Just got out of work at 330am CST.
The prep? 2 and 2/9ths bushels of tomatoes (roughly 106lbs), diced; One bushel of red peppers (30lbs), diced. How bad do you REALLY wanna be a professional cook?
Ahh, but what time did you start work that is the key. While that can happen that should not be the norm ever. You can run your people down and expect them to be high performance cooks. It is important to work for someone who knows how to run a kitchen well and over working the staff is a sure sign they don't.
Don't get me wrong I had plenty of 14 hour days and 70+ hour work weeks but a cook kitchen manager/director/chef takes care of his crew he/she does not work them to death.
Meh... every time I "burn the midnight oil", I always get stopped on my way home by a VW bus full of bikini clad co-eds looking for a "private Chef" to cook for them.....
I cooked from 615pm-9pm, closed and cleaned the kitchen, took a 30min hookah break (Mediterranean grill/hookah lounge) and began the cutting at 1100pm.
Up until this point, the latest I've stayed doing prep had been 2am. We're just now off of the Ramadan schedule, in which we were open ALL night until 4am. Getting back into the regular schedule, we've been doing heavy prep to get at least two days' worth of prep done.
The owners have decided to stay open until 11pm from now on (originally 9pm). The majority of our clientele are Saudi nationals-military-and the owners want to capitalize on the late night schedule that their overnighters live by.
The new schedule was dropped on me tonight at 930pm...after I'd already begun to close the cooking area of our kitchen.
The owners, who have proven to be rather reactionary in their decision-making, are experimenting with me to try to maximize production within the shortest time parameters possible. As an aspiring business man, I can appreciate this; as the closing cook, this is some BS.
We've got 8ft worth of chargrill, 3ft griddle, 35lb fryer, bread press, rice makers (go through roughly 40 uncooked cups of basmati rice on a regular day, 6ft cold-prep station, with 12 bays worth of product we refill and wrap each closing. Then there's the prep table area and the dish washing room. Finally, there's the large fridge and large freezer room. I shut down all of this, THEN get to the dishes. Then sweep and mop. Then do prep. Then clean the mess I make doing prep.
They're apparently discussing hiring someone strictly for prep. And they're also apparently discussing hiring another cook and arranging the schedule so that the night shift (mine) will have two cooks on hand...I live a life 5 tix behind, consistently. I'm a one-man line. Proud of that, but tired as hell of it.
The issue for me is, if the business we get with these extra two hours isn't heavy enough to warrant an additional closing cook, the burden of the increase of business we're currently experiencing is still going to warrant the amount of prep we're doing now.
I do NOT think that I can dice 135lbs of product a few times a week and maintain my fervor for The Life.
What do y'all think?
The topic split off to options for high volume dicing so it has been moved to it's own discussion thread here: