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Rant about standards.

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
How do you increase the standards of a restaurant from a lower level position.
Edited by ChefTorres87 - 9/27/14 at 12:35am
post #2 of 18

Aloha,

 

Don't give up hope my friend. I have certainly been in your position before; many times. With regard to you being reprimanded: can you objectively say you've been "poking" with a good attitude? Do you find yourself getting fed up alot? Do you view other people's ineptitude or failure to complete a seemingly simple, common-sense task as a personal slight against you?

 

The way I see it you have two options:

 

1.) Bring it up with management (BOH, not the proprietor). Sit down on a weekend or something for a few hours, write down your thoughts. This will allow you to speak without getting emotional when the time comes. I'm not going to lie in my experience I find this to be an extremely dangerous endeavour. You're essentially threatening the authority of anyone at the restaurant/kitchen with seniority (would that be, everyone?). The squeeky wheel gets the grease, but the kind of grease we're talking about in this context is usually a one way ticket to the unemployment line. You've got to approach it with extreme sensitivity ("I am really passionate about what we do here at X... BUT I feel like we could work on this that and the other thing") and "blow alot of smoke" if you get my drift (do not, under any circumstances bring anyone's ability to manage into question, "I feel like sometimes people try to get away with things" as opposed to "There's alot going on that you don't notice"). I cannot stress enough that this is extremely risky and you should have some "irons in the fire" with respect to job prospects before you even consider it. If you really care about the place or think there is something to be gained there which you cannot easily gain elsewhere for whatever reason, fine.

 

2.) Get your ducks in a row vis-a-vis a new job and blow that popsicle stand.

 

Your thirst for standards and organization is not a negative thing. It's best to do *something* about it sooner rather than later; you don't want to become one of those people in kitchens who doesn't care about what they're doing- because it's intentionally staying in those kind of environments that WILL burn you out, especially if you have any ambition or work ethic.

 

Be well,

SpoiledBroth

post #3 of 18
Go with option two. If you've been sat down & don't want to get in line, it's time to leave. Even if we just have your biased view, it's not a good fit. Hope that tuna was iced.
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefTorres87 View Post

How do you increase the standards of a restaurant from a lower level position.


Very difficult to do, in my experience most people in kitchen management positions don't like to be shown or even to consider the possibility that their way is not best.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #5 of 18

     This is indeed a tough question. I think first you have to take a look at what kind of restaurant you work at and what standards you hope to increase. If it is a burger joint, moving to high end steakhouse isn't a good subject for discussion. Making better, more interesting burgers would be although still handled delicately. 

    Then look at what the owners are concerned with. Is your place of employment as a whole trying to be better at what they do or does no one care?  

     You might try testing the waters by making a suggestion or two and see what the response is. "What if we ground our own meat for the hamburgers?"  What if we made our own marmalade?"  "Could we use more fresh herbs and less dried?". 

If you receive negative or disinterested responses from questions like these, your owners and coworkers may just not get it and you are wasting your breath. Then you need to find a new job. 

     In spite of the renewed interest these days in farm to table and fresher foods, there remain those people for whom food is just a product and 

the least effort is good enough. 

     Please keep us posted on how it works out. 

post #6 of 18

All of this is good advice and should be taken or at least considered.  There is a way to bring up standards in a kitchen where you are not in charge, and I will explain in detail, but first...

 

If I understand correctly your Chef is not really interested in bringing up standards.  In other words s/he is comfortable.  Then it only follows that the owner or G.M. of the place is comfortable as well, or they'd be crawling up the Chef's posterior.  If you follow this observation, then you will understand both of these people will not want the boat to rock, so why rock it?

 

But how do you bring up the standards without coming across like someone who wants the Chef's job?

 

You speak the common language.

 

You speak the language of money.

 

"I can get a bay leaf plant from my neighbor and we can keep it in the dining room or parking lot.  It won't cost us anything, we get bragging rights for using fresh bay leaf, and we don't have to buy dried bayleaf in at $20/  a bottle."

 

"If we buy in whole fryers and portion out breasts and thighs ourselves, even if we figure in two bucks a lb more for labour, we still come in cheaper than prep-portioned.  As a bonus we get bragging rights for using whole fresh fryers, Plus we generate bones for stock, Plus we generate chicken schmaltz for sauting soup mirepoix in."

 

A true diplomat can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip...

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Staging a new restaurant tomorrow. One with high standards, wish me luck!
post #8 of 18

Good luck and congratulations :D Just move on up!

post #9 of 18
Once you've seen a few kitchens, a walk through in the interview will speak volumes. Good luck!
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

Yeah not gonna lie, I took the job because the money was good and I had just moved from LA, I didn't do to much job shopping, but I'm beginning to think it's important to interview your interviewers...

Like when they ask, do you have any questions:
Do you have any personal culinary philosophies that you incorporate in how you run the establishment,

Can I see your walk-in,

How many covers do you average,
How often do you council/give constructive criticism/performance reviews etc...

Things are looking up, talked with both Executive Sous Chefs, staging after work, they wanted to know theoretically when I would be able to leave my current job so I guess that's a good sign.

post #11 of 18
I'm beginning to think it's important to interview your interviewers...


Being the person that does the hiring for the last 25 years I can tell you that this is very important. Canidates that dont interview back dont get hired by me.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ty for the advice and support, got the new job!
post #13 of 18
Cheers!
post #14 of 18

Watch TV  Restaurant Impossible  with Chef Robert  Irvine   All different scenerios

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post
 

Watch TV  Restaurant Impossible  with Chef Robert  Irvine   All different scenerios


I used to watch his shows, but after it was discovered he falsified his resume I no longer have any respect for him.

He may be a great cook but I have lost all credibility for him. 

post #16 of 18
... Falsified his resume?
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpoiledBroth View Post

... Falsified his resume?


Look it up!!

post #18 of 18
My fav Irvine story was the guy who got on one of his "rescue" programs, got the full deal renos done, then promptly flipped the place for a tidy profit. That is smart business!My
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