Advice Guy

An industry expert answers questions on improving restaurant operations

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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...

Question: 
I want to know if I can use a flash-bake oven to heat fully cooked chicken tenders, fully cooked wings and potato wedges and throw away my small fryers. I am sick of dealing with my employees not filtering the oil and giving my customers dark chicken tenders and burnt wings. We actually do them from scratch and I am looking for a better way.
Answer: 

When I work with operators, I often feel like a therapist who is challenged to get to the root of the problem. To be sure, having the right equipment for your menu can...

Question: 
I am currently a server. I recently started taking over the social media for my restaurant, and all our content is hitting it off. Should I get paid for creating posts and taking pictures, aside from my regular serving duties?
Answer: 

Congratulations on your success running the social media for your operation. Many independent operators are finding that it’s beneficial to have one or more employees...

Question: 
I know that my donated food is protected by the Good Samaritan law, so I can't get sued if it makes someone sick after I donate it. But what about takeout and leftovers from the dining room? For example, if a customer packs up half an entree, leaves it in the sun, and gets sick a few days later, am I responsible?
Answer: 

In this column, we previously addressed proper procedures...

Question: 
I am up for an executive chef position at a cafe-style place. For my test, what would be a good entree to make?

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