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Question on Ethics

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
...if a chef was, to say, to have a consulting venture outside the parameter of his/her contract restaurant, and then perhaps pluck 2-3 key employees, like the head butcher and bqt guy, the second sous/lead bqt man, and a key salad/prep worker to staff that venture, how would you react as chef de cuisine?
post #2 of 15
It sounds as if you're saying that during off schedule hours these people are basically "moonlighting". Is that correct? Or do you mean to say that the Chef took these people away to a new venture. If it's the latter it's not a nice thing to do to leave everyone in the lurch, but if it's the former and I could be wrong on this but I would think there is a potential liability issue to the owner of the restaurant, forgetting about the ethics for a moment. I can't speak with certainty in the food industry, but I can speak as far as the engineering industry goes. If an Engineer moonlights on off hours and screws something up his full time employer is potentially liable. I would think the same might go for a Chef who inadvertantly (of course) gets someone sick, the full time employer might be liable.
This doesn't necessarily answer your question but brings up a potentially associated point.
My latest musical venture!
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
My latest musical venture!
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
post #3 of 15
Wish the man luck in his venture, tell him what goes around comes around, (meaning that someone else will nab his staff when his back is turned), and remind him that it wouldn't be a good idea to use you or your employer as a reference in the future.

That's about all you can do. Just give it time and he'll get what's coming to him....
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #4 of 15
Absolutely it is unethical. And yes, the involved parties can be sued for damages if the loss of the staff can be shown to have hurt the business he was contracting with.

I recently read a story about a small bank who had something similar happen, and there was a large lawsuit against the offending company/persons.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
I've known for several weeks (but they didn't know I knew) these employees were planning to leave and start this venture, but the chef has not been up front about anything, and is/has in fact been lying to me about the whole scenerio the entire time. Only today does he come out with a spheil that these cooks don't really meld with my Kitchen mgt style and that we are better off w/o them,(although 100% true, we are seriously understaffed at the moment!) and instead of firing them, placing them away to fend for themselves out of our lives is the one and only solution (one will moonlight here two days a week, taking no days off)...... and this change will come about in a matter of days..... hello? full buyouts all weekend?.........

It's rather disheartening to have so many people lying straight to my face for so long, and to make matters worse, I am the one actually training them crash course to open the new place....to complicate matters further, I know he is in exit stratagy mode since last Thanksgiving (try living with THAT for three months and counting :crazy: ) but grooming me to fill his shoes (another lie?) so I hold my peas and Q's because I have been acting chef for quite some time and can't wait to hit the ground running....if I got the job, that is:p..........yet I am sickened by the circumstance I am in......
post #6 of 15
well it is difficult for us, people on a message board to really understand your situation, but like has already been said in this thread, what goes around comes around and everything happens for a reason... If people were actually lieing to your face, would you really want them on your crew... Personally the people on my crew now, some of which are the people who Im looking at in working on my own personal venture, if they lied to my face theyd be dumped off the boat instantly... Ive found that chefs who tolerate less than acceptable behavior because they feel they have to or because making a stand or taking action will take them out of a so called comfort level, have already lost... This is business and business is very hard sometimes.
post #7 of 15
I have a theory that people who can lie straight to your face will also steal from you. Sorry that you're in such a predictament but truthfully, just hang in there and you might be surprised at the outcome in the long term. You may end up with a better staff, one that is loyal, honest and have some morals. A person who steals staff won't have any loyalty and those people who follow him will soon find that out. Panini and I are set to have another bet in the future and when he loses that one, I'll make the bet that he has to come work in your kitchen until you find good help, lol.
post #8 of 15
I think you are better off without them. Who knows, it may be a blessing in disguise! There is a bright future ahead of you and you should look towards it!!
post #9 of 15

You can't steal people

I dont think "steal" is a good word to describe what is going on. You steal a candy bar, you steal money, inanimate objects. People do not get stolen. I think as managers we forget sometimes that employment is about free will. What is making this other venture so attractive? Why would they want to leave? This business is full of strange loyalties and situations and this happens all the time. I would have never been able to open my own restaurant without staff from places I used to work. I did not steal them. Nobody was bound and gagged and kidnapped. They followed me because they thought it was a better opportunity. If i had been a jerk to them in the past or they didn't trust me they wouldn't have made the move. If your staff were happy with their present situation they wouldn't take the risk of leaving. People work where they WANT to. Oh...and did I mention money????
Keep those fires burnin'
Keep those fires burnin'
post #10 of 15
Thanks for that kick in the head, Gladyce, I deserved that. You're right, people have free will to work anywhere they want to and perhaps, maybe another opportunity presents itself which would be better for them. Maybe thier present employment doesn't fit their needs at the present time and maybe their present employer needs to reexamine why his staff can't come to him straightforward. I guess I just felt bad that maybe their present employer would be left without notice of their leaving. Loyalty has to be at both ends to make any business run smoothly, it a two way street. All of us at one time or another took leave for a better opportunity but I think it's important never to burn your bridges even if it was an awful employer. Another good point of yours....money!! I personally wish both sides good luck.
post #11 of 15
You're right, of course it isn't stealing. Neither is the English expression of "hiring a car" accurate, because you hire people, not objects.

