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What are your most challenging issues in your kitchen?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Managing a commercial kitchen is a serious business. Whether it is your own business or as an employee. I had experienced both. As owner/chef operator and as a head chef for other bosses, I always had the same problems. Those are:

1. Kitchen staff untidy work habits. No matter how I train them and enforce the food hygiene and safety regulation, my staff had never meet my food hygiene standard.

2. The food suppliers intergrity. When suppliers want your business, they will give you a good quality samples to begin with and then, sending you with an inferior quality later.

3. Staff work ethics. How do you detect them before you employ them? This is always a challenge!

4. Taking food and tools home without permission. Some staff cannot resist to take advantage of removing kitchen properties.

5. Friction with service personnel. This oftentimes cause customers to complain.

These are just some of my main issues in managing my kitchen.

 

I would like to know if other professional chefs in commercial kitchen had similar experiences and how you are managing them?

 

What are the issues that concern you most?

 

And what are the challenges in managing your issues?

 

I have 38 years experience as a professional chef  and I have gone though so much challenges but I still find it challenging to deal with these issues. Therefore, sometimes I just ignore them and hope that the problems just disappear by itself. Not a very good idea when you want to solve them!!! Please tell me your concerns in your world???

post #2 of 8

Well... 

1) Is if you are not the owner there isnt anything worse then working for a boss who understands nothing about upscale cuisine.

2) The horrible staff with alot of 2 faced people

 

Aside from that , i think having a horrible and untrained wait staff sucks too , butso far im controlling myself and other issues pretty well. 

 


Edited by KaiqueKuisine - 7/2/13 at 5:04pm

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

Dr.Seuss

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

Dr.Seuss

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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your response KaiqueKuisine, I could agree with the concerns you have mentioned. They do influence the quality of your experience in an establishment. It is good to know that you are managing them well. I take my hat for you. My question is, how does the isssue affect your attitude and motivation in your work? Because for me, when I came accross that problem you had (working for other boss who did not have understanding of higher quality and standard of cuisine), it really killed my enthusiasm and my creativity. My attitude towards the establishment and staff became negative. Thanks for your contribution to "the wisdom to learn from our trade"! I hope that you enjoy your journey in your upcoming position as a sous-chef. Congrats! and post me some of your challenges and your memorable experiences with your new position.  

post #4 of 8

Your issues are relevant and always on the mind of every boss, manager, owner.

Every business....(not just in the food one either) has these same issues.

Much of it can be weeded out in the interview process, by asking proper questions or watching a prospective do a test run.

 

Integrity, morals, values....well that is another issue all together.

When interviewing, people can be deceitful and will say anything to get the job.

Training is very important and should not be something left to another employee to do.

Example is many times a server will be trained by following another around during their shift.

Bad habits and misinformation get passed on this way.

 

Employee handbooks that spell everything out is a good way to start.

The last page should be an agreement that employee must sign.

Now the boss has leverage with which he/she can discipline with.

 

Dealing with purveyor integrity is a headache. Really the only resource one has is to complain and document everything.

If the option is available to reach out to another purveyor, that would be one solution.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you Chefross for your ideas. It is really very helpful. I will take that on board next time I get new staff and definitely review our employee's handbook to make sure that they are all implimented. With the issue with the purveyor, we tried your idea already but I think that they are all associated and communicate with each other. So, you don't get any choice but to deal with what they do. It seems like they have purveyor' cooperation, union or whatever you call it. My other alternative is to do my own shopping!!!. Any challenges and issues you have experienced in your area of expertise? Something our chefs community needs to learn from? It will be really appreciated!!!

post #6 of 8

Having staff not show up or show up late all the time.   Lazy People     . In my kitchen  3 strikes and your out (Florida being a right to work state)

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #7 of 8

I've been dealing with the taking food home issue at work.  It seems pretty cut and dried but it's not, after a large banquet there is always left-overs.  These are shared/enjoyed by all the employees that happen to be working.  Except, when the BQT staff packs it all up and takes it off property before the working folks get a chance at it.  I pitched a bitch about this, and happily now every bqt server is in my Bakeshop to tell me that the food is up.  Almost annoying, but mostly heart-warming.  Purveyors, what a pain that has been here lately, now 5 or 6 items have been discontinued, or they need ordered 2 wks out, or what the heck ever.  I really hope the other purveyor gets a chance to step up now.  Friction between servers and kitchen personnel is a yoke around the neck of any operation.  It can be hard to be nice to a server who is a twit, but it's a necessary evil, I tell my folks,  head down, mouth shut until later, and then address the issue with the dining room supervisor, (after service). I try to remember that the servers are dealing with often difficult guests, and don't need to be brow-beaten twice.  Cleanliness is basic and needs pounded into heads sometimes (not literally, usually).  Harping is the only way, unless you set up a reward (or award) system to reward the folks that are keeping it clean.  I'm picky about how my bakeshop is left for the night, I don't want to see ANY specks of last night's frolic left laying around.  I have a cleaning list and I explain to the newbies that if they do everything on that list they're golden.  This kind of works, sometimes.  Alright!  Thanks for the morning rant!  Off to paradise for me!smiles.gif

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your responses chefedb and bigbadpastry. Not turning up to work or turning up late is really annoying. Lazy people due to lack of motivation. I can't understand why some people keep their job when they don't have motivation? Bigbadpastry, I appreciate your input. I now understand that it (the taking home thing) happens everywhere. I just don't know how to manage them without negative repercussions to both parties. Rules and policies don't work most of the times. This could be an on-going issue for every kitchen operator. Thanks once again for a valuable info.

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