My "Rules of the Kitchen" --- would you add or delete anything before i laminate it?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by cook1st, May 19, 2016.

  1. cook1st

    cook1st

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    Rules of The Kitchen
    1.            If one station has more than 5 items(not tickets) and you are NOT COOKING for a ticket, help them---no exceptions!!!

    2.            If you have nothing to do, please look at daily check list, then downtime check list, then find something to do. If I or the    Sous find you doing nothing, you will be cleaning---You have been warned.

    3.            Stay BUSY or you will be BUSY…..CLEANING!!!

    4.             If I see you using your phone 3 times and it’s not work related, it will be taken away for the day, returned @ end of shift.

    5.            No MUSIC. No headphones even if you are "not listening to music.”

    6.            DO NOT LITTER your Cigarette Butts…make sure they are properly out and place in garbage and wash hands.

    7.            Ask food runner for your drink orders who will in turn ask the barback or bartender.

    8.            Once alcohol has been purchased, please do not re-enter the worksite again.

    9.            On off days, if you come in say hi and leave within 5 minutes.

    10.         Once Clocked out---please do not re-enter kitchen. No exceptions---unless you’re the chef or Chef on Duty.

    11.         If chef/sous asks you to do something, JUST DO IT.

    12.         Wear gloves when cleaning, portioning, handling all types of seafood.

    13.         NO EATING ON THE LINE. NO MORE TASTING FRIES!!! If you eat food, please eat upstairs in prep kitchen. Tasting 

                 food to ensure it is good should be on the cooking side of the line. Expo will have tasting spoon that should be cleaned after use.

    14.         If you are running late, please let Chef or Sous know. Warnings will be given.

    15.         Never ever butcher raw chicken or pork downstairs during service hours.

    16.         Check with host for covers/reservations, but do not linger. You have been warned.

    17.         Wash hands every hour

    18.         Clean banes for spoons every hour.

    19.         If we have time, cook Family Meal. All meals must be approved by Chef On Duty.

    20.         When anyone from FOH enters kitchen except without reason, ask them a question about the food. If they're wrong, ask …………..them to leave ,but if they're right, ask another one until they're wrong then tell them to get out.  If they get 5 right, let …………..them do what they want .
     
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  2. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Still reading and ruminating, but a quick observation is that you make cleaning out to be like a punishment as opposed to part and parcel of the job.
     
  3. cook1st

    cook1st

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    Great catch, I kind of think they feel that way. Definitely not too late to change kitchen culture. Is it the overall tone? Or are there specific rules that come off as such
     
  4. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    In general, the whole list has that tone. It seems to promote a schism more than a team. I find I get better results when I attempt to get people to work with me, rather than for me. Stating policy on paper is fine, but philosophy (culture, beliefs, etc) transmits better by example and one on one communication.

    I worked a place that was big on posting notes (memos, warnings, don'ts, etc) after the fact of things that disgruntled management. Hell, we were a small place, it was always obvious who they were directed to. I always wondered why we couldn't just all be adults and discuss it face to face.

    Things like this
      are fine.

    Things like this
    not so much.
     
  5. minas6907

    minas6907

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    Does the staff need to be told to wash their hands every hour? I can't count how many times I wash my hands during and hour, certainly is more then one.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
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  6. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    I will second ChefLayne's observations and Minas as well. Washing hands should be an ongoing, every time they are dirty activity. 

    Same for much of the kitchen activity. Cleaning, prepping, no music, helping others, no smoking, etc. Much of the list highlights poor culture in general. 

    I can't tell you the best way for you to change the culture. You could have a general kitchen staff meeting and lay out your agenda. Or not. 

         But overall, I'm in complete agreement with Cheflayne about the adult face to face interaction on everything, all the time. "This is what I expect."

    When you witness poor behavior, call them out on it. This doesn't have to be loud or rude, just direct and firm. Every single time. Staff will quickly get the message that you aren't kidding. 

