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Need some help from somebody with some experience. Lots of tickets.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Please help. I burn for this industry, this is what i want for my life.


This is my first post and Im hoping for some good feed back. Bout 5 years in the industry and I have a degree in culinary arts. I recently got a job at the pantry position at a local boarder line fine dining place. Salads, fryer, woodfire oven including toasting crostinis for various apps and flatbreads, all of the desserts, and unfortunately the microwave, which is used for a handful of apps including stuffed mushrooms. Ive never been one to talk up my performance, but up until recently I thought I had some kind of skill. I have had the two worst services of my life spaced out between 5 days in my first month at the job. I know about communication and admittedly that has been a bit of problem. I tend to try and push myself to get stuff out over asking for help, but I feel like it's my job to get it done. I think I know what my problems are and what to change and practice will definitely help as Im wrapping up my third week. Im looking for specific advice as to how to handle seven tickets at once, all with different cook times. EX. (as they ring in) --delicate 4 min salad, 5min fish and chips, 3 4min flat bread, 3min salad, 2 2min salads.-- maybe 15 seconds in between each ticket. do I finish and then move on, or do I jump to the next and then go back? I ended up with 3 things out and then 15 min for 2 iceberg salads, meanwhile more tickets are coming in.


Any other advice you have for me would really really help. Im also slow at clear down at the end of the night and cant figure it out. I bust my ass and am always doing something.


Thank you guys so much.



post #2 of 8

It is imperative to be able to work on more than one ticket at a time. Tickets with cooking times have down time in them (such as time in oven, fryer, grill) to start other tickets because while cooking the food doesn't need our undivided attention which frees our hands up to do other things. While it is not always possible to finish everything up once started, they can be started and closer to be finished then when they came in.


Looking at your example

1.) 4 min salad

2.) 5 min fish & chip

3.) 3 (4 min) flat breads

4.) 3 min salad

5. 2 (2 min) salads


start 1.),

15 seconds later when 2.) comes in stop working on 1.) and get fish & chips in fryer

15 seconds later when 3.) comes in get flat breads in oven, finish 1.)

15 seconds later when 4.) comes in keep in back of mind but finish 2.) & 3.) which should be ready by now

15 seconds later when 5.) comes in keep in back of mind, when 2.) & 3.) are out, work 4.) & 5.) at same time

from ticket 1 in time to ticket 5 out time should roughly be 8 minutes.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
post #3 of 8

if you read the tickets as they come up and start the longer items right away instead of putting them on the speed board and ignoring them for a few minutes then you are way ahead. your biggest problem though is trying to do it all yourself and not asking for help. if someone helps you even for 45 seconds that can make all the difference.

post #4 of 8

Definitely agree with rbrad, there is nothing wrong with asking for help especially when you're getting a pounding. My first experience with the EVIL ticket machine (the one that just doesn't stop printing, sometimes I had nightmares about that noise...) was when I got "promoted" to garde manager + pastry. 
This meant I was the first to put out the food, then entrees would go and then I'd be doing desserts. However with both of these it's more like non stop running and working.

My best trick was to have a "fire line" on your ticket holder. Keep that thing organised and it helped an amazing amount. That and what was originally mentioned with working on multiple things at once. That just comes with practice, one trick is to just ask someone to watch something in the fryer or the oven. That way you're still doing most of it yourself, but they act as your timer so to say.

Hope this helps, keep on trucking amigo! And keep asking questions, find out how the guy before you did his job.

:chef tux

"Mother Nature is the true artist, the Chef is merely the technician"



:chef tux

"Mother Nature is the true artist, the Chef is merely the technician"


post #5 of 8

also the more experience you get with this new job and the more you get hit... you will naturally just start dropping food in the proper order and noticing what you can work on while your have other stuff dropped and what you have "all day"... like setting up some of the flat breads and then going and dropping other food and then comming back and finishing them off. You will catch your rhythm. And never be afraid to ask for help when your catching a ass kicking bro... a kitchen is based on team work and communication ... hope this helps.

post #6 of 8

Back when I was in the kitchen we would really have fun with the new guys when they became swamped....  It takes a completely different set of skills working under pressure vs. just being able to cook.  First things first, don't go into service unprepared (make sure every bit of prep is done), don't worry excessively as soon as thing start piling up.  You need to really keep a cool head, and focus on what is needed up in the window right away vs. what you have time for.  Depending on your kitchen set up, part of the problem is sometimes the expediter or how you sort your tickets.  Learning to handle all the oddball stuff is what makes a difference between a pro and someone who should stay at home.  Getting longer items that need cooking started asap and then turning around to slam out a couple of salads is all about timing, practice, feel and being relaxed enough to control the situation.  Never listen to waiters who try to push you for their own good... turning their table.  Learn to time things on your own...  either by keeping tickets organized enough to know what course each table is on or looking at time stamps as the tickets come in.  All restaurants have their own pace but the worst thing is to let that pace push you to far and start making mistakes or taking shortcuts.


relax... it's the best thing to do when slammed.


post #7 of 8

I think there is a lot of good advice in the above posts. The printer is an "evil machine" as it rolls up on itself. Especially when it hits the floor. The more you get experience with the kitchen you are in, you will be able to juggle priorities and "ride the wave" so to speak. That's the rush of it all, although I will say it's a young mans game. Good luck.

post #8 of 8

I agree with a lot of the above info. My first job was a fry just at the busiest seafood joint in RI, we would so maybe 700-800 slips on our busiest saturday, all day. Granted fry isn't that complicated it was my first job and I would get you know 15-20 tickets on my board at one time for a 4 hour window, which I agree is all part of the rush that I love. And I would have a slip that say had 2 fish and chips, a clam strip dinner, whole belly dinner, and potato skins. The way we did things the skins took the longest, oven then frier so I got those in first. Then dumped in a bunch of fries to go with the fish and chips and dinners, but at that point in the summer we just cooked one bag of fries at a time because it would be gone in 15 minutes or less. Then got the fish in the frier. Then i moved onto all my other slips in the same order and when the fish was coming out or almost done I put the whole bellies and strips down because they took less than one minute each. When i was done it was all in the window within a 30 second frame, doesn't mean the wait staff got in then, I hate watching food sit in the window. Just my experience. It was a long crazy summer, and my first experience with 60hr work weeks.

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