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Head Chef and Sous': Don't you hate when something great is disliked by FOH? - Page 2

post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefross View Post
 

 

Servers are within earshot of customers talking about the dish and that they would never order something that gross.

You don't think that has an effect on the customers menu choices?

 

We can't have a discussion about it if you continue to put words in my mouth, or attributing thoughts to me I haven't stated, so stop.

 

The fact is that you cannot remove any employee's personal taste out of the equation. You can't do it in a kitchen and you can't do it with your service staff. What you can do is quit thinking, "The kitchen rules NOT the servers!" and start giving their feedback the respect it deserves. The biggest factor on their opinion of your food is not going to be their taste buds, its going to be the customers they come into contact with. If the customers like certain dishes, the servers are going to think those are good dishes, regardless of their personal taste. That's how servers are wired. Like every other human, they are programmed to be influenced by the opinion of those closest to them. In a restaurant where the kitchen doesn't respect the service staff, that's not going to be the case. In the kitchen, you get to work closely with the kitchen staff and teach them what to look for in dishes, and even how to judge flavor, texture and plate composition. You have the opportunity to influence them. You have to give your servers the same level of respect you give your kitchen staff. By your comments, its obvious you don't have that level of respect for servers. If the servers are making insensitive and uninformed remarks about the food, its because you have the same attitude toward them likely. Your the manager. Its your job to set the tone.

 

Just as the service staff has to sell the customers on the food, the kitchen has to sell the service staff. Being thin-skinned and confrontational isn't the way to sell your food. Thinking you're the king and "The kitchen rules" isn't the way to sell the servers on your food. If you don't get the servers on board, you don't get the customers on board.

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 #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Someday View Post
 

 

To use the OP example, not everyone will like the white gazpacho. But the server's refusal to sell it or tell the guests about it due to personal taste it really unprofessional. Who knows...maybe one of the guests eating at his place went to Spain when they were a teenager and that soup might bring back memories when they ate it then. Maybe a regular is feeling adventurous. 

 

Personal taste shouldn't factor in. 

So, it is best to make a pot of soup that might have the chance to please one customer after having to force it through the sieve of your service staff?  Or, make a soup that the majority of people (customers and staff) will buy?  Of course, you never know until you try, but don't get your emotional panties in a bunch when you fail

post #33 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Someday View Post
 

For me, it is not really the personal taste that drives me nuts...we all have them. Some people like certain things...no big deal. The problem I have, at least sometimes, is the attitude that seems to accompany the dislikes. I really don't care if you don't like sweetbreads. What I care about is if you can tell out guests about the sweetbreads dish without conveying that you hate sweetbreads or think they are "gross" or whatever. 

 

You don't have to like Ford in order to sell a Ford. All you have to be able to do is to describe to a customer what is good and special about the Ford and why you might buy it. Whether you love Chevy or not should be irrelevant. 

 

I read somewhere that humans communicate more through body language than words, and I have a hard time not thinking that some guests pick up on the server's distaste through body language. 

 

To use the OP example, not everyone will like the white gazpacho. But the server's refusal to sell it or tell the guests about it due to personal taste it really unprofessional. Who knows...maybe one of the guests eating at his place went to Spain when they were a teenager and that soup might bring back memories when they ate it then. Maybe a regular is feeling adventurous. 

 

Personal taste shouldn't factor in. 

 

My thoughts exactly. (How did this thread get so far off topic by the way?)

 

I wouldn't put anything on that I don't think most of my guests would enjoy IE the white gazpacho. Would it be something most of my guests would know or be familiar with? No, I don't think so. However, the point of the post was that I know my guests would like it if they tried it, especially given the very hot and humid day it was. It frustrates me that I can not get my FOH to sell it or describe it table-side because their own personal opinion overrules me (the sous). They will not do their job at pushing an item to guests that would pleasantly surprise them and would enjoy and say "hey that chilled white soup we had last summer at that place was great lets go again this year and see if its on the menu again".

 

I am not saying untrained, arrogant, rude and palate-less FOH is the case in most restaurants (I've worked in some places where we had an awesome FOH staff who would shut up and listen and do their job at pushing items and making money for everyone) but at my current place with no FOH management servers are their own bosses and have no intention of making the place better whatsoever.

post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by garball View Post
 

So, it is best to make a pot of soup that might have the chance to please one customer after having to force it through the sieve of your service staff?  Or, make a soup that the majority of people (customers and staff) will buy?  Of course, you never know until you try, but don't get your emotional panties in a bunch when you fail

 

You apparently failed to understand what I wrote. Maybe the soup is a hit, maybe it is a dud. But how would anyone, chef included, know that unless the service staff tells the guests about the soup. In the OP's example, the servers seemed to not sell the soup (indeed, even going so far as to not tell the guests it even was a special) because they didn't like it and thought it was weird. My point was, it shouldn't be up to the servers to decide, it should be up to the guests. If the chef tells them to offer a special soup, it is their obligation to tell the guests about it, regardless of personal taste. 

