Should restaurant owners attend culinary school?

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Many people, including entrepreneurs, believe that the best way to learn something is by doing it—to jump in and get going, making course corrections and pivoting as necessary.

Maybe you’re a restaurant owner who did exactly that. Whether you had already worked as a chef or elsewhere in a kitchen—or simply had a great idea—you took your shot.

What’s next? What’s the next step to take your business to another level? Does culinary school make sense for a business owner who’s already in the thick of things?

That’s ultimately for you to decide, but the answer is likely yes. As you’ve probably figured out by now, great food is just the start. Day-to-day restaurant operations also require business and budgeting skills, marketing, interpersonal abilities, sanitation and safety rules, and the maintenance of a building.

A restaurant owner is responsible for a multitude of tasks, all of which are interconnected, but each one is different. Learn how culinary school could help.

The bottom line can make or break a restaurant’s success.

The industry is notoriously run on slim profit marginsThe difference can be as much as two to six per cent.

Escoffier’s online degree and diploma programs in Culinary Arts include introductory courses focused on yield cost analysis, portion sizing, and how to reduce waste. And the school’s Hospitality & Restaurant Management and Food Entrepreneurship programs put a keen focus on the business side of hospitality ventures.

Learn how to control costs to turn a profit

Students in the Foodservice Math & Accounting course are introduced to accounting, budgeting, and metrics that are specific to restaurants and food and beverage business.

“Graduating from Escoffier it gave me a better understanding of how to approach certain matters in the kitchen as well as helped me understand the business portion of it.”*

Dannie White III

Escoffier Online Culinary Arts Graduate

Stay Relevant by Knowing Food Trends & Crafting Creative Menus

The culinary school environment will keep you on top of the latest trends and inspire your creativity. You can better stay organized. TrendsettersYou can use this to better understand your customers. This allows you keep your favorite products while also Getting creative with your mealYou can even change the design of your menu.

You might be interested in world cuisine, seasonal menus, sustainability, or seasonal menus as you explore the course offerings. Zero-waste cooking. Escoffier’s Plant-Based Culinary ArtThe program can introduce students a popular way of eating and cooking that is potentially sustainable.

The following are some of the ways to get in touch with each other: Farm to Table Experience®The focus is on locally-grown and sustainable foods. It explores concepts, such as traditional vs. untraditional farming as well as the impact on land and marine animal-based foods as practiced worldwide. Escoffier’s programs can expose students to a wide range of cuisines from around the globe, which can help entrepreneurs stay up-to-date in the culinary field.

A hand holding a pencil above a notebook, with a laptop in the background and a latte in the foreground, out of focus

Aside from the culinary aspect, the business side of running your own restaurant requires a different set of skills.

Make Your Company More Attractive for Potential Investors

In addition to the foundational skills and acumen that can improve your culinary and business chops, culinary school might also provide you with some virtual gold stars to burnish your and your establishment’s reputations.

This extra cachet could also impress potential investors and help you expand or improve your business. Investors typically appreciate business owners who have “skin in the game” and have invested in their businesses and their ongoing knowledge of an industry.

A degree can show your expertise and commitment in the culinary field and to potential investors.

It can be used as a tool to help you with your everyday tasks. Marketing planThis can help you stand out from the crowd. Any awards or recognitions that you have received at school could also impress potential clients and investors. This type of expertise and know-how could be part your positioning statementClarify the image you want to give your restaurant.

Culinary Career Guide Cover

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Sharpen Your Existing Skill

You probably entered the restaurant industry with a set skills that you thought would propel you to success. And maybe they did. You can always improve your culinary skills, whether you learned them on the spot, were trained in an official environment, or were self-taught.

The following are some skills and knowledge every person should be proficient in knife skills, kitchen hierarchySafety, business principles and how to operate commercial equipment. Escoffier offers a variety of courses that can enhance your knowledge or teach you new skills.

Lance McWortherHe credits his education for much of his success. He’s been able to apply many of the skills he learned at culinary school in his Texas-based restaurant Culture ETX.

“Even when I was the executive chef, I still needed to learn. I still had to grow. Everything about you—your cooking chops, your palate, your knowledge base, your creativity-—need to always be expanding.”*

Lance McWhorther

Lance McWhorther

Escoffier Online Graduate; Executive Chef/Owner, CultureETX; Food Network’s “Chopped” Contestant

Restaurants are in business with people

Behind the clattering plates and bowls of restaurant equipment and the hum are the people. As a restaurant owner, you interact with employees, customers, contractors, inspectors, investors, and more—so it’s imperative that your people skills are as impressive as your feature dishes.

Learn How to Manage Employees Effectively

In certain Escoffier courses, students can explore topics like employee motivation and training, as well as how to create a positive and safe work environment.

The classes may also include how to improve. communication skills, communication differences between cultures, and conflict resolution.

These skills will not only help you communicate with your employees but also maintain good relationships with vendors and clients.

A person wearing a white chef coat and black chef’s hat holds a tray of baguettes and smiles at a person standing in the foreground with their back to the camera.

It’s important for restaurant owners to understand how to work with a variety of people and personalities.

Network with Other Professionals

NetworkingEscoffier has a wide range of opportunities for you to learn this skill. You can meet people with a wide range of goals and experience, from those that have worked in the kitchen for decades to business owners.

Escoffier’s Chef Instructors have varied experience in entrepreneurship, plus you’ll interact with other students and alumni. An ExternshipIt can also help you improve your skills and expose you to new people.

Graduates can also join. Escoffier Alumni Association. This online group gives you access to job boards and career development opportunities.

Keep up with local food regulations to create a safe working environment

As part of the Culinary Arts program, Escoffier’s Culinary Foundations course spends time on food safety and sanitation, focusing on the importance of proper food handling, food storage, cleaning, and pest control. This course also takes you through material found on the ServSafe® exam with lecture, knowledge checks, and food safety-related quizzes.

Students getting an associate degree or online diplomaCulinary Arts students can take the Culinary Entrepreneurship class and learn more about business planning, government regulations and the food service industry.

The dining public tends to place high value on establishments that demonstrate exceptional safety and sanitation practices—and so do employees.

Culinary School: A Competitive Edge

There’s a difference between knowing how to do something and knowing how to do it professionally. Culinary schools can help you prepare for a competitive environment or sharpen your existing skills and mindset.

An education at Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts can also include programs in Hospitality & Restaurant Operations Management and Food EntrepreneurshipEscoffier offers programs in six specialties. Escoffier offers six specialties The range is from 30 to 72 weeks. You can complete a degree program in as few as 30 weeks.

Running a restaurant requires a lot of work and has many different components. You can better understand the business side as a student of culinary school and then transfer these skills to your own business ventures by examining the business aspect. Take the first step to your business goals. Contact us today.

Discover more ways to improve your restaurant career:

This article was originally published on June 2, 2021 and has been updated.

*Information may not reflect every student’s experience. Results and outcomes are influenced by a variety of factors, including geography or prior experience.

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