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Dyne N’ Out Ep. 2: Craig D’Cruze

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This is Dyne N’ Out! Dyne’s new podcast is all about connecting community and food through good conversations! Catch the full episode here or read the full conversation below!

Parsa: And we’re live. Welcome Crag welcome everybody to the latest episode of Dyne N’ Out we have Craig D’Cruze joining us, Craig how are you doing?

Craig D’Cruze: I’m doing good Parsa. How about yourself?

Parsa: I’m doing pretty good as well, a sunny day for once in Vancouver and I’m thrilled about it.

Craig D’Cruze: Yeah.

Parsa: Where are you joining us from today?

Craig D’Cruze: I’m in Calgary, Alberta. We got Vancouver weather it’s cloudy and raining over here

Parsa: You are at the stampede?

Craig D’Cruze: No I was actually in Toronto visiting family so I bypassed the whole stampede stuff which is normally the game plan. For us you know, being I’ve lived in Calgary for over thirty years now and everyone that’s lived here a while is stampeded out.

Parsa: So for the viewers and listeners, tell us a little about yourself; who are you, how you got started, Calgary, Toronto, what have you been up to?

Craig D’Cruze: Sure, so I’ve lived in Calgary since I was nine years old, we moved from Toronto when I was little. My background is, I was for the last  twenty three years and I worked in the restaurant industry all over Canada and North America and then I became an investor, we do angel investing and seed and pre seed round investing with small tech startups. The company we run is called Inverted Ventures and we run half of the company out of Calgary and the other half we have incorporated in the Cayman Islands and you know just been looking at all types of new tech companies and companies that are doing cool things to change the human experience and DYNE is one of those.

Parsa: Yeah it and so one of our investors as well and we’re always really appreciative of your mentorship and tootelage so as a chef I mean you probably know how to cook but if you have to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be yeah?

Craig D’Cruze: Wow chicken wings

Parsa: Chicken? Wings?

Craig D’Cruze: Wings yeah.

Parsa: Oh.

Craig D’Cruze: That’s kind of like it it’s…

Parsa: Ah.

Craig D’Cruze: …one of my favourite foods in terms of um you know just eating with your hands I love eating with your hands or like getting messy but it’s one of those things where it’s it’s kind of food that you bond with people and you know you go out and have you know, drinks.

Parsa: Oh.

Craig D’Cruze: With the guys or drinks with you know have a few wings I’ve always enjoyed those. If I was gonna have a fancy meal the rest of my life um

Parsa: Yeah

Craig D’Cruze: It would probably be um that’s a really hard one. I’d probably have something like you know braised beef short rib or something like that you know with really nice white potato or something like that.

Parsa: Yea and so do you think that like one of those elitist or frowned upon by your industry and one of them is like approved.

Craig D’Cruze: Um I would say the chicken wings are the most approved approved.

Parsa: Yeah.

Craig D’Cruze: By the industry you know the one thing about chefs that we all joke about is you know we cook this amazing food for people every day you know we’re doing you know flamin n and foie gras and lobster and after we’re done cooking we all go to the bar we grab a jug of beer have nachos and chicken wings.

Craig D’Cruze: And end our day you know like we cook all this great food and just eat garbage after and that’s…

Parsa: Oh.

Craig D’Cruze: …kind of that’s the way it is. I think that if you were to ask any chef what would be one of their favourite foods it would easily be something from a bar.

Parsa: Yeah.

Craig D’Cruze: Yeah.

Parsa: And so along that path sort of what’s one sort of common myth about restaurants.

Craig D’Cruze: Oh.

Parsa: And restaurant that people don’t really know about.

Craig D’Cruze: I would say one myth would be that you know you make a lot of money it’s one of those things that you know a lot of people think that okay if you own you know one

or two restaurants or three restaurants that you’re rich. Um the restaurant industry is a

hard industry it’s a grind all day everyday you’re you’re fighting fifteen different fires

every day and then still making a minimal profit at the end so I think that that’s one of the misconceptions of the industry.

Craig D’Cruze: Also another misconception of the industry I feel is that it’s easy people just think you know well i have a little extra money or you know I has no money and I did this let’s

open a restaurant because you know I make food that my family tells me is good well it’s not the same. It’s such a hard industry to get in but personally that it’s a little too easy to get into.

