Food is so popular that there is even an entire network and channel completely devoted to it. The Food Network is a popular place for people to watch celebrity chefs show and tell how to create delicious dishes and for regular chefs to appear on TV and win contests.
Now, as someone who has made food not just part of your life, but also part of your profession, you may not have as much time as you’d like to watch TV because you are already so busy running your food establishment. And even if you do have some time, you may be more interested in watching shows that don’t feature food (a “keeping work at work” type of thing). But the Food Network can also be helpful for chefs and cooks who work in the food industry everyday.
The following are 3 things you can learn from watching the Food Network:
- People like to watch other people make food. Maybe it’s just because people are hungry, but there really is something about watching chefs make food that fascinates those of us who can’t even cook microwave popcorn without burning the house down. So, what can you learn? Well, one thing you might try is to take one of your recipes (probably not one of the more popular ones) and give a live demonstration to your customers on how to cook it. Now, this may not be something that everyone can or should do. If you want to keep your recipes secret, or you don’t have the personality to interact with people like that, or if you don’t think the demonstration would be popular in your area, then don’t worry about this idea. There are better ways you can spend your time. But if you think this idea is good for you, why not give it a try? The Food Network is proof that people want to watch food experts make food—and you are a food expert.
- It’s not all about taste. Yes, taste is important. People are not going to order your food if they don’t like it. But one of the things you can learn from the Food Network is how the judges on the competition shows decide which chef wins. In almost every case they use three different criteria: 1) Taste 2) Appearance 3) Creativity. What does this mean for you? It means if you are serving customers food with only one of these three aspects, you and the food may not be reaching your full potential. Taste is easy, but what does appearance mean for you? It means that the food should look impressive to the customer. It means the customer should feel they are getting enough food for their money. It means the food should not just be thrown on the plate “willy nilly.” Take time to give the food an appearance that would, ideally, make the customer want to take a picture of the food before they eat it. As far as creativity goes, finding ingenious ways to cook or serve the food can also increase customers. And while creativity may not be as important for your customers because, let’s face it, they would rather have their food fast and hot (or cold depending on the food), and you don’t have 45 minutes to cook three plates of food, it can still be good to occasionally experiment with a dish to see if you can make it a little better.
- You have an amazing skill. Ok, you probably already knew this, so this third lesson is one that those of us who don’t have that skill learn. You and the other chefs or cooks in the world—such as those on the Food Network—have an amazing skill, and we appreciate you using it to feed us. It isn’t easy to invent new dishes and experiment until you get it right. It isn’t easy to work day after day over a hot grill or out in all kinds of weather. Occasionally us non-chefs watch a show on the Food Network and think, “I could do that. It doesn’t look that hard.” Well, guess what? When we try, it is an epic failure. We just don’t have that gift. You do, so keep up the great work.
Do you have other lessons you learned from the Food Network? Want to comment on the lessons we listed here? Please comment below.
BY LYNDSEY LARSEN
Lyndsey Larsen is the Marketing Manager for FLIP and writes about business, marketing, entrepreneurship, and insurance.
Lyndsey Larsen is an experienced writer with a background in corporate communications and nonprofits, SAAS corporations, and nutraceutical companies. She has previously worked as a journalist for regional and national publications. In her spare time, she enjoys chasing butterflies, rockhounding, and spending time with her two kids in Utah’s mountains or deserts. Find Lyndsey on LinkedIn.