That’s a Problem


Please stop calling each other Bro in print/social media posts and comments.

Bruh is an even bigger problem

Bartender:  “Chef, do you have any olives?”

Chef:  “Yes, I’ve got olives.”  (some of you know where this is going).

Bartender:  “Where are they?”  “Can I have some?”

Chef:  “They’re not the olives you need.”

Bartender:  “Where are more of the ones I need?”

Chef:  “They are in the bucket in the walk in cooler.”

Bartender:  “I know, but that bucket is empty.”  “Should I bring it up?”

Chef:  “No, It may be keeping the other items in the cooler company.”

Bartender:  “Oh, OK.”

Chef:  “Well, it’s Friday at 4:30, I can’t do anything about it now.”  In the future if you let me know you’re low on something I can order more.”

This has been an ongoing problem with front-of-the-house staff for as long as I can remember.  That’s not my problem anymore.

How many restaurants  train and teach their service staff?  I don’t mean showing a new employee where everything is, and the general outline of the operation.  How many actually train them to be really good at their job?  How many restaurants have the capability?  Yono’s, 15 Church, The Wishing Well?  Some of the Mazzone properties?

The same could be asked of the kitchen too.  One of the things I realized, and that self-evaluation aided my decision to retire from the restaurant kitchen is that I was no longer interested in training people, especially when their focus wasn’t 100%. It was clear to me that it wasn’t the way for chefs to conduct themselves.  I’ve trained a lot of cooks, and enough of them have gone on to be good chefs, so I’m quite sure I did my job well.  If however you’re not willing to do the proper training, to make your service or kitchen staff better at their jobs, get out of the business, you don’t belong.

What you see at your table is only a small part of a server’s job.  It’s an important part, but not the only part.

When people think out loud it often exposes many of the dumb thoughts they have and their limited capacity to think in a reasonable or organized way.

The term “cooked to perfection” on menus is a problem.

Decisions, both daily and big-picture stuff should be made through experience and a well thought out plan. Not by whimsy and desire. The means are not the way to the desired ends.

This blog was recently called unpolished and unfiltered (all in an appreciated positive tone).  Yes it is unpolished, but it is quite filtered, and there are a lot of folks who should be thankful about that. Yes, I may be kind of a good guy on some level, but don’t let that get around.

Never throw your kitchen under the bus to a customer, especially when whatever problem is occurring is not the fault of said kitchen.  Customers don’t like it, and the kitchen doesn’t like it either, it creates a pretty large problem.

Here’s one reason chefs move from job to job, from a Craigslist ad:

Please send a resume for immediate consideration. Include a cover letter about yourself.45-55k salary to start. Based on experience. We are an independent with 2.5mil per year sales. Full banquet room and pub style menu. We need a leader that is organized, disciplined, creative and wants to work.

2.5 million in sales, and you’re paying 50k for a chef. 
I’m aware as anyone that margins are slim, but we as a group need to make more in this very difficult business if we’re going to be encouraged to stick around in the same kitchen long-term.  Like I said, this is only one reason chefs move around, by far not the only reason.  I’ll write a post dedicated to the topic in the near future.
It’s important to keep irons in the fire, you never know when you’ll need a hot one.
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