• Cyril McAree

Fáilte Ireland And Chef Network Launch Online Business Tools For Chefs

Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority and the Chef Network have today, (Wednesday, 27th February) launched the first in a series of online business tools, the Chef Action Plan, designed to help chefs become more commercially efficient without compromising on food quality at Catex, Ireland’s largest foodservice and hospitality show. The Chef Action Plan was created by input from chefs across Ireland who have developed a practical guide in the areas of purchasing, controlling food costs, managing employees and eliminating waste.

Speaking at the announcement, Tracey Coughlan, Food Strategy and Programmes Manager at Fáilte Ireland said:

“We know that visitor and consumer expectations around food and drink is changing, with over half of all visitors indicating that food and drink is more important now than it was five years ago. From a tourism perspective, it is important that we take the next steps to enhance our offering as food and beverage consumption is an intrinsic part of the tourist experience and quality experiences are now a major contributor to increasing holiday satisfaction, creating positive memories and driving advocacy.

“This four-step ‘How to Achieve Efficiency - Chef Business Toolkit’ has been developed to do just that. By providing practical advice, top tips and a suite of downloadable business tools the new Chef Action Plan will help chefs raise profit margins without compromising on food quality. The guide will be released on www.chefnetworks.ie in stages over the next four months, beginning with today’s release of Purchase Smarter followed by the next three stages, Control Food Costs in March, Manage Labour in April and Eliminate Waste in May.”

Ruth Hegarty, Head of Community at the Chef Network said:

“Chefs require such a broad skill-set as they progress through their careers and understanding how to run a business efficiently is essential. Chef Network emphasises peer-learning, chefs sharing their expertise and skills with other chefs, so we are delighted that Fáilte Ireland commissioned Chef Network to deliver this business efficiency series which harnesses the knowledge of experienced industry chefs. Chef Network as a community is committed to make the industry better, part of this needs to be giving chefs the skills and knowledge they need to run business profitably but also with integrity.”

Niall Hill of Niall Hill Foods, who created the action plans and business tools for the online Chef Action Plan added:

“This practical toolkit equips chefs with the know how to protect margins without compromising on quality of offering. It is not about buying cheap, it’s about buying smart and improving how you do things. If your business is successful and profitable, you can invest back into it”

The Chef Action Plan features easy-to-use, downloadable business tools to help chefs streamline their operations, freeing up resources for investment in the business leading to benefits such as the ability to source the best local and seasonal ingredients, providing additional training and professional development, hiring an extra member of the team, or purchasing the latest must-have equipment. The four step Action Plan will be shared online over the coming months demonstrating how to achieve real savings in the kitchen through smart purchasing, effective control of food costs, clever management of labour, and efficient waste reduction.

Chefs who are signed up at www.chefnetwork.ie will be notified as each step goes live and chefs must be signed into the site to access the full toolkit. Chef Network membership is free to all professional and student-chefs. Register now to keep up to date as the series is released and follow Chef Network on social media to get the latest tips.

The series has been produced with input from chefs across Ireland. These include chefs Tom Flavin, The Limerick Strand Hotel; Domini Kemp, ITSA; Carmel McGirr, MacNean Restaurant; and Niall McKenna of James St and Co. who have shared their practical tips for becoming more efficient in the areas of purchasing, food, labour and waste. Part one begins with the primary step you can take on the road to greater efficiency: Smart Purchasing.

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