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Need Advice on Giving Advice

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Basically, the problem is I'm not sure if I should keep my mouth shut or not.

 

We were going over the upcoming functions with the new boss, and it seems to me that with his proposed plan, we're going to hit a hard bottleneck in production for one of the events.

 

I might be wrong, there might be some element to the plan I'm not aware off, but I'm fairly confident that I'm right.

 

I'm just a part timer at this job (most of us are), and he just got hired a couple weeks ago. He seems like a decent enough guy, and I don't want to see him fail. I'm just not sure how to say something without violating anyone's egos or propriety.

 

Maybe this is just one of those situations that you need to step back from.

post #2 of 13

Not really any reason to be hesitant. Approach him like you did the forum. "I could be wrong but just so you know...."

Explain that you noticed something and thought he should know. If you are wrong, at least you spoke up. 

post #3 of 13

more opinion than advice here...

right after 'location, location, location' is 'planning, planning, planning'....you may over think things, but you can never over plan in my book.   You do remember that Murphy fellow, right? Personally and professionally I would speak up...find a way.  eventually and inevitably it will fall in your's and the rest of the staff's lap.....big difference in facing things head on rather than having them hit you head on(freight trains come to mind).  Not everyone can see 360 all the time. It's part of why you have good staff... i would think that he would appreciate knowing that his staff has their eyes on the ball, everyone's back and is not just gonna let him hang out to dry just cuz they feel it's not their place to speak up. even if he was a dick it's the right thing to do, in a 'big picture' kind of way. 

you've never really struck me as someone who is at a lost for words Tincook and you are certainly articulate, so there's that.....besides, what is the worst that can come of it really? you might be totally surprised!!!!

 

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #4 of 13

Just throw it out there honestly... when you're alone with him.  

 

Respect his right to call the shots, don't back-stab him but try to provide advice/help when you believe you are absolutely right, not when you just think so or 'guess' something.

 

Never say I told you so but if he seems to be doing the same thing again give it one more try by saying 'remember last time? we did xxx'

 

If you get ignored then, just keep your head down and keep cooking, he'll be gone soon enough.

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #5 of 13

If that is your feeling, bring it up. If you think he may be offended at your opinion, state it as a question instead. "Boss, will booking this party to go out a 6:45 and that one to go out at 7:00 create a bottleneck on the party production line?

 

The best way to start a conversation is not with a statement, but with a question. It disarms people and lets them know you want opinions, or may even want to learn.

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

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Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply
post #6 of 13

Brandon hits the nail on the head. Put it to him as a question. This forces him to think about it and explain it to you.

 

A bit of lateral thinking from my staff is highly appreciated here. Wish it occurred more often... ;-)
 

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the really good advice guys! I've never found a better cook community then here.

 

Well, it's going down tomorrow. I found out as an aside from the big boss, that this was the new guy's test, so I figured I should stand back.

 

The menu changed, so it doesn't look like we're going to be over booked on oven space. I was there for a few hours today, and we didn't even have all the stuff in, and none of the stuff was on the prep list. It's going to be just me and him tomorrow.

 

I'm praying it's not going to be a chinese fire drill.

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Recky View Post

Brandon hits the nail on the head. Put it to him as a question. This forces him to think about it and explain it to you.

 

A bit of lateral thinking from my staff is highly appreciated here. Wish it occurred more often... ;-)
 

boy i know i really appreciate advice from every member of my staff.   they are especially good at finding holes in the schedule.   i am never offended when approached.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Well, it pretty much sucked. We were about 30 minutes late from the contract time.

 

I was originally concerned because he had fried chicken on the menu, and was wanting to fry it from start to finish with only a six burner range for 100. The menu was changed to ribs (I later found out that the big boss had vetoed the chicken).

 

Menu was:

Pork Spare Ribs (bottled sauce, rub from scratch)

Hot links (FarWest Meats, a decent brand)

Chicken Breast (for the non pork eaters)

Mixed greens (canned Glory greens (NB: Glory is a brand name for canned greens and other soul food stuff. I didn't know this, and asked for a recipe :o))

Corn bread (Marie Callender's mix)

Macaroni and Cheese (psuedo scratch, mac elbows plus shredded cheese, milk, and bottled cheese sauce)

Ceaser Salad (dressing from scratch per my recipe (though it got watered down when I wasn't looking to stretch it), bought croutons)

 

Little boss showed up at 7 to start the ribs. The cooking method was sear on the grill, and finish in a 200 deg oven. I clock in at 9:30 to do the sides and what not. I had to pull his ribs out of the convection oven ( we only have the one) at 1030 so I could do the mac and cheese and cornbread (I overfilled the cornbread pans and ended up with some hearth baked cornbread blushing.gif). I stuck em back in at ~1130

 

As I'm getting food packed up, the big boss comes walking in and asks me about chafing dishes. Uhoh. That stuff was supposed to be the lil boss' job. I get that ironed out. At this point we're officially late. Lil boss is delayed because he left the hotlinks and chicken off his list, and got a late start on them. I hit my lowest point of the day when I got asked to rinse the soot of the chicken breasts.

