Advice Guy

An industry expert answers questions on improving restaurant operations

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Question: 
What about TurboChef ovens? Are they the same as Flashbake?
Question: 
We have a self-serve coffee station. How can I tell people to stop filling up extra coffee cups with the complimentary creamers and sugars? Only the amount that goes into your coffee is free—not as much as you want. 
Answer: 

You reveal the problem in your question. While situations vary, I get this one a lot. You are trying to change behavior but what you really need to change is the...

Question: 
I buy ramps, greens, wild mushrooms and other things from a forager who I really like. One of my cooks said that we could get in trouble since she is not an “approved vendor.” Is that true?
Answer: 

Yes officially, the health code for New York City says, “Food shall be obtained from sources approved by the appropriate regulatory authority having jurisdiction over...

Question: 
Dear Advice Guy,What is the best setting for steam tables?
Answer: 

There are two immediate follow-ups to your question:

  1. What model?
  2. What food?

Steam tables vary widely in their settings. Some have words...

Question: 
How do I forecast sales for a new restaurant with no sales history or comparisons?
Answer: 

There are restaurateurs and restaurant-business professionals who can look at a space, estimate the square footage, envision how many seats it will have, what sort of...

Question: 
I’ve been hearing more about open-book management. It seems to have some advantages but is it legal/ethical to let people know about salary information, for example?
Answer: 

Open-book management is the idea, popularized by business writer and consultant John Case, that giving employees and other key stakeholders full access to a company’s...

Question: 
Is it wrong for employees to expect two weeks severance? It is a two-way street and if employees see management terminating employees and not offering a severance package of some sort, management has defined the rules regarding notice. 
Answer: 

This question arose after a...

Question: 
Can a restaurant make a bartender respond to texts or calls on the employee's day off?
Answer: 

There are people who leave work and think about work—how to improve for the next shift, stock that will need to be reordered, and so on. That’s me. There are others who...

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