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The nightmare service.

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
What do you do? It happens to all of us at one time or another when we get hammered and don't have the staff to cope, I know its part and parcel of the biz but I had to share this with you.

Our management is cutting back on wages and last Saturday I was doing a 10am till 6pm shift with my brilliant Sous coming in from 2pm till 10pm. We had no KP all day and I was really concerned about him doing a Saturday night on his own. Typically we would do 50 throughout the day but recently it has been getting busier and I had a feeling about this one.

Well it kicked off big time at 12.00 and I was already pushing 40 covers before he turned up at 2.00. Our fish delivery was late which meant mussels were off the menu and in spite of me telling FOH this, I continually got orders for mussels :crazy: I was doing a good job of keeping up and was elated to see my trusty sous arrive on time.

Eventually FOH were not coping as our numbers were pushing 80 by 3pm. Even if we wanted to clean mussels we couldn't, the sinks were piled up and stuff was crashing to the floor, my kitchen was a disaster zone.

Finally the boss comes in and says, "These people ordered 20 minutes ago, I can't tell them mussels are off, its been too long, would you be able to clean just one portion please?" At that point I took a deep breath counted to ten and set about clearing an area so that I could meet her request.

By 4pm we had run out of plates, cutlery, utensils, pans and of course patience. I was due to go off shift in two hours and leave my sous in the weeds. I decided to close the kitchen to regroup, this was against the managements wishes and did not go down very well. During the two hours the kitchen was closed FOH turned away 50 more customers who wanted food. So, for the sake of saving £30 for a KP we lost over £500 in unhappy customers, what a shambles. It just goes to show how a small decision can have such a huge impact.

I am sure some of you have been in similar situations, how did you cope when it hit the fan?
post #2 of 16
Great story, IMHO when your cutting back and the Restaurant gets hit, the Owner/ Manager needs to get their hands dirty. I see this in a lot of posts with Restaurant owners, managers. Your in the Dam restaurant business, they need to be able to step into all positions. A Good owner/manager goes where the energy is, they don't need to be standing up at the cashier stand when the kitchen is going nuts.................................I have Managed Many private clubs, Restaurants over the years. I came into work in a suit and tie but it soon came off if the Kitchen was getting their Butts kicked. I also saw a better relationship form with the kitchen staff when they knew I understood what they went through and helped them during a busy time.
The Restaurant manager should have rolled up her sleeves to clean the mussels. Sorry for the dirty job sweetheart, get used to it this business isn't all Roses and perfume .........................Bill
post #3 of 16
Amen! Those FOH people think they're there to welcome people and ask "how was your meal" without really waiting for an answer. The manager should have cleaned some **** mussels, and washed a few dishes.

Bazza, you did the right thing. Your responsibility to the kitchen means providing the best possible dishes to the customers, considering what you had to work with.

In times I've been tidal waved, I start eliminating things from the menu to give less variety, but better quality on the few things we CAN get out of the back.

It sounds like you have terrible communication problems between the front and back of the house. The manager obviously thinks the only thing to running a successful restaurant is the kitchen. And if the kitchen isn't working, just yell at them more.

Like the sign said "Beatings will continue until morale improves".

Sorry you had such a terrible service day. We've all been there.
post #4 of 16
Well my BOH staff was fired a few months back. So I run the whole show from banquets, weddings, and the restaurant. I find downing half a bottle of salted white kitchen wine makes the stress go away.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Funny thing is, the Manageress is the owner and she thinks that she can give good service on her own! She refused to phone for help saying that she needed to save money. Her 19yr old son appeared for a couple of hours then disappeared again. When food was ready it was not collected, we could not move on to the next ticket until the pass was cleared. With two or three more staff we could have easily done 150 covers. C'est la vie... it aint my money.
post #6 of 16
Hate to be the doom and gloom part of the show here, But when the owner starts getting desperate, I hear warning bells (just had de j'a vu from 25 years ago) You might want to be thinking of moving on.

Obviously, from what you say, business is picking up and you're really busy. The punters must like what you're giving them. Doesnt mean the boss is doing as well.

Sorry to be a wet blanket. I dont have possitive input. But i've been there and didnt get out in time.
"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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post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi bughut nice to see you. You are spot on with what you say :thumb: I haven't had a service like that in a long time and it does beg the question. The truth is I have been thinking about moving on for a while now. I have been trying to help them but you cant tell someone how to run their own business.
post #8 of 16
Tell your boss that you will not be able to work without the KP on health and safety grounds as well as concerns for HACCP. The kitchen is going to be a mess without a KP, who will mop up the spills, who will ensure you have clean plates to serve food on, who will help with fridge temps, hot food temps etc, who going to check deliveries and put them away when you have tickets on...is the delivered food going to sit out at room temp and spoil???? A as a Chef in the UK you have responsibilities concerning HACCP and can be possibly jailed if customers get sick. Explain that to the boss, and if she still wants to cut payroll you could help her and quit! There are better jobs out there..
UNDER PRESSURE AT PEMBROKE
Cooking sous vide at Cambridge's third oldest College
http://thepembrokekitchen.blogspot.com/
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UNDER PRESSURE AT PEMBROKE
Cooking sous vide at Cambridge's third oldest College
http://thepembrokekitchen.blogspot.com/
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post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies.

Ok I finally quit the job, a bit of a shame because I did like it there. Aside from the mismanagement they are very nice people but unfortunately have no idea on how to run a business. I start my new job tomorrow in a beautiful village pub, we'll see...
post #10 of 16
Good luck with the new job!
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 #11 of 16
Well done you. Going down with the ship is for captains. Not good chefs. Besides it adds awkward ???? on your CV. I expect it was awful having to do the deed. But now you can concentrate on doing the job, instead of worrying about stuff you shouldn't have to.

Hope your new place works out for you. Best of luck. Keep in touch


Where are you BTW. I'm in Winchester and Rugby next week ?
"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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post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks Bughut and leeniek, there didn't seem to be much of a future there.

The new place is in a tiny village called Shoreham near Sevenoaks, it has four pubs, all with poor reviews. This one has new tenants and they have done a very nice refit, I have a brand new kitchen and full autonomy with the menu, sounds promising. The opening is this Friday, so a busy week ahead. :eek:
post #13 of 16
I work as a chef de partie at a takeaway in a holiday village, we've had our staff levels cut by the management and as a result were getting a lot of bad food quality feedback. The chef taken out the business is our biggest hit meaning we've had to find ways around tasks to have the time to do them that as a result impact the quality. FoH have also taken a staff member off each night.The food when it gets to the hatch is great, once left there for over half an hour, bagged into a hot bag that most of the time isn't plugged in and driven round the village for 20 mins the food is poor and cold. I need a way to convince the line managers to give us the staff we need and come up with some ideas to get our scores back. Any ideas on a report I could put together? Cause I'm fed up with producing brilliant food during prep time only for it to become poor at our guests hands
post #14 of 16

Tell you what - y'all slip with a pan of boiilin' oil init and you can be F'd up in a huge way Bro.  Hope you are ensured.

post #15 of 16
Why did you dig up this 5 year old thread?
post #16 of 16
I'm new to the site and was looking through some of the threads others had made. Didn't realise how old this one were lol. Perhaps il made a new one
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