Effective work planning materials/tools fo a headchef.

Joined Jan 4, 2020
few months ago I was promoted to a headchef's possition in small but busy restaurant. I'm quite new in this industry so everything is new and exciting for me, which I really enjoy. But I constantly find myself overhelmed, stressed by the amount of things to do, remember, organise, etc. Even though I work really a lot, I constantly have a feeling that I am not as effective as i could be, I keep forgeting things or never finishing some not so urgent tasks.
So I'm asking some knowlege from industry experts, on how to be more effective, plan and keep track of all the thing better.
What apps, tools, systems are you using? Maybe someone could share some learning materlials on the topic (books, podcasts, courses, etc)?
Thanks a lot in advance!
Joined May 5, 2010
Hello and welcome to CT.
When I read posts like yours, I get angry and frustrated with our industry even more.
How in the world did you get promoted to a head Chef position without the proper knowledge and experience?
I could go on a rant about this but it doesn't help your situation.

Do you have a boss?
Admit to them your hardships and ask for help.
If they figure out you really don't have what it takes to be a leader, they'll either demote you or let you go.
I'm sure it has to do with the $$$$$.
I cannot stress enough how many times this happens in our industry.
Be honest with yourself. Make a list of your shortcomings and your attributes. You'll see where the help needs to be.
Good luck.
Joined Aug 21, 2004
Think of your workday as a dish that needs to be produced. Write a recipe with an ingredient list and procedures. Then compose a prioritized prep list. Start on and follow the prep lis and produce the dish.
Joined Oct 31, 2012
For starters, A simple notebook in your pocket would help a lot I think. Keep notes on things to do, calls to make, issues to be addressed. I have also used a white dry erase board on the wall of the kitchen with a section for any maintenance issues that anyone noticed, another section for staff to write down things I needed to buy.
You don't say how many others make up the kitchen staff but I'll assume there are at least two or three.
So you divide the work load and make a to-do list for each. Not a comprehensive one because everyone can help each other but more a reminder list so everyone remembers to do those things.
If you have no staff, then do the same thing for yourself. So each work or production area gets a list. In either case, print and laminate the lists and post them where they are easily read.
Remember too that many things you will do every day. So develop each daily task so that it can be done as quickly as possible, allowing you more time for the unexpected.
Get rid of kitchen clutter as much as you can. You aren't the owner so you can't just throw things out but you can collect them and remove them to an unused or little used area. Whatever is in the kitchen should be the things you use every day. This includes Everything; spices, pots and pans, appliances, dishes, various equipment.
All of this takes time so do what you can each day and improve as you go. Use the notebook to help prioritize the next day's tasks.
Eventually if not sooner, you may find what hinders you most may be out of your control. Then it's time for a talk with the owners to see if you can reach a solution. But in the meantime, there is a lot you can do to help yourself.

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