Hitting a wall

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by taylor frost, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. taylor frost

    taylor frost

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Restaurant Manager
    So I'm sure you guys have seen a number of my posts in regards to struggling with my new management position and the numerous problems I'm trying to solve.  I feel as though I've hit a point where I can neither sink or swim.  I can only tread water until I'm so exhausted I drown.

    I'm overwhelmed by the expectations the owner has in place for a tiny sandwich shop that has the most minimal of equipment and an extremely small staff.  Our menu is ENORMOUS with nearly everything on it requiring some degree of fabrication and the owner seems more preoccupied with trying to be all things to all people than doing a smaller number of things well (and consistently).  On numerous occasions he has demanded my cooks to make 5-10 orders for his friends or peers right in the middle of our lunch rush, completely derailing the service.  Modifications are completely out of control and he seems incapable of drawing a hard line on how to limit them.  Most services are toe-curling stressful.  One really wacky order or a miscommunication on a slip and the whole line goes down.  Honestly, the entire thing seems like a mess.

    The owner seems ignorant to the fact that we could do better numbers with a smaller, more focused menu.  Every manager before me has run into this same problem and instead of heeding anyone's advice, he just makes the menu bigger.  We've reached a point where every day is a mad dash to get the line up.  I work 6 day weeks, most days last 12-13 hours including my administrative work and I feel like I'm still behind on so many things.  He doesn't even really allow me to pick who we hire for cooks.  I stage them and put them through the motions but in the end, it's almost always his call.  A good example:  He hired a kid from his home state, purely on that basis.  The kid no-called/no-showed once, and even after being given a second chance, he pulled the same stunt and never came back, leaving my staff painfully thin.  

    I won't beat around the bush.  I feel like this guy is poisoning his own business and exploiting our personal background to keep me on board.  I'm completely stressed out and exhausted, my quality of work is slipping due to lack of focus, and I have no idea how I can meet his expectations.  A sane person would see that they cannot do this job and give his/her two weeks but if I do that, I'm only making things for people at the restaurant worse.  We're a year away from our lease ending at our location but I don't know if I even have the endurance to last that long.  It's already been 4, extremely stressful years and the last week with our new titanic-sized menu has been abject misery.  

    Should I stay or should I go?
     
  2. vic cardenas

    vic cardenas

    Messages:
    453
    Likes Received:
    57
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    I'd find a new job. Sounds like hell to me. Take what you learned there and use it to improve your next job. Good luck.
     
  3. cheflayne

    cheflayne

    Messages:
    4,122
    Likes Received:
    485
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Usually when I start thinking about whether to go or to stay, it is time for me to go.
     
    flattop and kuan like this.
  4. brandon odell

    brandon odell

    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    39
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    If you are hired to do a job because you have special knowledge or skill, then are not allowed to use that knowledge and skill to do the best job possible, you are in a no win situation. You do not owe an owner like that anything. Moreso, you are doing a great discredit to your resume by spending so much time at a place that has no chance to make it because the owner refuses to do what they should. You probably can't see it from inside the restaurant, but restaurants like yours have reputations at other restaurants. Good owners know bad businesses. They don't like to hire chefs that come from bad businesses. Staying at a place like that is a detriment to your career as a chef.
     
    flattop likes this.
  5. phaedrus

    phaedrus

    Messages:
    1,549
    Likes Received:
    121
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    +1.  If you have to ask you probably already know the answer in your heart.
     
  6. chefross

    chefross

    Messages:
    2,697
    Likes Received:
    363
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    " You probably can't see it from inside the restaurant, but restaurants like yours have reputations at other restaurants. Good owners know bad businesses. They don't like to hire chefs that come from bad businesses. Staying at a place like that is a detriment to your career as a chef.

    Heed this advice my friend. Also...I find that when looking for a new Chef your place has a reputation among the peers who will view that place as poison...especially if for example,said place has had 8 chefs in 11 years.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
    kuan likes this.
  7. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,740
    Likes Received:
    343
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    I see, owner wants to be the center of attention at all costs.  Cheaper to buy a fancy car.

    Leave.