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New Guy on the Block

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hello, I am new to the site. I own a restaurant in Jersey City NJ. Spent 30 yrs on Wall St and left to buy this restaurant. Attended French Culinary Inst. for only the La Technique course (120 hrs on basic skills). Have been an amatuer cook for 40 yrs. I have a very good kitchen staff but I set my menus and instruct my staff on how I would like the dishes made. Upscale SteakHouse with an out of the ordinary flair. Fresh Fish and Interesting salads. That's my story..I would like to use this site for information and suggestions from other more seasoned professionals. I am extremely committed to my restaurant and feel that I am doing many things right.
post #2 of 8
wow that sound pretty professional and confident to me.
I love to run a restaurant but I don know that much cooking,should I be a professional cook to run it?
post #3 of 8
Welcome to the group!!

You sound like you know what you want for your place and I think you have the makings of a good owner.

The place I am at is owned by two older gentlemen.. one is a retired teacher and the other is in corporate finance but they have a vision for the place and expectations and standards that everyone is expected to live up to and as they have shown they are not afraid to step up and fire people if they have to. They let the kitchen manager that the corporate guys (we are a chain place) told them to hire go because he wasn't taking his job seriously at all and as soon as he was gone they got rid of the rest of the dead wood in the kitchen that he refused to let go. They both have their eyes and ears open at all times and they know who does more than 100% and those who do just enough to remain employed.

The only advice I can give you off the top is to remain visible to both your staff and patrons, and always be there if they need you for anything. Don't be afraid to put on whites and help in the kitchen on a day you're shortstaffed or do the dishpit if you have no dishwasher in, or expo or serve or host when you need to... when staff and patrons see an owner who is willing to have his/her hands in wherever they are needed... that brings more respect for you and loyalty than you can ever imagine.
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your input. I am here every day from opening till almost closing. My manager lives on the top floor of the bldg, he closes the place. It's a townhouse built in 1870 with a beautiful mahogony bar in basement/street level floor. Two dining rooms upstairs that seats around 80, unfortunately not often enough but getting better now that the summer is over. I fired my executive chef last year (complained way too much) so I spent 6 weeks at the saute station and now I only go behind the line if needed. It's fun, but I couldn't do that everyday. If anyone is ever in Jersey City or Manhattan let me know and come in and check the place out. You will be impressed. I have been told that I have the best restaurant in the area and I must agree. Nj Monthly magazine has included my place in the top 25 restaurants in the state so I know we're doing something well. Thanks again
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm not a professional cook per se but what exactly does that mean? I have all the respect for the pro's who have gone through culinary programs but not always necessary. I know a few owners who are the chef's and have never taken any professional courses. It is not rocket science, but you must be comitted to it. I didn't realize this when I bought this place 2 yrs ago but owning a restaurant is a way of life, not just a job. Very long hours and many nights not being able to sleep thinking about what needs to be done the next day/week/month.
post #6 of 8
That's amazing!! You most definitely have a good thing going there!

Congratulations to you and your staff.
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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post #7 of 8
Funny you should say that. I have been telling everyone for many years. When you own the place, you have the strictest boss possible "Its The Front Door" It must be staffed,cleaned, insured, prepped every day, no excuses allowed.:chef:
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #8 of 8
Wecome to the site vegaJC.

It's great to hear a success story. You're obviously doing something very right.

Al the best
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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