At work for reasons unknown to me they have decided that all the walk in coolers, freezer and dry storage should be kept under lock and key. The only times they are open is for about half an hour while prepping. If the cooks need something after that they have to find a sous chef or manager to open up the area up. I was just wondering if anyone else had worked in a kitchen like that?
A strange developement
Do you have a lot of stuff walking out the door? Food cost too high?
Worked at a couple of places where the high end stuff (lobster, king crab, veal, tenderloins, etc) was caged and locked in the walk in, high end dry stuff always stayed in the chef's office.
We also did an in and out count each shift where the book keeper verified daily usage vs sales on this stuff.
The funny thing is I specifically asked if theft was such a big problem that we had to institute this new policy. I was told by one manager that theft was not a big factor and not the reason for the change. I have yet to be told why we have to keep everything locked. Not sure if this matters, but I work for ARAMARK. It might be a company policy that we just never followed until now.
I have worked a couple of places that instituted such a policy due to theft. It never lasted very long. Now, in my current job, working in a jail with inmates in the kitchen, all coolers and dry storage areas are locked all the time. If an inmate needs something out of one of them then a supervisor has to open it and stand watch.
While it is a PITA to begin with, most people eventually learn to work within the boundaries set, and in fact, it can help make you more efficient as you really try to organize yourself to cut down on trips to the coolers.
When I worked for Marriott in DC we had very strict storeroom policies.
The storeroom had posted hours of operation.
You had to requisition everything and write it down on a form.
That form was handed to storeroom guy the night before and your order appeared on a huge multi-shelved cart the next morning.
The storeroom closed daily at 4:00.
If you forgot something, you had to get a security officer to open the door and watch as you got what you needed, recorded it then left.
Saturday nights and Sunday mornings were the worst, but it trained you to think.
Organization was key to remember as much as possible and to think ahead.
Preventing theft is not always the sole reason behind policies such as you have encountered, sometimes it is done with the goal of making ordering more efficient... How many times over the years have we all heard that famous kitchen supervisor lament "Nobody told me that they pulled he last..."
I still use that line a lot!!!!!! While I usually catch it will ordering, it drives me nuts when my cooks and supervisors don't let me know they have used the last of something.
I agree it probably wont last, something probably happened to freak them out for a while--a couple cases of
shrimp dipasseared, who knows? But it's like installing a code-combination lock to use the range, because
some server strayed in and managed to burn themselves. Once the slowdown and inconvenience outweighs
their current paranoia, they'll likely find another way to fix their perceived problem.
In the meantime, there's an upside... it gives you a temporary excuse for slowdowns for ANY reason--
just blame it on the locked-off coolers.
Yea, defintiely a PITA, the last restaurant I worked at which was a high end steakhouse did this. The main reason we did this was to prevent theft. We kept around $15,000 worth of meat in there on any given weekend. Our coolers were on the 2nd floor and the line on the 1st. Only a manager or chef could unlock them if someone needed something. You learned to be prepared as Chefross said. But it did suck if you had to run up for a quart of cream for saute if they forgot to stock the station!