    "We don't do that here". "This is how we do this here". "Looks like Joe could use some help. Why don't you see what you can do to help him?" "Why don't you grab the broom and give the floor a sweep." "Take a minute and break down those cardboard boxes." "Pick up your cigarette butts and use  the receptacle from now on". 

          Employees who have developed poor habits count on management's distaste for confrontation. That's typically how they got that way. So otherwise you are a nice guy to work with but no one should think for one minute you will let poor behavior slide. 

    I saw a picture not long ago with what looked like a hanging shoe rack. It was for cell phones. Everyone put theirs in their spot upon entering work and picked it up when they left. So you could try that. 

    Bottom line-This is how we are doing things from now on. I realize it has not been done this way before but this is how we are doing things from now on. 

    And put out a help wanted ad on local media with your business name clearly stated. The new ways of doing things may cause some to quit. The help wanted ad lets them know you don't care if they do.  "Chef, are we hiring?"  You "Well not necessarily but it's nice to have the applications on hand if they are needed." No need to say "Get the message?" 

    Those who fall in line, work hard and get with the program stay. Those who don't, leave. 

    No need to be mean about it. That's just the way it is from here on out. Like ChefLayne, I have found notices put up after the fact represent a poor culture. My favorite is when they put up signs or notices letting you know "We are a team here". That's a big sign that they are not. Successful restaurants don't have to say they are. They just are. 

          Fwiw, during my time at the restaurant my family owned, friends would occasionally stop by on their way from construction, hunting, off roading, etc.and step in the kitchen to say hello.

     In other words, filthy. Hi, nice to see you Fred. Now get out of my kitchen. Come back when you've cleaned up. Yes, I'm serious. I'm serving food in here.  See you later. 
     
  7. someday

    someday

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    I think that your list comes from a good place but will probably end up backfiring on you. I wouldn't post this anywhere, I would call a meeting, sit down the team, and talk about the key points. Passive aggressive stuff like posting notices and signs reek of a sub par culture. Most of that stuff is common sense anyways (and the fact that you feel you need to post it tells me a lot about the place that you work) so posting it probably won't make changes...your cooks know what they SHOULD be doing, they don't need a laminated sign to tell them. They need YOU to tell them when you see something wrong. 

    Sounds like you need to start putting your foot down. Like chefwriter said, you don't have to be a jerk about it, necessarily, but firm communication with expectations, as well as follow through, might be a good start. 

    By all means, write and keep a list of "rules" for your kitchen. I treat mine similar to a "goals" list and keep it mostly out of sight of others...its there to remind me what kind of kitchen I want to run and to help me lead by example. 
     
  8. cook1st

    cook1st

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    We had a group meeting when the chef before me quit and I became the exec where I outlined my frustrations and my expectations. The whole line got a raise and some got promotions along with the additional responsibilities that are with it. I mentioned things we as a team are killing at and things we could improve upon in a compliment sandwich format. Some of the "rules" outlined here were talked about at that meeting 4 months ago. We"ll do great for a couple of weeks, but then certain behaviors will slowly creep back. At first, I'm like, you know what... They've been good for a while, why not allow some music. Then it happens more often and the lack of my follow through is embarrassing. For a while, my GM had to enforce some of these rules BC I was unable to. So far, the hardest part of being a chef isn't the 32 hour shifts or missing all the great events in my friends/family's lives, but it's learning to manage people.
     
  9. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Consistency is of paramount importance for success in our industry and it goes way beyond just food and service. Managerial practices have to be consistent. I am not a black and white type of guy by nature, far from it, but at work I am very black and white. It either is or it isn't.
     
  10. cook1st

    cook1st

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    Recently, I put an ad up and hiring probably two people and everytime I think about the two positions I need the most, kitchen manager always comes into play. I don't want to attribute it to the fact that we all got hired around the same time as line cooks or the fact I've only been cooking for roughly 16 months. I've never been the "bad guy," but at the same rate I dont want to be the unemployed guy either.

