Go with your gut: chef McConnell

Sometimes in business the only thing you can go with is your gut, according to restaurateur Andrew McConnell.

Speaking to bluenotes on video and podcast, McConnell – the chef behind some of Melbourne’s most-revered restaurants including Cumulus Inc, Cutler & Co, Supernormal and the Builders Arms Hotel - said there won’t always be instructions for starting and running a business.

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“I think the only thing we've really got is our gut instincts.” - McConnell

“When it comes to opening a restaurant there isn't a guidebook,” he says. “I think the only thing we've really got is our gut instincts.”

McConnell said it’s important in the restaurant business to remember the people you are cooking for – that is to say, people.

“Family, friends and peers – as well as press - are really important,” he says. “But the most-important person is the customer.”

“Often I find a lot of chefs... forget they are actually cooking for people outside the door. It's important to watch and listen - even though it hurts sometimes - and take it on board.”

McConnell said a key medium for this listening was social media – a platform unique among business for the way customers treat the sector.

“Everyone loves to take a photo of their dinner,” he said. “We have to acknowledge social media whether we like it or not.

“It's really a really important tool that has really changed the way restaurants market their brand.”

He also touched on the importance of understanding the culture of the region a business operates in. Watch the video or listen to the podcast above to find out more.

Andrew Cornell is managing editor at bluenotes

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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