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Thank you all! I think I got i!!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
So for the time since becoming AKM I had to really be a hardass with staff.  (well hardass for  me at least)  Two days of inattentive and chatty staff and watching the reaction of the owners lead me to the verbal warnings I issued this morning.

This is not my kitchen and if it was the individuals in question would not be employed with me but.. it is what it is and I can only do so much. 

So...Thursday when produce came in, I took four boxes of mushrooms to the same  guys on the line who were chatting and I said.. since you have nothing to do , cook these off box by box on the grill, please.  Did they do that.. nope..  I went back on the line fifteen minutes later  and said.. can you tell me why we still have raw mushrooms here as I asked you to fire them fifteen minutes ago??..  the response was.. we were busy.. and  my angry retort was.. yeah chatting not cooking or working so haul some ass and get this shit done..  i am sure they thought I was PMSing or having that menopause thing as I am nearly that age..  they gave me further attitude and I gave them a choice.. to the freaking work or get lost and I will hire people who will work. 

Today with these two was a case of same crap different pile and frankly I want them gone.  While one of them is a good closer the other is sketchy and I am sure if we look we can find some good people.  Last time I looked the schedule was set in stone and if it says you need to be in at 8am then dammit you need to be there and not take it as a guideline. 

I have writeups  prepared for four staff members and how they perform tomorrow will determine whether I shred the write up or sit them down and actually write them up.  They have had verbal warnings so it is up to them now  to show me that they can either rise to it or not. 

I have to thank all of you here for allowing me to vent and bitch and learn!    You all are awesome!!
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post #2 of 18
I would pull each aside seperately and have a discussion.
I would follow through with the write ups so that they know you are serious.
Serious, not angry.
Explain to them exactly what their shortcomings are and what your expectations are.
Stress the point that if they do not correct their behavior you will replace them.
Then follow through.
Do not allow them slack in this area just because they may come through for you in another.
If this behavior is a problem, then it's a problem, end of story.
If you allow them to continue to do this it isn't "shame on them" it's "shame on you".

As I and others have stated in the past, this is usually more easily digested if you deliver it as a sandwich (tell them what they do well, what they do poorly, then how much better they will be once the problem is corrected.

Good luck, this isn't the most pleasant part of the job.
Edited by Just Jim - 4/18/10 at 10:37am
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #3 of 18
Hey Girl, its your way or the freeway. If you come back and the mushrooms are not done, call some one in, and send them home. Tell them, come back when your ready to listen and work. We didn't win the Gold medal in Hockey by sitting on our BUTTS, Did we.....................ChefBillyb
post #4 of 18
 Many millions of people live in  Canada if you had 10 Million already work for you, you still have many more millions to choose from .Get my drift? REPLACE 1 Of them and let it serve example to the others. Everyone is replaceable!. Sorry I am a H____ A__
EJB

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well, they behaved well enough that I am not writing them up but they have been told that as of the 26th their shifts will be cut and if they want them back they need to cut the chatting, concentrate on the job and do what is asked of them in good time.   That was put in writing and it was signed by myself, the owner and the cooks in question.  I would love to be able to cut them as of tomorrow but the schedule was already made and the guy I want in to replace them is not available until the 26th. 

I am cutting one person's shifts as of the next schedule and I did that with a paper trail as well.  She wants full time monday to friday open shifts and frankly I cannot use her. She talks far too much (verbal diareha) and does not focus at all on the task at hand.  It took her nearly thirty minutes on Saturday to put out an order that should have taken maybe fifteen minutes at the most and that is because she is too busy chatting and not working. That was after being given a verbal warning and today it was much worse.  

Today with her she was on the hot line as I had a call in and I needed her to take that cook's place.  I knew she was not strong enough to handle a rush so I told the owner that I would need him in the kitchen when the stuff started hitting the fan.  Well we hit the jungle pretty fast with her on that station as I had to constantly tell her what to do and I just wanted to cry... the owner saw that in me and asked if I wanted him in the back and I think I choked back tears as I said yes please!  He came back and I put chatty cathy on prep and he helped us out of the jungle and back into the weeds.. then we left the weeds.... he was in the kitchen for the bulk of today and he saved my ass big time. 