 

So we get there. Chicken is dry. Ribs are tough and some are even bloody (!!!). Everybody was pretty much too polite to make a big deal about it though. Lil Boss is oddly cocky about the whole thing.

 

Lil boss is still employed, but I'm getting put in charge of the big saint pats day party. As I was leaving out planning meeting, the big boss asks if I can cure the corned beef, because raw brisket is so much cheaper then the ready to cook corned beef. I almost 'tebowed' right there.
 

post #10 of 13

oh criminy Tincook,

so sorry to hear all that.....

the only thing worse than showing up late as the caterer, is showing up late as the caterer with botched  and sub par food. A lot can be forgiven if the food is righteous enough.....clearly yours wasn't even close. it really makes me wonder how lil' boss got the job in the first place...guess he interviews well and has a good song and dance routine.....all shuck and jive which besides being extremely annoying, does nothing toward getting the job done well...and it gets pretty old pretty fast. i know you know this but ultimately his inattention to details and obvious lack of skills will reflect on you and your company.  my advice? don't stand too close! Think my tipping point would have been his attitude...all that self puffery.....pathetic really...maybe change his title to Hoss (short for hoser boss).  was he talked to about what is expected of him?...i dunno, his first time out the gate performance(or lack thereof) doesn't bode well for a good working relationship, and, if i were you i would be getting very nervous that all this is gonna end up in your lap.....it already has......curious though, does a raise come with your new responsibility?

 

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

Reply
post #11 of 13

I don't know what tebowed means but i'll assume it's not good. But thought I'd throw in that curing corned beef is actually quite easy.  "Curing Salt" is needed. no more than 4 oz per 100 pounds of meat. This in addition to kosher salt for the brine itself and some pickling spices.  you need a large container(s) for plenty of room to hold the beef in the brine and up to a week depending on how big the pieces are. But once the meat is in the brine you leave it. 

And a quick tip. You boil the spices and  salt in a lot less water than you will need for a full batch just to dissolve the salt. Then add the remainder of water in ice form. Then you can add the meat right away rather than wait for the brine to cool off. Lots of recipes, advice, etc on the web of course but just thought I'd say that given the time, cooler space and storage containers, it's pretty easy.

Anyway, the rest of your situation does not sound like much fun. Good luck. 

post #12 of 13

one thing i see happening these days is people in general are getting them selves taken out of the picture by their own actions or lack of those actions.   i used to love to dig up dirt and whatnot on people that i felt werent doing their jobs proper.   now many years later and while in full control of every action in this particular establishment i find it so much easier to let folks hang themselves.   usually they way it works is that the person in question just continues to do things that are not right and eventually they will do something that you can either write them up for or have an immediate fire.   usually the person gets frustrated one day and goes off on one particular person and there you have it.   id just walk up to the person and say bye.   really simple.   my crew knows the less words i use the more serious i actually am.   anyway,back to the long and skinny,try to step outside of your situation,sleep on it if you can,and them make simple result oriented decissions.  

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

I think I might have been doing Hoss a little disservice by describing him as 'cocky,' looking back it was more like extreme confidence that seemed misplaced from my pov. I'm not really sure what to make of the guy. He's really personable, and certainly doesn't come off like a bullshitter or anything. I think that's one of the main reasons he got hired, to deal with clients and customers (He's also worked/ran a 'gourmet' catering truck). Aside from having to share the dishonor from the bad event, I genuinely like the guy.

 

I want to think that it's just poor planning from being rusty and/or lack of formal training that's caused the problem, but choosing to do the ribs like that makes wonder if there isn't a fundamental flaw with the guy's judgement. Ah well, I'll follow you're guys advice if it comes up again. Like smork talks about, blood will out.

 

chefwriter: Tebowing is a kind of touchdown dance. I was elated and proud that the big boss was going to trust me with something like that. I already do a lot of equilibrium brining for chicken and pork, but that's just plain salt/sugar. I've also ordered one of those bayou classic s/s meat injectors with the curing salt.

 

durangojo: No promotion sadly, but boss has been good to me money wise, and I've usually been getting first pick on shifts and stuff. It's more then I can ask for as a p/t. It's hard to explain the my situation. With the exception of boss and Hoss, we're all p/t and employed as needed, but when I'm on, I'm essentially and practically a sous (nobody has titles :/). Hoss had a meeting with the boss about the party, so I'm hoping they got everything ironed out. I heard from the grapevine that he had to cover a no call no show at the last minute today. There was little actual cooking to do for it, but at least he didn't go down in flames (or even mess it up).

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