    I'll hold off putting this up as it will have the opposite effect I intended it to have.

    In addition to that, they know we're understaffed on the line and feel like they can get away with bad behavior. I have a cook who comes in late 2-3x a week, I talk to him and let him know how it affects the line and that if it happens again, at least let me know so I can help him set up.

    I try to be example by just doing everything, but my GM says some don't learn like that and if you continue to baby them by doing everything, they can just literally always count on you to do it.
     
  11. cook1st

    cook1st

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    Simple yet effective, I'm going to try this today. If I see something wrong, I will either let them know right then and there or I'll wait until the end of the night to address it.
     
  12. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    I'm in agreement with the others on this one. Posting notes is a way for inexperienced managers to try to manage their staff without actually confronting them directly. They need to hear it come from your mouth or you will be walked all over. Threatening staff in these lists just makes the culture worse. Lists are fine to guide for cleaning schedules, etc. A lot of this stuff is common sense, and should have been covered when these people were hired. Does your company have an employee manual?
     
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  13. cook1st

    cook1st

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    FOH just finished their manual. I do not have a manual for BOH. If you took over an exec position, what would be the most vital documents you would create assuming the company had nothing?
     
  14. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Google is your friend.

    There are many templates out there as well as some "how to" pages.

    Check with your local restaurant association if you have question re city/county/state laws that you may want to add in for the FYI of your employees.

    My advice would be to look at several and take a mix and match approach.

    mimi
     
  15. rndmchef

    rndmchef

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    The same person is coming in late multiple times a week, and they still work there !?!?!

    I've seen people fired for much less.

    My chefs philosophy is if he's already looking for one cook , it's not much harder to find 2 cooks.
    Your rules sound like an @-hole wrote them, but yet you don't really enforce things enough.

    Fire a couple of the ones slacking off and see if the others continue the laziness. Some of the things you say are occurring are pretty bad; obviously they're not really thinking you're the boss. Wouldn't be surprised if they make fun of you behind your back about all these rules , and how they still do whatever they want

    Sorry to say ... It seems you are a pushover .
     
  16. someday

    someday

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    Unfortunately, sometimes circumstances dictate action (or inaction). When you live in a rural area and have VERY limited talent pool from which to draw, the need to let some things slide can sometimes become reality. Hell, sometimes finding someone who can do even a halfway decent job is a boon. There are a LOT of things I find myself tolerating since I moved away from the big city. We also run such a small crew that even being short staffed or down 1 person is a huge deal. 

    I don't know where Cook1st lives, but I know the ugly side of compromise. 
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2016
  17. kaiquekuisine

    kaiquekuisine

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    I think people should be wearing glove even while handling red/white meat such as pork or beef for example. Any raw meat should require someone wearing gloves if possible. 

    I agree that cleaning is sounding like a punishment, when it is in fact a obligation, and something that everyone should do. To avoid cleaning is not a reward. 

    Anyone cooking needs to be washing there hands or cleaning there hands on a rag all the time, if there wearing gloves, they still need to be cleaning those too. It´s not an hourly thing, its something you do at least 5-10 times an hour....

    If the cooks can´t use there cellphone, and can´t listen to music, why do they even have them on the line to begin with. Just leave them in a locker or in a box safe somewhere... 

    I agree with almost everything layne has said. 

    The " JUST DO IT" doesn´t fly with me, especially when it´s something ridiculous or i´m busy and physically can´t. 

    Whats wrong with buying alcohol and going to work? It doesnt mean i plan on consuming any during my shift.

    My personal opinion is that certain things don´t need to be written down and read over and over, but simply seen being done and modeled, especially in a kitchen where someone like a chef is usually the guy giving and setting examples. 