Craig D’Cruze: It’s one of those things that anybody as long as you have money can get into it but if you have money you can open up a dentist office you need to be a licensed

dentist or doctor and have all these criteria so why is it any different you know for the restaurant industry? Anybody can get in and for a lot of the times a lot of people shouldn’t get in because it is hard and  a lot of people lose money.

Parsa: So are there sort of some key lessons you learned over your career as a restaurant that helped you sort of stay above that brand line in some way?

Craig D’Cruze: Yeah it’s all about…

Parsa: Yeah.

Craig D’Cruze: …management you have to treat it like a business exactly what it is I think a lot of people fall in love with it and you know want to have this place where um you know

Parsa: Oh.

Craig D’Cruze: You can get caught up in it where you know you you’re having friends come all the time and family and you don’t necessarily want to charge them full price. And you know there’s all these things but you’re running really tight margins so more the more free meals you’re given out to friends and family the less money you’re making on the margins, on anything that your guests come and any extra people that come in.

Craig D’Cruze: Like every seat that’s in that restaurant is dollars right, each seat is worth, you know, ten to fifteen thousand dollars a year so or if not more depending on the restaurant. So you know if you have some people that are there getting free meals whatever it’s tough so I think that one of the big things that i’ve learned was treated like a business

Craig D’Cruze: You know yeah you can help people out, give people meals all that type of stuff no problem but you have to treat it like you are penny pinching and I think a lot of the good restaurant tours are the ones that are considered the cheap restaurateurs.

Craig D’Cruze: There they’re very much money driven in a way but you have to be it’s it’s your business, your livelihood, that’s what is going to pay your mortgage.

Craig D’Cruze: That’s what’s going to pay the people in your industry like the people in the restaurant that you are working, that are working for you. You have to make sure you have the weight of them on your shoulders as well because you need to make sure that they’re able to pay their bills and that they’re happy. So it’s a very big circle that you need to be aware of when you go in a restaurant.

Parsa: Sort of i wanted to hear more about how do you transition from that sort of chef and doing a lot of cooking to the on managerial side what’s that process looking like?

Craig D’Cruze: Okay so I would say that you know when you’re starting off, I mean I kind of knew since I was about ten years old that I wanted to be a chef. That was kind of one of those things I always enjoyed cooking. My family really loves food. My mom was a great great cook, um you know my grandma, my aunts, everybody were really great cooks and food was always a central part of our life every party, every day whatever it was every…

Parsa: Yeah.

Craig D’Cruze: …family gets together there was food and it was always good so I always wanted to. I always loved cooking and helping my mom out in the kitchen. So I said you know I’m going to be a chef, I think I’m going to do that and you know as you get in you just want to cook right so you go to cooking school and you’re learning how to you make all these dishes and create these recipes and create your own menus.

Craig D’Cruze: And then you get into the industry and all of that’s kind of shut down and you’re just cooking you are just making you know you’re cleaning vegetables and you’re chopping…

Parsa: Yeah.

Craig D’Cruze: …stuff and that’s about it but I think that one of the big things is that when you start moving up the ranks as you start progressing and getting promoted and getting more responsibilities in the kitchen you actually ah end up cooking less so the higher you get the less you cook because you are more of a manager.

Craig D’Cruze: You are overseeing, you can’t be there necessarily making a soup, not keeping an eye on your team.

Craig D’Cruze: And then when you know you become the executive chef you don’t really do much cooking any more you don’t necessarily get hired on what you can cook. You get hired, how do you control numbers, how do you manage a team, how do you build a team, how do you keep your team, how do you keep your labour in check. How or how are you managing the role.

Craig D’Cruze: So the transition for me was relatively easy. I’m pretty good at numbers, always have been. My backup is you know when I was doing the cooking school and stuff like that was I was going to be an accountant if I wasn’t going to be a chef because I’m very numbers driven and focused on numbers.

Craig D’Cruze: So I kind of knew that I could step into that role and figure out food costing and how to control labour and how do you know look at the P & L sheets and things like that, do those things. So that was a big transition um where I didn’t get to do what I really love doing which was cooking and then I got to do something that I liked doing which was the numbers but..

Parsa: Right.

Craig D’Cruze: …as a leader I always found it that you know I would I would tell my higher ups my bosses that like as the chef I want to do both. I’ll get your numbers fixed and I’ll do everything that you need to do but I need to be on the floor.

