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Chef attitude problem?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
For the last month at work i've been unable to tolerate any crap that goes on at work so the end result is usually me ending up yelling at someone. Some examples of this would be when a waitress would come up to me and say i need an appetizer "now" when a reservation of 30 is being put out and then she gives me **** if it takes a little longer because of that or when their seafood isnt cooked quick enough for their standards theyll come harass me constantly until its cooked even though i can't cook it any faster then the science of cooking permits. This goes on all day with different variantions of situations and staff who have no respect for me and I think im starting to lose my passion in cooking. Anyone have any advice on how this problem might be managed?
post #2 of 15

Thee Partying Chef....

Systems...

All of our life is built on systems...

Am I pissed of at her because the party of 25 just turned into 50 or am I pissed off at myself because I am " ...so unprepared...."

Focusing on our art and making the less educated appear to be mishaps is our buzz...

There is one reason I do not waltz...( because I rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

There are situations that occur, (I do not know yours), but I never give anyone the option of making my world bad....

Granted sometimes this is not good for food cost or the world that I live in, but if you are like me and run a 21% or less, then making one more chicken parm or ribeye with miso-demi, is a non-issue...

This issue is so multi-faceted, I cannot really run my mouth about it, but I do have opinions (in Dec. I am doing 2.6 mill in sales....I do know about cost and waste....) Party of 30???????????? heeee haw......can take a nap now...

But in retrospect.....I have worked parties for 25-50 that was harder than a party for 600....focus on who we are and what we do....

Sometimes that party for 4 in Suzy's section can be harder than that 24 we just put out, and that 24 was harder than that 600 we just put out in the Grand Ballroom....

Focus on your art, do your math, respect all events, whether for one in Suzy's section or the 600 in the grand ballroom...

This is what makes the difference between those of us that give a hoot and those of us that really give a f*** about who we are and what we do...

So.....

Who are you and What do you do???????????

Cheffy's Provoking Thoughts....
Trying to make a difference one palate at a time...

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Trying to make a difference one palate at a time...

Want some more Cheffy Babbles????????
Cheffy's Blog
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post #3 of 15
Welcome to the jungle. If you are the Chef or Sous, then no
one should speak with you that way. Now that it has become
acceptable, you have a long road back to being respected as.
The minute you let someone walk on you, is the minute
you become the kitchens door mat. Puff up and do not concede
unless it has something to do with the guests experience. It also
sounds like the dining room manager or g.m. does not have control
over his or her staff. Sometimes you have to temper a little bit
of fear into your relationship with floor staff, cooks, and stewards.
It doesn't always seem right, but, it is necessary. I would also guard
against spending much time with other employees outside of work.
I say this assuming that you and your staff are working at a level
beyond reproach and that everything you do can be attributed to
the final guest experience. Step back and take a look at how you
treat people. Perhaps it will offer you some insight into how you are
being treated. My intention was not to be critical, but to offer only
my opinion. Every year that passes is a year that I learn something
new about myself. Every year that passes is a year that I learn
how to communicate more effectively with the people I work for,and,
who work for me. I was almost thirty before I was even able to step
back and see what was holding me back. There are two things I try
to stay away from on a daily basis.
Criticism
Contempt

good luck

P.S. Of course there is always the lovely human resources department
to deal with. If you have a problem with them then you may be as good
as sunk.
post #4 of 15
I guess there are two ways of dealing with this. In your post , you said "for the past month or so" Well, this being the Christmas season when everyone is so merry and working 14 hr shifts, yeah, you will get a short tempered.

There used to be an album I'd always listen to from Stan Ridgeway (ex wall of voodoo) and the song went like this: It's dog eat cat, cat eat mouse, mouse eat cheese, and the cheese just smells..." Waitress is stressed, maybe she screwed up, maybe not, but she needs the appie now, and your next in line. After the rush, tell her that you dropped everything for her and her appie, and that it's not the way the system should run, but you did it anyway. But you have to do this when you're relaxed, or the slightest facial expression or body gesture will start off another match.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #5 of 15
Foodpump Said: " After the rush, tell her that you dropped everything for her and her appie, and that it's not the way the system should run, but you did it anyway. But you have to do this when you're relaxed, or the slightest facial expression or body gesture will start off another match."
----
Wish I'd said that!

