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post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Wasn't sure where to post this but here goes. Not sure how many of you work in a "franchise" type kitchen, but what really burns my butt is unprofessionalism. The time factor has been SO entrenched in line cooks that no one cares what the food looks like or tastes like. I'm not a classically trained chef(not even unclassically trained for that matter, but I take pride in my craft. I wouldn't send anything out that I wouldn't sit down with the guests and eat myself. Is it just me or is there a growing trend in people that just don't care?

post #2 of 12

First, I think it is great that feel that way about the food you are sending out, and i wish every chef was like that.

You will always get people like that, not only cooks and chefs, for them, a job is a job, all about the paycheque, not the passion.

But, also working in a franchise type kitchen, they have no freedom to create, play or design their own food, kind of like caging the lion.


As long as you are doing your best, and pushing out food that meets, or goes above the standard you will always move forward in the industry.

I would get out of that type of kitchen and find somewhere you can learn more, and work with professional chefs who take pride in what they send out, well, that is if thats the career you want to go with, (Long hours, Hard work, and getting paid F**k all to get there) :).


You sound like someone who takes pride in what you do, so i recommend you get out of the line, and start working to move up!


So, down to your question, no, it's not a growing trend, you just get places like that, and people like that, they are not chefs, or even cooks.


Good luck!

post #3 of 12

As I was growing up, and worked under some of the best, I was told by Chef Ernest Meir who represented the US in the culinary Olympics in  Lucerne , and was chef at Essex house in NYC, Every plate you put out , make believe it is for your mom.     All my life I tried to adhere to what he said.

post #4 of 12

Thats my approach as well...every plate is getting served to my mom.  

post #5 of 12

I'd rather have a longer ticket time than put something out that looks and tastes like horse crap. I had it out with the douchey FOH manager last night about this.

Do you want it right? Or do you want it right now?

Your perception of time is screwed up because all you are doing is standing in the window. Standing and staring.

I am a pot of H2O that is never going to boil fast enough for you. Every time you come and demean us and make rude comments, you make us stop what we are doing and mess up our flow.

It's a good thing last night was my last night at work there.

If not, the next order getting picked up by you is the Prime Knuckle Sandwich Special.

post #6 of 12
I know exactly what the original poster is talking about. I recently started on the line at a steakhouse and the lead has the worst attitude. He has this "I REALLY don't wanna be here" attitude...all day...from the minute I walk in, to the minute he leaves....since he just leaves as soon as his station is clean and doesn't bother to help the rest of the place close. He's so far from being a respectable, professional chef and yet he has a lot of experience in the industry. He's one of those people that has the skills to go somewhere really nice but continues to stay in one place and be a downer about "how much it sucks" at that particular restaurant. I can't even get started on how much his professional attitude effects the food, along with calling the tags a certain way to literally sabotage other stations. Tonight he called calamari walking in, dropped and plated calamari, when the manager asked why it was made and I said "Lead called calamari in" and the lead says "Dude I was joking I didn't think you'd take it serious".........really dude?
post #7 of 12
Ley be honest here though. There are people and I have worked with them. In both ends of the spectrum that are hacks or slobs or just don't care. Seems to me there's always one at every place.
post #8 of 12

Hi.  I've never worked at a really upscale fine dining restaurant, so I don't know the reasons behind their procedures.


At our place, if the ticket is written correctly, and the food is prepared and presented correctly, there should be no need for conversation between the server and the kitchen.


A simple "order up" from the server, and an "order out, John" from the kitchen should suffice.  The server is responsible for making sure the plates have the correct items on them by looking at the ticket.  If not, this is about the only time conversation is warranted.  No cook wants a server to constantly be asking "how much longer on the....", when they are working on half a dozen tickets.  It gets worse when there's a server that enjoys irritating someone in the kitchen.  It happens.  On a couple of very rare occasions over the years, I have gone to a table of that server while they were taking an order and interrupted them with several questions while they were taking the order (only when I know the customers very well).  The busier the server is, the more likely it is for the message to sink in.


I realize that not one person on this board will agree with doing this, but a last resort is a last resort.



I don't want servers standing at the window waiting on orders, watching the cooks. I think they should be taking care of their seated customers.  If a plate is wrong, then they can and should be talking to the kitchen and getting it fixed.


