So he's been there a minimum of 5 years, (there when you arrived). He's become comfortable, complacent, about the business, the menu, the
clientele, even food safety. (However I've seen people take the food safety course....not the 20 dollar online one either, I mean the
six-hours-in-a-chair-in-a-hotel-meeting room, safety MANAGER course, pass the 100 question written, only to return to the
kitchen the next day, cross contam with knives, putting raw meat in fridge above ready to eat foods, ("only place I saw room for it! Waahhh!" )
handling noncooked foods without gloves, a host of other scary things. Were they sleeping through the thing??)
Anyway its your mention of the phone use that does it for me....he's become way too distracted... when they start spending half their time talking
to elsewhere, it usually gets worse from there, til someone gets hurt or $$$ are lost, and as head Chef he's in a better
position to assign blame as well as tasks. Something to watch for....
You didnt say he was owner or administrator etc. does the person in overall charge have an awareness of whats happening?