Tony
post #6 of 15
In the restaurant where I work, cook personnel of all levels say to desperate waitresses/waiters the phrase "está trabajando" (it is working), and/or indicate the cook time of the demanded food. We take reprisals for bad attitudes towards us.

:)
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

My reply

Its not because of the christmas season that ive been having an attitude, its because I cant deal with they constant harassment anymore, it happens all the time and I am the head chef i suppose, not officially but im the one who works their *** off to get stuff done because i love to cook, and have the most experience there so i consider myself head chef. But thanks for the advice guys, im not going to deal with an ounce of crap that comes from anyone anymore, im going to do my job as professionially as I can and when someone complains about it, ill tell them where to go. If anyone is ever in the winnipeg region stop by the restaurant, we are a famous ukrianian restuarant. John Candy's favourite restuarant be he passed away. :smiles:

thanks for all the advice
Kevin Wettlaufer
Alycia's Restuarant & Catering
559 Cathedral Ave, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
post #8 of 15
The posts above are dead on! We all stress-out for various reasons. It sounds like that, perhaps, you could use a breather from the business. We have all been there. Maybe a vacation after the holidays? Maybe a nice road-trip across the Trans-Canadian Highway, stopping for some good regional grub. I'm not being condescending; I am just offering some insight. I was there once... it's not fun being in a bad mood alll the time or waiting for the next 'explosion.'

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

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Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

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post #9 of 15
Uhh, Kevin, you're gonna have to deal with "crap" one way or the other. Telling people off is one way of dealing with it, albeit not a very good one.

The proper way of dealing with is kind of like fixing a burst pipe: Water flowing everywhere, stuff is getting wet, and you don't know where to start. So you throw on a rubber coupling over the burst joint and hold it in place so you can fix a hose clamp over one end. Water is still gushing, but only out of one end. Now you fix on hose clamp on the other end and most of the gushing stops. The clamps will need tweaking from time to time, and the place mopped up, but you have it under control, and it should stay that way if you constantly keep an eye on it.

I don't know how your place runs, why you're the "unofficial" head honcho, or how the service end is organized, so I can't make any observations or sugggestions. Like everyone says, take some time off so you can clear your head, and then come back and take a good look as to why and how things are happening
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #10 of 15
I would be having a word with the owner or front-house manager.

I remember having to deal with lots of issues similar to this. There's always that big wall between front of the house and kitchen and unfortunately, it's the kitchen looked down upon from the servers, in many cases.

When a server runs in barking orders about needing things asap, or what-have you, 9 times out of ten, it's because they screwed up. Didn't write it down or forgot, etc...

So, ultimately, whoever is managing them, needs to be informed.

Some good points made above as well
post #11 of 15

stress in the kitchen

If you dont smoke try it. althugh tempers flare up and some time your un prepared and your wait staff sucks and you dont have a god 2000 grill, oven or heat souce to preform mericals with, your attitude in that place sets the tone for everone else around you. you must have grace under pressure. if you have it then so does everyone else. If you find your self starting to hate the industry go to the line basics or what got you started in the first place. everyone hits that point and its okay.
post #12 of 15
Kevin,
The restaurant is 2 businesses under one roof. You have manufacturing in the BOH and a retail operation in the FOH. The most important area is where the two combine. It is also the hardest part of the business.
There is an absolute lack of respect from both sides.
Cross training is one way to gain respect on both sides, but this is really not feasible or cost effective.
The one thing that really jumped out at me is, you are the head chef, but not officially. You're starting out with one leg in a cast! How will you ever gain any respect if the FOH and the BOH don't know who you are. You are undermined!
PLEASE! get the powers to be to officially distribute a chain of command. On both sides. This way you have a contact person in the FOB to discuss this problem. How else will it get resolved.
Not taking any crap or telling people where to go or things of that nature will only translate down the line, to your customers not getting what they deserve. I'm definately going to disagree with pulling someone aside and letting them know that you went out of your way to help them out. This will come back to bite you, trust an old man.
Prioritize your problems, get organized and attack those problems one at a time. Even if it takes a couple of days to fix one, it will be a step forward and might elieviate some of the overwhelming pressure.
Act professionable, be professional. It won't hurt someone to hear that you are making a professional decision. this sometimes translate to the source that he or she might not be acting professional.
Anyway, stick with it. When you're crunched, just think that there are hundreds on this board that are in the same exact boat at the same exact time.
Good Luck
Pan

Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
Paninicakes.com

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Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
Paninicakes.com

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post #13 of 15

tolerance

hey chef,

I know what you mean, they do drive you crazy sometimes...

1- Never deal with it during service... Take the waitress or whoever aside after work, and absolutely keep your calm, but invite her supervisor(or unionb rep) to sit on this... explain to her that her performance and behavior his not Ok and it needs to be adjusted right way. continue by telling her that she should address you with extreme respect just the way you do... You finish by telling her that this conversation will be noted in her file and we should talk about this behovior adjustment progess in two weeks. Yes, you do need to sit again in 2 weeks, or 3 weeks, but not more, and praise for a better behavior or come down again about how it has not become better and this was the second time we needed to ad this to hey file.

2- make sure that you don't loose it on the wrong person

3- you need to stay calm and respectfull. It's much more intimidating to know that you don't blow out, you get even. "Don't ever get mad, get even" that should be your new modo...

4- read my book: "my Daughter wants to be a chef!
www.thechefinstead.ca/beachef.html

It should help you understand more about this...

stay in touch, anytime...

Laprise
Martin Laprise
Author of "My daughter wants to Be a Chef!"
www.thechefinstead.ca

“A cook who invest a few bucks every week is a smart cook"
Reply
Martin Laprise
Author of "My daughter wants to Be a Chef!"
www.thechefinstead.ca

“A cook who invest a few bucks every week is a smart cook"
Reply
post #14 of 15
An alternate perspective...
A very hard thing to do:to empathize when all in going down in flames..
If yours is a closed kitchen, at least when the line crashes (as they all do from time to time...) you don't have an audience. FoH gets to deal with all the grief. Having worked both sides of the window, I can tell you the problems are not always because the server messed up. Frequently it's the guest who's being miserable.(Geez,was I at your place that night?)
You might be able to fix your problem by leading an attitude that we're all on the same team, with the same end goal...I've had it work for me.
Ask yourself, when she snarled at you... did you snarl back? By leading with empathy... "yah, I'm sorry, right on top of it, my bad, etc etc etc" you get the servers off the defensive. I've seen too many lines where the domino effect has done its worst....try it for a few days.. and then try this on the server who made you the designated kicktoy: respond to the rudeness by looking them straight in the eye, and (here's the important part) calmly stating 'I didn't deserve that." Do your best not to be antagonistic. Every server you can get on your side is one less headache for the brigade.
Sounds like you have a tough situation. Hope it gets better for you.
"I gotta start being nicer to people... this karma thing really sucks..."
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"I gotta start being nicer to people... this karma thing really sucks..."
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post #15 of 15

Hot and Emotional!

Never deal with issues while they are still hot, it can only lead to HOT temper and emotional situations!

Always wait until you are ready and calm, so you can actually accomplish something constructive... Then you talk to her or him about how their performance is not up to part.. YOU are a BOSS, Always deal with issues like this with an attitude that you are not happy and THEY need to improve. You can say you are sorry about snapping, but THEY need to improve performance, STAY FOCUSE:beer:
Martin Laprise
Author of "My daughter wants to Be a Chef!"
www.thechefinstead.ca

“A cook who invest a few bucks every week is a smart cook"
Reply
Martin Laprise
Author of "My daughter wants to Be a Chef!"
www.thechefinstead.ca

“A cook who invest a few bucks every week is a smart cook"
Reply
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