I am very earnestly interested in hearing your thoughts on the sacrifices a culinary professional makes in the realm of time and money, and how to keep morale up among an over-worked kitchen staff.
What standards do you find acceptable for yourself as chef, sous chef, pastry chef? What are your expectations of your kitchen staff and how do you ensure that they feel their hard work is appreciated?
Specifically: Do you expect your employees to work off the clock to avoid overtime? How do you handle a financial pinch in which you've promised someone a raise, but cash flow has slowed to a point where it becomes unaffordable? How do you handle off-prems, private functions, and special events when you can't afford the overtime your line cooks or pastry chef may need to work? How do you make the switch to salary worth it for a higher-up cook in your kitchen?
I am a former sous chef and present pastry chef in my mid-twenties, and would like to know other professional opinions as to what is expected, acceptable, and fair in kitchen terms. A restaurant is not any business. Food is not any field. We work in a very unique industry, and I would love to hear from seasoned professionals: what is fair? And I mean "kitchen" fair. What is acceptable sacrifice, and what is asking too much?
I so look forward to hearing your opinions. Thanks to all!