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not sure how to reach this one

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

 Recently we have had to do some hiring and so far everyone is working out well but we're having an issue with one of the new cooks.

 

He is new to the business, graduated culinary school and at his last job he was the lone cook.  He does have alot of previous management experience in other fields and to me he seems to be used to being in charge.  Now he is in a line environment and did very well during training.. appearing to pick things up very quickly.  I can understand the culture shock part of learning the line as it was all new to me when I started.  I was also used to being the lone cook (or one of three cooks) and I had alot of learning to do.  He's a good worker and for the most part does what is asked of him.

 

I'm finding that he resists taking direction from me and I'm not sure why.  That I have to figure out for myself and address.  It might be that I'm a girl and he has gender issues or maybe he truly thinks he knows better than I do.  He is also used to being in charge so maybe it's difficult for him to listen to someone else.  That one I will get to the bottom of and deal with on my own.

 

What baffles me is how he works on the line. He appears to think the entire line rests on him and will muscle in on other stations when orders come in if he has nothing going on.   He does not seem to think prep is important and has landed in the weeds more than once because of his desire to "help" everyone else.   I have told him.. we have this go back to your station..., the KM has told him more than once to keep to his own station and the crepe guy bit  his head off when he tried to muscle in but still.. nothing is working.  I kicked him off of fruits on Sunday.  I was in the walk in when a waffle was ready to go so when I passed the KM on my way back to fruits he said to me to go on table 70's waffle it was just called  and I said ok.  I had no sooner put the case of kiwis I was carrying down when the new guy was at the waffle iron ready to do it for me and I turned to him and said ... I have this you need to go back to meat and potatoes...  It was a ten second time delay and I still had the waffle up before the KM was ready to sell the ticket.  He ran out of all of his meats on Sunday because he was not focused and concentrating on what he was doing.  That pretty much had the hot side sunk for a while.  This is the story with him on all of his stations.. he does not seem to want to focus on the station he is on.  

 

I do not want to fire this guy.  He is a good worker, has a strong work ethic and is reliable and responsible.  But something has to change with him and I am at a loss as to how to help him fit in with our kitchen. 

 

Any advice you guys have I'd love to hear.. positive or otherwise. 

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post #2 of 10

This will take some time on your part for "prep", but it's the only way I could deal with the sitch.:

 

 

Sit the guy down, on his own time--before or after shift.

 

1) Gather the tickets from the previous day and show him your gross sales for that shift.

2) Now, get him a calculator, get him to figure out his salary for that shift, get him to figure out what his "86" schtick cost the kitchen, get him to figure out what his "superman" schtick cost the kitchen.

 

3) Get him to promise to stick to his job description, and only go to another station when a supervisor tells him to.

 

Money always talks...........................

...."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 #3 of 10

It sounds like he needs to work on "team player".  See if he's a football fan (American, not soccer).  If so, talk about positions.  Explain to him that he's a offensive lineman and he has one job and one job only.  Don't let the defense get through (or in the case of a running play, create a hole, but I digress).  He has his man to cover and he needs to cover that man.  His job isn't to catch the pass or run the ball.  His job is to make sure the person whose job it is to carry the ball, is able to do so.  He has a zone, he needs to stay in that zone, and there is a supervisor there to coach the team if positions need to be changed. 

 

The other thing is, he may feel over his head.  Perhaps he's trying to show you how good he is (but by doing so, is only screwing things up). 

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

I think there are a couple of things going on with him. 

 

I think he does want to prove himself and when he applies himself he does an excellent job. 

 

But, he also likes to be in charge and seems to think that he can run the kitchen when that is the KM's and my job to do.  The KM did talk to him and things started to change, and I also  had a talk with him.  I approached it a little differently than the KM and I shared with him what I had to learn when I became AKM.  The hardest thing for me was to learn to let go and trust that the guys would get their jobs done and once I did that my stress level went down to zero most of the time.   He has been slowly improving but this weekend he did a big backslide. 

