Call Us Toll Free: 1-800-827-8953
You have no items in your shopping cart.

Blog posts from November, 2015

The Best Career Advice for Prep Cooks / Kitchen Assistants

Kitchen Prep

Photo Source: White House / Sheleah Craighead / via White House Museum

Perhaps you are coming straight out of culinary school or perhaps you’re looking to make a passion for food into your career. Whatever the reason may be, it always helps to have career advice from actual people who have real-world experience in the industry and job you’re looking to get into. Reddit has a wealth of chef threads to ask and receive real world advice from chefs, kitchen managers, prep cooks, kitchen assistants, bussers and everything in between. Check out the best career advice rounded up for prep cooks / kitchen assistants as heard through this Reddit thread.

Be a Blank Slate to Mold

“Let the chef know you will do anything he asks and that you will show up every day on time, no matter what. Stress the fact that you are a blank slate for him to mold, and that you want to learn his/her way of doing things.” - b_random_b

Do Good Work and Help Keep the Kitchen Clean

“…Just come in and do good work. Clean the place in your down time. Put away and organize dry goods and produce. Consolidate containers. Ask about the food you're making and show interest. Be proud of your work, even if that work is shucking cases of chickpeas, peeling a bag of onions, or butchering some chicken.

If you're asked to do something you've never done or are unsure about, ask to be shown how they would do it.” – TyaedalisCook

Slow Down to Be Consistent

Slow down, if you're doing it fast and not consistent. You're doing it wrong. Speed comes with practice, I've seen plenty of prep cooks fuck things up trying to go fast. doing it twice takes longer then if you just slow down and do it right the first time. – Reddit User

Take Instructions Well

I know it sounds harsh, but think of yourself as another piece of kitchen equipment. Product goes in, prepped food comes out. You don't have creativity or any say in how things are done. Your job is to prep food exactly how you're instructed to do so by your supervisor.

Your reliability to do exactly what is asked of you is probably the most important aspect of a good prep cook. - bigpipes84

Take Time to Learn Exact Cuts

I'd say a combination of all other comments. Slow down and take time to learn to make exact cuts. You'll be able to speed up slightly in a week or so, and continue speeding up with practice.

Let him know that you work cleanly and in an organized manner. Never put something away without a label and date it was made. This will give your chef and other employees all kinds of headache and they will resent you for it.

Be punctual. Speed and efficiency will come, but it's the right attitude that keeps you around. - JustAtlas

Be Courteous, Willing to Take Instruction and a Fast Worker

I'm a chef. I've done hiring. I like experience in the line cooks but I'd rather have a blank slate with a great attitude than a culinary school graduate who doesn't clean and always takes smoke breaks. Be courteous, willing to take instruction and work fast. If you don't know something, ask. Stress that you like to cook and want to learn more. Things I look for on a resume are cleanliness and attention to detail. Also clean. Always clean. If there's any downtime and no more prep, just clean something. Do that on your first day and you'll make a really good impression. – dinosexed

Express Your Willingness to Learn and Willingness to Be Paid Minimum Wage

… Just express your willingness to learn. Be prepared to wash dishes. Be prepared for minimum wage. - DancesWithHippo

How to Get that Job?

Show up between 2 and 4pm and bring a resume/cv. Ask to speak to a manager (That's when the morning supervisor/kitchen manager/chef is usually winding down.) If you show up and it's packed, walk out and come back another time, because your resume/cv will probably get thrown in the garbage. Try writing a skills based resume with a short cover letter, you can find chef resume templates online. Stress that your really interested in the industry even though you don't have a lot of experience, don't lie or fluff anything up. Just be honest, eager, smile a lot and thank them for their time.

Edited: They might have a sheet to fill out and they might interview you on the spot if they have the time/really need people. - dinosexed

Any other career advice you think worth sharing? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

Comments (0)
Protecting Your Online Reputation from Angry Brides

Angry Bride

Photo Source: Favored by Yodit

Let’s face it. Sometimes we make mistakes in the event industry – whether an order gets lost in the shuffle or inventory gets double booked to be rented out – it happens because we’re human and mistakes happen. What we can also encounter… is the irrational bride or angry bride who regardless of what does or does not happen is going to make your life difficult. This post is to help those caterers, event rental companies and event venue companies protect their online reputation should a situation occur where your business is facing some harsh criticism – warranted or not.

1. Make sure your website is up to date and that you’re continually updating it

You are directly responsible for your own business’ brand identity and your website is one of the first places a potential prospect or customer will look. Making sure your website is up to date helps to legitimize your brand and your company. Blogging also helps in this regard as it helps position your company as a thought leader and “authority” on your industry. It also helps ensure you’re driving traffic to your website and creating positive content for the search engines. Not only that but it helps to create shareable content you can use on your social media sites. A little social media every day can help negate the angry reviews. Neil Patel, founder of KISSMetrics and Crazy Egg noted in a Forbes article on tips for creating a positive online reputation “’If there’s negative information out there, you need to participate in all the social sites.’ That consistent content will come up when your name is searched and will help inoculate you against any negative content that might be out there or might arise in the future (a blog post by an angry ex, or a diatribe from an angry customer).”

2. Invest (time and in some cases money) in Monitoring – Social Media and the entire web

Monitoring the entire web is a great way to ensure you’re keeping up with not only your industry but any positive and negative reviews that could bolster or hinder your online reputation. Google Alerts is a fantastic way to monitor the web, and determine what sites are linking to you, quoting you, supporting you or complaining about you. Hint – it can also be used to track your competitors. I have a google alert set up for “National Event Supply” (including the quotation marks so it doesn’t send me news on articles that include the words National or Event or Supply) so I can monitor any mentions. To create a google alert, check out this thorough blog post.

