Kitchen policy

Joined Dec 12, 2000
This thread is inspired by a new guy at work, at his last job, apparently the staff, if they order food, are not allowed to take it to go, it has to be eaten at the restaurant. To me this seems a bit weird. My thoughts are if I paid for it, I'll do what i want with it. So i just was curious, as a manager, or not, what your policies are on staff meals ??.
Joined Oct 23, 2003
Couple of thoughts. If they don't pay for it ie. comped meals i want to make sure it's for them-not the family. Especially true in a bqt scenario, i don't want to see the rest of the food walk out the door. You can load up a few lbs of shrimp cocktail and crab claws in a togo box. Another thing is those to go containers aren't free, along with ketchup packets etc...not much $$ but it all adds up.
It's also a visual check. If i see 4 servers sitting down for filet and lobster I want to know they paid for filet/lobster, not a quesadilla. I don't know whats in the to go box unless i look, and i don't have the time.
Of course theres many more ways to scam food, so controlling known variables is one way to avoid "shrinkage".
hth, danny
Joined Oct 13, 2001
My training was that food is money ! In my kitchens I am called very tight and very loose . Fortunatley as a young cook I worked for immigrant Greek and Italian restraunt owners . They inspected the garbage cans always for waste ! They new the thickness of everything sliced on the slicer! Every plate was the same in portions or you were gone ! They also gave me a meal after every shift . Of course you could not order steak and lobster but a sandwich and salad was a good benny . And yes you could take it to go but that was it . The wages were low so the kitchen staff was always appreciative of this perk !
The front of the house paid for food if they wanted it and that was that .
Now , the kitchen I run is in a hospital . My staff is hispanic . Diet aides make 7 an hour to start and cooks get 9 . Not much but thats the way it is . They get two 30 minute breaks a shift ! What I do to keep theft down and to show I appreciate there hard work is to let them prepare a meal for each break . Its only 5 meals a break and I have got it figured into the budget ! Just this morning I cooked breakfast for them ! Also I always keep jalapeno
peppers and cilantro on hand all the time even though this is not something we use on our menu . Last year my budget was $765,000 for the year and we ran $757,000 . My thoughts are the people work with food all day so feed them and treat them with respect . No matter what the establishment ! People who steal or try to take advantage , well , I just weed them out in a very dramatic fashion to be true to the company we work for ! After a while the staff enjoy the perks and will themselves take ownership in the biz . As far as taking food home , well you can eat where you want to I guess , just do not steal ............
Joined Aug 11, 2000
It's different when you are in the high end catering world.....I feed my staff....I want EVERYONE who is working with my food to taste it prior to walking into the party /event and have a known idea of what they have on their tray. If we have product left over it generally will be divided up. Unless I have a known use for it. When I prep in my friend's restaurant s and the latino prep and wash staff help me I take in chipotle, epazote, cilantro, avacados, tortillas, pork or beef and feed them....when I show up to work they chip in ....I also pay them WELL. There are a couple of well known BIG caterers in STL that do not want the waitstaff to try the food they are serving...pretty bizarre. I'm small enough that I hire people I trust with my reputation and biz. I make sure the staff I have I keep happy.

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