Dish to Line Cook

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Joined Feb 13, 2015
So, I'm getting ready to attend a local college to get my certificate in culinary arts. I have some kitchen experience already. I've worked as a dishwasher for about a year now and was doing that and prepping food for them. So my current job I'm a dish and have been for 6 months. We don't have a prep crew and I'm starting to wonder how long it really takes to get promoted to line cook. Even fry cook would be nice right now. So I go to school this coming summer so im hoping to be finishing with line experience on my belt already.

So, how long did it take anyone who started at dish to get the promotion to cook?
 
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Joined May 5, 2010
"So, how long did it take anyone who started at dish to get the promotion to cook?"

As long as it takes for the powers that be to notice hard work and commitment to the craft.

Its different for everyone.
 
4,475
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Joined Jun 27, 2012
 
"So, how long did it take anyone who started at dish to get the promotion to cook?"

As long as it takes for the powers that be to notice hard work and commitment to the craft.

Its different for everyone.
Also depends on the turnover in your particular kitchen.

Take your goals to your chef/kitchen manager and ask if you can shadow someone on the line during slow times.

If he/she looks at you like you have just sprouted 2 heads then start looking for a place that works a bit smarter.

My managing style has always been to cross train all the positions to some extent (including mine).

Never know when one of the chess pieces is gonna fall and leave the house short on a busy Friday.

mimi
 
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One more thing....

While you are at work (say it is a really busy Saturday nite) keep your eyes open for stations getting a bit weedy.

Maybe someone is out of parsley and having to take time to prep more.

Go over and offer to take care of that so the line can get back on track.

Good way to get noticed....

mimi
 
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Joined Oct 31, 2012
     In addition to what the others have suggested, I'll say you should make sure you are doing a great job at what you are doing. Be a great dishwasher. The pots and pans are spotless, the dishes are clean, any side duties get done promptly.    

If you are doing the job you are assigned to the best of your ability and can find time to help others, you are most likely to get promoted. If the chef needs to pull you from helping the line cooks in order to get the dish work done, you are not focusing on your job.

The dish job is where you begin to learn how to focus, show discipline and how to work hard. Doing that should get you noticed quickly.  
 
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Joined May 5, 2010
 
Also depends on the turnover in your particular kitchen.

Take your goals to your chef/kitchen manager and ask if you can shadow someone on the line during slow times.

If he/she looks at you like you have just sprouted 2 heads then start looking for a place that works a bit smarter.

My managing style has always been to cross train all the positions to some extent (including mine).

Never know when one of the chess pieces is gonna fall and leave the house short on a busy Friday.

mimi
Mimi....turnover in a kitchen is a poor excuse to promote someone without the knowledge and experience to back it up.

Happens so much.
 
4,475
417
Joined Jun 27, 2012
 
 
Also depends on the turnover in your particular kitchen.

Take your goals to your chef/kitchen manager and ask if you can shadow someone on the line during slow times.

If he/she looks at you like you have just sprouted 2 heads then start looking for a place that works a bit smarter.

My managing style has always been to cross train all the positions to some extent (including mine).

Never know when one of the chess pieces is gonna fall and leave the house short on a busy Friday.

mimi
Mimi....turnover in a kitchen is a poor excuse to promote someone without the knowledge and experience to back it up.

Happens so much.
I agree...

But wouldn't you rather have someone in the wings that has a bit of training if your fry guy sticks his arm in the grease halfway thru service?

mimi
 
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Joined May 5, 2010
 
I agree...

But wouldn't you rather have someone in the wings that has a bit of training if your fry guy sticks his arm in the grease halfway thru service?

mimi
Agreed.Cross training is always the best way to go.

Not many places believe in this policy but it works out well when "life" happens.
 
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Joined Feb 13, 2015
Well I know eventually someone will train me, or ill grad. from cert. program and have to start at the bottom right out of school. but i mean does 6mo. seem like a long time to not get promoted?
 
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Well I know eventually someone will train me, or ill grad. from cert. program and have to start at the bottom right out of school. but i mean does 6mo. seem like a long time to not get promoted?
Time is irrelevant.

Be patient.

