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Lead Line cook/chef de partie responsibilities

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Friday night service was a disaster on my part. Forgot to tell my chef about protein counts(night before), produce orders(too late to order anything), not having specials ready on time...3 strikes. Spent the rest of the shift feeling like crap and and just being annoyed at myself. So to correct my mistakes, I'm trying to keep better documentation of my station and be up to date with everything, so I can avoid nights like these. I figure I'd get on excel and do an inventory list and a prep master list to get on the right foot.


Do you guys have any advice or perhaps a system you might have developed personally?



Thank you

post #2 of 12
Notepad in your pocket and a pencil, your chef should be on top of orders not you. Document everything.
Fluctuat nec mergitur
Fluctuat nec mergitur
post #3 of 12

As stated notepad and pencil. 

Make a check list the day before , and look back to it when possible/needed. 

What i have learned is , when you need or remember something jot it down immediately , because after 5 minutes in stressful conditions you will forget it. 



Communication is key , if you chef has been told or you have asked , then he cant blame you if he or she claims of not knowing or forgeting. 


Also always keep your eyes on the time , if you wanna finish something in 15 minutes then finish it in 15 minutes. 

Set times for tasks , and anything that needs to be ordered should be done the day before or before prep , thus you always have produce orders written down. 


As for the specials , all i can tell you is to speed it up , stay calm , breathe and develop a system to organize your self , have pans hot, water boiling , oven heated , fryers ready , and prep done. Keep everything you need close , and multitask. After a 2-3 weeks of sweating bullets you should see some results. 


Ask advice to your chef , after prep ask him/her what he thought of service and what you can do to improve. 

Take advantage of slower service hours to benefit you. 


Also never do nothing , if your free help others , clean something , prep something anything , never stand around doing nothing .

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 #4 of 12

I have no experience in the professional food industry, just a church cook.  Take heed what the first 2 writers said and do the last statement Kaique said " Also never do nothing , if your free help others , clean something , prep something anything , never stand around doing nothing" as you have agreed on the wage so you need to give a good hours work for a good hours pay.  Doing this, I don't think you will ever miss many pay checks and also climb the ladder faster.   This applies in any job or any career.

post #5 of 12
Originally Posted by rat View Post

 your chef should be on top of orders not you.

+1... Why isn't the chef or sous chef keeping track of inventory? This seems more like their job and not the "lead line cook"'s job. Is there a sous where you work? What does he do all day? When I think of the job description "lead line cook", I think of a guy who has worked the line longer than everybody, or most people there. Someone who is not quite ready for a sous chef job, which involves ordering and admin functions. A Lead line cook is the guy that knows how to cook everything and is training all the newer line cooks how to cook everything correctly. Someone who leads during service and stays on the line. The line is their main function and all they should concentrate on. Otherwise, if one person is spread too thin... things like this should be expected to happen.  I don't think of this job as the guy who is in charge of keeping track of inventory. I think this is the guy who makes sure the mis is ready, not the guy who makes sure it is in stock. That is the sous chef, or the chef's job. What do these guys do all day? You do realize you are doing their job for them and/or making it much easier on them? You wouldn't expect the Chef to prep all day, work the line all day and all night and still have time to do the exec chef job like hiring, firing, training, ordering, inventory, dealing with vendors, dealing with customers, etc...? Why such high standards for you? Well, maybe this will be a good way for you to take their jobs very soon? 

post #6 of 12
Listen if its your job to keep track of the inventory on your station then that's your job. No matter what other people think the sous or chefs jobs are.
If your specials are your responsibility they that's it if you need help then you need help and ask the chef or sous to help that's that their Job is to make sure you get your job done and help if needed. Just communicate as much as possible. Keep a notebook and even set an alarm to notify you about a half hour before your produce has to be in so you can get it in on time. keep a running tally of what you have on your station and you should know a day or two ahead of time when you are going to need somthing.
But most of all dont beat yourself up about it. Shit happens its how you recover and move on that is the biggest part, if you get down on yourself that's not good just deal with it and move on get through your shift and put it behind you and go have a beer.
I hope I helped at least a little bit
post #7 of 12
Ditto debo. Don't be sorry, be better and no matter what- it's just food.
post #8 of 12
Ok, If you are running that station then you are responsible for everything involved, what you do today effects tomorrow,
1, finish your day with a prep list
2, give your chef all protein counts
3, pay attention to inventories
4, if you need something for tomorrow night service, tell your chef.
All of us miss things or choose to ride product, as a chef we sometimes choose to "roll the dice" with our inventory. Some of us "professional" chefs either take the blame or the other "deflectors" place blame on the staff or cook. You are not the "chef"! But if you ever want to be one, then it starts with you
Sous chef, lead line, dish washer or what ever title you have! The biggest asset to a successful business is "information"
Communicate with your coworkers and your chef, most importantly! Take ownership over your station! Be the best you can be today and tomorrow be better! Books and pens will not make you a better employee.
You have to focus on memory and communication.
I hold my staff accountable for their stations, they provide me with produce and prep list for what they need for the next day, my sous and I order everything else, I hardly ever run out of anything, my crew has ownership of their stations and they embrace it. The one cook that I have that needs to be baby sat, well, we watch him close. "We" being my entire staff.
Hope this helps, good luck with growth. smile.gif
post #9 of 12

Who cuts the meat?  If it's not you then you better make sure all your stuff is checked off.


You are the lead line cook.  You run the line during service.  Yeah.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank you for all the advice. I'm taking everything into account.



To elaborate a little more, I consider my station "my" restaurant. While I'm not in charge of ordering, I try to be on top of inventory and counts on everything. This was basically a day where I didn't do my job correctly and suffered because of it. Lesson learned.



Communication IS key. 


Thank you all.

post #11 of 12
Lead line cook and sous chef are two of the most difficult positions in a restaurant kitchen, you have been promoted and your responsibilities and expectations are much higher than what you were doing as a line cook, because you showed potential, leadership abilities, or just an initiative as someone who gives a f*ck. Now you are somewhere between being one of the guys and middle management. You will still be expected to prep out and work a station, but also to supervise coworkers and ensure that the kitchen is ready for service and properly cleaned and shut down after service. This is where I see many leads/sous chefs have difficulties, mostly because they are not delegating tasks but instead take on the responsibility and pick up the slack themselves. It is very common for a good cook/chef to take on a lot of extra work due to prep deficits or underperforming staff in an effort to make it happen and be ready for service, but as noble as this hero of the day approach may seem, it only serves to misappropriate the resources of your kitchen. You as the lead will quickly burn out, and your line cooks will increasingly produce less and less. It is important for you and your kitchen to understand that you are not asking your cooks to do anything that you are not capable or willing to do, but that your job is to make sure that they are doing their job. Your position is to keep the line cooks on task and present a prepped and service ready kitchen for your chef when it is showtime, and then supervise the break down and clean up. You should always maintain open and honest communication with your chef. Chances are he was in the same position as you once, and he can provide insight and advice on how to get the most out of you and your team.
post #12 of 12
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