FAQ

Why can’t we reach our goals ourselves?  Why hire a culinary consultant?
What does CCS do?
What kind of benefits can I expect when hiring CCS?
Why choose Customized Culinary Solutions as a business advisor?
How much do your services cost?
What are my payment options and payment schedules?
How does CCS stay up-to-date and current on the culinary arts?  What ongoing training do you complete?
If I were to contract CCS, what will my ROI be?
Do you have a list of references I can contact?
With whom from CCS will I work directly from?
I’m not in the Chicago-area.  Will you travel to provide your services?
What kind of licensing and insurance do you carry and what does that cover?
How can we start working together?
With what organizations is Customized Culinary Solutions affiliated?

 

Why can’t we reach our goals ourselves?  Why hire a culinary consultant?

Sometimes when wondering why we can’t progress, we find that one of the missing ingredients is having someone around who will “tell it like it is.”  Other times, it’s the need for innovations and creativity, new ideas, improvements and an outside analysis to carry a business onward.  Find someone off which you can bounce ideas.  Many companies hire someone with that new spark to burn through competition.  The right culinary consultant can do for your kitchen and staff what a new, creative hire might be made to do, but at a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time, highly-skilled employee.  You could have everything your company needs with a skilled culinary consultant.

What does CCS do?

Customized Culinary Solutions is an organization committed to helping and improving our clients and their organizations (you!).  We take our outside unique experiences from all over the business inside to yours, and we hit you where it matters most:  operations.  CCS provides leadership and mentoring for your kitchen staff, your operations leaders and your chefs to improve everything from kitchen design and equipment to menus and recipes.  Together, we will collaborate to put together great food for your clients.  Our goal is to form a stellar long-term relationship to maximize your organization’s benefit and optimization.

What kind of benefits can I expect when hiring CCS?

We tailor the benefits specifically for you, but some things carry over throughout all projects and retainers.  For example, you’ll receive the following:

  • Free initial consultation
  • A manageable, fixed monthly cost
  • No employee costs
  • Telephone support
  • Unrealized productivity
  • Faster implementation of programs
  • Deliverable, usable and realistic operational tools
  • A dedicated focus on your particular needs
  • A long-term partnership
  • An on-call expert of the culinary arts
  • An investment in your long-term success

Why Choose Customized Culinary Solutions as a business advisor?

A business advisor is supposed to help a business owner or key decision maker to define and achieve specific goals.  CCS sings specifically to food service and related industries because we can focus on helping the business move forward rather than reacting to the day-to-day business of managing operations.  It’s a tough, fast-paced industry in which Customized Culinary Solutions is extremely comfortable working.

How much do your services cost?

The initial introductory visit and analysis is free of charge.  We don’t bill you anything unless we’re coming in to do work for you.  CCS’ fees are based on a variable hourly rate (based on the type of work and scope of the project).  Our on-call facilitation and support fee is based on a mutually agreed upon number of hours per week and is billed monthly for advisors to provide hands-on assistance and telephone support whenever you need it.

For projects, CCS will give you a written estimate of hours needed to meet the objective(s).  Those hours will be billed monthly as well.

What are my payment options and payment schedules?

Your organization has several relationship options with CCS.  These are based on hourly rates, and hourly rates vary based on the type of work.  Project-based services are estimated for specific deliverables and are paid on a per-project basis.  Monthly retainers are based on an agreed number of hours of work per month.

Customized Culinary Solutions will bill you upon completion of the project, or at the end of the month for retainers, and we only bill you for billable hours.

How does CCS stay up-to-date and current on the culinary arts?  What ongoing training do you complete?

There are many ways that people in the industry stay up-to-date on what’s rolling in the culinary world.  Customized Culinary Solutions does it through educating our staff, reading publications, working with vendors, attending trade shows and competing in culinary competitions like the Culinary Olympics.  We also stay fresh through re-certification through American Culinary Federation (ACF) and our Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI).  All of these methods challenge us to stay fresh and ahead of the rest.

If I were to contract CCS, what will my ROI be?

In addition to providing improved operations, efficiency and other intangible backstage aspects of your business, CCS also provides a scope of work tangible work.  Such tangibles may include documentation, manuals, processes, action plans, menus, recipes, directions, forms, reports and more.

Do you have a list of references I can contact?

We do, in fact, have several clients that would be happy to provide references.  We do, however, value our clients’ privacy.  A list of references will be provided upon request.

With whom from CCS will I work directly from?

All clients will initially work directly with Chef John Reed.  Together, we will pool our ideas to figure out the project or retainer, and then you will either continue working with Chef John or with whoever from CCS is most appropriate for your specific needs.

I’m not in the Chicago-area.  Will you travel to provide your services?

Of course.  For work that requires travel, there are flat daily rates, though travel and expenses are not included in that rate.

What kind of licensing and insurance do you carry and what does that cover?

CCS carries LLC, general liability and workman’s compensation insurance, and CCS is a registered business with the state.

How can we start working together?

All you have to do is contact us by email or telephone.  Once we come together, we will discuss your goals, review your scope of work and complete an operation analysis.  Then we will get you a proposal with a work agreement, written estimate and project management outline with loads of details.  Once we sign on the dotted lines, then we let the fun begin.

With what organizations is Customized Culinary Solutions affiliated?

CCS is affiliated with the following organizations: