Executive Chef tips & organization
Of course! I should have know, haha!
It's a global seafood concept, with heavy Mediterranean influence. All seafood is fresh, never frozen, never out of the water for more than 36 hours. There is also a raw bar with oysters, sushi, clams, peel & eat shrimp, etc. Next to the raw bar there is a seafood market where customers can come buy fresh seafood and take it home to prepare. It is an open kitchen with limited storage in both FOH and BOH.
a couple of quick thoughts. Your perishability is very high so keeping track of sales and purchase amounts will be vital. In my opinion, better to run out than have anything sitting around too long. Ordering only what you can sell in a day or two would be very helpful.
Cleanliness will also be vital. Make sure all containers are washed, changed out on a daily basis.
As for paperwork, use a computer naturally. There are plenty of threads here discussing these things. I used Quickbooks but your owners may have something else in mind. In any case, it is worth some time investigating what your computer program can do. So many of them have tremendous capacity for doing much of the work. you just have to look throughout the program to understand what it's capabilities are.
\These programs are designed to assist in virtually every way for record keeping.
Use POS sales reports frequently to track what sells and what doesn't.
What kind of issue are you having with small wares? Do you mean silverware or spatulas and spoons or something else?
My main issue is storage. Right now, all spatulas/laddles/whisk/etx. are stored in bus tubs. I was lookong to install a bar somewhere in the kitchen where these items can be hung, but that us a slow process due to other FOH construction. I was just wondering if anyone had any storage tips for a small kitchen that has worked for them in the past.
At home I use a couple of empty pickling crocks. A length of 1/2 inch iron pipe hung with pipe hangars will work for ladles. You can fashion a hangar with a strip of flat bar steel, mounted on the wall.
Of course I'm sure there are products you can buy from the restaurant supply store but overall much will depend on what works for you to have the tools close at hand for those who will use them the most. I generally look at the design of the store bought ones and mimic that after a visit to the industrial supply stores. If you have a metal fabricator shop nearby they can make anything you want and it is usually much cheaper than store bought. Not as pretty perhaps but you can always paint it.
More later. Mom just stopped by.
an invoice recording system so you can separate out costs for food, bar and supplies, relatively easy to make in Microsoft access if you know someone with programming skillz and you dont have a fancy store bought program that does this for you. you dont want those cases of lemons and limes and bar napkins that only the bar uses but you are responsible for purchasing to screw up your food cost if its well built you can use it to easily access and update inventory costs and what your total purchase costs are
find a good trust worthy refrigeration and plumbing companies that will be on call for you now. your refrigeration units and plumbing will die on you and you want to know who you can call before its a panic thing where you will pay out the arse to get things back up and running
know where you can buy large quantities of ice after 6 pm
linen companies are like the mafia, it will take a while to figure out how to read their invoices. watch them ever delivery, call them out on the spot
when making your physical inventory counting list do not do it by alphabetical order, do it based on where each item is stored in your kitchen/walkin, start in one spot and work your way to the next without having to walk back and fourth across the kitchen so your flour and sugar that are probably stored next to each other are right next to each other on your list
go introduce yourself to nearby restaurant chefs, borrowing from your neighbors can be a lifesaver for you and for them. though do keep a record of who you borrow from so you can pay them back amd only use it as a last resort, dont want to get a bad rap from your neighbors
be firm on what time you want your deliveries to arrive, demand a delivery time window. wondering when things will arrive can stress you out to the point of a heart attack
learn the back end of the POS system you are using, accessing total food sales for costs reporting and making sure that all of the things that are supposed to be food sales are being recorded as food sales in the system. ive seen a lot of shady POS setups that are built to make the bar manager look like a numbers all star also learn how to make modifiers, sometimes you need to add that $0.50 for adding bacon to things you never thought you would be adding bacon too
get a bigger filing cabinet than you think you need, you will need it.
print out the directions to the nearest emergency room.
buy more burn cream and finger cots than you think you will need
invest in the good floor mats
find a person that has a converted diesel vehicle, he will take your old fryer oil away happily and for free and with any luck they own a business and you and the owners can get some perks
if your dishwasher sucks, find out if you own it or if its a lease. sysco and usfoods will install a new dishwasher and send regular maintenance guys at no cost as long as you buy the detergent from them even if its the only thing you buy from them
same deal with coffee makers
limit the number of people you higher from the same family, a cold or a tragedy could cut your staff in half
hold a high inventory of ramekins and silverware but limit the ammount available for use. if you have just the right ammount your staff will treat them like gold, if you have too much they will constantly end up in the trash
same thing with towels if there is an abundance nobody thinks about saving anything
feed a good dishwasher, their job is crap and a good one is hard to find
dont go out drinking with your employees
Edited by Jason Williams - 10/8/16 at 7:20pm