 

Today he was on crepes and he tanked more than once.  I knew he was going to tank (Sundays are super stupid busy for us) but I was also very disappointed in him at the same time.  

 

He was in at 9am so I did his prep for him and got his station up and running.  Instead of jumping in at 9am he went over the opener's duites and did some cleaning. I had some crepes on order at the time and did them myself as he was nowhere to be found.  I told him that I needed him on the line but he ignored me.  I told him again that his main job is to be on crepes and eff the side jobs as we are lined up out the door and we will be in the weeds or worse once all of those orders come in.  He gave me attitude and I told him to either get over himself or go home as I have no time for ego padding.  He stayed but his performance was lacking.  He likes to be in charge and every time I had to help a station out he tried to run the kitchen.  I told him more than once to  keep to his station but he chose not to listen to me.  When he was in the weeds and I had to help him he was adamant that he did not need help and I told him that his tickets were running over 20 minutes and he needed to pick it up or accept help.

 

He pulled an attitude when I told him to stay to his station.  Yes the KM and I help statons when they are in the weeds but that is our job, not that of  the cooks.  If we ask a cook to help then fine but if not, they need to stay to thier stations.

 

He is new to the business and has never worked on a line so he has alot of learning to do but we cannot afford his fumbling every week.

 

I am seeing shift cuts for this guy... we cannot afford to pay people who do not perform and sadly he is becoming a disappointment for us. For some reason he is being paid more than our best cook and frankly he  is a waste of money. 

 

I wish he had worked out but he isn't performing and he has been with us long enough now to have picked it up. 

 

Thanks for letting me vent you guys... I really needed to let it out

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post #5 of 10

Hey, at least he is willing, and understands English. It may take him a while. Aside from being female are you younger then him?

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 #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

 I'm eleven years older than he is so I don't think it's an age thing.  The KM is nine years older than I am and he listens as poorly to him as he does to me.  

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post #7 of 10

Hey Leen Sous, I used to use a lot of phrases in the kitchen like, If you move out of your station I'll kill you, If you do that again your dead, and so on, you get the idea. Now with law suits, labor boards, and things like that, the old way is a thing of the past ( although it work real good). When I'm training someone I explain it once, then I ask them to repeat what I just said. Most of the time they only get about 40 to 50% of what I said, some times I feel they were not even in the same room with me when I said it. If I have a person like you have, I look them in the eye, explain the reason why he should not leave his station, I tell him I don't want him to ever leave his station again for any reason except if "Volcanic lava is flowing through the kitchen" and its a dangerous situation. I  then ask him to repeat to me, what are the reasons why he should not leave his station and what conditions have to happen in the kitchen for him to leave his station. When I have a person that can't understand a simple instruction I don't spend a whole bunch of time training them, I also don't put up with " Well I thought I would do it this way" I hired you to do it my way, it works do it. When you open up your own restaurant you can do it your way, until then, humor me and do it my way. I do a lot of training, I expect people to listen and try to understand, I tell them to ask a lot of questions.I try ti instill into them the importance every position is to the total quality of the food we present to our clients and customers. When we have one loose link in the chain, it makes the whole chain weak..................I hope all is well, 3" of snow on the deck at the cabin, its going to be a cold winter.......I hope you and the kids are doing good..................ChefBillyB

post #8 of 10

Hey there Leenie!

                               Long time no talk!

Sounds to me like this guy has a touch of A.D.D. No joke . We never know what's behind someones behavior. Some of the people I have worked with just have a hard time focusing on the task at hand( and you wonder what's going on in that thick skull of theirs,,,,,thinking all along what am I going to do with this person? Going against the grain is what we all know as kids stuff. Sounds like he wants to be there in body but not in mind. A little to over ambitious to impress the Chef and your in his way....lol.. There is good advice from  the above posts. I do agree with Food Pump .....gotta pull the reigns on these young bucks, straight aside into a meeting on the description of working a station.

 

All the best Leenie.....

