The Great Hall
Being the clean up guy! Advice anyone? The Great Hall: Being the clean up guy! Advice anyone?
By Chef9375 (Chef9375) on Wednesday, April 02, 2003 - 10:17 pm: Edit

Hello All,

I am a chef for a fairly large upscale casual concept. I have been at the same restaurant for almost 4yrs and had done a great job. My cooks and staff were incredible and Were very sad to see me go. I was promoted recently and transferred to another unit. Its been a few weeks and the staff cant stand me. The prior chef let them get away with anything they wanted, one of the reasons I was brought in, because that restaurant wasnt as profitable as it should be. Its been a rough transition and the staff is saying ticket times are increasing, due to my arrival and also some higher ups have overheard the quality of the food is declining. The numbers are improving but I have to grasp the staff in order to change the whole atmosphere. Any advice from others that have been the clean up guy behind poor chefs????


By Ladycake (Ladycake) on Thursday, April 03, 2003 - 11:03 am: Edit

You are going to have a rough row to hoe unless you have the complete trust of the higher ups and their understanding that there will be a transitional period when the staff will grumble about your changes and the implementation of them.

Get rid of staff that are troublemakers!!! They can cause you many headaches down the road, especially if there is evidence of food sabotage and poor hygiene and food handling techniques that they are unwilling to address.

By George (George) on Thursday, April 03, 2003 - 11:13 am: Edit

I think you might have a problem that is out of your control. From your profile it looks like you are running a property down in the Keys. It seems likely that you are in a situation where you have a very limited labor force of locals and some transients, compounded by a “laid back” work ethic.

Any situation where you go in after a chef that ran a loose kitchen you will have problems trying to tighten it up. You basically have two choices- Identify the leaders of the discontent and replace them with “loyal troops” or develop a relationship with the current employees and motivate them to perform.

With your location I’m afraid it the second and much more difficult route.

Another thing to look at is if there really is any issue with the product going out and the time it takes to get the food out. Maybe it’s some of the FOH people trying to mess with you by complaining without good cause. Did the old chef feed them in an unauthorized manner and you cut them off?

It’s just one of the prices you pay to live in paradise. ;<)

By Chef9375 (Chef9375) on Saturday, April 05, 2003 - 04:26 pm: Edit

Thanks George,

Actually Im in Boston now. I hadnt changed my profile in a few years. I was in the keys about 4 yrs ago. Your right about the old chef feeding the FOH whatever they wanted. And yes I did cut them off.. So now they are pretty upset. lol

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Sunday, April 06, 2003 - 02:40 pm: Edit

There is always a vocal minority that hates the new chef, it would have happened even if the guy before you was your clone. Some had a good thing and see you as infringing on their franchise. Some are just reactionary and hate any change, their talk of the good old days, well be the same when you have left and someone else takes over.

Some times there is another group at the opposit end of the spectrum, that act as if they love you, the see you as the cure to all that the feel is wrong, form them, in the place, when the see your no going to be their champion they will turn and be as vindictively negative as they were before.

The majority of people go along to get along. They just want to do their work, make a living and not have to many hassles. It probably wasn't real good for them before and you can make a positive difference for them but they will wait until you can establish your authority.

YOu will find that there are at the most two or three lynch pins that oppose you completely. They will never oppose you directly but their minions will.

The greatest tactic is showing that your not afraid to do anything, work any station or any shift. Sending someone home immediately when they overtly oppose your authority and then stepping into their position you will find that someone will step up and tell you that they can do the job, rewarding them with the open position will do two things. One it shows that your not afraid to do anyone's work, two people see that loyalty is rewarding.

It takes time, but at the end those that oppose you will be gone or you may even turn them to your side and they may become your best people.

You must always act as if your every move is backed by the GM of even higher authority. If it is great, if not they won't be vocal about it and it wouldn't matter what you do so you may as well do what you want to do.

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