Enforced breaks?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by surly, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. surly

    surly

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    So I'm at my fourth long term restaurant position, and this is the first place I've been where they actually require you to take a lunch.  Is this the standard?  I've worked in some workaholic-ass bistros, but no one ever cared if you took breaks?  Do you other cooks out there have lunches shoved down your throats?  Metaphorically, I mean?  Even if there's things to be done?
     
  2. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    If it is in California, it is the LAW, well, it may still be the law once the State Supreme Court resolves the differing Appellate Court opinions as well as the opinions of Trial Court judges.

    Some employers have been faced with back pay of 1 hour for every day that an employee did not take a lunch break or rest break plus penalties and interest equal to two to three times the back pay!

    Nobody really knows for sure what the law requires until the State Supreme Court weighs in!
     
  3. chefross

    chefross

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    "Scuse me Mam....but where's my food......it's been 30 minutes......"

    "Oh sorry sir the cook had to go on break....it's mandatory you know...."
     
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  4. foodpump

    foodpump

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    More than likely, your boss or employer was fined at one time for not providing breaks. Each State/Province has a different labour board and rules. 

    Here in B.C. anyone can lodge a complaint to the labour board witout providing any actual proof or documentation of the alleged offense.  "The onus is the employer" (actual Gov't sanctioned mandate that the B.C. labour board operates on) to defend himself ,at his cost, with no opportunity for re-imbursement, or acknowledgement that the complaint "had no merit" (ie., a crock of crap)  if the employer is cleared of any wrong doing.

    Here in B.C., when push comes to shove, regular time clock cards and sign in sheets are NOT accepted as proof.  Finger-print activated time clocks are (Very expensive, but some Casinos and big hotels have 'em) .  However, the Human rights activists haven't kicked up a fuss--yet....

    Take your breaks.
     
  5. foodnfoto

    foodnfoto

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    It could be...just possibly.... you find yourself working for an organization that values its employees and their well being. The most effective and profitable companies in the US understand that employees are valuable assets and that they perform better when they get breaks and nourishment. 

    This is rare in the the FS industry, but not non-existent. Productivity and morale improves & accidents and injuries (thus employee compensation insurance premiums) decline if employees get a rest and some food (fuel) during their shifts.
     
  6. gunnar

    gunnar

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    True enough, I have missed two lunches during my work at this company and they had to pay me an extra hour and a half of work for compensation, even though I didn't really miss my lunch (it's only 30 minutes) they (my managers) asked me for a month straight if I had time for lunch that day and if not how could they help. I have to say reading that article posted by Chef Peter Martin  http://www.cheftalk.com/wiki/confessions-of-a-quot-sell-out-quot-chef helps me get through my day.
     
  7. someday

    someday

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    It's been pretty common in places I've worked to get a family meal...I've been pretty lucky to work in great restaurants so the food is usually really good. But its often eaten standing up and pretty quickly. And if you are in the shit then you might make yourself (or have a waitress or other cook) make a plate for you that you might be able to scarf down sometimes before service. The place I work at now doesn't do family meal, but its in a hotel so there is a dining room for staff...but the food is really shitty. Its mostly Sysco frozen veg and ready-fry chicken Kiev's, Salsbury steak, etc. Reminds me of childhood school cafeteria, only worse. If you are lucky there might be a bowl of cereal or a bagel or muffin you can much on. 

    As far as actually getting a mandated break or lunch where I have to clock out and go sit down....no, never. I suspect I would be ridiculed if I suggested such a thing in most kitchens :)
     
  8. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Many places mandate a break 1/2 hour and sometime 2  15 minute breaks depending on policy. Some lage places it is manditory  smaller places don;t push it .
     
  9. leeniek

    leeniek

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    I'm at a corporate commissary now and it's mandatory that we take our breaks.  It's hard to get used to because I've only ever taken breaks when business is dead slow but it is nice that we can go and grab a snack and we have time to eat our lunch and actually enjoy it.  Kind of makes up for the visions of flying deli equipment I've been having these days as all of the machines have broken down and we're not even in full production yet...
     
  10. chefhow

    chefhow

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    The restaurant I owned in Tx did a shift meeting every day about 45min before we opened for dinner.  At that time I supplied a family meal for all of my cooks and they were required to take a break, have dinner, a smoke, make phone calls, whatever they wanted.  That was the culture of the restaurant, my cooks and servers worked HARD for me and I treated them right. 
     
  11. leeniek

    leeniek

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    If employees are treated well they will perform well.. good on you Chefhow and everyone else here who treats their staff well.  A happy staff means a good place...
     
  12. chefboyarg

    chefboyarg

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    I've worked at two of the top restaurants in the city I am now living in and both had mandatory staff meals for dinner. At one place it was just a time to decompress, chat and relax before service and go over menu changes. At the other place it was very structured - as we were eating the sommelier would go over new wines and their flavor profiles, the chef de cuisine would go over any menu changes and the owner would go over expected covers, VIPs, etc. To be honest even though you were hauling ass afterwards (and this is going to sound cheesy) I felt more of a familial tie to these places, which, in a field where you probably spend more time with your co workers than family, is pretty important.