I purchased a 120 seat "fine country dining" establishment and I have an issue that has come up. I need some advice from a chef, or lots of chefs opinions. please.
The staff has been there since the beginning(18 years) Its going great between all of us but the chef. The prior owners had no interest in the kitchen or menu. Gave little input on menu decisions and in response the young chef took over that facet of the place. He became a bully(according to the staff) fairly quickly, menu hasn't changed in 10 years. Likes his routine, sees no need to change things, it works for HIM. Diners are dieing for a menu change. Staff is dieing for menu change, I see the absolute need for that also, but Chef likes to do as he has for all these years.
I have made new kitchen equipment purchases to make everyones job easier, he hates my purchases.(sandwich prep refrig) not a contoversail purchase. Etc.
The guy hates me, the place can not thrive and grow without some positive change in the menu, and some better quality ingredients.
I completely understand the discomfort of having a new owner, and the fear of change. But I also understand a much bigger isssue, the need to make the customer happy, provide fresh ideas, value and a pleasant work enviroment for everyone. This man gets his 1000.per week ( a short week at that)whether there are 10 diners or 110. I am sure any kind of change seems uncomfortable to him.
The staff wishes he would leave, and has strongly suggested I help him leave. I wish he would just open his mind, crack a magazine, go out to a good restuarant, turn on a food program,etc and realize, he could be alot worse off with another owner, maybe one that might not BABY him. I don't want him to leave but I can not take him screaming at me for illogical reasons, or refusing to help improve this investment that we all benefit from. Please help me. Am I wrong