With over 30 years’ experience working in some of the top restaurants & hotels in the world, and accruing a Michelin Star in the process, John Wood certainly has the expertise when it comes to knowing exactly what it takes to not only run a successful working kitchen but also a lucrative restaurant business.
Kitchen CUT co-founder John explains: “One of the biggest challenges I’ve come across as an Exec Chef, Restaurant owner and Consultant, is that training beyond culinary skills, particularly business and financial management, is not extensively or consistently covered in this industry. Chefs are escalating up through the ranks in brigades and find themselves in senior positions without the necessary skills to successfully manage their kitchens – both financially and operationally. This was part of my motivation for setting up Kitchen CUT – to create somewhere where chefs could easily manage their F&B costs, but also have intelligent business analytics at the touch of a button that can give them real insights in to their business performance.
Typically our members are seeing between a 3-5% improvement on their food cost – operating in an industry where a change of 1% in food cost could make the difference between a restaurant opening and closing, it’s business critical to monitor and have control of these figures.
John felt so passionately about the need for greater business management training that he has spent three years developing the concept, before launching Kitchen CUT – a revolutionary all-in-one operations tool for F&B professionals, giving them the complete digital kitchen. Having spent years working with various systems, spreadsheets and forms, John knew what worked and what didn’t and what would make life easier for time-poor chefs.
I want to give back to an industry that has given me so much, which is why in 2014 we launched our student package which allows colleges free access for them and their students to use Kitchen CUT as a training tool to help explain and cost out recipes. I am also committing my time to give lectures as some of the colleges in the UK to share my knowledge and experience, explains John.
With the launch of KCV3, we are looking to connect with educational facilities around the world and extend this offering to any culinary courses. Last year we started working with Le Cordon Bleu, the world-leading Culinary School. They have integrated Kitchen CUT as part of one of the modules on their course.
Kitchen Cut is an excellent resource for culinary education as students learn the true importance of food costing, menu engineering and kitchen management through an efficient platform which is relevant to the current industry needs, Lecturer, Le Cordon Bleu
To fully understand the experience and skills John has to offer, it is important to outline his diverse and extensive career. John has worked both nationally and internationally at some of the best establishments in the world and has a proven track record of running and being an integral part of some very successful and innovative kitchens and restaurants. In his last full time role, John expanded his knowledge to cover the front of house areas, as F&B Director and Executive Chef at the Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire, which has given him a greater understanding of the service side of an operation.
John’s career has taken him to Europe, Asia, South Africa and Dubai, working only in 5* establishments including the Vier Jahreszeiten in Hamburg, the Mount Nelson, Cape Town, and the Island Shangri-la, Hong Kong. He also worked extensively in the UK at the prestigious Savoy, The Dorchester and the Cliveden hotels. The latter at which John gained a Michelin star in Waldo’s restaurant.
After many years in large operations, John’s desire to prove himself in a standalone restaurant operation led him to take the position of Executive Chef at the highly successful Chapter One on the outskirts of London. He also set up and opened a second operation during his time there, Chapter Two in Blackheath. The lure of the world famous 7 star Burj-al-Arab hotel in Dubai was enough to tempt him back into hotels for his final executive chef position.
John has achieved a Michelin star, 4 AA Rosettes and 8 out of 10 in the good food guide, all of which prove his outstanding ability in a kitchen brigade, whilst always remaining focused on the financial success of a business. John has managed international teams from 10 to 500 chefs in award winning multi outlet operations with large banqueting operations, catering up to 5000 covers. After working as a chef for over 25 years in the hospitality industry, John Wood set up his own consultancy business in 2007 and launched Kitchen CUT with his business partners in 2012.