Time management and productivity are super important in any restaurant and hold as much importance as getting the food prepared and out to a customer. When we asked Chef Ma about the most time consuming part of being a chef, personnel management is definitely a large part of the job between hiring and management issues. Chef Ma recalls his past restaurants. He went from running a 28-seat restaurant with a moderate staff to a large staff running a 90+ seat restaurant. At Kyirisan, an intimate space with 60+ seats, he still has a large staff and spends a good chunk of his time managing staff. There is a great deal more detail here due to being new to DC and the spotlight brought on by garnering a Michelin Star ranking for 2017.
There is a certain level of expectation when you have that kind of attention. Chef Ma likes to delegate by giving his staff ownership of their area – whether it is the Savory department, Pastry department, dish room or front of the house. (I was lucky enough to experience this first hand when I visited Kyirisan as our waiter went above and beyond to describe the various and amazing items on the menu and detailed journey of the cocktails.)
A close second to personnel management is keeping track of inventory.
Ideally, the Kyirisan staff would take inventory one time per week on the same day at the same time in order to get a consistent snapshot of their inventory – a task that could take about 2-3 hours a week in the back-of-the-house and another 2-3 hours per week in the bar. They don’t have time for in-depth inventory in this fast-paced restaurant, and with over 100 bottles of liquor, 20+ bottles of wine, a selection of beer and weighing beer kegs – it is a large investment of time.
With the introduction of the BlueCart platform, and only six weeks in, Chef Ma has yet to experience the inventory functionality of BC, but does see the benefit of having all orders in one place as well as all ordering history.
As he is still diving in with this robust platform, he does see the power in the data and analytics it allows. For instance, if he ordered 20 pounds of Brussel sprouts last week and only 7 this week, he can look at the analytics and see why that was the case. Or, if he is consistently ordering more of a product than expected, this gives him leverage to talk with his supplier about pricing, which could be quite a boon to the bottom line!
To read more about Tim Ma and his zero waste journey, visit Zero Waste Kitchen.
Tim Ma is a BlueCart user and advocate. For more information on being as efficient and sustainable as Tim, visit BlueCart.