New Chef/KM job. I want to be more organized this time.

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Joined Jun 14, 2019
Hello group. I just joined in the hopes of collaborating with like-minded professionals - particularly in the area of organization and personal productivity. This is not at all my first go-round taking over a restaurant/catering operation, but I am hoping that I can improve on what I consider my weakness - and that is organization, task/time management, and leadership strategies (the kitchen team is 12 to 15 mostly younger people).

Anyway, if there are any specific tips for things like organizing my week/day, keeping track of multiple todos, office, desk, clipboard organization you would like to offer I am all eyes, and very appreciative.

Thanks.
 
416
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
That's a kind of vague request. The first two items should already be pretty good for you as a chef, time management and organization are two really important skills. I could understand management stuff and office work but maybe you are jumping into a position that is above your current skill level and should take some more time to learn it before you are required to do it as the leader of a kitchen.
 
3
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Joined Jun 14, 2019
Specific tips and strategies for personal productivity and organization is what I am hoping for here - to help me be better. That's all.
 
416
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
So I'm going into this assuming you are going to start everything over and develop your own systems instead of using any established ones at the restaurant. First, depending on who your vendors are, a lot of the bigger ones have online or app services to help with things like ordering, invoicing and inventory. So I would reach out to your reps and see what they can offer you for services. As far as your day to day, that is basically up to you in that you are the only one that knows what needs to be done by you each day. Prep lists will help your cooks and keeping a log for par items of dishes sold will help you control ordering and food costs. Time management is what you make it, there will never be enough time in a day and be prepared to work long, off hours until you have a good system and staff in place, and maybe even after that. If you are lacking basic computer or office software skills there are plenty of free services out there to teach you these things. Make lists and keep a notepad/day planner handy to keep track of all of your daily/weekly/monthly to do items. For management on the staff, you can be friendly without being their friend. The worst mistake you can make as a newer manager is trying to be too nice to your staff, especially young staff. They will take advantage and walk all over you. Remember a lot of times for young staff they are just there for a paycheck and are not as invested in the job as you, so you will end up burning yourself out picking up all the slack.
 
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Joined May 30, 2019
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Get this book and read it cover to cover several times so that you truly absorb the information and most importantly, use the tools that you learn from it. This book has been of great value to my leadership style.

Organization depends on your style and what you have as far as resources for your crew. The musts are:
1. A recipe book of all the dishes on your menu so your cooks can consistently replicate what you've created.
2. Each log should have their own clipboard for the week. I had my Sous change weekly and store the prior week's logs in 3 ring binders that were kept in my office.
3. make sure that everything has a place and that place is labeled. This is the basis for the LEAN manufacturing process. Everything (and I'm talking everything) has a place that anyone can go to to find, a sharpie or a soup pot or tape or labels. Same place every time for Everything.. Read up on LEAN manufacturing process to gain a better understanding..

These systems work if you stick to them and hold your team to the high standard you set. Coach, coach, coach and coach.. Start with the book I recommend first so that you have tools to properly coach your team..

Good luck..
 
56
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Joined May 30, 2019
Personal organization; doesn't matter what you use to be more personally organized. There are plenty of tools at your finger tips (cell phone, pocket pad, etc..). What will make it truly work for you is that you have the discipline to consistently use the personal org system you set up for yourself..
 
3
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Joined Jun 14, 2019
Thanks, guys. Not a new manager by any means, but always looking to improve. This company is moving into a larger production facility and they hired me to help with their growth and internal kitchen systems. Here is a more specific question - What is on your desk? Clipboards, software, notes systems etc.

Currently, I use spreadsheets for inventory and costing - no issues there as I am very tech savvy, but I am looking for the best ways to prioritize tasks, prepare for meetings, organize my day, keep up with staff issues, health and safety meetings. There have been times in past positions where I feel there is so many things to do, that I struggle to choose the right ones to work on.
 

phatch

Moderator
Staff member
8,935
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Joined Mar 29, 2002
These are the two methods I see most widely suceeding. They are both simple, scalable and low cost to implement.

Bullet Journal

Getting Things Done

I use the Bullet Journal system.
 
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Joined Jun 8, 2017
This may not be of any use to you, but it is what I do when I manage kitchens or am a lead. I *love*big day planners. You can make one like in the youtube video that was posted, or buy one at Walmart for $6-$10. They allow you to make lists, etc. Prioritize what you need to do first when you get to the kitchen. Most from least important. The least important is what you can roll over to the next day, or deligate to someone else. Make sure you mark vendor dates and keep up with pars. Train cooks to accurately fill out prep lists and double check everything. Communicate to the bosses. Good luck!
 
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Joined Jul 16, 2019
Thank you so much for truly a veritable knowldege.It really worked for me. The key idea behind it is pretty amazing and glad to know about it.
 

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