Craig D’Cruze: Personally I need to be motivated by being able to cook and to be able to do that, so I always juggled those two. I felt really well was that I would make sure that I’d have a couple of days a week that I could be on the floor and the other time i would you know do

some longer days just to make sure I could get all the numbers and do the meetings and do all those things.

Parsa: So do you feel that it’s sort of the duty of the executive type of chef to still have some time spent in the on the floor cooking and sometime balanced in managerial or should you choose one and trying to stick to what you do best?

Craig D’Cruze: Um I would say do both, I think it’s in the best interest of any leader it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in whether you’re a chef or whatever. I think if you’re if you’re a leader and you have people or let’s say on the front lines doing now the work and getting things done as the leader I always think that you should know what’s going on. Yes you have you know other managers, you know operational managers, whatever it may be in the kitchen. It’s a sous chef or a chef de parti or whatever that are running things but as leader, as the chef he should kind of know what everyone’s doing at all times and be able to work on the floor with them.

Craig D’Cruze: I can tell you coming up, I’d be on the line and we would have chefs you would see them come on the line and you go on now because they would just come on and screw everything up and you would it’s a very militaristic regimented society in the kitchen so you would just go yes chef everything is great, everything is great, and then they would you know do their couple dishes act like they did great. We would tell them they did great, they’d leave and we would re-make them. We’ve got to get this pack done the right way because they just didn’t know what was going on.

Craig D’Cruze: I appreciate that they tried to help but I never wanted to be that guy. I never wanted to be the chef that comes on the line or goes on the floor and they’re like okay here we go. I wanted them to go oh sweet we’re gonna have some help and everything is going to be great now that chef’s here.

Craig D’Cruze: So that’s the way I look at it. I think all leaders including chefs need to be on the floor not all the time because it’s not feasible some of the time just to be there and know what’s going on.

Parsa: Yes and sort of in the ideal world if you had to really just pick one would you want to be on the floor are you really the numbers guy?

Craig D’Cruze: If I could pick one I’d be on the floor.

Parsa: Yeah.

Craig D’Cruze: I love I love cooking, love every aspect of cooking. A lot of people don’t like, you know, like the cutting and clipping of stuff right, like oh I have to peel carrots and I

have to dice potatoes and I have to, i love that stuff where…

Parsa: Yeah.

Craig D’Cruze: …I’m in the zone if if I need to distress I’ll cook something I…

Parsa: That’s the same with me.

Craig D’Cruze: Yeah, right?

Parsa: Yeah.

Craig D’Cruze: I’ll just take the time to do it because it’s in a way for me, it’s you don’t have to think much, but it’s it’s the movement of hands I’m not sitting there you know staring at something. I’m there just cooking doing my thing.

Parsa: Definitely.

Craig D’Cruze: Yeah.

Parsa: And so you know you started twenty some odd years ago in the sort of chef space. A lot of the restaurateurs who are still these restaurateurs are facing a lot of troubles from covid and you know that’s been a big big blow to the whole industry with like a million restaurants going bankrupt and all those families…

Craig D’Cruze: Yeah.

Parsa: …being affected, talk about you…

Craig D’Cruze: Yeah.

Parsa: …know how the pathemic affected you now your business, your industry and how you’ve seen it sort of change the way the restaurants operate.

Craig D’Cruze: I can say that the way it changed the industry was it made an already resilient industry much more resilient. People had to grind and figure out what you just didn’t make it and like you said a million people didn’t make it to no fault of their own.

Craig D’Cruze: Some it might have been they just didn’t want to change and go the route of let’s say using delivery apps and things like that but there was a way of if you have a free standing restaurant and you can get food out the door. find a way to do it if there’s no customers coming in the door.

Craig D’Cruze: I think a lot of people did that, the one thing I think that changed the industry during covid was and this is you know in the restaurant industry especially because it was one of the hardest.

Craig D’Cruze: I guess by this labour shortage and things like that was that people in the way figured out their worth. Um and I think that’s the big thing you know hear about the great resignation and people make it sound like it’s a bad thing.

Craig D’Cruze: I personally do not think it’s it’s a bad thing. I think it’s actually a pretty good thing that the workers, the working class have figured out their worth and won’t settle for less. If you can do something else and make you know a little less money or even a little more money and not have to deal with some of the bad things that are in restaurant industry and why not do it.

