ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › Differences between day shift and night shift
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Differences between day shift and night shift

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
It amazes me still: the differences in the types of people who work the day shift and those who work at night.

I hate: getting up at 7:00; openning a cold and quiet kitchen in the morning; taking deliveries; listening to the vacuum cleaner out front; THE PHONE RINGING CONSTANTLY; talking to the assistant manager (nitwit); morning-people-personality; daytime waiters (morons); getting the money out of the safe and giving the waiters their banks; the lunch menu (NO, I WILL NOT MAKE A SANDWICH FOR A SPECIAL); the incredible rush of 11:30 to 1:00; cutting staff at 2:00; making soup; prepping for the night staff.

What I like about nights: waking up at noon; kitchen is running full-tilt when I get there; my station is clean and has been prepped by the day staff; getting clean rags from my secret stash; better menu (specials have been decided by the day staff); cooks are all men (can curse at will); taking an hour to get my mise-en-place; steady tickets from 6:30 to 9:30; cooking beautiful food; waiters, bussboys, line cooks, and dishwashers do whatever I tell them to do; taking a break at 10:00, changing into my clean Bragard chef coat, going out front to mingle with the patrons; taking an houir to clean-up; no paperwork, just chuck it all in the office and let the morning people work it out; going to a trendy late-night spot with other cooks from around town; going to bed a 4:00 and waking up the next day at noon.
post #2 of 21
How long have you been doing this work? Don't get me wrong I'm not bashing you at all. I'm a night person myself. But the way you described it sounds different than what I've done. Since I am not the Executive Chef I don't mingle with anyone. In my opinion I think that breakfast service and dinner (supper for the southern contingent :) ) by far are the busiest. What I wouldn't do is call the lunch waitstaff morons. What do they do that's wrong? Address the issues with the General Manager if you must. But if you're an evening chef then it shouldn't matter to you what they do or how they do it.

It seems like you dump a lot of the responsibilities on the day staff. That's not fair, unless you prep for them in the morning. Shouldn't they have the same luxuries as the night staff?

Still, I will trade you jobs (but only for a week or two, I like it here in the banquet area)
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860)

M.E.A.T.
Mankind Enjoying Animal Tastiness
Reply
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860)

M.E.A.T.
Mankind Enjoying Animal Tastiness
Reply
post #3 of 21

From my perspective.......

I've also almost always worked nights, but...........

I like going into the kitchen first thing in the morning. You're the only person in the whole place. No AM managers are there yet. It's a bit cold so you turn on all the ovens, salamanders, broiler, etc. Go check the cooler first thing, check prep, take out boxes, and make it ready to hit some serious prep. I love orders, you see all your new stuff come in, make sure its right, and put it in its spot. I organize the walk-in all day, so checking in orders is just more time to spend in there. When the prep cooks show up everything is ready. Pitch-in were you can, and get ready for that pop. Then it's over. You're right two O' clock "Everybody go home!" Then wipe up some more and wait for the five o' clockers, stock here and there. When the night crew comes in you don't have to hear any crying, and you are free, just hang out and watch them for a while to make sure they aren't going to need anything, maybe expo for a minute or two and check the presentation. If you want to talk to guests hit the early diners and go home.

I would also like to add that in my experience the day servers are either from one of two sets (the majority at least). You got the only ones you can count on to work a double. Some times handle many more tables than a night section all be it for less time, shorter rush. Also screwing up ticket times by ringing things in wrong at lunch can be a much bigger deal, when people want to eat and run, and the kitchen doesn't have extra hands to fix it as simply. That's is a big no-no "um... I forgot...sorry". Then you got some family people who have been waiting tables for along time, and know what they are doing.
________________IRONCHEFATL___
How come "dishwasher" is not listed as a choice for culinary experience?

"...the very genesis of our art."
- Escoffier on grilling
Reply
________________IRONCHEFATL___
How come "dishwasher" is not listed as a choice for culinary experience?

"...the very genesis of our art."
- Escoffier on grilling
Reply
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 

25 years in the kitchens

culinarian247 - making jokes out of generalizations, not surprised that you haven't experienced them, out there in the banquet area. You ain't a man until you spent time in the weeds... :)
post #5 of 21
Dang, Bigboy, you gotta get over that. We all know the night shift rules, but someday you will need to work the days:)
Walk softly, carry a big rolling pin
Reply
Walk softly, carry a big rolling pin
Reply
post #6 of 21

Re: 25 years in the kitchens

I've decided to edit my post. As Kuan mentioned, this can escalate to something it really shouldn't be. I'm sure BBD has done his share of dues-payin' and is letting loose with some BOH banter. No harm, no blood, no foul. Right?
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860)

M.E.A.T.
Mankind Enjoying Animal Tastiness
Reply
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860)

M.E.A.T.
Mankind Enjoying Animal Tastiness
Reply
post #7 of 21
Dayshift does nothing. Nightshift does nothing either. Everyone might as well go home. It's a wonder the place runs at all.

