The Great Hall
Performance Reviews The Great Hall: Performance Reviews
By Hilary (Hilary) on Tuesday, May 21, 2002 - 09:31 am: Edit

I was wondering if you use a specific form for employee reviews, or if you have one based on the actual job description for that position? Up until now, we have used a generic form... nothing really spelled out... catagories like
Dependability,Accuracy,Perfomance of Tasks, etc.,
I am trying to develop review forms based on job descriptions... I am having trouble doing so as I am not familiar with industry standards for the kitchen. Do you have any of this information? How do you "measure" or "test" your kitchen staff for performance reviews. In specific, the executive chef..... (I am doing this on Thursday.) In searching the net, I haven't been able to find out any information that I can use to measure the job performance... industry standards. (I thought it best to ask the professionals- other chefs and managers)
Goals will also be a part of our new review sheets. Set by the employee and management. Again, they must be goals that can be measured. Can you help me out at all or am I making a mountain out of a mole hill? I do think that goals are great... for the growth of the individual and the team. However, I have a huge disadvantage when it comes to the kitchen since I have never worked in one :(
Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this and in advance for any help you can offer

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Tuesday, May 21, 2002 - 04:42 pm: Edit

Evaluating a Chef...let me count the ways!!!
Start with what you want to measure? Do you want to measure how good he keeps labor costs in line? How well he keeps food costs in line? Those are easy to measure; they come right off the month end statements.
What else do you want to measure? How well he motivates his staff, how well his specials sell and/or help your menu mix and sales?, how does he cooperate with the rest of the staff?, servers, management, maintenance, dishwashers, potwashers ect. Does he run to the market to get stuff when needed?
Do you want to measure his loyalty? Do you want to measure his devotion to the job? How many hours does he/she put in a week?
Do you set goals for the Chef? Does the Chef set goals for him/herself? Does the Chef get a bonus if he/she meets goals?
Does the fact that the Chef is "there" in your property help generate business?
As you can see there is lots to measure which there is no measure for but, non-food people, usually from finance or advertising fields try to do in the food field. Sometimes you just have to go with that great measurement tool, your gut feeling!
Does the Chef help keep staff by creating a good working enviroment? or, do you have a high employee turnover? Does he get drunk at work?
If you are truly trying to evaluate any individual always point out the good, even if it's hard to find; then give them the top 3 things they should improve. If you give them more then 3 they will be overwhelmed with inadequacy and will be totally absorbed with it or they will just start looking for a new job! If you are using the evaluation to get rid of the Chef, don't bother just fire him/her save yourself and him/her the aggravation. You can lose more in that fight than it's worth, pay the unemployment!!!!!
The food business is the only industry where the raw product is received, it is manufactured and sold under the same roof. No other industry does that! It is very demanding, a very coordinated effort required and a sense of style to do it all!
In conclusion, there are countless items to evaluate a Chef or anyone for that matter, if you really think this person is doing a good job and he is weak in some areas just approach them and tell them your opinion and have a plan to strengthen that weakness. It is not fair to say, you suck in math and not offer a a solution to help the person learn math! Offer to send them to a class that the co. will pay for!
If you don't have a food background it will be 100 times as hard to get a food person to listen to you, period! Especially if you are criticizing him/her, which is what an evaluation is.
A food person thinks a non-food person has no clue as to what they do and, 99% of the time that assumption is correct.
Good Luck

By Point83702 (Point83702) on Wednesday, May 22, 2002 - 02:41 am: Edit

Well Hilary, your kind of between a rock and a hard place. I don't believe anyone other than a chef can completely evaluate a chef. As Chef Manny pointed out there are certain quantifiable areas where evaluation and goal setting are appropriate. Most chefs get used to a "nonchef" setting certain targets: food cost, labor, revenue, etc. Most chefs also get a little touchy when someone who hasn't worked in a kitchen, or hasn't worked enough, starts assuming they have knowledge and insight of the incredibly multifaceted profession that we have chosen as careers. Even within the profession you'll find, in my opinion, that there's little industry standard for what a chef is. I know chefs that I wouldn't hire to wash dishes, and others that I would leave my job to apprentice under. To the layman though these people are professional equals. Rambling aside, be very careful when you tell a chef about the minutiae of his/her job. Look at the results. If you're unhappy with some area discuss it and take appropriate actions. It may be fine to use generic evals for line employees as a method of communication and motivation. The executive chef should be involved in regular communication with other managers, departments or owners and the goals for the business should be motivation enough. I know that proactive management is always the goal, but lack of experience may make that unrealistic in certain areas. Good luck.

By Chefferd (Chefferd) on Wednesday, May 22, 2002 - 09:36 am: Edit

Offering constructive criticism and setting goals for an Executive Chef, when you have no insights into the daily challenges, trials and tribulations of a kitchen ? Wow. Either you are very brave or incredibily naive, but hey good luck.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Wednesday, May 22, 2002 - 09:10 pm: Edit

Point 83702, Chefferd, Thanks for the input, I thought I was ragging on Hilary but, you guys know exactly what the deal is! How many times do you get a personnel, accounting or advertising flunky who kissed the right ass(es) or had the right look and got the job they are at come up and try to tell a Chef (who likes nothing to do with personnel, accounting or advertising folks usually and, never has the right look) how he should cook!
I don't mind constructive criticism but to be honest look at all the CEO's of big cos. now; they are all from advertising or accounting and have no clue about operations. No wonder all these big cos. like Boston Market, Kenny Rogers and several others.....ect. have gone out of business, the execs. had no clue about operations!!!!!
If you have not washed dishes (or looked at someone wash dishes) you cannot assume you know how to forecast dishwasher labor hours!
Anyway, enough said on this one!!!!

By Hilary (Hilary) on Friday, May 24, 2002 - 09:58 am: Edit

Hi all
First off I would like to thank you for your responses. I am the general manager and my background is finance. I do know my numbers and the chef does keep her food and labor costs in line.. and is compensated for that in a bonus. I would not dream of telling her "how" to cook, run her kitchen or staff... My input is as such... why put something new on the menu when the kitchen staff doesn't have a recipe card? If the staff isn't getting properly trained then shouldn't the executive chef set aside some quality time to do so ( weekly hours range from 40-42 for the EC.. sounds as if you all work much more than that) I have no complaints about what she produces.. I do have insight on how she can lessen her stress level. Sometimes it easier to see things from the outside.
Anyway.. thank you again for your responses
ps I didn't kiss anyone's A** or have the right "look". Nor am I "flunky". I have been with the company 8 years and only took over as GM this past year. I just wanted to make certain that I am doing my job to the best of my ability. Every day is a learing experience...

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Friday, May 24, 2002 - 04:04 pm: Edit

I was not referring to you personally Hilary but, you know it happens!
You seem to be going about it fairly!
Not many chefs write recipes, they produce the item, cost it out and show a cook how to make it. Corporations do make recipe cards and cost them out.
Stress is always something less we can do without!
If this young lady is good help her out, you sound like you are a wise people person; keep it up and, like I said I did not mean to infer you were one of "those" who made it to the top without qualifications but, beign a chef I have to ask!!!!
Good Luck

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Friday, May 24, 2002 - 06:33 pm: Edit

What a meany, Manny.

By Chefferd (Chefferd) on Friday, May 24, 2002 - 10:46 pm: Edit

"I learned from the fools and the sages"....wait isn't there a song somewhere in there?

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