Found the Jungle today... very not good

Joined Aug 21, 2009
Well to say we got slammed today is pretty much an understatement and well.. I found out what it feels like to be so far into the weeds that it's really the jungle. Very not good situation. The KM is away so I was in charge and well...I did eff up... I am a stronger cook/worker than the person I had on the egg station and I should have seen that we were in the tall grass and heading for the jungle and swapped spots with them so I could bang off the egg plates but... that person is rather rude and upsets people when he calls orders and handles stress incredibly poorly so silly me stayed on board. Next time I am going to just bite the bullet, swap spots and get it done. We also had alot of big tables all at once and big tables definitely will weed at least one station if not more. We had three stations in their own separate sets of weeds because of how insane the orders were for a while.

We were understaffed and that was the owner's mistake and honestly that extra body would have made all the difference in the world and it would have kept us away from the jungle. We'd have been weeded still but not nearly as bad as we were. We ran out of stuff... thankfully we're a chain and we borrowed some things from another store. Running out of white crepe mix was bad.. it weeded us even farther so the KM and I will have to make sure there is more for next weekend. I still have his order sheet from last week so I am going to look at what he ordered tomorrow and order more just to be safe.

Tomorrow I get to sit with the owners and give them the results of my post mortem on today. To fix the issue we need.. more staff in, our strongest staff in on their best stations on weekends, to make sure that all staff have the sense of urgency when orders are called and that they fire them asap if not before, maintain higher stock levels, maintain higher prep/par levels, and bring in a person on the weekends to do prep and run refills to the stations when needed. Am I missing anything?
Joined Oct 18, 2009
Sounds like you have all of your bases covered. Everything you suggested/mentioned is a good and practical idea and solution to getting weeded and worked over.

The only other thing I can suggest is that your "A" crew should be really, really tight. You should have a team for busy services that know exactly how to work best with one another. That way, everything happens with an economy of words and motions. You know your crew members inside and out and everything flows because everyone knows exactly what and when they should be doing something. That kind of cohesiveness in a crew is indispensable.

I had the same thing happen to me earlier this week. It sucks, really, really, bad. Especially when people start to ask questions...what went wrong? What do we do to make sure it doesn't happen again? Generally the answers are simple, the execution can be slightly more complicated. Again, just make sure you are comfortable with everyone on the "A" team. Makes tough services move a lot smoother.

Best of luck to you...hope you don't end up in the jungle again. hah.
Joined Sep 29, 2009
As the Hitchhiker's Guide says, "Don't panic." We've all been in the weeds so deep that we couldn't see daylight. All you can do is drop your shoulder, keep a level head, and keep plowing away. It sounds like you did just that.

Now for the good news. Your superiors actually want to get feedback from you to improve the situation in the future. This is your opportunity to shine. If your suggestions are heeded and they work to greatly improve the situation, that's a big feather in your cap in their eyes.
Joined Dec 23, 2004
It happens, and when it does all you can do if dig your way out- steady as she goes. Last Saturday nite we were pretty close to being weeded. We had zilch for rezzies and things seemed dead around town so we were scheduled pretty light. Around 5:30 we got the restaurant dropped on us, hard. To make matters worse, our strongest sautee guy (aside from me, that is) quit/was fired and we had a day guy filling in; his wingman had only started the day before, too! Yeah, just the staff you'd want on the busiest night of the week.:rolleyes:

At any rate, happy hour began and the pizza station got crushed, like usual. 3 guys stretching dough and tossing pies, trying to keep a nostril about water. Then it rolls over to the sautee, which precedes to go down like a Thia hooker.:lol: I'm left with no alternative but to send my middle/flat top guy over to bail 'em out, leaving me to run the wheel and both stations. It was a pretty grim few hours but we plowed thru with decent ticket times and no real service issues. I was as tired as a one legged man in a butt kicking contest, though...sometimes I think I'm getting too old for this!:lol:

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