    Being a dictator doesnt work, but being a softy isnt good either. Managing people requires balance, it requires you to know how to have people understand you not only professionally but your personality. In my kitchen if i was to ever raise my voice everyone would think i am joking. Now if i keep a straight face and say it directly they know sh*t is real. 

    Im usually really exicited and communicative in a kitchen and i think its imporant to establish communication always. If the guy on a station is putting something on the stove that will accompany a dish he needs to say it. If it 2 minutes to the pass it needs to be told, someone raising the oven tem. needs to state that and most importantly "HOT BEHIND/WATCHOUT HOT" means GTFO of the way (and it doent just work for hot items, it alerts danger in general). 

    If someone is showing up late 2-3x a week, then they need to go. 

    Why are people tasting fries so much, can´t you fry them to order in exact portions to avoid this. 

    I think having little lists is kind of stupid, some things can be suggested, demanded etc... a chef doesnt need to make little lists, he needs to confront. 

    Also some of these "rules" can´t even be enforced correctly, as they go way beyond working hours (such as coming in on your day off), i don´t think you need to follow kitchen rules on your days off lol. 
     
  18. cronker

    cronker

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    I agree with most of the replies above.
    One of the hardest things to learn, especially early on in your management path, is to be confident in distinguishing between your mates at work and the need to give good, solid leadership. It's a real balance.

    I find aggressive leaders don't last long. My own preference is to come up with "sayings" that get my point across and, before long, get so repetitive that the distressing behaviours stop.

    I say:
    "If you have time to lean, you have time to clean"
    "You are late, but only by ten minutes? Try telling that to the guest when they are waiting on their meal"
    "If you can't find anything to do, let me find something for you. You will hate that"

    In my restaurant - NO PHONES - you can use them on break. But it's equally important that perhaps only the restaurant manager and head chef are exempt (due to suppliers, owners calling etc). No one else - not shift supervisors, sous chef etc, it's not a pecking order right to carry a phone. Only allowed to those who actually need them for WORK PURPOSES. And, sorry, no exceptions unless something very serious is happening (illness or death in the family etc)

    Knowing the requirements of each persons role down to a tee is also quite important. I had a dishy who once told me that "it's the morning crew who mop the floor, I just go home". Umm, no.

    The biggest problem wth signs on the wall is that once they are read, if your lucky a couple of times, they become part of the decor and everyone just walks past them. Your best off to be firm and fair, and ensure your language and demeanour indicate how you want things done. Make sure your staff know that when you get "that tone" you aren't joking now. You will develop this - I tend to get quiet and firm when I'm angry.

    One last thing:
    Often times, when your staff aren't performing the way in which makes you happy, you need to step back and ask "have I trained them properly? Told them what I want? Given them all the tools they need to succeed?"
    A lot of employee failure can be directly tracked back to poor management and poor training.
     
  19. cook1st

    cook1st

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    I decided against the list, really wanted to laminate some stuff. I'm doing more of when i see the issue, I talk to them. Like the guy who frequently comes in late...he came in late couple of days ago and normally I would let it slide and mention it much much later(like 4-6 days later) , but today before service I noticed he stepped out to have a cigarrette and i casually followed him and had one myself.

    Told him how him being late affects the line, in x,y,z. His response was well, I do x,y,z for others when they're late. He also blamed him being late on the Metro(public transit) , they're doing construction and that he doesn't control life.  Just a bunch of nonsense and I cant just be like...all your spewing is BS.

    You are literally late half the time and just lay into him. It would be nice to do that, after our talk he apologized only to be late to his next shift.

    He said, "mom just got back from the hospital, she cant even wipe her own butt."  Honestly, no idea what to do with this guy. He has one verbal warning, no written, and a book of excuses...which he purchased on clearance from a garage sale. 
     
  20. cook1st

    cook1st

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    I am even more sorry to say, I would agree with you. I thought the solution to this was hiring a kitchen manager...it still may be. He comes in tomorrow to stage for a day, he wants to see what he is getting himself into. I have already told him most of the things that are occuring...