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Job Description Request

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi Folks,

I've been a lurker for some time reading the interesting a useful posts. Now I have a question of my own to pose to the community.

I'm doing some work for a local restaurant and I was hired to help shape up the kitchen crew who are to say the least, lazy. In all the kitchens I've worked in, this is by far the most relaxed and casual. The sous-chef thinks he's just the ruler of the kingdom and will not lift a finger. He does no prep, no meez and no cleanup. If it doesn't involve a pan and tongs, he's not going to do it. Unfortunatley, the prep guys tend to follow this example and the place is falling apart.

There is so much wasted time. The Poor owner (although it's his own fault) is losing money and will be closed very soon if we don't make some changes soon. He pays the staff a full day but only gets half a day's worth of work out of them. He's a really nice guy, too nice and does not like confrontation.
This is why I've been hired. Maybe he's in the wrong business but that's a debate for another time. He's got some great recipes from his Tuscan homeland which is what's keeping the place barely afloat.

So, I'm looking for some detailed job descriptions for the kitchen staff that we can use as a starting point and then modify to suit the restaurant. If anyone has a link that points to some on the web or has some they are willing to share, it would be greatly appreciated.

I can just write some up, but I want examples from other restaurants to show the owner that my suggestions are not unrealistic.

Thanks in advance,
Rob.

post #2 of 16
So? Fire the sous chef.
post #3 of 16
yeah, Sous could go... or

Have 2 daily meetings. The whole kitchen and staff that would be 1. And group the cooks,servers and the day-to-day line people (adding the servers makes it harder for the cooks to complain). This seems to take care of people from slacking off. These meetings sometimes just a minute or 2. But most of the time its about 10 minutes. This is the time to squash such quarries*.
Make sure daily clean-up duties are set and assign 3-4 to each person.(if you need help making a list. I have a few)
Sanitation of all racks carts, floor drains, matts, dry containers...
Shoot its a **** kitchen, this list can go on forever. More management pressure, less standing around talking.
If they give you lip. Send them home and you work that station. If it happens again "Write'm up". I've sent people home just for holding a wall up. Or use the word below. that pretty much explains it all.
gl
:ciao:
professionalism .
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professionalism .
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post #4 of 16
Big sign 'GOT TIME TO LEAN.YOU GOT TIME TO CLEAN".
post #5 of 16
Kuan beat me to it.:(
Set the tone.

Tony
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies. I like the idea of firing the sous-chef, but unfortunately it's not going to happen. The owner doesn't want that to happen since they have a 'history' from another restaurant. I'm kind of the outsider in the whole mess.

It's like training a dog... almost always it's the owner that needs training rather than the dog. Same situation here. The owner needs to see what's going on take care of it. I was hired to help sort it out, but I'm not going to be there forever. Ultimately, he needs to make the final decision about who goes, who stays and who has to work harder. I'm just trying to make some policies and proceedures that he can adhere to.

The problems with the kitchen staff is just the tip of the iceberg. There are similar problems in the dining room, problems with inventory control, food waste, speed of service. For example, the restaurant manager just sits around reading (and getting paid) rather than managing the waitstaff and making sure the place gets taken care. He admits to a lack of motivation yet the owner does nothing. You name a problem, this restaurant probably has it other than the food is great.

chef_oz, I'd be happy to take a list or two off you if you have them handy.

Again, thanks for all the suggestions. They are very helpful.

Thanks,
Rob.
post #7 of 16
On the right track, get job descriptions--INCLUDING any clean-up duties, a request form for days off, and a copy of the local labour code taped to the wall for when they tell you that they're entitled to a 15 min. break every 2 hours.

But that's only part one. Part two is the enforcement. If they're paid by the hour, so much the better for you. If they're not doing their duties, send them home after 3 hrs or what ever the legal requirment is. Make the prep lists and get them to sign off on them. If they fudge on the lists, send them home. Make an example or two, and bring in a friend from some other place to take up the slack. This is important, it shows that you are't taking any cra--um, stuff from them, and that you don't need their help to keep on moving. Either they'll sh** thier pants and actually do something or they'll give up, call in sick, and look for another job. Ask the Sous to clean something, anything, to set an example for the rest of the crew and when he doesn't, ask him to take a voluntary holiday, just untill you get things rolling again, you know.... "No, no, don't need to worry about your job, relax and take a break. I know a great guy I used to work with who can cover your station well." Once somebody starts actually doing something, it gets easier and the momentum starts to flow.

P.S.Take public transport to work, and never discuss any personal about your life with them--yet.
...."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 #8 of 16
On the right track, get job descriptions--INCLUDING any clean-up duties, a request form for days off, and a copy of the local labour code taped to the wall for when they tell you that they're entitled to a 15 min. break every 2 hours.

