Dan Coudreaut

January 2021 View more

The restaurant consultant and longtime McDonald’s executive chef and VP of culinary innovation has sone ideas on where the industry is headed–and what it needs to get there.

Lessons learned under the Golden Arches. Most chefs tend to think they can singlehandedly take over the world, but the more you learn, the more you realize how important it is to work with other people to make things better. I learned the philosophy of working as a team a long time ago, but it was solidified at McDonald’s because it was a such a large, complex organization. Getting people to buy into the path you want to take and inspiring people to get there is probably both the hardest and the most rewarding thing.

Building a better restaurant. Can I help a company develop recipes? Sure. But at Coudreaut & Associates our sweet spot is really helping culinary teams become more flexible and more open to new ideas in order to get the most out of their teams. When I work with clients, the idea going in is that yes, we’re going to help make their food better, but we’re also going to help make their team more effective.

The post-pandemic restaurant industry. Food is a common human connection. We don’t all have to listen to music, we don’t all have to read, but we all have to eat—we all experience that. So even though the industry is very fragile right now, I think people are starting to realize how important restaurants are to their lives. As we come out of this, maybe people will have a new appreciation for restaurants—and what it takes to pull off the seemingly simple task of putting a meal on the table for a family.

Photo courtesy Coudreaut & Associates