Craig D’Cruze: I think this is going to fundamentally change the aspect of how kitchens are run, how restaurants are run. I can tell you that the industry was already changing before covid.

Parsa: Yeah.

Craig D’Cruze: Um where you can’t have guys like Gordon Ramsey yelling and throwing pots and pans and things like that at you. That’s how i grew up in…

Parsa: Oh.

Craig D’Cruze: …the kitchen and it’s not a fun place. And it was one of those things that

like all the chefs in Calgary now that I grew up with where we were apprentices together and came through the ranks together.

Parsa: Yeah.

Craig D’Cruze: We said we’re never going to be those guys, let’s deal with it now because we want to build our industry we want to build our resume and be good chefs but we never want to be those guys.

Parsa: Yeah.

Craig D’Cruze: Yeah so we we never wanted to be those guys in the industry that would yell and scream and berate somebody in attack them. Personally because something went wrong in a kitchen where you’re human things go wrong right so I think that that’s where a lot of this is going to change a lot.

Craig D’Cruze: The industry is going to change for the better where people are just going to be treated the way they should be treated. Paid a little bit better to um you know sustain the way restaurants should be run like every other business.

Craig D’Cruze: People should get paid for overtime people shouldn’t have to

work two hours over their schedule shift just because it’s busy and not get paid.

A lot of these different practices happen and I think they’re going to stop happening

because people have left the restaurant industry in droves because now they can work over zoom and you know do another type of job and make you know a couple

bucks more an hour. If not more, and not have to deal with an environment

where you know it’s fairly abusive sometimes in certain certain places.

Parsa: That’s good to hear because you wanted to see industries always evolving and not staying in the traditions of the old too much. Having that sort of ambition to continuously improve themselves and so of we’ve sort of seen like you talk about how restaurants is like transformed away from that sort of Gordon Ramsey type angle but what’s like the biggest challenge today the restaurants face this sort of post pandemic era?

Parsa: Trying to get people to come bac maybe even shifting away from that delivery model, how are they tackling it instead of how should they be tackling?

Craig D’Cruze: Um it’s a two part question, so I think the first part what is the biggest, what is the biggest issue that restaurants face right now. I would say would be one of two things would be staffing and the supply chain problem that’s going on right now.

Craig D’Cruze: I know that a lot of smaller restaurants that aren’t chains that are you know mom and pops have one or two stores are having a lot of problem getting some of the most basic ingredients because of the supply chain shortage that’s happening with you know the trucking and things like that. That’s a big one.

Craig D’Cruze: I would say how do they tackle it would be you know look at your menus and try and figure out what you can get what’s local. Um you know things that you know it’s very hard in in the world now where everything is you know globalised where we’re getting everything from all over the world and menus are very diverse it’s a great thing but

when you have a supply chain shortage and things aren’t crossing the border or coming

in through the ports you have to look internally and look local.

Craig D’Cruze: So I think that restaurants would do themselves a favour, I can see a lot of them doing that now. Is let’s look at what we can get locally and put that on our menu um because you know it’s there you know that you can get it with one or two days notice right now.

Craig D’Cruze: I know a lot of know my friends who are chefs they’re looking at it going ‘I put things on the menu and I don’t know if I’m going to get it or not. I hope it

does and if it doesn’t i’ll just eighty six it.’

Craig D’Cruze: So it’s that’s kind…

Parsa: What does eighty six mean?

Craig D’Cruze: …the other. Sorry eighty six means like taking it off for the day like it’s

not on the menu you can say, you know if you run out of fries or something fries are eighty six it’s a very kitchen…

Parsa: Right.

Craig D’Cruze: …slang thing.

Parsa: I definitely get that and there’s something about like how do you insure that?

Craig D’Cruze: Yeah, yes.

Parsa: The ingredients come in at the correct time and how can you make sure that the stuff that’s outside of your kitchen is sort of processing…

Craig D’Cruze: Yeah.

Parsa: …way that it can be you know manage and monitored and very simple sort of a kind of.

Craig D’Cruze: Yes hundred per cent.

Parsa: So how does that gonna evolve?

Craig D’Cruze: Ah.

Parsa: Do you think over the next you know three or five years?

