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Had to fire someone today

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I had to fire someone today.  Now the kitchen is mad at me.

Trying to decide which book to read to turn me into the most beloved manager ever in the whole wide world.

post #2 of 19

Good luck with either of the books.  You can be the best manager in the business, but you will always have problem workers that needs to be retrained, put on notice or let go. 

post #3 of 19
Books won't make you a good manager. Not caring "the kitchen is mad at me" or wanting to become "beloved" will. You're in your position to lead. You and your employees are not "equals"... If you view yourself as a parent and your staff your children you wouldn't need to justify any of your actions to your children... nor would you really struggle with them being upset after you have to discipline them... such is management.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Spoiled Broth.  I know all of that.  I was posting the comment as a wry, tongue-in-cheek, "can you relate" kind of a post.

post #5 of 19

I agree that reading books on Baseball and Dog Training won't help you. :p

 

Seriously though, a true manager mentality would put the security and prosperity

(and through filtration) morale and organization, of the establishment above all else.

Maintaining friendships with employees must by nature be way down on the list, as

they are often at odds. The best managers I've seen, and had, rarely even fraternize

with co-workers, indeed many restaurants are now establishing policy that managers

(especially salaried) are prohibited from fraternizing with hourly employees, and that

includes OFF the work premises was well, such as a party thrown by an employee,

i.e., "everyone's invited".

 

My past boss lasted 8 months as a General Manager at which time they were unceremoniously

canned with virtually no notice. This is because they were a server for 6 years, the place

suddenly lost their GM, they were acting as a PIC, applied, and moved into the position

for convenience. But not only could  they not be taken seriously as a manager by long time friends,

but they were unable to make the hard decisions, such as firing...ANY of them.....for ANY reason

(And the reasons increased with their "friend" at the helm, believe me.)

 

As I said, being friends and managing are often at direct odds. Nature of the beast.

post #6 of 19

There's a classic book by Dale Carnegie called 'How to win friends and influence people'. It's not necessarily about winning friends, but how you come across to people.

 

Quote:
'Many employers believe that one of the best ways to raise their profit margin is to cut labor costs. But companies like QuikTrip, the grocery-store chain Trader Joe's, and Costco Wholesale are proving that the decision to offer low wages is a choice, not an economic necessity. All three are low-cost retailers, a sector that is traditionally known for relying on part-time, low-paid employees. Yet these companies have all found that the act of valuing workers can pay off in the form of increased sales and productivity.'

 

- http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/03/the-trader-joes-lesson-how-to-pay-a-living-wage-and-still-make-money-in-retail/274322/

 

Some on this forum think that employees only cause losses by stealing. There are many ways for unhappy employees to cause losses including damaging product whether by burning (and secretively throwing product away), over cooking, over trimming, contamination (I've seen pubes, boogers, and floor sweeping added to product by minimum wage workers), etc. If employees look oppressed, or dissatisfied with their job: I'll avoid returning.

post #7 of 19

@Sherman452,

 That s cks. something good always comes out of a negative. Hopefully the good will benefit both your kitchen and you. Keep on keepin on my friend. Been there, sorry. I would go with Cesar

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #8 of 19

Great points, Tweakz.  I read an article on starting your own business once where the author that opined that "a company with 50 employees has 50 problems."  Wow!  What a tone-deaf article, and one that really misses the point.  Chef Thomas Keller takes a different approach; he would almost say you have 50 partners.  Obviously there has to be discipline and the boss has to be the boss but giving your staff a chance to contribute meaningfully makes everything better.  Morale is better, the food is better and things run more smoothly.

 

I think it's fair to say that nearly every problem you face in business, no matter what business, is a 'people problem.'  You can't be a good chef without some social skills.  There's so much more to being a chef (as in "head of the kitchen") than just knowing how to cook.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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post #9 of 19
Worst part of the job. I think a little part of everyone that works under you will hate you somewhat for the power you hold over them. When that power is demonstrated that little part of them grows for a time, just let it blow over.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by panini View Post
I would go with Cesar

 

Glad we finally agree about the pack mentality...

post #11 of 19

I've had quite a few bosses that I've loved. I never felt like they had any negative power over me as I'm an exceptional worker within my limitations who had nothing to fear from them. Sometimes it just takes some understanding and communication (which the lack of can be a contributor in shift rivalries). If bosses don't hear the griping; they can't address the issues which people can misunderstand or be totally out of line about. I suggested a boss get some bandages for the first aid kit. He pointed out they were there (I just didn't recognize the container). Some people won't ask and just assume that the boss is being cheap. I've often been a buffer between the boss and the gripers who always assume the worst.

 

Some people will see a boss as being mean to someone who is a hidden thorn in their side. There could be two reasons for this; one is that it's a lot of paperwork and hassle to fire someone unless they're outright caught stealing or doing something very wrong. Another is that the boss is actually being nice in letting the person know how much they're not wanted and giving them time and motivation to find another job.

 

When times were better I didn't fret quitting a job. I'd rather move on than bitch about my employer. I was getting hired at more places than I applied to, so I refused to work for the real buttholes.

 

Morale is important as Phaedrus said: 'Morale is better, the food is better and things run more smoothly.'

 

I hope your employees come around to seeing it was an action you had to do, that you're also bothered by it, and you desire to be loved and not hated.

post #12 of 19

When I worked for corporate America it seemed like management was always looking for some one to screw up.

With unions added to this situation it would turn into a daily battle pitting management against union employee.

I spent more time with verbal warnings, written warnings, paperwork, and such that I can understand the mentality of the workers and their angst against the suits.

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the support, fellow Chefs.  The storm has blown over and the kitchen has taken the adjustment in stride.  Mostly the reaction was, "Wait, does this mean we are going to have to work harder than we already do because we are a man down on the line?"  But, we are running a new menu, things are much more organized than they used to be and everyone is much calmer and focused.

 

post #14 of 19

Machiavelli's "The Prince" is a great read for leadership. Not very modern but timeless in many ways. 

Glad everything is improving. Keep us posted. 

post #15 of 19
Yeah machiavelli's great, unless a far reaching employee who thinks they can do your job reads it lol wink.gif
post #16 of 19
The Prince as an example of what not to be, please tell me that's what you guys are talking about! "The art of war" by Sun Tzu is a pretty good book in the same vein however it's not as ... Repulsive :P
post #17 of 19


The next step after becoming the manager is OUT THE DOOR.

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 #18 of 19
Thread Starter 


Huh?

post #19 of 19

@chefedb,

Huh? you ok?

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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