New menu ideas by Kitchen CUT - Global Recipe Costing Software -

New menu ideas

Chefs often get caught between a rock and a hard place with managers requesting new dishes for menus, but time being tight. Inspiring your team to help develop new menu ideas to keep the boss happy is a good starting point…
We would all love to able to find a few more hours in the day, but it’s not possible. However, here you may find some useful advice on how you can achieve this balance. First of all, you cannot always find time or call up your imagination at will to create new dishes, but if you plan better you can get there. Remember a chef is not an island. Start by sitting around a table with your chefs and managers – decide together when you are going to change your menus, when you are going to write seasonal and special occasion menus; and then put a deadline of when these changes need to be done by so you have something clear to aim for. [See our article on menu planning here]. Decide on a day when you are going to have this meeting and stick to it no matter what happens. Once you’ve had your meeting, task your chefs with creating dishes for different parts of the menus, maybe giving them two or three dishes each to come up with for every menu change: include yourself in this target-giving.
Doing this will focus you and the team on what you have to do to achieve the end result (eg read books and look at other menus and websites for inspiration). Before you know it you’ll have an excited, innovative and motivated team that is talking about new dishes instead of looking to you for all the answers. Another thing that works well is starting a “dish of the month” competition – get your team members to present you with new dishes they’ve created every month (which you can photograph and cost using Kitchen CUT and keep a record). The winner to be chosen by you and your sous chef. You could give a prize for the best dish – eg a bottle of wine, a new cookery book, dinner for two in your restaurant…or a year’s membership to Kitchen CUT Solo package!

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