The Return of the Chef Patron

With the aim of bringing people together to enjoy great food

Mark McCann, Founder, Food First

There is no doubting that food has become an almost universal language today. Everyone can talk with some knowledge about cuisines from all around the world and about plant food, veganism and products. For those of us that have lived out lives being passionate about food, this is an exciting time as no longer is food service being seen as a commodity but as an important service once again.

I founded Food First last year and the whole ethos of the business is to move away so much of the management speak that the food service industry has become renown for. Our focus is food and our managers will be food led, food loving Chef Patrons as I want our customers to be inspired, motivated, excited by the food they see and taste every day.

Food service is not a complicated business but it is highly visual and does impact on daily life almost more than anything else within a business, school, hospital or University. Food is where people can be found to be relaxing, catching a moment, reflecting and communicating with friends and colleagues. Forget what everyone say, food brings people together like nothing else and bringing people solves problems. It is a simple equation – great food = happy customers = more informal comms = problem solving and friendship.

This is our role – to create the environment that allows for this equation to become a reality.

The rationale for the Chef patron is equally as simple. I want my managers to be those that think and act as I do. I love food. I love great food and happy customers and sometimes there are barriers between chefs that want to delight and customers. Let’s remove those barriers. Let’s keep it all simple and have Chef Patrons being leaders in their own right – out front, talking with customers, taking responsibility and leading the experience.

And so often the customers enjoy meeting and talking to the chef too. Everyone has become an expert of food styles and the desire to learn about food has never been greater. Food has become the nation’s number 1 hobby that spans generations, spans wealth and class.

So let’s shout out for The Chef Patron and for great food to bring people together to support great business in this time of Brexit.