The Caterers Corner
Catering side jobs. For or against? Caterers Corner: Catering side jobs. For or against?
By ImDaChef on Tuesday, August 21, 2001 - 02:02 am: Edit

Ok folks. Here's a goody. One of my staff came to me today asking if I minded them doing a side catering job. I don't have any rules or policies regarding the staff working other places, just as long as they don't solicit my existing clients.

Scenario: The gentleman in question met someone who asked him to cater a party for them. He agreed. He then asked me if I minded him doing so. I said ok, as long as he did it on his own time and it didn't interfere with his work. I'm having second thoughts about it though.

What say all of you?

By mikesul on Tuesday, August 21, 2001 - 11:17 am: Edit

NO WAY!!! Is he using your name at all? Where is the food being prepared? Who's insurance is going to cover the event? Who is liable when something goes wrong.

No Way!

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Tuesday, August 21, 2001 - 01:53 pm: Edit

To I'mDaChef,
Was it one of your clients? If not, whats the harm. Person is trying to make a extra buck. Might learn a few things, and not at your exspence. It would be nice if he mentioned where he works, but I don't see it's nessesary, do you?
Is it off property? Then I don't get the hoopla or is there more to the story? Is it one of your old clients? Is he using your kitchen?

By anonymous on Tuesday, August 21, 2001 - 02:19 pm: Edit

don't let him do it. you should have had some sort of non-competition agreement in place before he signed on with you. it is sort of like having a repair shop employee taking money for repair jobs on the side from your potential customers,especially if that customer knows he is your employee.

in a repair business that i had part ownership in,we had our employees sign these non-competition agreements. part of this agreement stated that the employee could not compete for 12 months after seperation.

in my opinion,you should not let any employee pull that with you. it is just the first step in their plan to steal your customers. it may seem innocent enough at first, but these things tend to grow into a bigger problem. but hey,do what you need to do.

By Panini (Panini) on Tuesday, August 21, 2001 - 08:22 pm: Edit

The only thing I can think of is ,if something goes wrong the client somehow getting back to you. " I knew he worked for your company, I assumed you knew about it"
Our staff does not work on the side. My managers can do cakes on the side through the bakery. I give them net. I know this is crazy, but I know their not out there doing it on their own.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Tuesday, August 21, 2001 - 08:23 pm: Edit

Why would he ask you in the first place? Courtesy?
Does he want to use your kitchen? products.0 food cost looks pretty good!!!!!
It's your call man, you know the individual, good guy or ass----?

By ImDaChef on Wednesday, August 22, 2001 - 01:43 am: Edit

Whoo hoo...good comments. I love it. First of all, the guy in question has worked with me for quite sometime and I know him very well. Honest, hardworking, dependable. I also know that he has plans of having his own catering company one day, although I do agree about the non-competition thing.

This person he spoke with is not a client of mine. I don't know them at all. From what I understand, the individual approached him because they specifically wanted a Filipino caterer, which I am not. I have no experience in that area.

He asked out of courtesy if I minded him doing this event, which I really don't. I nor my company will be affiliated with it in any way and my name will not be used at all. It's totally his thing. He plans to rent all equipment, etc. My kitchen won't even be used.

I was having second thoughts about it because of the insurance issues, liquor, etc.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Wednesday, August 22, 2001 - 07:43 am: Edit

He sounds like a good guy, the non-competition thing is a non issue in food I believe because what exactly is competition, what if he opens a sub shop? is that competition, how about fine dining, Filipino catering, or an ice cream store? Anything is competition if you look at it that way. (I think the comment about this issue by "anonymus is BS") Besides, the public has a right to go to whoever they want to go to.
The insurance could be an issue only if something happens, just let him know the consequences and that he let his clients know. Many people don't even think or care about the insurance issue, until something happens!
It's your call, if the guy has been good to you............Karma dude.

By advisor on Wednesday, August 22, 2001 - 03:26 pm: Edit

ImDaChef,it looks like it is a go with your employee and the special event. just watch and see what happens,i guess. now the only problem is that employees talk amongst themselves and word will soon spread. when other employees want to do this and you don't let them,for whatever reason,the employees will view this as betrayal. that is why you need to have this documentation beforehand. if you don't let this happen right now,nip it in the bud,all you have done is pissed off your employee and possiby his client. the upside is that you will prevent any future problems that may arise from similar situations. i view employee relationships as 'alliances' so it is easier for me to make the business decisions i need to. you start drinking beers with know the saying,give an inch,they'll take a mile. i don't mean this in a bad way. just take this and apply it to your situation.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Wednesday, August 22, 2001 - 03:52 pm: Edit

What other way is there to take it but in a bad way, are you anonymous also, advisor?. It's ass----- like you that make this business the sh-t hole it is for many workers. Do you think every employee in any place has the time, inclination or, ambition to start a business? You think that highly of them but, you want to piss on them. I worked in a place one time and I took every single person I hired (6) to 3 different restaurants I went to, 5 of them became Chefs 1 a Sous Chef and I lost them all; you know what? I was not only proud of them but of ME, because I helped develop these individuals. Don't keep people down you moron, your(at least my)professional ethics dictate that you help develop them and make them better culinarians. If you wanted trained monkeys you should of gone to work at the circus! "Alliances" is what occurs on Survivor and Big Brother and extremely "humanistic" shows like that mr. advisor. You can give an inch, but if they take a mile you let them!!!You can always stop them after an inch.
Employees will always talk amongst themselves, about $$$, time off, days off, their lives, you.....who gives a s-it? Talk is talk and work is work, unless they work for you then they are slave monkeys right?

By TMarta on Wednesday, August 22, 2001 - 08:38 pm: Edit

I was in a similar situation, but the employee was ME. I refused to take outside jobs because the fellow that I worked for had given me the opportunity to "show my stuff" in this locale.I was grateful, and did not wasnt to compete. I also gave up a lot of money and even more exposure. (ChefManny, no remarks). As it so happened, he gave up the shop to return to his previous employer, and to do his specialty on the side, which only enhance the prestige of that restuarant. I opened in the location that he had given up. We have worked together on jobs since.

By ImDaChef on Wednesday, August 22, 2001 - 09:50 pm: Edit

Interesting concept Advisor. Of course employees talk amongst themselves. They all knew about it before the guy even mentioned it to me. I don't understand your theory. So you're saying to stand on their necks and allow no personal freedom whatsoever? And run the risk of losing wonderful workers by pissing them off royally?

If they want to work for me forever, fine. If they want to strike out on their own fine. Who am I, or you for that matter, to begrudge someone a chance?

And for the record, my event planner and I have been best friends since high school. My husband is my pastry chef and we have our "alliances" over to our home every chance we get. I guess they'll run me out of business soon.

By Panini (Panini) on Thursday, August 23, 2001 - 05:12 pm: Edit

Hey guys,
Lets be openminded here. We may not agree with advisor but I can tell you there are a lot of his type out there. Teach him or her about people don't chastize . It's the new me!!!I've had it with all the other crap in this forum.
Advisor, I really think if you treat your employees like that they will form more alliances against you. They will be out there catering ,possibly under your name, and no one will inform you. There are upsides and downsides to every form of management.
Read advisors post again, he or she is not malicious, and this type of supervision works in many other fields. One's that don't have the brotherhood that this industry does. I've seen whole crews up and walk out of respect for somebody. Sometimes it's like cops or fireman, when you work with someone in the trenches you gain respect, weather you like them or not.

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