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What service hacks/tips have you acquired over the years?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Not sure if this has been covered already..

Over the course of a career we're constantly refining our service game, meaning, each of us has been taught a process, whatever it may be and have likely, through repetition, figured out a more efficient, effective way to perform the task.

I love working with new people and seeing the way they set up their sections and observing their prep/service idiosyncrasies. These small behavioural patterns which often go unnoticed... tend to, in my opinion, set certain chefs apart from the herd...

As an example... I worked with a chef who used to bring bags similar to IV bags but with udders ... he'd fill with whatever liquid ingredients (nage, red wine etc) ... he'd suspend them in a small basket from the rangehood and use them during service... it worked so well and cut out a lot of unnecessary movement...

Me personally... I get lost in constantly rearranging/refining my mis en place... in gradual increments toward the perfect set up. I use rubber grip mats cut to size, utensils set at specific angles to make them reachable during a particular task, pairing ingredients when possible, stuff like that... it's a puzzle that i'll never solve before the next menu change, but I love doing it. Every now and then I'm rewarded with a eureka moment when the slightest change allows a noticeably smoother flow.

So anyway... tell me yours
post #2 of 7

As you said, it depends on the menu for many things. But generally I do the basics every time. 

All tools go back in the same spot every time so I don't have to look to grab them. 

Having all needed items within reach, ready for service. So no chopping, peeling, opening containers during service. 

No clutter of any kind. If I don't need it during service, I get it out of the way. 

Clean as I go. Spills, drips, crumbs. 

Put containers back immediately after using. I find this particularly challenging when busy but it helps to speed up 

my work overall to keep the area neat at all times and at the end of service, there is less to do. 

Review how the service went to decide if everything is really where it should be or if certain items should be closer or further away, what 

tools I did not have or needed and for what.

 What are the rubber grip mats for? 

post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricki View Post

Not sure if this has been covered already..

Over the course of a career we're constantly refining our service game, meaning, each of us has been taught a process, whatever it may be and have likely, through repetition, figured out a more efficient, effective way to perform the task.

I love working with new people and seeing the way they set up their sections and observing their prep/service idiosyncrasies. These small behavioural patterns which often go unnoticed... tend to, in my opinion, set certain chefs apart from the herd...

As an example... I worked with a chef who used to bring bags similar to IV bags but with udders ... he'd fill with whatever liquid ingredients (nage, red wine etc) ... he'd suspend them in a small basket from the rangehood and use them during service... it worked so well and cut out a lot of unnecessary movement...

Me personally... I get lost in constantly rearranging/refining my mis en place... in gradual increments toward the perfect set up. I use rubber grip mats cut to size, utensils set at specific angles to make them reachable during a particular task, pairing ingredients when possible, stuff like that... it's a puzzle that i'll never solve before the next menu change, but I love doing it. Every now and then I'm rewarded with a eureka moment when the slightest change allows a noticeably smoother flow.

So anyway... tell me yours

 

 

I agree a lot with this. Every person I have worked next to has taught me something I someway have incorporated into my daily service routine. This profession is all about constantly learning and growing. 

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
The rubber grip mats, often you see people who work desk jobs place them under their computer keyboard to prevent them sliding about... I use them beneath certain containers for the same reason. End of service just put them through the dishwasher and hang them to dry.
post #5 of 7
My service was different, all 120 people and guests served at once so may not work for others with staggered serving times.

Baked potatoes, steamed, put onto a sheet pan, spritzed with oil and baked for 10-15 mins to crisp the skin.

When making a bechemel or similar I put milk/cream in a half pan in the steamer. When I was ready to make the sauce, whisked roux into it. Never a scorched bottom.

The ratio of custard mix for a hotel pan was always one gallon of whole milk and a quart of eggs, plus sugar and flavoring. If we made flan, bread pudding, whatever - easy to remember.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
The bechamel idea is great when doing it in bulk!
post #7 of 7

I found myself organizing my home kitchen much the same way as I did at work. Cabinets and drawers are arranged for the best possible access, with the least amount of movement.

 

I love those no slip rubber mats. I use them under the food processor, the Kitchen-Aid mixer, and my cutting boards. They wash easy and can air dry folded over a hanger. 

Chefwriter, I put ingredients back in their respective cabinets as soon as I am done weighing and measuring. I keeps clutter at bay.

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