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Struggling with plating on the line

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hello! I need some advice. I'm fresh out of culinary school and recently was hired at a high volume restaurant. My job is to simply plate the food the line cooks prepare and most of the prepared food is already on the line ready for me to plate it and send out. The problem I'm having is keeping up with a the hundreds of tickets I receive daily. My question is how can I plate faster and keep track of all the tickets at the same time?

 

I know I can't just focus on one ticket at a time, I have to think several tickets ahead. so what I'm doing now is setting up several plates from several tickets at the same time and just plating them as the tickets come in. Is this a good way to finish faster?

post #2 of 16
Not sure I follow, the food is ready when the ticket comes in?
post #3 of 16

Depending on the size of your plating area - Set the Plates as they are on the ticket so the first thing on the ticket is the first plate the second is the second thing...

 

Communication with the line cooks helps tremendously as they should be telling you when they are coming up on certain items and so you know when an how to prepare the plates.

 

Try to get into a rhythm, stay ahead of the tickets, set your plates down for the first ticket and get that ready, then work on the next one.

 

Remember to work small and clean and to respect the timing of your line cooks. 

post #4 of 16

Do it table by table, use a pencil to cross off.  Do not talk with the servers or food runners.  You let them know when you are ready to sell the ticket.

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grande View Post

Not sure I follow, the food is ready when the ticket comes in?


Most of the items are in hotel pans in front of me, and when I start to run low on an item I simply grab an already prepared hotel pan from a warmer in the back. Other times the line cook prepares several items, and then those items go in the hotel pans in front of me. All I have to do is just put the plates together with the food from those hotel pans.

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan View Post
 

Do it table by table, use a pencil to cross off.  Do not talk with the servers or food runners.  You let them know when you are ready to sell the ticket.

 

When you mean table by table do you mean one table at a time or should I set up plates for several tables at the tickets come in? Pretty much all of the food is just in hotel pans in front of me. and all I have to do is scoop it out and arrange in neatly on a plate. The cooks just keep replenishing the pans as the day goes by. How can I handle multiple tables quickly with this kind of set up?  

post #7 of 16
How big is the menu?
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grande View Post

How big is the menu?


Not very big, only eleven items. I will get like 50 tickets in an hour and three feet of space to work in.

post #9 of 16

So you put 2 chickens on table 1, one beef on table 3, on fish on table 2, go back and look at table 1 ticket and put a fish on 1?

 

What I mean is pick up the ticket for table 1, plate all of them and send it, then go to the next table.  

 

Or are you saying you just have difficulty scooping stuff onto the plate?

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan View Post
 

So you put 2 chickens on table 1, one beef on table 3, on fish on table 2, go back and look at table 1 ticket and put a fish on 1?

 

What I mean is pick up the ticket for table 1, plate all of them and send it, then go to the next table.  

 

Or are you saying you just have difficulty scooping stuff onto the plate

Something like that, I try to work on three tables at once by plating their common items at once. so if table 1 and 2 both order fish, I'll put both plates for both tables together at the same time with the fish.

 

There is one other thing that I didn't mention.

 

There is one item that is not in the hotel pans; fish fillets. The cook seers off these fillets and then sticks them in an oven to cook for about 6 minutes. I have to pull them out, temp them, then place them on a plate with sides. This is the one thing that slows me down the most, because I have to wait for the fish.

 

In this case what I usually do is plate the dishes that just come out the hotel pans while the fish is in the oven.

 

The challenge I'm having is not putting the plates together, but organizing my time better.

post #11 of 16
Depending on the size of the tables, that could slow you down vs going table by table. Try to figure out your optimal # of entrees without slowing down. Also, work to optimize your runners time. E.g.; if there is one runner, doing 3 tables at once benefits no one.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grande View Post

Depending on the size of the tables, that could slow you down vs going table by table. Try to figure out your optimal # of entrees without slowing down. Also, work to optimize your runners time. E.g.; if there is one runner, doing 3 tables at once benefits no one.

 

The table sizes are maybe  5 or 6 guests per the 112 tables we have, but there are no vacancies at all. Guests have to reserve a table in advance. sometimes weeks in advance.

post #13 of 16

Are you in the States or UK?

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefbuba View Post
 

Are you in the States or UK?


I'm from California. I work at Disneyland.


Edited by Junomash - 8/24/15 at 9:50pm
post #15 of 16
Lots of good advice here. Here is the rub though. Advice is good and you should listen to it but this is where the rubber meets the road. Trial by fire. You just do it. Get it done get it done faster and faster. One day you will just be doing it and you wont even remember the point in time where you couldnt do it. Experience will help. Patience will help. Perserverance and dedication will help more. Watch the other guys that plate. The guys that plate on friday and saturday night. Watch every move they do. Watch where they keep their tongs, their spoons, watch their flow. Watch how they set up their steam table. Where are their sauces where are their starches. Do they have their garnissh prepped. Usually do a table at a time starch all the plates veg all the plates protien sauce garnish window. If you dont work the busy nights volunteerr to come in and do an observation just dont get in the way. Take advice but really this is something you have to work at for yourself. Either you will succeed and each sucess will build and youll get better and better or you wil faill. The problem is not in failing but failing and giving up. The weak and whiny do not survive to become cooks and eventually chefs. The ones who watch learn and improve do. Good luck. This is where you seperate the prime from the no roll.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chezpopp View Post

Lots of good advice here. Here is the rub though. Advice is good and you should listen to it but this is where the rubber meets the road. Trial by fire. You just do it. Get it done get it done faster and faster. One day you will just be doing it and you wont even remember the point in time where you couldnt do it. Experience will help. Patience will help. Perserverance and dedication will help more. Watch the other guys that plate. The guys that plate on friday and saturday night. Watch every move they do. Watch where they keep their tongs, their spoons, watch their flow. Watch how they set up their steam table. Where are their sauces where are their starches. Do they have their garnissh prepped. Usually do a table at a time starch all the plates veg all the plates protien sauce garnish window. If you dont work the busy nights volunteerr to come in and do an observation just dont get in the way. Take advice but really this is something you have to work at for yourself. Either you will succeed and each sucess will build and youll get better and better or you wil faill. The problem is not in failing but failing and giving up. The weak and whiny do not survive to become cooks and eventually chefs. The ones who watch learn and improve do. Good luck. This is where you seperate the prime from the no roll.


Thank you! this helps me out greatly!

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