Okay, clearly your local Chinese restaurant isn’t offering any degrees or fancy certifications. However, I’m a big believer in that learning opportunities are everywhere (not just only in school). If you look hard enough and are curious enough, you can learn plenty without buying a degree.
Finances and budgeting: A meal can earn you $10, but $3 goes to ingredients, $1 goes to packaging, $2 goes towards labour hours, and you’ve still got bills to pay. I learned that not all the money that comes in the door is money you can keep. If you can’t keep your business profitable, you aren’t running a business. Stay profitable, stay in business.
Marketing: I regularly make Tiktok videos and make Instagram posts for our restaurant. Learning how to use the 2 marketing platforms while building an audience has worked wonders to get customers through the door (also partnering with influencers, artists, and other businesses brings more awareness in).
Team management: I help train new kitchen staff and talk with our team on a daily basis. Why? Because without your team, you have no-one to help keep your business running.
Operations and supply chain: all of our ingredients doubled in price over the past year alongside multiple Ontario lockdowns/un-lockdowns. How we managed these two and stayed afloat taught me so much about how changes in the province or country can drastically affect a small business.
Innovation and Tech: There’s a new generation of restaurants in town, and it’s kicking out the old folks (especially if they don’t keep themselves updated with the current operating system of society). Innovation and tech for us is Uber Eats, contactless payments, Google business, and an online presence.
This is only the tip of the iceberg from my time working at our restaurant.
Wherever you are in the world, I hope you take learning into your own hands and stay curious.