Kuan
post #8 of 21
You really aren't serious are you. Just trying to light the fires, because if you are for real, I used to love people like you. You (again assuming you are for real with your comments) you are the type that would never get off the day shift. Attitudes like that show big time and people like me know that it's torture for you so that's where you will stay. Call it the sadistic side, but you'll find lots of chefs that will pounce on you like a dog, and if you happen to be the exec, your staff will do the same to you. Best of luck, you're going to need it:D
My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
Reply
My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
Reply
post #9 of 21
Who are you talking about, chrose?
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860)

M.E.A.T.
Mankind Enjoying Animal Tastiness
Reply
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860)

M.E.A.T.
Mankind Enjoying Animal Tastiness
Reply
post #10 of 21
HEY HEY HEY ALL YOU 2nd SHIFT SO-CALLED MEN:
  • Day shift can multitask: We clean, prep, cook, check in deliveries (and take care of shorts and sending stuff back), and answer the phone because there's no one in the office yet. All you can do is cook.
  • Day shift can cover any station alone, from garde manger to sauté to grill to dessert plating. You guys are a bunch of "specialists" who trained in blinders.
  • Day shift works cleaner: not only do we clean up after ourselves, but we clean up the messes that YOU leave.
  • Day shift knows how to make all the sauces, not just the ones on our own stations.
  • Day shift does all the hard work on making stocks: roasting the bones, chopping the mirepoix, skimming, straining the finished stock and starting the remouillage, reducing the stock for use. You glance at it every once in a while (maybe), stir it when you shouldn't (always), and walk out at night without checking that the flame is still on under it.
  • Day shift has to manage 2 or more turns in only about 2 hours; you have about 5 hours for 2 turns -- if you're lucky.
  • Day shift saves money by using up what you guys can't be bothered with -- where do the lunch specials come from, hmmm?
  • Day shift can have real lives, and families who give us the support to keep going in this crazy business. And we take care of each other. You're just a bunch of druggie, alky, prima donna cowboys.
  • Day shift understands that there are not men cooks or women cooks; there are just good and bad cooks. When was the last time you need to pick up a hot sauté pan with that different piece of your anatomy?

Chrose, I know who and what you mean. :D
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
Reply
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
Reply
post #11 of 21
Flamebait. Might as well delete the thread. This kind of thing gets people nowhere.

Kuan
post #12 of 21

Happy Holidays!

On a positive note:
When we are secure enough in what we do and what we know we lose the need to hate. We realize that in the end it is all the same and the only difference is how were choose to feel. Food demands respect, whether it be my kids' pbj, or a banquet for the Powers That Be.....You can love it all.
Peace, brothers.
Peachcreek.
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
Reply
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
Reply
post #13 of 21
YOU GO SUZANNE.....

C'mon Kuan, don't give up yet...well, you've been here longer than I have so I guess I can see why you would. I still think it's fun. And remember, you're providing a valuable service to the less enlightened.;)

WHEN I was younger, I enjoyed the night shift because there was more action, more girls, more parties; though usually I just ended up hangin out with cooks talking about cooking. I always took it TOO seriously even then.

NOW, I would still love to have that life, BUT eventually you come to a point when you realize it will KILL you. I've been grateful to have at least most nights off the last several years and reclaim a real life, have relationships, etc.

The bottom line, DAN, it that if you ever expect to broaden your horizons in the kitchen, it won't be because you are ~mas macho hombre~ it will be because you can work every station any time, know every nook and cranny of your establishment, and be a leader to all that work with you, REGARDLESS of whether it's day or night.

If you're stuck in a place where there's an "us against them" atmosphere it's time to move up or move on.

Good Luck to you all,

1X
Walk softly, carry a big rolling pin
Reply
Walk softly, carry a big rolling pin
Reply
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Suzanne

You can work for me anytime; I'll pay you well, two paid weeks off in August, no Christmas, paid leave for Chef education advancement, Bragard jackets, personal equipment allowance, copper kitchenware, quarterly bonus for labor and food cost, personal choice of Sous, ads in local paper highlighting your menu and recipes. What do you say?


