Author: Marta Duić , April 2, 2020. source Poslovni dnevnik
Koprivnica chef Erich Glavica runs companies that offer services of ‘hiring’ chefs and waiters for an hour or a year, but also creating menus.
In Stuttgart, Germany, at the Culinary Olympics held in mid-February, the Chef.hr team competed with 28 countries in the Community Catering category, and chef Erich Glavica from Koprivnica also competed in the individual Culinary Artistic category and returned to Croatia with silver around his neck. In addition to competing and perfecting the team he works with, his company Chef also offers services such as hiring chefs or making menus. How he founded the business, what services he offers are the most sought after and what it was like to perform at the Culinary Olympics, he revealed to Poslovni dnevnik.
After many years of working in restaurants and hotels around the world, he returned to Croatia and began, as he says, his story. “I had a vision of how to start and some major guidelines in which direction I want it to develop. A huge problem was the lack of skilled labor, and when you get it, there are problems with the disproportion between what formal education confirms and the practical knowledge of employees. There is also the problem of large labor migration, for example a good chef in Croatia is not necessarily a good chef in Germany or France, or a chef from Ukraine or Albania who comes to work in Croatia. Successfully fighting these problems, I decided to make money on solutions.
I also included in the business the services that are expected from an executive chef, and they are not available to smaller facilities precisely because of the lack of experience. That is where the companies Chef and Chef Agent were born “, explains Glavica. He notes that the new situation has made it difficult for everyone in the industry to do business and that no one, not even him, is “blooming roses”. “Fortunately, no one from the collective is infected, we are still operating, although with reduced capacity. I hope that the estimates on the duration of most of the emergency measures of three months are realistic and guided by that, we are preparing to restore the lost business that happened overnight, not through our fault “, says Glavica.
From the beginning, the team base consists of only a few people and they are jointly in charge of logistics, development and long-term planning. He notes that he adheres to the decision to conclude contracts with employees exclusively for an indefinite period, and the point is to keep them as long as possible. “The number of full-time employees is slowly but surely growing. I have a high turnover of employees, and those who like the pace, dynamism, mobility and diversity remain. When I started, I started from older contacts, and soon users started arriving by word of mouth. Potential users, as well as people looking for employment, often contact us via the form on the website. The users of the services are restaurants and hotels in Croatia and abroad, primarily in German-speaking countries. When I look back and compare the revenues from 2018 and 2019, a growth of 20 percent is visible “, Glavica praised.
One of the services it offers is the hiring of chefs, and you can rent it depending on your needs for a period of one hour or more, such as a year. “It is important for us to know what kind of chef or waiter you need, what our employee needs to satisfy and know that he could satisfy you, then an offer sheet is prepared with all information including price and deadlines with an accurate description of the work to be performed. If the user agrees with all the conditions from the offer list, then the contract is signed and referrals are signed for the workers who come to the facility. Our most frequent users of this service are hotels and restaurants, and the number of foreigners exceeds Croatian users, but we have noticed changes in the last year as well “, says Glavica. Training and workshops Help with creating menus is another service they offer. Glavica notes that this is a service that is not often requested, and most requests for help with the menu come from the continental part of Croatia.
In addition to helping with the menu, his company also conducts specialized educational workshops in accordance with the wishes of clients. “Mostly so far, these have been workshops, exercises and trainings for professionals with more or less experience in user facilities, or for guests of our users, meaning for amateurs. It often happens to us that we have to turn down groups because of a lack of our own space or because there are not enough of us. Usually, those who contact us for these services know exactly what they would like to learn, for example, we recently received an inquiry for the classic canning of fish “, explains Glavica.
They operate throughout the EU They operate throughout the EU, while they have no users from the region, but they have employees from neighboring countries. Since he is often faced with the problem that there is no space for workshops, Glavica decided to renovate the historic building, which will provide accommodation in addition to space for work and education. “In order to solve the current problems with the training space, but also to try something new, I am currently in the process of renovating the building in Koprivnica, which should retain its historical purpose, and that is a boarding house with a restaurant. I do not plan any new services in the next three years, but I expect that with the development of existing ones I will stand out on the market and become an easily recognizable company “, revealed the enterprising chef Erich Glavica.
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