Along with monitoring the entire web, you should also be monitoring your social media mentions. Hootsuite is one of the best free monitoring tools out there if you want to monitor 3 social profiles (there’s also two paid versions as well). It allows you to schedule your social media messages, and monitor your mentions across those 3 social media platforms. If you’re just on Twitter, TweetDeck is a good monitoring tool as well.

3. Consider along with your own brand content, adopting a positive referrals program

Creating a positive referrals program is another way to protect your online reputation. Not only do referral customers come at a much lower cost than traditional customers, they also have a higher tendency for maintaining loyalty and are easier to retain. Having a group of brand evangelists out in the market singing your praises helps maintain a solid positive brand reputation. Check out HubSpot’s blog post on how to build a customer referral program if you’re interested in learning more.

4. Set up your Defence

Dr. Chris Anderson of Cyber Investigation Services (CIS) suggested to Forbes there are different ways of reacting to negative online reviews including: Doing nothing, crafting a polished written response, trying to resolve the issue with the poster, asking the website to step in, identifying an anonymous poster, using legal letters to threaten the poster and filing a lawsuit to seek damages and force removable. It’s a weighty issue because if you or a member of your team reacts badly to the negative attention, things can quickly spiral. The first thing I suggest is take a deep breath. Listening to the customer and trying to understand their issue is the second step to dealing with the customer. In terms of an online review or mention, responding to the customer is a must – but with a carefully thought out response. Consider in advance of a situation occurring brainstorming with your customer service team potential issues that could occur and jotting down responses. The Young Entrepreneur Council has a great post on 17 ways to deal with unhappy customers that should give you more defence moves to use.

5. Learn from Any Mistakes

This goes without saying but it’s so easy in this fast paced industry to forget to learn the lesson associated with the mistake. I’m of the firm belief that a lesson will keep repeating itself until it’s learned so really taking pause to examine how the issue could be avoided or circumvented in the future can go a long way to tactfully maintaining your brand reputation.

Any online reputation protection tips to share? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

Comments (0)
How Golf Courses Can Drive Off-Season Special Event Revenue [SlideShare]

Weddings are big business in Canada – this fact is a given. In 2014 alone there was over 160,000 weddings with an average cost of $30,000. But weddings aren’t the be all and end all when it comes to a golf course’s special events and food & beverage revenue. Corporate events, charity events and so much more can be attracted to drive off season event sales and keep the revenue flowing – and your staff paid.

Check out the below SlideShare to see how to successfully attract special events during the entire year and as a result, have more revenue to fund operational overhead during the off season. The presentation shares event ideas to stimulate cash flow during the off season and share real world examples that can be made into a seasonal event calendar that can be used as your working document for the upcoming year.

This presentation will also cover the following topics:

  • Where to market your golf course to attract events
  • What events to consider avoiding
  • How to create a holistic event calendar to easily refer to year after year

Interested in receiving a quote on our banquet tables, event chairs, or tabletop supplies?


Comments (0)
Can Melamine Platters and Bowls Stain?

Our melamine platters and bowls are a really popular line of serveware for party rental and caterers to purchase. We’ve seen a lot of really great feedback on the durability and look of the melamine – in particular that it looks almost identical to porcelain with more durability. Recently though, we had a potential customer stump us with a question we’d never been asked before about our melamine – can your melamine platters and bowls stain? This is a fantastic question to be asked and one we wanted to inquire about further – both so we had the knowledge for future reference and also to answer that customer’s concerns. So we set up an informal test to test whether our 14.5” square melamine platter would stain. Take a look at the test and results below:

1. Put a number of different acidic condiments and sauces on the platter. Top Left = Pasta Sauce. Top Middle = Mustard. Top Right = Ketchup. Bottom = curry powder mixed with water

Dirtying the Melamine Platter

2. Let the stains sit for a total of 37 hours before washing

Letting the Stains Set

3. Wash off Stains

Washing the Melamine Platter

4. Photograph the evidence

Melamine Platter Unstained

As you can see there is no staining that has taken place. Even with closer inspection it looks as if the acidic condiments did not even touch to glossy exterior finish of our melamine platter. Since our melamine platters and bowls are made at the same factory we assume that this test should apply to our entire line of melamine serveware.

If you’re interested in a quote for any of our melamine platters and melamine bowls including shipping to your location:

Comments (0)
Join us at the 2015 Golf Business Canada Show November 19

The National Event Supply team are heading to Lionhead Golf & Conference Center for the National Golf Course Owners Association’s Golf Business Canada Conference & Tradeshow. Be sure to stop by our booth #34 to say “hi” and check out what we have to offer your golf course for your banquets and restaurant needs.

General Managers, Food & Beverage Managers, and Chefs come to us when they need help buying their tabletop supplies and event equipment. We extend the life of event equipment by offering high quality products tested in the rental industry. We extend your budget on tabletop supplies by offering similar quality products at a lower cost so that you can focus on driving more revenue for your golf course.

This year we will be showcasing a hot new item we’re getting asked for more and more – the Crossback Chair. Rustic themed weddings are such a hot trend and the crossback chair is a perfect complement to these events paired with an 8 foot harvest table.

Cross Back Chairs

We will also be participating in a session Friday that we would love to have you join us for:

Date & Time: Friday November 20th 11:45AM – 1:00PM
Location: Hilton Meadowvale Conference Center
Room: McCallion AB Room
Session Title: How to Drive Off Season Event Sales for Year-Round Event Revenues

We look forward to seeing you November 19th or 20th!

Interested in seeing articles about special events, event trends and restaurant trends? Follow us on Twitter, FacebookLinkedIn or Google+.

Comments (0)