I am not traditionally trained, but I know quite a lot. My grandmother taught me a great deal, and I have off and on worked intinsely at home, for various reasons, the most recent of which is a dedication to providing my four year old son with real, quality food, and using that time spent to practice and hone technique.
I recently secured a job as a line cook making $10/hr. After our first service, the sous, a friend of the restaurant owner, aged sixty one, called me over for a private confab with the exec. He stepped aside and I was promoted to sous on a probationary basis, with an immediate raise to $12/hr.
My first task was to create a feature item for a "soft opening" - a derogatory term in my opinion but I went with it, and winged it. I devised a Mediterranean influenced sandwich that brought a fellow employee almost to tears, and resulted in an immediate order from a customer who chanced upon the samples I made for the FOH (in order to go be them a proper understanding of the feature item we wanted to push).
That's my story in a nutshell.
The rest of the story is that I've walked into one of those nightmarish scenarios many of you I am sure you are familiar with.
The owner balks at every expense, rightly to, yet also is unresponsive to reason. A language barrier is involved as well. We can not keep this man out of the kitchen, out of our business. He has managerial experience, but in the hotel industry, specializing in the bar. He is adamantly assured that this qualifies him to run a restaurant, and micromanage the kitchen. I've almost reached my personal breaking point and cussed the owner out on several occasions in just the past two days. If I weren't a struggling single father I would break his ass down and have eithet him hiding in the office or myself looking for a new job.
An example of my problems: I am scheduled at *8:30* for an 11am lunch. The owner and co-owner don't arrive until 9:25. I don't get into the kitchen until 9:40. I have an hour and ten to prep. Lunch automatically flushed. Doubly so because the day before it took us until 2pm to get an agreement from the owner to make purchases necessary to open a limited menu lunch service. It was so late we couldn't even secure all the necessary ingredients to create our menu. We didn't get our planned lunch service underway until some time after noon, and I had to make a personal trio to a local grocery chain store to purchase ciabatta rolls and rosemary for the kosher lamb sandwich - with my own fucking food stamps.
When we finally got ready and flicked the opening sign on, we hit every number despite the disorganization caused by a meddling, clueless owner and a staff of FNGs who don't have basic knife skilkls, who don't know the difference between a chiffonade or a batonnet. Add to that the fact that not only was our prep started at a ridiculously late hour, that we also lacked critical ingredients for our feature lunch specials, I was the only soldier on the line, with an hour and change to prep, and an owner already taste testing the beverage options demanding I help set up the FOH. Not only did I have to interrupt my solo prep effort to make him breakfast at 10am (wtf?) he tried to impinge on my domain and what honestly, isn't my job as sous, but which I do out of both desperation and hope.
I doubt I need to continue, but f further elaboration is required I will give it, in PM to anyone who might take umbrage at the situation. I will take any and all advice. I've made myself almost invaluable with my talent and skill, but I want a competing offer before I sit this man down with my exec and lay down ground rules to uncle moneybags.
We even served a complex oder for a last minute walk in after we had polished up for the night and responded to his demand to break it all out again and serve up quality food. We managed it, and after an 11 and a half hour shift that was slated as a five hour lunch service, he was pissed I left to attend to my child.
Honestly the man is very loyal, we get paid, he supports us, we even are getting health insurance. He isn't a bad guy, but we need explain to him that we can handle our business.
I wish I could divulge full details of this restaurant's problems, and it's potential, but I can't risk it.
If anyone has advice on how to approach and solve my queer but unfortunately common situation in an *aggressively* constructive manner, it would be appreciated.