Then again, horses and many types of ducks will eat until their stomach bursts. So what's horses and ducks gotta do with guys jumping ship for 5 bucks an hour more? Guys who don't have the balls to look their boss in the face and tell them that A) He isn't paying them enough, or B) They think, in their humble opinion, that he isn't the "right " boss for them, and slink out of the place like rats who've picked a dumpster clean?

Well, eventually guys like that will either end up selling life insurance in the same city, or moving to another city, where they'll plan their career moves a little more carefuly.

Like I said, what goes around come around, and in the Hospitality biz it's a small world. Not neccesarrily a happy cutsey small world, but a small world that everybody talks in...
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #12 of 15
You already know you are not paying them enough and that
they don't respect you, and, that your not the right boss for
them.....Hmmmmm, I think it may be time for a little personal
reflection. What do you have to offer them? Can they look
forward to a place where they can be cultivated and enjoy thier
work on a daily basis? Are you a teacher? Are you a mentor?
Is it fun in your kitchen? Before you can say they let you down,
you have to be sure you didn't let them down. Having a whole
staff jump ship is a big Red Flag. It doesn't happen for any other
reason than poor leadership and poor personal skills. Well, perhaps
money, but, thats usually a pipe dream. One word of advice. If
they do leave, DON'T hire them back. Next time be ready, or, make
it a place where the come, learn, get promoted, and move on.
It's a good idea to have upwardly mobile minded people working for you.
People who want your job. Move them through. Good Luck. Didn't
mean to be critical. It's just that I've seen it before. Its a horrible
thing when it happens just before service on a 300pp+ night or lunch.
post #13 of 15
Ummm, Stephen, no one said that those two Jokers WEREN"T being paid enough, or that the Chef WASN"T doing his job.

I could earn a million a month and work for a Michelain 5 star Saint, but no says I can't jump Ship and work for a 1.2 million and a different Chef. Everybody always wants more, just ask a Professional Sports Star or Trial Lawyer, human nature to always want more. Humans are probably the most difficult to guage, and almost impossible to change, if they're not willing.

The thing here is honesty. If those two jokers had been upfront about it, said "look, so-and-so's paying $22.00/hr, so is X, Y is paying $24, and Z $21 plus a min. of $40 a week in tips, so we think we're getting short changed here".

But they didn't.

If you've ever worked for an A-hole, and quit under frustration, I'm very sure that you, along with everybody else in ths same situation, would have brought it to his/her attention when you leave, and usually in a very ah, abrupt manner.

But they didn't.

Those two slunk out of there like rats exiting an empty dumpster. Nothing to whine or bit** about, and believe me, if they HAD something to whine about, they would have.
The silence, or in this case, lack of whining, is roaring. Those two jokers knew they were pulling a dirty, hence the slinking out without a word.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
..it was the rat thing, and no, I didn't deserve it.....and it IS a little bit more complex .......... Patience has always been one of my select virtues. 24 hrs and it will all be over....

everything is working out splendidly, thank you all, very much. I couldn't possibly imagine a better outcome.
post #15 of 15
Have never left a job abruptly or without at least a month and a half
notice. Have I worked for people I felt I hated? Yes, but, when it got
to a point where I was frustrated beyond belief, I asked myself how leaving
would benefit me, made myself wait two weeks to make a decision, and
almost always was fine with staying. I also don't work for anybody under
the sun, I have misjudged people, but, mostly pick well as a general rule.
There have been times when I have had to wait 1 or 2 years for what I
wanted at a particular property, but, people are different these days. Anybody who would slink out without replacing himself or giving proper notice,
not dishwasher two week notice, but, cook and chef 1 month+ notice, couldn't of been that good. Wasn't busting chops, I work hard to have a staff
or staffs that take care of me and feel a strong sense of loyalty to their
profession. Not me, but, thier profession. I have stumbled many times along
the way and have by no means always been a fair, good, or honest boss,
but no one starts out perfect. I always tried though. Always did the best
that I could at the time. When I was 12 years old, I quit a job with out notice, my dad made me go back to the restaurant and get on my knees and
beg for my job. That has been as close as I have come to walking out, because they took me back. I appreciate you response and enjoy reading your posts foodpump. Thankyou.
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