I too , hope  all is well on the home front

 

Gypsy

 

My feet are firmly planted in mid air
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post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi Bill.. long time no see!  Hope all is well with you and yours too and that you enjoyed your r&r with the family. 

 

I hear you on the feeling that they are not even in the room when you talk to them and that is even more frustrating.  This guy did well during his training and now that he has the responsibility of a station he is not sure how to manage it and he likes to be in charge. His desire to be in charge definitely gets the way of him being an efficient line cook.  He tries to run the kitchen and well that is not his job.  This is his first line job but he has been with us since the end of July so something should have clicked since then. 

 

We currently don't  have the sales to support our labour cost so I had to do some cuts.  I am still full time (as much as I would love an extra day a week to craft it's not gonna happen)  but the rest of the kitchen had to take a hit.  I took the open shift for Sundays and shared the rest of the week opens between three people.  If it is stupid dead and the opener has to go home after three hours I do not want it to be always the same person.  The mid day shifts are two hours shorter but I did it fairly. The longer shifts are given based on seniority with the window for others to pick up hours.  Plus even the senior staff will lose one day a month so there is a shift up for grabs. 

 

This dude whined at the Km about it and he tried to get me to give him five shifts and well.. I told him what i just wrote.. we all need to take a hit and be thankful we have jobs. Same with the open... it will be shared fairly.,  I do not target anyone when I cut and I do it fairly across the board considering seniority first.  Please do not complain when someone who has been with us from day one is given priority over you, I am just respecting them and their loyalty.   He did not like it.  I suspect he is one who will not be around too long with us.  This is his third job in a year inthe  business,.. I see why.. attitude and ethic

 

 

 

 

 

Originally Posted by ChefBillyB View Post

Hey Leen Sous, I used to use a lot of phrases in the kitchen like, If you move out of your station I'll kill you, If you do that again your dead, and so on, you get the idea. Now with law suits, labor boards, and things like that, the old way is a thing of the past ( although it work real good). When I'm training someone I explain it once, then I ask them to repeat what I just said. Most of the time they only get about 40 to 50% of what I said, some times I feel they were not even in the same room with me when I said it. If I have a person like you have, I look them in the eye, explain the reason why he should not leave his station, I tell him I don't want him to ever leave his station again for any reason except if "Volcanic lava is flowing through the kitchen" and its a dangerous situation. I  then ask him to repeat to me, what are the reasons why he should not leave his station and what conditions have to happen in the kitchen for him to leave his station. When I have a person that can't understand a simple instruction I don't spend a whole bunch of time training them, I also don't put up with " Well I thought I would do it this way" I hired you to do it my way, it works do it. When you open up your own restaurant you can do it your way, until then, humor me and do it my way. I do a lot of training, I expect people to listen and try to understand, I tell them to ask a lot of questions.I try ti instill into them the importance every position is to the total quality of the food we present to our clients and customers. When we have one loose link in the chain, it makes the whole chain weak..................I hope all is well, 3" of snow on the deck at the cabin, its going to be a cold winter.......I hope you and the kids are doing good..................ChefBillyB

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post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Gypsy l  have missed you!
 

We are ok..  I have alot of worries that are not on topic here. Find me on facebook (arlene koomen) and look at my wall. 

 

This new guy will work out  Ihope....

 

me

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsy2727 View Post

Hey there Leenie!

                               Long time no talk!

Sounds to me like this guy has a touch of A.D.D. No joke . We never know what's behind someones behavior. Some of the people I have worked with just have a hard time focusing on the task at hand( and you wonder what's going on in that thick skull of theirs,,,,,thinking all along what am I going to do with this person? Going against the grain is what we all know as kids stuff. Sounds like he wants to be there in body but not in mind. A little to over ambitious to impress the Chef and your in his way....lol.. There is good advice from  the above posts. I do agree with Food Pump .....gotta pull the reigns on these young bucks, straight aside into a meeting on the description of working a station.

 

All the best Leenie.....

I too , hope  all is well on the home front

 

Gypsy

 

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