Craig D’Cruze: I think the evolution will be that you’re going to see a lot more um on a on a macro level of things in terms of the world I think you’re going to see a lot

more deglobalization you’re going to see countries, cities, provinces, whatever it may be states doing things more local.

Craig D’Cruze: This supply chain thing has caused a lot of problems and it’s because we rely on a handful of places to do the majority of things that we need as as consumers. I think that’s going to change drastically and that’s a good thing you’re going to see restaurants are going to see owners I think change their menus to be more local in the three to five year stage.

Craig D’Cruze: I think we don’t get over this supply chain thing for probably two years so in three years we might be seeing a resurgence of different items because it’s going to

take that long to get everything in check from level of back to normality to where we kind of were before all of these things happened but in the five year plan.

Craig D’Cruze: I think you’re going to see a lot more diverse many items but a lot more diverse business within our communities and businesses in terms of restaurants but also the prevaliers suppliers and creators of these ingredients are going to become local instead of….

Parsa: Yeah.

Craig D’Cruze: …ordering from Spain, or ordering from Japan, ordering from China, or right it’s going to all come locally.

Parsa: And there’s something to be said about like how that generates a community and stuff as you start deglobalised you’re really  putting more value in your makers and having you know the people around you contributing to your overall success and so…

Craig D’Cruze: Yeah.

Parsa: ..you can have if you can be, you know, friends with you with your farmers and be friends with your suppliers…

Craig D’Cruze: Yeah.

Parsa: …and present an as in that in that chain honestly makes a lot more fun but it

also makes it a lot sort of easier to make things happen more quickly.

Craig D’Cruze: Exactly and I think that one of the big things too is that Canada as a country we have such a vast land mass and we have so many resources. We could be that country that could a lot of these problems whether it be fertiliser or wheat or oil whatever Canada

has all the resources we can do things.

Craig D’Cruze: And we’re not large population base so because we have a smaller population base we have to be net exporters. We have to be sellers of our goods, we have to export because if we produce to our capacity, there’s no way thirty seven million people can consume that.

Craig D’Cruze: So we have right we have the ability to do that so i think that’s one of the big things is getting governments on board and getting politicians on board to say let’s ramp up production but become net exporters and not worry about importing so much stuff when we can produce the next work

Craig D’Cruze: Yeah we’re I would say you know we’re looking huge at tech from the inverted adventure side of things because you know with my background of seeing great things that we do in Canada. The issues that restaurants are are having issues that the world just people in general like there’s enough food on earth to feed everybody on earth so why is there people in countries dying and little kids starving.

Craig D’Cruze: I think that the ways to fix how we produce food and deal with food waste and have clean water technologies that can solve so many problems. When people are fed, people are energised and people can do great things.

Craig D’Cruze: If you’re only if you’re hungry you you’re really just focus on how do I get that next meal and you’re tired and you’re weak. If we can get the world fed this entire planet will be such a better place.

Parsa: So in the last fifteen years we’ve had to get more out of proper line than in any other time farming history. So like you see that the only place where people can’t find food is where there’s sort of a dictatorship or some sort of political control being put upon to get access.

Parsa: But outside of those rare cases it’s been incredibly like you know fulfilling thing to

see that entire commune population has access to food and water. It’s always been

improving you know more more clean, and more sustainable but how can we think about taking our sort of micro experience of a restaurant instead of extract our country in different countries and how we…

Craig D’Cruze: Yeah.

Parsa: …can really create that sense of nourishment globally.

Craig D’Cruze: Yes and that’s the one thing that we look at when we’re investing into tech companies is you know how are they able to do that how are we able to things are obviously right? How do we make them?

Parsa: Were we were under we were on the thread about how can sort of global nourishing society and the re of things.

Craig D’Cruze: Yeah so how do we how do, we globally nourish societies I think the big thing is looking at what countries need the help and what countries are not over producing but over producing for the needs of their citizens

Craig D’Cruze: I think us in the west whether it be Canada, the US, Europe and I know in Europe they’re making great strides on trying to minimise food waste um we have you know in North America now the ugly vegetable movement is kind of coming to fruition which is great you know in the grocery stores everything has to be perfect.

Craig D’Cruze: Well mother nature doesn’t grow everything perfect so I think that you know there’s a lot of stuff that goes back into the compost that’s perfectly good to eat it just doesn’t look as nice um that why doesn’t that stuff go to people that need it.

