I work in a high-volume brewpub in the heart of downtown. I worked the line for about 2 years and enjoyed it for the most part. But there were a lot of things some of my coworkers did that I wasn't too fond of. Nothing too extreme, just being messy and not caring about their job sorta thing. It got frustrating but I always tried to lead by example. Well about 2 months ago I put in my two weeks at my current spot so I could go full time at another gig I had been working, as I had an opportunity to eventually move into a management position there. I was counter-offered with a management position at my current job with higher pay. I decided to take the job, which in retrospect turned out to be a great decision because my part-time spot started going downhill not long after I left due to owner issues.
Anyways, my management role at my current spot isn't very well defined. I started out as a floor manager but after talking with my GM we decided that I need to focus on BoH, which is great because I love BoH. But I'm in an odd position now. We have no KM, Chef or Sous, so our leadership on the line is non-existent. We have a few veteran cooks but they take no initiative in leading the pack. I am being scheduled like the other floor managers but supposed to "focus on the kitchen" while I'm at work. I feel that in order to get the cooks to respond well to me and to actually change some things in the kitchen I need to at least be on the line with them, no? In my opinion there isn't a better way to change things in a place like this than to get back their and do it yourself, showing everyone how easy it can be with a little effort. I suppose this is more of a rant than anything, but I'm just wondering what ChefTalk thinks about a kitchen without any true BoH management ever working the line. It was always odd to me when I was on the line that we didn't have any management in the back and now that I have made my way into management I want to change that.
On a related note, any advice on getting some of my coworkers to start seeing me more as their manager and not as just 'one of the guys'. I want people to see that I am serious about making some positive changes to the kitchen. Morale has been at an all time low lately and I want to fix it before its too late. But guys will still play on their phone, or eat on the line, or put forth MINIMAL effort in keeping their station clean. Instead they complain about the smallest issues or take a smoke break. No one is held accountable and none of the other managers say anything to them. I don't want to go in and just be an asshole about everything and ruin the relationships and respect I earned working the line with them all, but its starting to feel like I'm gonna have to. I'm a fairly young guy (24) so I'm still figuring out my managing style, but I just really wanna get the ball rolling.