than a mandolin?
Answer: 

Veggie noodles are a trend we are seeing more. They are not actually noodles, but rather...

Question: 
When slacking frozen food, if pulling out food needed from the bunch, can the remainder be returned to the freezer?
Answer: 

Slacking, as defined by the FDA Food Code, is, “… the process of...

Question: 
A customer has told me that our restaurant is obligated to accept a credit card if it is signed on the back even though the person presenting the card is not that person. A teenager had his mom’s credit card, which was signed, and we asked him for his ID since he was not she. He said we must take it anyway. Can you tell me what our responsibility is in this?
Answer: 

Restaurant owners often tell me that they feel the chips are stacked against them: labor laws, consumer protections, health regulations and building codes, for example,...

Question: 
Could the cold part be shorting out a hot and cold steam table?
Answer: 

Over the past five years, this column has kept me current on topics ranging from culinary techniques to HR policies to pest control. As a culinary and hospitality...

Question: 
I love to cook. My family and friends think I'm pretty good at it. I'd like to think they're correct. I want to start my own business, a small fast-food joint focusing on gourmet burgers and hotdogs. However, I've never been in a professional busy kitchen. I'd like to learn about commercial food equipment to keep up with demand. Any idea where can take up a class or training? Thanks very much.
Answer: 

In my role as a hospitality educator, this is one of our most frequently asked questions: “I’m a good cook/baker/mixologist, my friends love my stuff,...

Question: 
A foodie blogger gave me crap for putting a burger made with Kobe brisket on my menu. He said it’s not really Kobe beef unless it comes from Japan and now is making a big deal of it. When I order it, it’s just called “Kobe brisket.” 
Answer: 

While your blogger may be annoying, he’s actually right. Kobe beef—when used correctly—describes not only the specific breed of cow, but the region where the beef is...

Question: 
I am making an employee manual for my restaurant. What should be included?
Answer: 

In this column, I often mention that policies should be clearly spelled out in the employee manual. I have not, however, addressed what else should be included, so thanks...

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