Craig D’Cruze: I think that our mentality is changing now that humans are looking at things a lot better and not looking at things that you know aesthetically anymore which is great.

Parsa: Yeah.

Craig D’Cruze: And I think that we need to change the broader thought process on the consumer to say yeah this carrot might have some things growing out of it but it’s still a carrot it’s nourishing. I can still eat it doesn’t have to be perfectly straight and perfect size all these different things.

Craig D’Cruze: So I think that’s the way we can feed the world as if we change our perception of what good food is. That is going to help because then we can feed other people with our access and that’s kind of where I think the future goes and it might not be you know were I know you’re young Parsa I’m you know almost almost forty now. But I hope in my lifetime we can see technologies happen where waste from Vancouver ends up in Manilla, Philippines or ends up in you know Indonesia.

Craig D’Cruze: Wherever it may be where people need food, it could be there overnight that’s kind of my my dream is that you know things that we necessarily would throw away here rusty lettuce or you know a carrot that has a black spot whatever.

Craig D’Cruze: It may be would go over there and they would use it they would be more than happy to just trim off the ends and use it whereas I would have to send back twenty four heads of romaine lettuce because a couple of the heads had a little bit of rust on.

Craig D’Cruze: It was just kind of the mandate so you could think one restaurant or one university would do that, what do the rest of the world, the other hundreds of thousands of restaurants have to do so that is the way. I think we change fundamentally how people lead around the world.

Parsa: There’s sort of an aspect there about like you want to make sure that you can still use the materials you have but also not sort of over purchase and over supply things that aren’t going to be used because food waste is not just related to, you know, ugly vegetables but also like just you know one third of the food that we now produce is just you know thrown away anyway.

Parsa: So how can you as a restaurant know what what to buy and how do you allocate that based on your sort of different fluctuations in your customer activity on the base in the week day base and know the holiday whatever it is? But looking at that from sort of any more almost at a drier perspective and how do you take that, generalise it across you know all restaurants, all sort of communities?

Craig D’Cruze: Um that’s a very good question, as you know every restaurant does things differently because every person is different, every owner is different. I think again like I was saying successful restaurants they they have it down to an art form, how to order right it’s a matter of you know okay we know that on this weekend last year.

Craig D’Cruze: You’re always back tracking looking at last year sales or the year prior sales and kind of saying okay this week there’s this event going on around town we could see an influx of people let’s order this much food.

Craig D’Cruze: It is a science because you are you are running your margins every strawberry you throw out or every head of lettuce that you lose fifty percent because he ordered too  much and it’s sitting in your fridge for a week longer than it should um…

Parsa: Yeah.

Craig D’Cruze: …his money going down the drain so in a way hard question to answer because everyone does it differently but I could say from personal experience we use data from prior years as to what we thought was and you just look at what’s going on in your area at the time.

Craig D’Cruze: Also you know if I ran lots of banquet operations and convention centres. Uh you know things like that when you have a banquet it’s far more finite you know exactly to the ounce per person of how much lettuce you’re getting, um you know how many tomatoes you need. Then you know how many steaks you need and how many ounces of potatoes so you can figure it out and there should a perfect world be very minimal amount of waste or leftovers.

Parsa: Yeah.

Craig D’Cruze: So that’s a good way of doing it if you’re if you’re running a catering operation easier. When you’re running running a restaurant it’s a lot harder because you don’t know sometime, you’ll be swamped a busy  and you weren’t expecting it and you need food or else you’re gonna um you know tick off your guests and they might not come back. Or sometimes you think you’re going to be busy and it’s not an then you till you have all this leftover food so what do you do with it.

Parsa: Yeah.

Craig D’Cruze: And that’s that’s the juggling act of a restaurant that I think a lot of restaurateurs get off on it’s a rush  of trying to figure out all these different things.

Parsa: But I think like a future where you know the banquet idea, has this pre plan nature to it. Everyone knows who’s coming what they’re having but there’s definitely a sort of movement I think at first but you now you can see who your customers are you have a loyal

Customer. You know what they’re on to order at a time if our if you know they’re gon I mean you can you know scope out that that meal and get those items delivered in the correct sort of time thing. It’s really hard to do that across you know your entire customer face and so…

Craig D’Cruze: Yeah.

