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The pastry chef and the pantry....

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone. Just curious as to how many pastry chefs, work the day time as a pastry chef(what you were hired to do) and then work the pantry at night? We are a 70 seat restaurant. We are open for dinner 5-9 and brunch 10-2 on Sat and Sun and then open those nights 5-9 for dinner. I live in New Orleans. Is this a common practice? Thanks in advance 

post #2 of 7

I was originally hired on at my restaurant as a line cook to run pantry but I've since become one of the two active pastry chefs we have. Lately, and usually throughout season, I'll do exactly that - open pastry and work pantry for dinner service. Rather, we'll bring in someone to work pantry and someone to plate pastry and I'll end up working between them, as needed. From what I understand it's a new scheduling practice for us that exists purely because it naturally came into being, but I'm not sure if it's the norm. 

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

I can see there is a slight similarity. I am the only pastry chef. Because the owner(who has never worked or owned a restaurant)is trying to save money, he took the part time pantry person out. He only worked nights, plating desserts and running the pantry(they are in the same room). The owner changed my day time schedule to night and left me one day to prep/bake desserts, ice creams and sorbets. That one day has to cover desserts etc. for an entire week. While he tries to cut hours, I will either end up getting over time trying to play catch up or there will be certain components that will go unattended to, thus causing an interruption in the desserts. At this point, I feel like the man will only see things correctly, when there are consequences, to his knee jerk decisions.   

post #4 of 7
Look at it objectively; do you really need a full time person to prep desserts in your resto? If you're open seven days a week, there must be someone else doing pantry 2 or 3 days, so ride it out for a while and then tell them you should be doing at least 3 days of prep. Go for the overtime in the meantime!
post #5 of 7

I was the pantry person 5 days a week for years. Hours changed as needs changed and then owners. I have been 9-5, 6-2, 7-3. I also made some desserts and some were bought. My experience is all OJT for the past 40 years, most of it here. Right now it is 6 days with one of those days mainly counting money and catching up on desserts.This is a large restaurant and catering operation, seating up to about 250-300. Under new owners I was encouraged to experiment. I am now making and baking all desserts from scratch and working pantry for lunch. Some weeks things fall thru the cracks as far as desserts. Starting in the new year I will be only doing desserts in the early am, then going upstairs to do price checking, counting money, and whatever else the GM doesn't want to do paper wise.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
We don't have a GM. Haven't had one in over 6 months. The owner does not come in. He has never worked or owned a restaurant. We do our best. I make all desserts, breads etc from scratch. That's what the owner wants. Our part time pantry guy plated desserts and pantry items in the evening. The owner moved him to back waiter, making me work 2 nights a week in pastry pantry, 2 brunch shifts and one day of prep for the entire week. He is telling me I can not get over time. So I figure I will have to take it upon myself to get over time, or the desserts and breads will suffer.
Edited by NOLApastrygirl - 10/9/14 at 8:37am
post #7 of 7
Typical, pastry always gets screwed. I cant imagine doing the desserts for a whole week in only one day. Here we do @ 250+ covers a night every night, 365 days a year. Everyone gets desserts, its included in the price. Im doing 50+ hours a week just to keep up. The menu has 7 line items along with cookies, events, catering and whatever else pops up.
We take all special requests. People figure pastry always aren't working when you see them they are typically almost done their shift. I hear that a lot if I leave at 3 or 4 pm, the cooks always say "wow! leaving so early/" I still have to remind them i'm in usually 5 or six hours before them.

A 70 seat place cant be all that busy, what is your dessert sales percentage?

I would look for another job.
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