But that's only part one. Part two is the enforcement. If they're paid by the hour, so much the better for you. If they're not doing their duties, send them home after 3 hrs or what ever the legal requirment is. Make the prep lists and get them to sign off on them. If they fudge on the lists, send them home. Make an example or two, and bring in a friend from some other place to take up the slack. This is important, it shows that you are't taking any cra--um, stuff from them, and that you don't need their help to keep on moving. Either they'll sh** thier pants and actually do something or they'll give up, call in sick, and look for another job. Ask the Sous to clean something, anything, to set an example for the rest of the crew and when he doesn't, ask him to take a voluntary holiday. "No, no, don't need to worry about your job, relax and take a break. I know a great guy I used to work with who can cover your station well." Once somebody starts actually doing something, it gets easier and the momentum starts to flow.

P.S.Take public transport to work, and never discuss any personal about your life with them--yet.
...."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 #9 of 16
maybe the sous is in with the owner, but you should lead by example. if you want to shape up the kitchen you will br the one that should be the leader. pick your battles and do more, it should be noticed and if not it looks great on a resume
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yes, definitely good advice. I have been doing this and I believe it's why the prep guys are coming around to 'the dark side'. I help em out with prep and end of shift cleaning and they really appreciate it. I'm still learning the dishes on the menu but in another week or so, I'll have that down. I need to help speed up this area too, but that's not a huge problem at the moment.

Thanks for the words of wisdom.
post #11 of 16
There at work,
I'll PM you tomorrow when I get inn.
But, the easiest way to make is to walk around the kitchen with pad and pen.
All kitchens arent' the same
Mark down all equipment,
i.e sinks, ovens, lowboys, reach/walk'n, freezer, grill, flatop, sal, slicer, mixer (you said front of the house too so) bus stations, cutlery, coffee, patio?, entrance...
Make that list. Then make cleaning duties for each section. It might sound like a lot but you want things to change so.
okay,Work on piece or area at a time
When your working on lets say lowboys just write down everything you see seals, doors, front, back, handle, then have a check list. IT can be has easy as making a __ next to say handle. Check for proper temp. This should be done first cause their going to have the doors open. This is all proper management duties. If your front of the house guy/gal doesn't help with the list then you should ask only twice. Then go to the owner. The owner should understand what your trying to do. If he doesn't well your up dirty drain!
:ciao:
professionalism .
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professionalism .
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post #12 of 16
I may have missed it...but I didn't catch in your post as to what position you are holding. Are you working in the kitchen, or were you hired as an "advisor"?

"THE BEST IS YET TO COME"

      JUST US BUFFET

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"THE BEST IS YET TO COME"

      JUST US BUFFET

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post #13 of 16
1skydive,
I've been in your situation. It can be overwhelming. The first priority is job description, yours. You can not address everything at once. You need to set realistic goals for each day,week,month. The owner needs to be involved in this or he or she will never see any positives. I would start with money issues. Seal any cracks that may be3 leaking monies. You need to address each opportunity by compartmentalizing it. If your addressing sanitation, get a style to get your point across. I use circle lables in different colors. Orange is urgent need immediate attention, red cleaned every day, blue every week and so forth. I also issue a roll of a color for workers. As they address something the tag it with their circle. I know this is very primary and childish but it works. When they don't see any of the sous circles, they will start to think. You have to create some sort of competition without them knowing. Right now it's the sous's game. Lets see how much we can get away with.
You have to address the situation in small blocks. If you attack it all you might not suceed.
These are just my thoughts. I have had a similar situation with a chef who was planted. I could not fire him so I chose to humiliate him into reality. I actually took the crew minus the chef to another bakery for a visit, just to remind them how it was supposed to be done. The place was out of business 8 wks later, but due ti IRS issues. I didn't have the feeling of failure.
BTW when I say chef I mean Pastry Chef
These are just my thoughts and may not be the appropriate approach.
This is a great thread and I hope many more post to it for ideas and how people would handle this issue.
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
There currently is a kitchen manager (a great hard working guy but only part time) and the sous-chef. I have been given basically both these positions rolled into one. I am working on the line but also helping with the food ordering, staff management, inventory control etc, etc. I guess I am a 'working' advisor.

Basically I was hired to help with the kitchen but I have seen all the same problems in the dining room also. I have pointed this out to the owner and when we start to get the kitchen in order, we're going to work on the dining room. This is not a long term position either. I am there to help get it straightened out, get the right staff and then I'm on my way. Plus, it's too long of a commute to keep doing it long term.

foodi4lif & panini thanks for the comments, suggestions and support. All great ideas.

Rob.
post #15 of 16
now i am confused, so you are there temp, to change the work ethics.
post #16 of 16
Skydive,
Sounds pretty simple to me. You were hire as an advisor right? So advise away! If the owner hasn't given you any teeth to impliment changes you see need to take place and he isn't willing to follow your critique, then let him shoot himself in the foot. Write up a detailed report of the state of his kitchen showing labor issues, food cost, cleanlines or lack there of and put in his hand, take his money and move on. Sounds like a real mess. I had a similar experience about three years ago where I was hire to "clean up" a poorly run kitchen and noone of my suggestions were followed so at the end of six months, I walked. It's a tough proposition. Good luck!
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