Parsa: …starting to move towards a way where you can look at it from a data perspective. Look at it from what do you community want and have those, you know so you’re your chicken wings ordered days and events because you know this guy is coming in and he’s going to order the same thing every time that’s something that I think could be so interesting to look at in the future.

Parsa: And how to be you know analyze a little bit less pre plan and just sort of look at it from a more probabilistic perspective almost yeah.

Craig D’Cruze: Yeah, yeah and I think that you know looking at it from a probabilistic aspect is kind of the way restaurants do it now but they’re trying to really get more finite on it. On you know how how many guests do we have, what is the most likely what is the thing they’re most likely going to order.

Craig D’Cruze: I think one of the main ways to keep your inventory levels down and your ordering in. Check where you necessarily won’t have a lot of waste in your menu creation when you create a menu. I’ve always done this personally is you know make sure your menu isn’t huge. No I don’t know if you guys have like like a cheese cake cafe in Vancouver.

Parsa: Oh yeah, I was travelling to seattle for huge menus, unbelievable.

Craig D’Cruze: Huge menu, the menu is an encyclopaedia right and it’s how do you how do you make a hundred items great? You can’t you make thirty items great or twenty items great.

Parsa: Yes.

Craig D’Cruze: You can only make a hundred items good maybe, right?

Parsa: Yeah.

Craig D’Cruze: So I think keep your menu small and have your greatest hits on there but the other thing is make sure you’re cross utilising different items. I’ve done a lot of consulting in my time for for different restaurants here in Calgary. In the states I worked for Mariette

and one of the biggest mistakes I see restaurant owners make in chefs make is you know they’ll have one item on one menu item and nowhere else throughout the menu so if that item doesn’t sell, you have this box you can’t just buy you know one guava or one papaya.

Craig D’Cruze: You have to buy a case of eight, have to buy a case of twelve. If you have items cross utilised in one or two three four different places on the menu but used in a way

that doesn’t look repetitive to the guest to the customer. That’s the way you can

use up all of your extra goods so if you had a slower weekend than you thought, well in the following you would be able to use whatever you have because your cross utilising it much faster than if it was just on a one menu item type thing.

Parsa: Definitely there’s definitely something to be said bout how do you know if it was possible to use the same ingredients for twenty items like that be the perfect menu in some…

Craig D’Cruze: Yeah.

Parsa: …because you don’t even worry about who’s coming. But there’s always can be that sort of variability but I think even you talk about how you ordering local, probably help to fix that because there’s such a you know if one farm creates you know. They probably also creates you know some sort of a grain that that’ll help you with that meal so you can start

looking at different sources and say what ingredient clusters….

Craig D’Cruze: Yeah.

Parsa: …that do they provide and how can I take those clusters and put them together in a way

Craig D’Cruze: Yes and that’s a huge part of it, a huge part of it and I think you’re right though that’s what people need

to learn. In a way it’s something that’s learned over time especially if you’re new to the restaurant industry it’s something that’s learned over time.

Parsa: Definitely, Ithink we’re running out of time but before we do wrap…

Craig D’Cruze: Okay.

Parsa: …up is there any question that you wish that I asked you, and how would you answer it?

Craig D’Cruze: Um I think that you asked me kind of everything. We talked about the whole industry in a way.

Parsa: Yeah.

Craig D’Cruze: Yeah, there’s there’s nothing. I think, I

think we’re trying to solve the world’s problems here but we can…

Parsa: We’ll get to crypto next time.

Craig D’Cruze: Yeah we can get to crypto next time that’s for sure yeah.

Parsa: Awesome Craig, well how about you tell the listeners where they can find you online.

Craig D’Cruze: All right so you can find me on LinkedIn under my name Craig D’Cruze, you can also find me on Facebook and twitter. My twitter handle is @wwechef.

Craig D’Cruze: And yeah I’m a big wrestling fan maybe that something you could have asked me about something norty to talk about

Parsa: Oh.

Craig D’Cruze: Other than that, yeah Facebook under my name but LinkedIn is probably the best place to get a hold of me.

Parsa: Awesome Craig, thank so much for your time.

Craig D’Cruze: Right thanks so much, take care.

Parsa: Cheers.

Written by
Parsa Riahi

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