I am transitioning from a short-order breakfast cook with experience cooking and prepping in campus settings, but never having worked on the line before i wanted to move into that fast paced environment. Searching online, I found a local high-volume restaurant with an opening for a head line cook. Interviewed, went in to work the fry section, absolutely horrendous food safety standards, so many quality issues, no organization or systems in place of any kind. At the end of my shift the owner I told the owner that I would love to speak with her about how my shift went, yada, yada, yada. I met with her the following week and brought in all of my notes and an agenda for our meeting. Explaining everything wrong with the kitchen and the lack of systems, etc. she broke down and explained how difficult it has been for her to find good employees and to maintain the level of food quality, consistency, and ticket times that the restaurant can produce. She begged for me to come back and try to work another shift to see if we could find a role for me in the kitchen. I have worked as a fry and grill cook in short order restaurants but never cooking beef tenderloin or plating the quality of food that their prices call for. Having said that, everyone else in the kitchen basically has zero clue what is going on in terms of being an actual cook. The fry station has two cooks who are complete knuckleheads and battle constantly all day. D is a 45 year old steroid user who pulls tickets before they are completed and has a strange obsession with keeping things clean without actually cleaning anything (wiping counters that are already clean while his fried items are dragging or he hasnt even thrown them down yet), J is a 27 year old who just spent 7 years in jail for assault, he is so hot-headed he says he can do everything in the fry section by himself, yet the entire service is constantly dragging because he forgets to fire items or is too busy monitoring everyone else in the kitchen that he never even looks at his tickets. Jon, the chef is so jaded and burnt-out that he barely monitors anything in the kitchen except the saute station he mans during lunch and dinner service. There are 3 dishwashers, two dedicated prep workers, and 4 expeditors. After working another shift, I was offered the position of sous chef by the owner and Jeff. Now, after having worked at the restaurant for over a week, I have been trying to implement systems like a running inventory sheet on every prep reach-in, labels on every item that is prepped or opened, etc. I ran my first ever staff meeting with the kitchen last week, explaining what the labels are and how we are implementing systems for organization. I am trying to start a new system every week while still monitoring and correcting any mistakes with the previous week's system. I really really love the work I am doing and am getting paid well, there is just so much to be done I'm trying to prioritize my tasks and decide what can be done in the short term to boost production and lower costs. Should i feel bad if i am not working on the line so much as monitoring how the line is producing and basically babysitting these cooks that cant get their act together? What are the most essential beginning systems to help lower food costs? am i even filling the role of a traditional sous chef? I am trying to set prep levels on all items so that we can cut payroll by having the prep workers have the cooks' stations set up for their service. Is this the way to go? I know that this is going to be not only a lengthy discussion, but the first of many as I really need professional advice on how to manage people, costs, recipes, scheduling, the whole kitten caboodle. Thank you so much for any advice you can give.
Edited by Floydian1989 - 8/4/15 at 6:38pm