At end of day he and I talked and he told me that I did nothing wrong today and I did what I could with with who I had in and he was ok with that. I let him know that I take things to heart and that is why I was so close to tears and that is a me thing.   He is less than pleased with our chatters, and he got a first hand view of the kitchen,  things have to change and he is going to push the KM to make the changes.
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post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
I talked to the KM about everything today and he agreed with the decisions I made.  He told me to go ahead and write people up if it continues and he is going to do the same.  They are taking advantage of us and it needs to stop and I'm glad he backed me up.  I have the three chatterboxes in on Friday as well as the owner in the kitchen with me so we'll see how things go. 

The KM was happy with what he saw when he came in this morning.  I made a couple of mistakes on the order and I ordered a couple of things we didn't need but he was ok with it.  We just won't be ordering vynil gloves for a few weeks, and the same goes for brown, granulated and icing sugars... oops!  It's not a big deal.. the stuff isn't going to go bad or anything.
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post #7 of 18
Hey leeniek
                 I don't know who your suppliers are but you can always send things back as you are checking them off the order. Also, I 'm wondering do you know you can split cases? . You have to watch the order desk when they do not realize your new at it ...or do they?

I'm here in Ontario ...dealt with quite a few of these suppliers

let me know

Gypsy
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
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post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
hey Gypsy

We get alot of stuff from our head office and for the most part we can't order half cases of what we get from them.  I didn't even notice my mistakes until I had accepted everything and the driver was long gone, but I ordered the stuff so we are stuck with it. (the KM made a similar error with cinnamon buns back in the fall.. thank goodness for freezers!!)   It isn't a big deal.. sugar doesn't go bad and we will use the cheese up as well, even if I have to shred it and use it in omelettes. 

I do get half cases of produce though, and even single items from our produce supplier.  We have had to return things now and then... every so often we'll cut into a watermelon and find out that we just cannot use it and I know it's the nature of the beast and there isn't anything we can do about it.  I don't know if you have heard of them but the company we use for produce is Veggie Connect, I suspect they operate as Garden Valley and Greenliner.  When I call to place the order I get their answering machine alot of the time, and those two companies are named in their message. 

When I worked at the cafe we got our bread from Ace Bakery, our coffee from Creemore Coffee company, and we got alot in from Rycott's.  The salesperson we dealt with was wonderful.. she would waive the minimum order for us int he wintertime as we were not busy enough to justify all of that stock  but in the warmer months when the patio was open, our orders tripled.  For fresh, one of the owners went to Loccoco's a few times a week, and in a pinch Fortino's was a five minute drive away.  
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post #9 of 18

That is a common mistake but..... it is what it is....If your really stuck for storage and it's hindering your food cost you can call and ask them to pick-up on your next delivery, they should issue a credit . They are pretty compliable if they want your business.As far as produce goes if you cut into  that watermelon  and it aint  good ...call your Sales Rep right away and get a credit. You don't have to pay for that.If you can't get hold of your Rep ...sometimes they are allusive on purpose. Get friendly with those on the order desk ...some can issue credits some can't. Let them know you were unable to get your Rep on the line ...you will get a responce quickly.

 Ace Bakery ..good bread as I remember  for frozen? If we are speaking of the same Ace Bakery. Rycott they have bailed me out, on Halibut when I couldn't get any fresh for the Pub I was the Chef for a few years back. They have the best hand-cut frozen Halibut I have ever experianced. As far as Veggies go  ,I'm locked in with my local  guys. The small suppliers always keep you on the up and up with price changes and what not.
 
 

My feet are firmly planted in mid air
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post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
The only bread I have experienced with Ace Bakery is fresh but it wouldn't surprise me if they also dealt in frozen as I have seen what they offer for sale in the grocery stores and it was a far cry from what they provided us with. 

My mistake wasn't a hindrance on food cost and sadly once we place an order it is ours and a done deal.  (we are a franchise) If they oversend it is one thing but if we over order well that is our puppy to raise.  We still have too many buckets of margarine from the KM's mistake so it's been a learning experience as we go..

With produce we do send back if we have to and they are good about it.  They get us local fruits in season and then the best they can get in the off seasons.  We have to provide the same fruits all year so we need to suck it up at times and accept what they can get at the food terminal.  I can go into Fortinos and Metro and compare their strawberries to what we were sold and know that it was a bad week for strawberries, but we have to have them at all times so we have no choice but to suck it up. 