By the way, 1st shift rules too. Now, about those bakers...
post #15 of 21
I don't know, man -- it's an awfully long commute from NYC. :rolleyes:

Thanks for giving me the chance to finally say what I've always wanted to!!!!! :D (Don't worry, Kuan. ;) ) But be careful, BigBoy, I've also done pastry, and some of my best friends here ... well, you get the idea.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
Reply
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
Reply
post #16 of 21
You know in the midst of all of this I forgot to say one thing:




WELCOME TO CHEFTALK, BBD!!!!!




Careful, BBD, what you say to my mom. :D
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860)

M.E.A.T.
Mankind Enjoying Animal Tastiness
Reply
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860)

M.E.A.T.
Mankind Enjoying Animal Tastiness
Reply
post #17 of 21
The restaurant that I work at is only open for lunch Fri, Sat, Sun. I love the week days when I get that couple of hours to myself, between the craziness of my house and the craziness of service time. During the week I am calm and gratefull for my peace time, then on the weekends, I walk in to:

"Were out of Diced tomatoes!"
"The dishwasher called in sick, and no one can work!"
"The grease trap backed up and is coming out the sinks, what should we do!"

In my mind the perfect job is a dinner only house that everyone respects each other, and everyone respects my alone time.
My wife woke me last night; I screamed at the top of my lungs "How many times do I have to tell you:
SWEEP THE FLOOR!"


Posh Nosh Restaurant "Casual Gourmet"
Reply
My wife woke me last night; I screamed at the top of my lungs "How many times do I have to tell you:
SWEEP THE FLOOR!"


Posh Nosh Restaurant "Casual Gourmet"
Reply
post #18 of 21
"In my mind the perfect job is a dinner only house that everyone respects each other, and everyone respects my alone time." - chef clay

Hey I work at a dinner only place! Hey everyone respects eachother too! There is no day shift for the night shift to fight with.
________________IRONCHEFATL___
How come "dishwasher" is not listed as a choice for culinary experience?

"...the very genesis of our art."
- Escoffier on grilling
Reply
________________IRONCHEFATL___
How come "dishwasher" is not listed as a choice for culinary experience?

"...the very genesis of our art."
- Escoffier on grilling
Reply
post #19 of 21
BigboyDan:
Would you PLEASE call my boss and tell her that I am grossly under priveledged. I don't even have a personal equipment allowance! I feel so.......violated.
My wife woke me last night; I screamed at the top of my lungs "How many times do I have to tell you:
SWEEP THE FLOOR!"


Posh Nosh Restaurant "Casual Gourmet"
Reply
My wife woke me last night; I screamed at the top of my lungs "How many times do I have to tell you:
SWEEP THE FLOOR!"


Posh Nosh Restaurant "Casual Gourmet"
Reply
post #20 of 21
Days or nights....done both.....liked both....really depended on where I was in my life. Worked nights for most of my 20 plus years in the business but now that I'm over 40 and married, it's kinda' nice to be at home at night with the hubby....he's got the bomb daytime job in his kitchen too. I've always thought you should walk a mile in someone else's shoes before you assume there job is easier. And it is always good to have as many of your people as possible crossed trained. Hey, that brings to mind a question.....should the higher paid positions in a kitchen run by a KM be expected to do lesser jobs to save on labor? I say yes.....the guys making the big bucks should do whatever I need them to do......can't expect the dishwashers to grill but why shouldn't the grill guy wash a few dishes at the end of the night, if he wants hours? What do you think?
post #21 of 21
I TOTALLY agree. Some might think this is a 'waste' of talent, but I think it's a good way to stay in touch with the business.

e.g. at the charity kitchen where I volunteer, I stood next to a woman who had just lost her job from a very large financial firm, and while we chatted, we peeled about 100# of turnips. I haven't done that in a while and it felt great! She had been a high-earning corporate type but was not too proud to peel mire poix!

I make a habit of showing the new people how to mop a floor; far as I'm concerned, if you can't mop a good floor you probably can't cook! Now, I don't pick up a mop as much as I used to, but I do generally wash a full sink of dishes all the time. I use it as my thinking and meditation time. Well, right now I'm still unemployed, so you better believe I'm washing dishes every day!:)
Walk softly, carry a big rolling pin
Reply
Walk softly, carry a big rolling pin
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › Differences between day shift and night shift