I just got a promotion to sous chef in my company. I worked in Ohio, and we opened a location near St. Louis. I came out to help train the staff for 10 days and ended up staying for 17, at which point I was offered the position of sous chef. I accepted and came back to work under a truly terrible "Chef" who couldn't tell the difference between basil leaves and spinach. He was fired shortly after, and my co-worker from Ohio came to run the kitchen with me as Co-Sous Chefs with me. We have no exec. Just us. I have more management experience than he does, but in not so great restaurants. We both want a solid, serious kitchen, and have the confidence of the owners, so we can try out new ideas. While we both have a lot of experience in the field, the bulk of it is in line cooking. Any advice from those of you who have been cheffing for a long time?
Beginning Sous Chef looking for advice
Start getting a handle on the business side of things as soon as you can. Doesn't matter how good the food is, if you can't keep food costs and labor costs in line you'll be out of business. Learn how to run an efficient kitchen, always questioning how you can do it more efficiently, how to utilize every scrap. Look at your menu mix. Are you high cost items offset by lower cost items.
There are a million and 1 pieces of advise I could give, on how to manage your people, how to manager your customers, etc. but understanding that what we do is a business will go a long way in making you successful. I've seen too many chefs let their egos get in the way and cook the food they want to, but if you can't sell it at the right price to be successful the place will not last..