 
You have no knowledge of what my emotions are, so please don't talk about my panties.
 
Quote:
 

My thoughts exactly. (How did this thread get so far off topic by the way?)

 

I wouldn't put anything on that I don't think most of my guests would enjoy IE the white gazpacho. Would it be something most of my guests would know or be familiar with? No, I don't think so. However, the point of the post was that I know my guests would like it if they tried it, especially given the very hot and humid day it was. It frustrates me that I can not get my FOH to sell it or describe it table-side because their own personal opinion overrules me (the sous). They will not do their job at pushing an item to guests that would pleasantly surprise them and would enjoy and say "hey that chilled white soup we had last summer at that place was great lets go again this year and see if its on the menu again".

 

I am not saying untrained, arrogant, rude and palate-less FOH is the case in most restaurants (I've worked in some places where we had an awesome FOH staff who would shut up and listen and do their job at pushing items and making money for everyone) but at my current place with no FOH management servers are their own bosses and have no intention of making the place better whatsoever.

Yeah, that sucks dude. Hang in there. My best advice would be to slowly try and build their trust by showing them what you can do. Bringing them on your side is a much better tactic than trying to fight tooth and nail with them to do their jobs. I know it sucks, because I've been in your position before (kind of am now, though not as bad as what you have it seems), but it seems the best course. 

 

It sucks too, because I make that soup too (a good version, too, I might add :) ) and I know it is delicious.   

post #35 of 38

Good grief....

That the FOH is thinking this dish is weird and are rolling their eyes during the pre-service huddle may be a red flag that the guests that frequent your place may not be ready for such a sophisticated dish.

So send the soup out to EVERY TABLE ....as a complimentary amuse bouche and instruct the server to mention that this little spoon of goodness is one of the specials of the nite.

 

mimi

 

If a mod is reading this maybe we need to add some wait staff (pro and no) to the forum.

It would be nice to have another POV at times like this.

 

m.

post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflopgirl View Post
 

Good grief....

That the FOH is thinking this dish is weird and are rolling their eyes during the pre-service huddle may be a red flag that the guests that frequent your place may not be ready for such a sophisticated dish.

This is so spot on. The lack of sophistication on the part of the wait staff is a discrete mirror of the fact that you probably don't get overly adventuresome guests that would fall into the "foodie" category. The good news is that the situation isn't terminal and there is a solution. It is education and flipflopgirl also provides you with the path towards that goal, as well.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by flipflopgirl View Post
 

So send the soup out to EVERY TABLE ....as a complimentary amuse bouche and instruct the server to mention that this little spoon of goodness is one of the specials of the nite.

This is a win/win situation that enlightens all involved. The guests get something new and exciting that provides them with the opportunity to expand their palates and the best part is that it is free!!! How cool is that! Plus they will probably tell their friends about the experience. Can you say "word of mouth advertising" for the restaurant and the best part is that it is free!!! How cool is that!

 

Now comes the real kicker though. The wait staff will pick up on the reactions of the guests and will begin to open their parachutes a bit and maybe even begin to trust the kitchen when it comes to new items. Because I spent a few years as a waiter, I know the mind set, even if the wait staff don't like the dish, an amuse bouche will make for a more happy guest, a more happy guest will make for a more happy tip, a more happy tip will make for a more happy wait staff, a more happy.... I think you can see where this going. It is all cause and effect. Cause and effect initiated by a positive action.

 

Thanks flipflopgirl! and the best part is that the advice was free!!! How cool is that!

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflopgirl View Post
 

 

So send the soup out to EVERY TABLE ....as a complimentary amuse bouche and instruct the server to mention that this little spoon of goodness is one of the specials of the nite.

 

Yes.  This is perfect.

post #38 of 38

Just a comment....

Until 2 years ago the hubs would not eat anything unless it was cooked to death.

We attended a tasting on vacation and the first dish was a beef tartare topped with a horseradish ice cream.

He almost panicked when it was placed before him....

I gave him the "you will sleep on the floor if you don't try it" look.

Tiny baby portion placed on the tongue.

:eek:

Had to protect my portion.

 

mimi

 

He now prefers his steak medium but won't complain if it is a bit closer to medium rare.

 

m.

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