Guest Speakers

Mar 25, 2017, 18:40
Guest Speaker: What I Wish Every Student Would Learn in Culinary School

Guest Speaker: What I Wish Every Student Would Learn in Culinary School

CAFÉ’s president, editor-in-chief of “Gold Medal Classroom,” reports on an important keynote presentation at the 11th-annual Leadership Conference in Niagara Falls, N.Y., in June.

By Mary Petersen

Chef Christian De Vos (pictured), vice president of Food & Beverage and Guest Services for Delaware North Parks & Resorts based in Buffalo, N.Y., addressed attendees of the 2015 CAFÉ Leadership Conference at Niagara Falls Culinary Institute with a keynote presentation on June 20.

Guest Speaker: Love Is the Best Ingredient

A bakery entrepreneur leaves nursing behind to enroll in an online pastry-certificate program, and the result is sweet.

Kim Washington is the perfect example of someone who has never given up on her dreams. She recently retired early from a decades-long career in nursing to pursue her passion of starting a bakery. Now with Escoffier Online International Culinary Academy’s pastry certificate under her belt, she feels more ready than ever to tackle whatever obstacles may lie ahead.

Exploding Desserts LLC opened in May 2015 in South Holland, Ill. So Escoffier Online sat down with Washington to talk about what it takes to open a business, her favorite pastries to make and the No. 1 ingredient she makes sure to put in all of her creations.

Escoffier Online: You have quite a bit of culinary/pastry schooling. Why did you want to attend Escoffier Online?
Kim Washington: I was intrigued by the history of Escoffier. His name and works are mentioned in many of my cookbooks and he’s quoted and fashioned after numerous times in the culinary world. Then I sought out to learn more about the online culinary school and was excited about what it offered and the fact that I could study on my own time.

Guest Speaker: 3 Basics to Harnessing Restaurant Big Data

Say a menu item doesn’t sell. Is it overpriced, poorly described, not satisfying to the customer or a combination of these? To understand the basics of restaurant-performance management systems, here are three key teachings that would be part of any 101-level course on the topic.

By Dave Bennett

In the restaurant business, competition is fierce and plenty. Owners use various types of operational strategies to stay ahead of the curve and keep profits streaming in. Measuring restaurant performance is a critical ongoing activity—to see how operations are going today, and to reveal opportunities to improve customer satisfaction and unit profitability in the future.

Strong restaurant performance-measurement systems require vast amounts of data. Your data tells you how things are going, and you, in turn, use that data to make decisions. For instance, let’s imagine that your data is telling you that customers aren’t ordering a certain menu item. Is it overpriced? How does it taste? How is it described on the menu? Armed with that knowledge, you can decide how to respond: Remove that item from the menu, which will also streamline your inventory; offer it as a limited-time offering with a new menu description; or lower its selling price to see if that boosts sales.