Saturday, 11 July 2009

Chefs are not all mad

A Chefs Job is a beautiful job
We, Chefs, do love it from the start!
We get the buzz from the busy service, preparing tasty food and presenting attractive dishes as well as making customers happy and management content!

We take so much pride in doing it. When we start, at 14 or 15 years old, it is exactly as we imagined it.
Great, we love it.
We all admire and follow our first Head Chef in those crazy 15 hours a day work.
We go home happy and can't wait for the next day!
But then…Something goes wrong!

You found yourself a chef, good!
The first priority is to have faith in your Chef.
He will be the one helping you to succeed and second person after you for the reputation!
Chefs are not all mad!
They were not born mad either.

They are not all instable just sometime push to leave because of the crazy demand they have to go through, inflexible hours, unsociable hours, heat,
You will find some example below of what being a Chef means!

The Kitchen
Most of the time, when a restaurant is designed, the kitchen, which by the way is often the " main provider for your sales ", is looked at last, usually with what spare space is left.
Often the Chefs are the only professionals you have in the building (i.e.: School diploma, years of training, apprentice…), so give them the space in which to work professionally!

This is bound to add to your profit rather than add to your loss.
So Try Providing:
- Cooking equipment (Ask your Chef for details)
- Cleaning equipment.
- Proper preparation & service tables.
- Big enough fridges.
- Big enough freezers.
- Adequate and ventilated storage space.
Bad conservation leads to wastage and contaminated food, r
emember a lack of these things leads to food poisoning & then the Chef gets the blame!

Try Communicating
Your Chef will perform well and with pleasure if he or she feel part of a TEAM not just thrown in a basement and talked too when someone is hungry.

- Have regular meetings with your chef.
- Advise your chef when advice is needed.
- Tell your chef when big tables are booked.
- Do not think your chef is being ‘difficult': when you ask him/her to provide high quality food (do not expect less) for a crazy amount of people.
- Understand the pressure of working in a basement all day.
- Understand the pressure of working in the heat all day.
- Understand the pressure of having to perform during "busy service".
- Remember not all Chefs are mad - they are creative.
- Remember not all Chefs are unstable - they work under immense pressure.
A chef is like a soldier, cannot go on the battlefield by himself!
Find out if you have enough staff – Commis, kitchen porters etc.
If the kitchen is dramatically short staff, do not ignore it!
Talk with your Chef, change or shorten the menu, anything to temporary ease the situation.
Train your young talent where necessary
Just because someone is called a Chef, doesn't mean I Will automatically work 24 hours a day whilst being paid for a 9 hour shift!
- Splits Shifts - who came up with that!!
- Of course you think it works out so much cheaper but do we really think it is Chef friendly!
- More like slavery if you ask me!
- Try the 6 shifts a week 6h00 am to 16h00 pm where two teams can work back to back so that the resort is open seven days a week.
- Avoid that “love of the work well done” thing approach! To much abuse from it!
- Remember there is a sensible limit to good will!
- Offer day off in the week, at least one (please!)
- Chefs have a life too!
On A Personal Note:to try to push a business forward ignoring all these facts will cost you more in the long run.
Before opening your hotel check out:
- The Kitchen. Is it efficient? Is it friendly?
- Would you spend your day in it!
Think of the conditions of work you are offering.
Above all remember - Chefs are only human!

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