There are times a server will have direct contact with the kitchen, and that's when the order contains customer special instructions that are too difficult or lengthy to include on the ticket.

post #9 of 12

My experience has been that in the more "upscale" the kitchen, the more structured the communication between FoH and BoH.  Ideally the only communication between FoH and BoH would be between "captains"...the cook working wheel/garnish/expiditing whatever and the head waiter/maitre'd/floor captain and what not.  In other words, a problem on the floor is reported to the head waiter...if it requires involvement from the kitchen then he reports it to the cook running the kitchen.  They determine what needs done and then give instructions to their respective teams.  In a busy place this minimizes distractions on the line, as the station cooks need only listen to the head cook for everything and aren't having their timing disrupted by chatty waiters (and they are all chatty it seems).  And the head cook doesn't get his attention drawn away by every waiter that comes into the kitchen.  (With dedicated runners most waiters shouldn't even be in the kitchen during a service.)


In less formal establishments, particularly your turn-and-burn franchise operations, theres no such organization.  My first restaurant jobs were in these types of places, and my experience has been that there is usually no person over the kitchen (there'd be a kitchen mananger during the daytime but their primary job was ordering and maintaining adherence to company policy).  There would typically be one or two managers on duty, all with a FoH background.  Their involvement with the kitchen would be to yell at the cooks to get faster ticket times...9 minutes, 7 minutes, 6 minutes.  The only concerns were ticket times and food costs.  Servers would stand in the back and yell as well..."I need the apps for table 5!  Wheres my chicken fingers?!"  "I need another steak salad on the fly!"  Utter chaos.  Tables would get all kinds of messed up...servers taking orders meant for another table...the kitchen would be a filthy mess by the end...thered be leftover oders sitting in the pass, etc..  But as long as the management goals were met that is all that mattered.


Personally I think its an issue of where the leadership for a store is coming from, whether FoH or BoH.  My experience has been that FoH led establishments have little understanding of how to manage a kitchen properly, so they focus only on things they can understand....food cost, ticket times, par levels.  And this bleeds into the kitchen manager and then down into the kitchen.  I made a decision some time ago to never work at one of these places again, even though they tend to pay better.  The frustration and disgust is just not worth the extra cash to me.

post #10 of 12

Lol im working at a great restaurante , very homie with season ingrediants.

I can tell you right now that people working the franchise are just there to get there months paycheck , even in my kitchen there are people like that.

Now there is a very annoying waiter who is lazy and bossy , thinking he runs the kitchen , sometimes we all have to tell him to stfu or he wont leave us alone or even do his job for that matter.

Now the crew is very nice , and we have an amazing flow. But i rather have something with quality then have it on time , even the manager believes this a bit.

Now as for your situation i probably wouldnt take that sh** and send out the plate as nice as possible.


But seriously try doing things faster , challenging urself little by little.

Give a lazy person a job if you want it done faster...

Be lazy , you dont wanna do something twice let alone the same plate 100 times a day so do them faster.....

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.



Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.


post #11 of 12

I don't like doing fussy plating, and really don't go beyond the 'three plops' school of plating. I generally don't like towers of stuff for asthetic reasons, if the diner wants to muddle his filet with his mashed potatoes, that's his call. I don't like fussy garnishes, perfering to get things out as hot and fresh as possible. I trust that if I cooked things correctly a point, they will need a minimum of artifice to look good.

post #12 of 12
Originally Posted by thetincook View Post

I don't like doing fussy plating, and really don't go beyond the 'three plops' school of plating. I generally don't like towers of stuff for asthetic reasons, if the diner wants to muddle his filet with his mashed potatoes, that's his call. I don't like fussy garnishes, perfering to get things out as hot and fresh as possible. I trust that if I cooked things correctly a point, they will need a minimum of artifice to look good.

I agree with you to a good extent.  If the plating requires the diner to either take things apart or put them together in order to eat it, its too much.  For me, the ideal plate would look as if Mother Nature herself dipped a plate into a garden and then put it on the pass...it should look natural, as if the food belongs exactly where it is and looks exactly as it should.  Now it takes a little planning and effort to make it look like that (I'm not Mother Nature, obviously), but the goal for me is for it to look completely natural.


However, I think the OP was referring more to general sloppiness and lack of care as opposed to fussy plating.  i.e. over toasted bread, unseared steaks all grey instead of brown, sauce too heavy and splattered all about, food hanging off the rims of the plate instead of centered properly, etc...things indicative of a focus on speed more than precision.  Even the "three plops" method requires some effort...a plate of ribeye steak, whipped pots, and asparagus can look amazing or it can look dreadful depending on the care used in putting it together.

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