I was an executive chef and I still wound up being the one to unplug the grease trap and toilets. If I needed plates and the dishwasher was backed up, I'd go over and help him. Once I had to change out a faucet in the dish area during a Saturday night supper rush because it was spraying water everywhere. It was faster to replace the whole unit than try to fix it. Fortunately we had an extra one.
My "Rules of the Kitchen" --- would you add or delete anything before i laminate it? - Page 3
Number 6 isn't, but it should be, and was in my kitchens. When cooks have to scrub their own burnt pans, they tend to watch more closely and not burn them. Accidents happen, but even when in the executive chef position, if I burned a pan, I washed it myself. If I couldn't for some reason, I would apologize profusely to the dishwasher and he would get a couple of drinks on me after work. I would sometimes soak a pan until I could get to it, but that didn't indicate I was going to leave it for someone else. Usually I'd put baking soda and water in it and put it back on the stove to boil. Best way to clean up a burnt pan is the same way it got burnt.
It is. It goes according to cook temp. Lowest on top, highest (chicken) on the bottom.
Edited by greyeaglem - 6/8/16 at 1:12pm
I have 4 base rules for the kitchen, these rules never change and are suited for implementing in any kitchen, everything falls into any one of these rules and is based on knowledge and experience,
the rules are:
1. Work safely, (its easy to buy new food and equipment but there is no shop to buy new fingers and hands!)
2. Work hygienically (staff can be replaced, but dead customers cannot!)
3. Work professionally (when you are proud of your work and achievements then others will recognise your ability)
4. Want to learn (if you know everything then you will suggested for the GM/MD/CEO/ownership position at the next general meeting)
I have had it suggested that i should have other rules like:
work as a team (that comes under rule 3, and potentially also rule 4 depending on the circumstances)
keep knives sharp (that comes under rule 1 because should never have dulled knives in use, and rule 3 because a chef respects his tools)
have fun (only within the confines of rule 3, so have a laugh but don't be a fool where theres fire and sharp objects due to rule 1)
be active / if not cooking then clean (that puts rules 2 and 3 into immediate effect, and maybe rule 4 if they haven't don't the job)
and so on and so forth
the longer the list then the more things will be found to add to it and will lead to updating on a daily basis until you end up with an employee manual.
keep it simple so the staff can focus on giving good results by being conscious of what they are doing until they are so good at it that it becomes subconscious.
of course a few well place signs such as "a clean kitchen is a happy kitchen" and "clean hands" help to reinforce policies.
a long list of rules may be greatly ignored and you may find yourself policing a list instead of policing effective management of the workspace.
I was going to hide behind my new kitchen manager and get him to make the decisions to fire people. But after speaking with my GM, he said ,"For your own good along with the future of the kitchen manager's--its better if you do it." No explanation as to why...
As foolish as this may sound, I wanted to be the good cop and let the other guy be the bad cop. But after reading everything on this forum along with my GM's suggestion, I may have to own up to it. It's odd that I feel that I have everything planned out, with the most common variables planned out and it never plays out like how I imagined.
I normally take it as a given that my subordinates are my responsibility for continued employability, however in Indonesia I have been told that the locals will never accept my decision as reasonable because I am "the tourist" in their country and that the HR department must handle the situation.
most staff here see me as a novelty that they can add to their resume that they "worked with an expat" (woo woopty doo). the way I deal with this situation is advising the nonperforming staff member that theyre work is substandard and they need to put in effort for themselves so they can have good career and follow their dreams, if i meet with them again then i restate their responsibility to themselves, and that if they cant improve then they might need to consider another profession such as Gojek (motorcycle delivery) if in Indonesia, or truck driving if Australia. when you put it to someone who clearly has no place in the kitchen that they should change career you quickly "separate the men from the boys" and they either put in greater effort or they leave. results guaranteed, ive even had staff thank me for being honest with them, and many want to join me on other new projects I work on. the point is to be firm but fair, if your soft they wont respect you because strong staff want strong leadership, but if your a Nazi then your staff also wont put up with undue abuse.
the fact you sit down with the staff for breaks will be of great benefit for your relationship with them, just remember that you are their leader in the workplace, and friends outside, because if they cannot make the distinction then in the workplace your staff will be out of control and you will only be considered a token symbol of authority without any real power.
Could anyone who helped me here, help me one more time and before you say it would be futile bc i wont listen... i will bc you guys were right.