So I've been looking for a grill cook for about 9 months so far, have not had one work out. I have never seen it so difficult to fill a position anywhere, I'm starting to think it's not possible. We've had a mix of experienced people who just couldn't get it done and a few people I took a gamble on who just didn't have a clue.
I used to work that station 5 nights a week and I'm not tooting my own horn here but I could kill it on that station, partly why I am now the sous there. I KNOW it's possible to beast that station because I did it night in and night out, I picked it up on my first night and only have been weeded up twice my whole time on that station. So I'm finding it baffling that I can't get one person to do it well.
The station is a 4 foot grill, one fryer, one convection oven and a steam table that holds soup and sometimes mashed etc. Proteins get done on the grill, things that need to be baked (flatbreads and simple things mostly) obviously go into the oven and fried items obviously in the fryer. Steam table items like soups are simply plated and garnished. Also, grill is responsible to delegate to saute (we are a two station hot line) on what tickets to walk on and when to plate because proteins take longer to cook than sauteed items. This system is kinda like grill being an inside expo and works extremely well when I'm working grill and our tickets fly out. Does this sound like too much to ask to other grill cooks? Mind you we are not high volume (we seat about 65) but we do get busy.
I can not get a grill cook to be able to work the 3 pieces of equipment while keeping temps accurate, plating properly and everything going out hot and on time. Not to mention their responsibility of "expo'ing" is completely ignored because they are overwhelmed and ticket times sink like a rock. Fries are continually soggy because they are getting pulled from the oil 8 minutes before they need to be sold, burger buns are getting scorched because they're forgotten on the grill, steaks are not being quadrillaged (diamond marks), soups are taking 10 mintues to sell when they should take 30 seconds, flatbreads are always overcooked, fried items NEED salt (it's not up for debate) and yes every plate needs to be pretty and tight. We do not have an outside expo and our servers are basically brain dead so saute and grill both need to be their on QC point and make it their personal duty to make sure every plate is going out right. Again am I asking too much and should I dumb down the station just to get somebody to do it correctly??? Thanks for reading my rant!