I have had limited experience with Stewart's... I worked at  a cafeteria where they were the supplier... I was not a fan of thier spices but otherwise they seemed ok to me and I was the FNG at that place so what did I know?  
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post #11 of 18
Oh, I did not know it was a franchise. Well yes your hands are tied in certain areas from the powers above. That can work for you too. As you have to order from the companies provided and it is out of your hands if they are not suppliying by demand....I get ya now Leeniak.

Stewarts ....yes  I had to deal with them for years ,,,same reason in a way .We were not a franchise,,,, but the owner of Stewarts, Mike McMillan  was a frequent regular of our establishment and became close friends with the owners. I kept him at bay with dried goods...I agree on spices and other products....what can you do but the best with what we are provided.

so good to chat with a fellow Ontario Girl in the biz 

Gypsy
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post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Our hands are tied to some extent but it does make things easier in that we have only them to deal with as a supplier.  For some reason when we opened the former KM ordered alot of things from GFS but we don't use them anymore.   For what is pretty much the same amount we would spend on GFS one of the owners goes to Costco buys what we need there.  We don't have to worry about making a minimum order and if there' a sale on anything we will use in soup, he picks that stuff up as well. 

Speaking of Costco, I was shocked to find out that the cafe that I used to work at, and left when management changed as I didn't like the way the new owners were cutting corners to save money was selling Costco brand coffee and passing it off as "organic, fair trade, shade grown" coffee.  When I worked there that was what our coffee was, and if anyone asked to see the certification, we showed them the label on the bag.   To tell you how out of it these people were when it came down to simple things like food safety... they wanted to put a burger on the menu.  That was fine but we had the workspace of a small apartment kitchen at best, and the raw meat was going to be prepared far too close to ready to eat foods.. I told her she had to prep it in the back because of the risk of cross contamination and she ignored me and set to work on my board where I was in the process of making sandwiches!!  Ack!  I threw what I was making in the garbage, got new ingredients and went to the back to prep them safely.  That was pretty much the icing on the cake for me... I was the only cook there and if anyone came down with e-coli that could have been traced back to us it would have been me who would have had to deal with the health inspectors!  
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post #13 of 18
GFS  is only for the Giants of this biz.
                                                    They do not interest me on any level . I only delt with them for a short while ..again,the powers above....we were down at The Docks in T.O. for awhile as the owner of our company invested there and ,I went down to help do some start up and catering and back to my own location after. I had to go to G.F.S. for a three hour tour (Gilligan's Island) not impressed....I was falling asleep. Anyhow I deal with small local suppliers....and good contacts at this stage in the game of my life...Next year opening up my own Gig
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
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My feet are firmly planted in mid air
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post #14 of 18
Never knew of a franchise that didn't deal with broadliners......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #15 of 18

Leeniek,

Perseverance is part of the AKM job and solving problems is part of the job; but it sounds like you have that well in hand.

re: ordering.. one of my first orders placed after being promoted to KM involved my forgetting to say "each" when placing our weekly Bridge Brand order.
 

Now, "one EACH" bottle of vanilla would last our restaurant (it wasn't a bakery) for about 2 years.

The "ONE CASE" (12 x 1 litre bottles) of vanilla not only would have lasted a lifetime, but cost more than my first car.

Thank God they took the 11 unwanted bottles back.

 

Hang in there.

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Oh my, that's alot of vanilla!  I'm not sure what happened but we had a similar thing with watermelons.  We place our produce order by phone and I had ordred four "single" watermelons, and one of those was to be a credit as I was returning one.  So what should have been included in our order for Saturday was four watermelons, with us only being charged for three.  I'm not sure what went on at their end because they sent us eleven watermelons on Saturday. We maybe use eleven in a week, not two days!  Thankfully they took them back yesterday morning and gave us a credit for what we returned.  
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post #17 of 18
Cubed watermelon dressed with olive oil and balsamic, some torn basil, julienned cucumber, malton salt, mmmmmm.... Nice summer salad ;)
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
mmmm... that does sound good.. and I bet it would go well with any kind of grilled meat..
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