Keys to success | in the restaurant business.

an interview with chef John Moogan from lvcchefs.

I’m so thrilled for this conversation with chef John Moogan about how to thrive in the culinary world during the Pandemic.
With his expertise and experiences, not only that he is the perfect person to ask, but he is the most knowledgeable, sincere, and open-minded person anyone can talk to.

What you’ll learn:

  • what area do restaurant owners need to focus during the Pandemic?
  • what skills do people need to have in the culinary industry?
  • some tips to become a successful chef.


Selvia: In what area should food business owners need to focus on during this Pandemic to keep thriving in their area? 

John:  If you are a restaurant business owner, and your income depends on inside dining, there are things you could do to stay afloat:

  1. Simplify your menu. Find a dish that sells the most with the lowest cost to make. 
  2. Cost utilizing employees. Cross-training your employees within the company is very important to lower the labor costs. Utilizing a particular area to do multiple duties. i.e: train a busboy to become a server, or train people who work in the prep area to become a cook, etc.
  3. Offer take out and delivery. This is a crucial step to maintain your sales. By doing that, you’ll bring more value by the convenience, effectiveness, and safety.
  4. Open communication with the sales/marketing department. Make sure that your marketing department is in line with your vision, plans, and goals so they can market your products and company to the right audience. 
  5. Focus on the food and operational cost of the kitchen. This means to take a proper inventory, don’t order more than you need, track waste and usage. Every plate should pay for the restaurant operation like the rent, the staff, and the utility. This is important because when you know how much exactly the plate costs, you know how much to charge. 


Selvia: What is the most important skill people need to have in the culinary world? 

John: Aside from going to a culinary school to get basic skills and trainings, these are the things for young graduated students could do to start their career in the culinary industry: 

  1. Start by getting a job while you’re in school. This means get a job or an internship in the industry. As it is important to have a basic skill, you also need to know how to work under pressure. Start working at any level of the restaurant, and learn from people who are already successful in the industry. 
  2. Know how to work. Be on time, be respectful to others, and the ability to keep learning is key to become successful. A strong work ethic will bring you a long way. 
  3. Be passionate about what you’re doing. I think this applies to any career field you’re pursuing. Without passion, it will be very difficult to stay motivated and stay in line. So whatever you do, make sure it aligns with your passions and dreams. 


Selvia: Could you give a piece of advice to share with business owners or students who are in the culinary field? 

John: If I can sum it up, these are the things that I think it’s important to thrive in the culinary world:

  1. Be on board to excel as a chef. Working in the restaurant industry is not rocket science, but it takes dedication and commitment. Just like any other job, be passionate about what you do. When you do what your heart desires, most likely it will make the process easier for you, and you’ll be successful. 

  2. Keep doing what you’re doing. If you are a student, keep learning and get a job anywhere to get the experience. Offer your service for free if you need to. By doing that, you’ll learn so much more in the real world, and the payback will benefit you greatly. 

  3. Make the kitchen fiscally sounds. This means you need to know and understand your food cost, manage your waste, and know your overhead expenses. Business owners must know that their purveyors are suffering as well and are willing to do almost anything to get business right now. So call them into the office, and explain that you need the best offers you can get from them. 



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