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Chef consultants and their fees involve more than someone walking in and tossing out your entire menu. They also bring certified, experienced and professional help. Your dive bar-owning Uncle may have years of experience, but he’s not the go-to guy for training your staff in sous vide, cold smoking meats, manufacturing and marketing your house salad dressing or menu costing.

If your specials aren’t selling, the menu’s outmoded and there’s no creativity in your culinary concepts, the consultant’s goal is to review everything, from suppliers and storage to preparation and presentation, food handling practices, cost and flow. What’s on those plates is your centerpiece; if those plates keep coming back to the kitchen half-consumed, that’s your profits consumed by waste.