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Hitting a wall

Poll Results: What should I do?

  • 44% (4)
    Give your two weeks and find a new job.
  • 33% (3)
    Give a month's notice and find a new job.
  • 0% (0)
    Stick with it to the bitter end. Even if it completely destroys your life.
  • 22% (2)
    Find a nice rocky cliff and jump.
9 Total Votes  
post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

So I'm sure you guys have seen a number of my posts in regards to struggling with my new management position and the numerous problems I'm trying to solve.  I feel as though I've hit a point where I can neither sink or swim.  I can only tread water until I'm so exhausted I drown.


I'm overwhelmed by the expectations the owner has in place for a tiny sandwich shop that has the most minimal of equipment and an extremely small staff.  Our menu is ENORMOUS with nearly everything on it requiring some degree of fabrication and the owner seems more preoccupied with trying to be all things to all people than doing a smaller number of things well (and consistently).  On numerous occasions he has demanded my cooks to make 5-10 orders for his friends or peers right in the middle of our lunch rush, completely derailing the service.  Modifications on orders are completely out of control and he seems incapable of drawing a hard line on how to limit them.  Most services are toe-curling stressful.  One really wacky order or a miscommunication on a slip and the whole line goes down.  Honestly, the entire thing seems like a mess.


The owner seems ignorant to the fact that we could do better numbers with a smaller, more focused menu.  Every manager before me has run into this same problem and instead of heeding anyone's advice, he just makes the menu bigger.  We've reached a point where every day is a mad dash to get the line up.  I work 6 day weeks, most days last 12-13 hours including my administrative work and I feel like I'm still behind on so many things.  He doesn't even really allow me to pick who we hire for cooks.  I stage them and put them through the motions but in the end, it's almost always his call.  A good example:  He hired a kid from his home state, purely on that basis.  The kid no-called/no-showed once, and even after being given a second chance, he pulled the same stunt and never came back, leaving my staff painfully thin.  


I won't beat around the bush.  I feel like this guy is poisoning his own business and exploiting our personal background to keep me on board.  I'm completely stressed out and exhausted, my quality of work is slipping due to lack of focus, and I have no idea how I can meet his expectations.  A sane person would see that they cannot do this job and give his/her two weeks but if I do that, I'm only making things for people at the restaurant worse.  We're a year away from our lease ending at our location but I don't know if I even have the endurance to last that long.  It's already been 4, extremely stressful years and the last week with our new titanic-sized menu has been abject misery.  


Should I stay or should I go?

post #2 of 5

The fact that you've been there 4 years speaks enough about your record.  Why have you let this person drag you (and presumably everybody else who works for you/him) along for so long, when he doesn't have an inkling to change?

"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
post #3 of 5

Their are lots of jobs out there. Id go find one first be for giving your notice.... that is unless you work in a town with only 1 restaurant.




Some owners just don't care as long as they are making money.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Without directly stating it, I have sent the message that the current course we are on is unsustainable. The owner always comes back with this, "well you're my kitchen manager so make it work". Always saying he's giving me the resources and people I need but in my mind I'm thinking "the only thing you're not giving me is a chance to tell you we've created a monster and it's slowly killing me". I've been busy at jobs before. I mean REALLY busy but it always felt like it had purpose. I truly believe expanding our menu to have so many items was not the right move to bring our numbers up. These words were echoed by the manager before me and they fell on the deaf ears of our owner. I feel trapped and miserable. If I just quit, and leave this place to flail for the next 14 months before our lease is up, I'd never forgive myself. I've worked for this guy for the last 4 years, starting as a prep cook, always having to step up and pick up the slack of others. I respect the heck out of him as a person but I'm destroying my life, week by week. I'd love to think he could just hire a KM to replace me but I've got some serious groundwork in this place and my biggest fear is letting down the entire team, owner included and making their last year of business a living nightmare.
post #5 of 5
Dude, just leave. You already know you should, in fact I would say you have to. It won't get better, it will only make you sick and burned out.
If you are anything like me, walking away is difficult. You get the feeling that you have somehow failed, that things might be ok if you only had some brilliant idea, that there is something that you are missing. You probably also are having the feeling that leaving is going to screw your crew, and have some guilt over that.

It sounds like this place is taking slices off of you a little at a time. Get out before you are so burnt out there is no growing those pieces back.

I quit my last ex. chef job late last year. Went through the same thing. Didn't have anything else lined up, wasn't sure what was going to happen next. But it was the best thing I could have done.

Good luck,

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