Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Gordon Ramsey - Kitchen Nightmares

I like cooking and I don't have a problem with people swearing at me. As a result, I'd like to meet Gordon Ramsey. I'd love to eat at his restaurant(s) - have to keep working and saving for a bit yet though.

Gordon Ramsey and business

Duncan and I have both been watching the new series of Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares. It's on again tonight (9pm, Channel 4), but last week's episode was one that got Duncan and I talking.

In it, Ramsey turned around a struggling Italian restaurant with his usual blend of ideas, energy and invective - but what got us talking was the amount of business advice he gave. Of course he taught the guy how to cook - to use fresh ingredients, ditch the frozen stuff and pre-prepared sauces etc. - but a lot of the advice was about how to run the business.

  • Tell people about the soup - some options on the menu take very little of the chef's time and have low marginal cost while being popular at the same time. While you don't make your whole menu things like this, make sure you sell them - they're your bread and butter
  • Don't book everyone in at once - cycles come and go in any business, but where you can smooth things out and keep a steady stream of orders, do that
  • Update your look - keep with the times and differentiate yourself from your competition

There were a load more, and I'm sure there'll be more tonight. Keep it up Gordon - we're riveted.

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