March 4

3 Ways We Manage Over 100 Chef Teachers

Blog, Business, Featured

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By Eric Horwitz, CEO of LIFT Enrichment

One part of scaling a service-company is making sure the service quality never falters and constantly improves.

You have to be able to grow that team to suit the higher levels of client needs.

Recently, we crossed a huge threshold when we taught 7,000 students in a single week. This took a team of over 100 Chef Teachers working across multiple cities without a hitch.

As of this writing (written on a flight from Dubai to Chicago so I can attend a dental conference), we have 115 Chef Teachers, but by the end of the year, that number will be nearing 150+

Here are some ways we keep growing that number while providing top-notch service:

1.  Clearly Defined Hiring and Onboarding Processes

I wrote these posts detailing how we hire and this one on how we onboard our Chef Teachers.  It’s essential that there are a series of tasks that happen to make sure the system runs smoothly.

Sometimes, a bad hire will slip through the process, but we always reflect on the situation, determine the mistake in the process, and fix it. But this is a rare circumstance.

The Hiring and Onboarding team we currently have is made up of 6 full-time staff members, all in countries around the world, while working 9:00am-4:00pm PST. Between them all, we have over 180+ man hours EVERY WEEK to make sure we have enough staff for our clients.

There’s a formula on how many instructors we need.

We average that each Chef Teacher will lead two days of the week, and we add one backup/floater in case any of the lead Chefs don’t work out for any reason.

If we have a school district client that has 7 sites (2x Mon, 2x Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri), we’d onboard 3-4 Chef Teachers.

If we have a client with 12 sites (3x Mon, 3x Tues, 2x Wed, 2x Thurs, 2x Fri) we’d onboard 5-6 Chef Teachers.

It’s actually easier to staff clients with more sites because Chef Teachers can work 3-4 days a week and we can have more backups ready.

2.  Weekly Metric Tracking

Our Operations (90 min), Sales (75 min) and Leadership Meetings (90 min) happen like clockwork every week.

Part of our meetings involves sharing your scorecard number (aka KPI = Key Performance Indicator), and it’s a number that only ONE person is in charge of.

If you’re in recruiting, then key weekly metrics could include:

– Chef Teacher interviews completed
– Chef Teachers Hired
– Chef Teachers Fully Onboarded

If you’re in charge of account management, then weekly metrics to look at could be:

– Workshops planned for the week
– Workshops completed successfully
– Workshops that didn’t happen (client issue or reschedule)
– Percentage of successful workshops per week (we aim for 97% on average)
– Sites unstaffed in the next 30 days
– Sites unstaffed in the next 60 days (one of our most important numbers)

At any point, myself or our President can look at this dashboard of numbers and determine the health of the business.

We look at each number and highlight it in green if it’s in a good spot or red if it’s not. We don’t mind if a number is red…unless it’s red for several weeks in a row. We then go to that person in charge of the number, figure out what’s the problem, and aim to get that number back in the green.

It keeps business simple for everyone involved.

Are your numbers green? Then you’re probably doing your job well.  🙂

3.  Meeting With The Chef Teachers After Onboarding

Once a Chef Teacher is fully onboarded (which takes about 2 weeks), the support and training doesn’t stop.

Within their first month of teaching, we will watch two of their workshops live on zoom.

We ship them a camera stand, place it behind the teacher, and watch the workshop in real time from their phone.  (Note: We don’t record anything, and we don’t share this with anyone; it’s purely for quality control and we get the client’s permission first.)

We’ll debrief after the class and send an email recap.

If we see room for improvement, we’ll schedule more evaluations and aim to do dozens of these a week.

We also have a fun 1-hour Chef Teacher monthly meeting led by Slava.

It’s an opportunity for us to get all of the Chef Teachers in a (somewhat crowded!) zoom room and share highlights from the past month of teaching.  Everyone is excited to share their wins.  We will also get great feedback and spotlight any Chefs who have been doing a great job.

Do you want us to bring our Chef Teachers to your Title-1 school that are located (almost) anywhere in the United States?   Book a meeting with our team here and learn how we can teach 200 students FOR FREE


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Eric Horwitz

About LIFT

Eric founded LIFT Enrichment in 2010 because he wanted to help young kids develop their culinary skills so they could make healthy foods for friends and family for the rest of their lives.  He has worked with kids for over 15 years and enjoys their energy and enthusiasm for learning new things.  Eric studied abroad in Italy while at UCLA and discovered a passion for cooking.  

Eric Horwitz, Ceo of Lift

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