The “5 Star Professional” mentoring, designed by renowned chef Bianca Folla, has the main objective of offering guidance to chefs, helping them transform their processes and businesses into highly profitable services. Over a 7-week period, participants will have access to a total of 18 hours of intensive learning designed to create a highly effective brand strategy and personal positioning.
Each week, Bianca will address a different aspect of professional development, providing chefs with valuable, practical tools to reflect on their professional identities and implement practical actions to enhance their careers. This program will cover seven essential modules, including: process optimization, creation of proposals and expansion of portfolio, improvement of customer service skills, management of teams and employees, continuous enrichment of the professional repertoire, effective strategies for social networks, techniques for sales and business strategies.
At the last meeting, Bianca will conduct individual mentoring sessions, allowing each participant to create a personalized business plan to apply all the knowledge acquired. As a reward for completing the program, all participants will receive a “5 Star Professional Mentoring” certificate of completion.
The method behind this program was developed by Bianca Folla based on her rich personal experience. Eighteen years ago, she made the bold transition from a solid career in the field of law to becoming a full-time chef. During this process, Bianca faced numerous challenges in offering culinary services that were exceptional and different from what was conventional in the market. Her focus includes creating fully personalized menus, taking into account each client’s individual needs, including allergies and dietary restrictions. This model, which emphasizes collaboration and personalization, was uncommon in 2005 when she began her journey, and is still not widely practiced in the events industry today.
Bianca’s innovative approach helped her add remarkable value to her service, which in turn resulted in a significant increase in profitability. Now, she is looking forward to sharing all the valuable techniques and insights gained during her journey with other chefs and event industry professionals through the “5 Star Professional” online mentoring.
What inspired you to create the “5 Star Professional” mentorship and how do you hope it benefits chefs?
It was a feeling of not leaving all the knowledge I have, staying alone with myself. At a certain point I felt the need to use my 18 years of experience in favor of other professionals who want to achieve career stability.
Can you explain how the mentoring is structured, including the modules and topics covered during the weekly meetings?
Mentoring is structured into 7 meetings: identity; 3Ps of the 5-star professional: processes, proposals and portfolio; service; repertoire: culture, behavior and image; social networks, sales, monetization options. We will also form a discussion group to exchange experiences, answer questions and network.
You mentioned that the focus of mentoring is to help chefs double the value of their products or services. How exactly does mentoring achieve this goal?
Mentoring is focused on the successes I had in being able to add value to my services. I gathered all this learning into 7 strategic steps that, when applied, allow professionals to increase the perception of value of their business and, consequently, the value of their product or service.
We know that your professional journey involved a transition from Law to Gastronomy. How has this change influenced the way you approach cooking and related businesses?
The career transition gives me a feeling of doing everything very well. As gastronomy was not my first area of training, I feel that I always need to do my best in the new profession I have chosen. I only graduated as a gastrologist after 6 years working in catering. So this career transition brings a greater weight of responsibility than I want, how I want and what I want to make the client feel when they hire me.
Their approach to developing personalized menus and considering allergies and dietary restrictions is unique. How does this approach differentiate your work in the events sector?
Menu customization is, always has been and always will be something I won’t give up. I have a lot of resistance to the menus and services imposed on the customer because I believe that the food is the main highlight of an event.
Throughout your career, you’ve learned about positioning and personal branding. How do these concepts play a key role in your success?
I truly believe that personal and professional branding and posture directly impact the way customers view their suppliers. So everything I do in my personal life, in some way, communicates. My personal attitude impacts the chef’s attitude, which impacts the chef’s buffet service at home, which is where I reach the end customer.
What would you say to chefs who want to stand out in a highly competitive market? What are the main challenges they face?
Winning over a customer the first time is easy. The difficult part is keeping him loyal. To do this, you need to deliver something special, a unique experience. When this happens, the customer always comes back.
You mentioned that the first edition of the mentorship starts soon. How many vacancies are available, and how can interested parties apply?
The first class starts soon. Through Instagram @açadomcasa it is possible to request a registration form, with some questions about the person’s personal and professional situation. This way I can assess whether she is able to absorb all the content and be able to apply it.
In addition to mentoring, do you have any other upcoming initiatives or projects you want to share with our audience?
In 2024 I intend to launch professional training, which will help chefs to shorten the path to the challenge of being a personal chef.
What is the main lesson you would like other chefs to learn from your culinary journey and experience?
I would like them to understand that serving is something sacred. For me, this is something of great value and I observe that most professionals see it as secondary. Serving with excellence is very important. It’s as if it were a bow to another human being. Once he is revered through our service, he will never forget that moment and this remains marked in the conscious and subconscious of the client and his guests.
Follow Bianca Folla onInstagram