What is important is YOUR experience and YOUR work ethic.

Never mind everybody else.

Don't compare yourself to others.

As you grow in experiences and adventures, your knowledge will too.

In Europe some kitchens have their apprentices in positions for years. 
 
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I'll second Chef Ross.  Time is not as important as what learning you do. If you are in a good kitchen, you can learn a lot by simply observing and helping when possible. After school, continue to read books on food and cooking, practice at home, visit other kitchens of all kinds to see how they operate. Visit an orchard and a farm. Learn the differences between good techniques and poor ones. Most important, develop good work practices and habits and a deeper understanding of how to cook. All of that takes time. What position you have while learning is irrelevant. 

The more you learn, the more you learn there is to learn. 
 
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Joined Feb 13, 2015
We have had.... 1 grill cook leave, 1 fry cook(demoted to dish), 3 fry cooks quit as far as i know, and instead of training me they hired someone who had "dish/prep experience" for fry and my old coworker who after 1 month of ever working in a restraunt got promoted while me being there for 3 mo. still sat in dish.
 
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Joined Jun 27, 2012
We have had.... 1 grill cook leave, 1 fry cook(demoted to dish), 3 fry cooks quit as far as i know, and instead of training me they hired someone who had "dish/prep experience" for fry and my old coworker who after 1 month of ever working in a restraunt got promoted while me being there for 3 mo. still sat in dish.
Not trying to hurt your feelings ( although if it does you need to grow a tougher skin if you plan to succeed in hospitality) but there may be something lacking on your end.
If you cannot figure out what it is on your own, you need to meet with chef.
Go prepared with a list of goals both short term as well as future.
Then ask what Is causing the lack of upward mobility (be prepared to take notes) and take any criticism like an adult (mouth closed and ears open).

Just IMO.....

mimi
 
53
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Joined Feb 13, 2015
Not trying to hurt your feelings ( although if it does you need to grow a tougher skin if you plan to succeed in hospitality) but there may be something lacking on your end.
If you cannot figure out what it is on your own, you need to meet with chef.
Go prepared with a list of goals both short term as well as future.
Then ask what Is causing the lack of upward mobility (be prepared to take notes) and take any criticism like an adult (mouth closed and ears open).

Just IMO.....

mimi
chain restaurant. GM makes the finally call.
 
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Joined Feb 13, 2015
Finally convinced them into promoting me. Since its a chain restaurant and we don't have a real prep team(morning line does prep). I've finally been promoted to Fry. I start my training Tues.
 
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Joined Feb 8, 2009
I was just going to tell you to walk in and kick the shit out of the GM. Thank God I was late to this post..........Only kidding, great job getting the cooks position.
 
53
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Joined Feb 13, 2015
Well, what happened was. I got fed up of him making excuses of why he can't train me. So, I got a few cooks scratching there heads, and a manager scratching his head. Everyone's wondering why... on "slow nights" we have only 1 cook on the line and me in the dish pit, yet if we get a small flow of customers he's running a whole line alone. Why not train the dishwasher so that he can help the cook and go back to dish once it slows back down?

I called him out on not keeping to his word, and long story short I put his foot in his mouth. Made it clear that I bust my ass day in and day out being a dishwasher while our other guy is (inside joke) requesting a lazy boy recliner. So, I won and start my first training shift Tues. I'm pretty excited and a little nervous. I now have this whole, you better not fuck up pressure over my head. I know fry isn't that hard and just pay attention to the screen but we do got one fry cook who does get pissed when new guys don't listen. We've worked together for a while now so.... Lets hope he cuts me some slack.
 
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Joined Feb 8, 2009
Wes, you got the opening you wanted. It's good to start off slow and learn the fry station. When you start cooking on the front line make everything you do important. The fry station is just as important as any other station. Watch your timing, watch and learn by what the color of the item coming out of the fryer should look like. In the beginning taste the food so you know whats right. Nothing worse than having cold fries on a plate.  The quality of fried items go from good, to not so good, in a heartbeat. The best fried food comes right out of the fryer on to the plate. Don't ever serve something you would eat. ...........Best of luck.......Chef Bill
 

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