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what do you guys do to movtivate yourself?

post #1 of 15
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i'm talking about when service hits hard. a 20-30% increase in diners.
you get a 14 top 1/2 an hour before closing and they all want the hardest thing to cook in the kitchen. and you're running the station that makes it.
i'm talking about a team of vegans who come in and want a cruelty-free foie gras terrine.
i'm talking about having to redo your mise 3 times over the course of service.
people drop plates, things burn.
refires aplenty and nothing is working right.

on those nights, i feel like shaving my head and bashing people with a saute pan. on really bad days, i wake up and count down the hours until i have to show up on time for **** again.

normally, at this point, i turn to episodes of top chef, sit on the john and read a chapter of kitchen confidential, and even this forum for the courage and dedication to get back into the kitchen 2 hours before my shift starts.

what do you guys do?
post #2 of 15
I've been out of the line-cooking end for a few years now,but I recall those days quite well!

My close friend / mentor [we've worked at many places together] and I would have a drink and re-hash what happened that night and just gear up for the next shift.Then I'd watch something on Discovery or Science Channel because it had nothing to do with food.

I used to be the type of person who'd obsess over things,but I don't anymore because as I've gotten older,all it does is wear me down.I would wake up at 4am and my mind would be racing about everything I had to do that day or night.Now,when I leave the kitchen and take off my jacket,I leave all worries about the job in the laundry with it.It took a long time to make myself do that,too.

Best advice I ever got from another chef was to make sure you had some other interest besides the industry,because you need that mental break from it,especially after a decade or more!
"Sometimes people can be oh so dense"

The Pixies
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"Sometimes people can be oh so dense"

The Pixies
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post #3 of 15
Kitchen and service(which I considered the best part of being a chef) should be motivating itself.If u need to find ways to motivate yourself, maybe you are not enjoying it, and is such a hard job that you have to like it and enjoy every bit of it, otherwise you will turn mad.
Every mrning when I wake up and get the bus to go to work, I recall everything I need to do, I start working the minute I sit in the bus on my way to work.
I love my job and wouldn't change it for anything(apart from a promotion), the day I will not enjoy it I will find other options.
That is just my opinion
Shiny, Shiny... GO HOME!!!
(C. E. Oddie)
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Shiny, Shiny... GO HOME!!!
(C. E. Oddie)
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post #4 of 15
I always found (and still do) that pain is a great motivator. If work (or social life or hobby or whatever) isn't going well, work harder. You can wallow for a while - it is human. But, then, get up off the mat and make yourself better at what you do. Always. I know, I know easier said than done. But find an outlet that drives you back to why you are there in the first place... mine is music. Books do well, too. A little inspiration is good medicine. This site has been my haven for recharging my batteries, as well.

"Never quit. You never know what is going to happen next!"

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 #5 of 15
find the cutest waitress or prep personette... and flirt... alll day long...

when the $h!t hits the fan you can simply look forward to a hug afterwards from a real cute girl...

or just go front of house for a bit... if you can that is... take a dish or two out yourself...

if the waitstaff have been screwing things up all night... then do their job for them.. just to show them up... your probably gonna get some tips, or at least... problem customers never have the balls to tell the chef him/herself whats wrong... its always fine if the chef brings it out...


other than that... i just dont ever get stressed... very hard to get me stressed, i simply stop listening to people who are annoying.. i start to get condesending to people who are screwing up... and i make a point of getting my end right so that when at the end of the night everyone is together looking at how they can improve for next time its all in the air... your complemented by your boss or the rest of the staff...
post #6 of 15
I think that you are still just getting used to service. As you mature in the business, the stress turns into adrenaline and you learn to enjoy it. I still get on line on a daily basis in at least one of my restaurants because I enjoy it. My younger line cooks always ask me why, or say don't worry about it Chef, I got it. I simply tell them that cooking is the easiest, least stressful part of my job. It is why I got into the business in the first place. Just give it time and you will mellow out a little.
It's Good To Be The King!
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It's Good To Be The King!
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post #7 of 15
I go to work early before anyone else (I have keys to the restaurant)..get all the prep work done. By the time the rest of the cooks get there (we are only open for dinner) all that's needed to be done is setting up the hot and cold line. It gives me freedom to help run food and talk to some of the guests...that's what gives me motivation..to hear them say "thanks".:cool:
post #8 of 15
You have to look at the big picture because if those 14's weren't coming in you wouldn't have a job. If your re-doing your mise 3 times a night, do more mise (it never ends,never). This is a business for warriors so you are one or your not! No shame in not, just go get another job. I use a musical instrument for my escape. After I get home and put my daughter to bed, I go into my music room and play for an hour or so.Do something that isn't cooking, it can help you to enjoy your time in the kitchen even more. You can find inspiration in a million places and things, just have to keep your eyes and ears open
post #9 of 15
This works for me, as well .... and my wife also loves to listen, now that I'm playing acoustic guitar these days ;)
Bakers - we make a lot of dough, but not so much money
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Bakers - we make a lot of dough, but not so much money
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post #10 of 15
Back when I was at TGIF, listening to the guys invent new ways to use profanities was more then entertaining and really loosened up the tension during those peak rush periods.

Today, before reaching for the next line of tickets, I take about 30 seconds to put sauta pans on the stove, gather my thoughts, and wipe my station down thoroughly. When I'm ready, I begin calling out the orders as I drop food into my hot saute pans.

I am trying to maintain my calm and not blow up because people failed to understand that there would be tomatoes in the sun-dried tomato pasta special. When the server comes back to me, I will pause for a long while as I gather my cool, and then finally ask them what they need changed in a low toned voice.
post #11 of 15
Amen, always wanted to be ZENA, Warrior Princess!:roll:
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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post #12 of 15
That is exactly what I like about the industry. Nothing feels better than taking all the crap that is thrown at us, working through it, and still being alive at the end of the day. I go home every night feeling like I've accomplished something, and I love that I know I get to do it every day. Oh, and Anthony is always good for a laugh on the really bad days.
post #13 of 15

It always works for me

Rocky IV soundtrack.. no joke
post #14 of 15

what motivates you

i love all the adrenaline rush that the kitchen has to offer when its busy and its humming..there is a certain 'zone' that the whole kitchen gets in when its cranking..the kitchen is hot, hellish and hard and its definately not for eveyone! if your business is expanding and growing, which is what we all want, right? then you need to prep more, get another cook and deal with all the pitas(pain in the ***) customers..but, they are the customer..you should be happy that they have chosen your place to dine..there are a lot of restaurant choices and they have chosen yours! wow, some restaurants are really struggling to get customers in the door and here you are actually complaining that you have too many! perhaps if you don't like all the work, you should try another profession..food is an art, and one that can be crafted, but i think you need to atleast have the passion foremost..if you lack passion, your job will become just that..a job...i can't think of another career i would rather have, another place i would rather be, then in a well run kitchen when its humming....
joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #15 of 15
Motivation? The mortgage...

--Al
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