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I have worked at places where I was OK to have 1 "on the house" after work, but I've never been in a situation where "I've never paid for my drinks" at the place I work.  I know of those kind of places and more often than not, not only is the chef sitting at the end of the bar, at the end of the night downing them left and right, but so is are the owners, a hostess or 2, and maybe a server or bartender.  Then the owners wonder why they are running in the red.  Sorry, but it is a bad precedent.  Don't get me wrong.  I am all for the occasional celebratory drink, or even party after work, on the owners, but the key word there is occasional.  There needs to be a reason for it. 
 

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Lol...,ppl really! You pay for your drinks
Hi, some of these guys are pretty serious on here. Not sure why but I guess this is the "professional" Chef thread. If I'm running a restaurant busting my ass working 80 + plus hours a week. Going home, writing menus and dreaming/ nightmares about cooking, the restaurant is going to give me a proper rum and coke or 2 at the end of my shift, bottom line. That's the way it is for me, if you can't afford that than you can't afford me. As for waiters, busboys, hostesses, you should be able to buy a shift drink at 50% at the end of your shift. As for the bartenders they are constantly finding a way to steal them and owners/chefs are constantly trying to catch them or compromise with them to make everybody happy. Dysfunctional, but real.
 

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Hi Chef Sammie....

After 30-odd years in this biz, the best advice I can give you and your  friend is this:

A smart person does not defecate in his/her own back yard.

This is pretty self explanatory, right?

and,

If you want freebies, you are expected to return freebies back.

The bartender who provides you free bevies will eventually want a nice meal in return, none of that staff meal crap, but a nice cut of prime rib or the like. If this becomes a habit, it could get you into serious trouble. 

If its the owner pouring you drinks, s/he'll will want sweat in return for drinks, extra hours or the like.

Its kinda like those bumper stickers from the '70's that read "Cash, azz, or grass, no one rides for free ''......   
 

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If I'm running a restaurant busting my ass working 80 + plus hours a week. Going home, writing menus and dreaming/ nightmares about cooking, the restaurant is going to give me a proper rum and coke or 2 at the end of my shift, bottom line. That's the way it is for me, if you can't afford that than you can't afford me.
To quote Don Draper 'that's what the money is for! '
 

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The place I'm at now, kitchen mgmt gets what they call a QC card with a preset amount of money you can use for food or beverages at your restaurant in a given month. My lead cook gets $100, i think, i get $200, I don't know what the chef gets. Most of mine goes for drinks for my crew; personally I don't expect anything free, this is technically part of my compensation.
 

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Wow, priorities
I'm with you. I can't believe what I'm reading here.

Executive Chef Sammie, you are a perfect example of what society calls "the gimme gimme generation.

You EXPECT that your workplace will provide you with free or costed alcoholic beverages.

You EXPECT that you can drink all the Coke or Pepsi you want on the line while working.

You EXPECT free or costed food while you are on the line or doing prep.

Sheesh!

What in the world makes you think that 99% of business Chefs have a bar tab?
 

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Free booze has never been a priority of mine as executive chef. Better equipment, better quality food products, better training, better organization, better staff, better cleanliness… There are plenty of issues the owners and I have to discuss. 

If all you have to worry about is free booze, you've got nothing to worry about. Or you're not paying attention to your other problems. 
 

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Free booze, never is. I would rather see the "free" amount translated to my bottom line, which is found in the dollar amount of my paycheck. Pay me what I am worth and I will gladly provide my own beverages.
 

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Any business that wants to stay a business for the long haul needs to keep an eye on the bottom line, there is just no way around it.

When I work for a restaurant as a chef, I am an employee working for a business; but at the same time I am running my own business within that business.

I am CEO and president of Chef Layne For Hire and you better believe that I keep a good eye on the bottom line of Chef Layne For Hire. Accounts receivable and accounts payable are very closely monitored.
 

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Some days an open bar tab would be nice, but there are a Board of Directors who would frown upon it and put their full weight behind the frown.  Chefwriter is right though, at the moment I am focused on better equitment and a staff with some depth to it.  Hence, the idea an open bar would be nice some days.  :)  what the heck, I have booze at home. 
 

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I worked at one place that no employee could consume alcohol on the property at any time. Employees got a twenty percent discount and could buy food for their family. If my wife and I went to dinner on my day off she could have a glass of wine with her meal but I could not. I think this policy is a good policy and prevents a lot of problems. Except for the family meal food should not be free. What do you do when the Exec. Chef runs a tab and gets a DUI on the way home. The next day he is in jail your bartender is in jail for over serving and it is Friday night.
 
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