No hot water, no service?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by brisket, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. brisket

    brisket

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    I'm working at a place that just opened and we've been running out of hot water after about an hour of any kind of busyness.  No clean plates, cutlery, glasses, pots pans the whole shebang.  Everything is being run through cold water, including our hands.  We've been open for 9 days now and last night I informed the manager that the kitchen is not serving food until we have hot water.  Am I being a boob or am I in the right?  I feel like this issue should have been resolved after our first night open when we saw the problem.  I also feel like I should have closed the kitchen sooner.  But maybe not?  Feedback please...
     
  2. chefbuba

    chefbuba

    Messages:
    2,209
    Likes Received:
    471
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    The health dept would probably shut you down for no hot water, we are required minimum of 110 degrees for hand washing.

    I had an inspection yesterday, the first thing she did was test the water temp before washing her hands.
     
  3. brisket

    brisket

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    Just got threatened with being fired as well. What the f**k?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2011
  4. gunnar

    gunnar

    Messages:
    1,447
    Likes Received:
    47
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    first, this is a family oriented forum so please edit the curse words or I will have to edit them for you.

    Second, you are right that you should not be doing service without hot water, and of course you got threatened, no one wants a "troublemaker" in their new business. Are you the Chef? If not bring it up to the Chef, if you are, then you did the right thing. If you don't have hot water in a few days I would start looking for a new job. Maybe call the health dept.....
     
  5. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

    Messages:
    2,069
    Likes Received:
    410
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    The HD would shut you down without hot water. It's up to the Chef or Owner to make that decision, I wouldn't make to many waves as a front line cook. Let the people in charge worry about whats going on with the water situation......ChefBillyB
     
  6. brisket

    brisket

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    Sorry Gunnar.

    Yes I'm the chef.  We have a 60 gallon tank.  They had another 60 gallon tank delivered on Tuesday and it's still not hooked up.  I invested a lot of time into this place at no charge because this guy is a friend of mine and now him and his father fly off the handle cause of this?  I don't know if I can deal with them anymore, they are quite useless.  End of rant.
     
  7. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

    Messages:
    2,069
    Likes Received:
    410
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Brisket, I always tell my employees, they are either part of the solution or part of the problem, only one of these will keep you here........................We all have choices.................ChefBillyB
     
  8. chefedb

    chefedb

    Messages:
    5,516
    Likes Received:
    174
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    Even though against you  work ethic. You are not paying the bills, have not investmen, you  draw your salary. You also do not pay the fines or get the summons.  nor as an employee are not liable. I would shut up unless you are prepared to leave . Use plenty of Clorox even in dishwasher.
     
  9. chefross

    chefross

    Messages:
    2,676
    Likes Received:
    348
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    I have a solution to your problem Brisket.

    It is something I did when I was faced with the exact same problem.

    Manglement refused to address the no hot water situation, so I called my friendly neighborhood health department lady and she came and did a surprise inspection of our place.

    She purposely did the dishwasher station last and upon discovering no hot water immedietely told the owners that if they did not get the hot water fixed they'd be closed down.

    I had hot water that very afternoon.
     
  10. pxatkins

    pxatkins

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    14
    Exp:
    Other
    Get a union in. It's incredible people still treat employees this way and sad there is support for that attitude on this forum.
     
  11. foodpump

    foodpump

    Messages:
    4,864
    Likes Received:
    436
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    DO NOT GET A UNION INVOLVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    pxatikins, what rock are you living under?

    I've been in the hospitality industry all my life, there are Hospitality unions, which I am familiar with, and there are the multitude of other Unions, which I am not.  The one common thread all unions have, is the "God given" right of garnisheeing paychecks.

    Unfortunately, this is all the hospitality Unions are capable of.  They have done nothing for this industry in terms of standards, benchmarks, safety, or security.

    Put any pressure on a hospitality Union to something in the O.P. case , and they will do exactly what all the other posters have said, get the Health dept, involved.

    At this time, pxatkins, I must ask you as to what your connection with the professional forum is.
     
     
  12. leeniek

    leeniek

    Messages:
    1,642
    Likes Received:
    39
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    You are in the right... no hot water no service, period. 

    There was an incident here back before Christmas involving a deli that had no hot water at the time of the incident.  They catered a few events over a few days and as it turned out a large number of people who attended the events fell ill with  norovirus (stomach flu).  It was traced back to the deli and to an employee who was sick with the virus handling the food.  The health department inspected and shut them down immediately because there was no hot water available on the premise for handwashing or anything else. 

    The best thing you can do to get your point across is just what has been said here... call the health department.  You will have to give your name when you make a complaint, but that information will not be disclosed to your employer.

    Also... I agree... it might be time to start looking for a new job.

    All the best to you...
     
  13. simonbaker

    simonbaker

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    Agreed no hot water is a problem. If the owners are not willing to get an additional water heater you can quit or work with what you have.  It comes down if you value the friendship to make it work.

    You could get a heater for the triple sinks & triple dip the dishes. alot more work but it's a temporary solutioin until it can be resolved. Also, you can have a couple of large stock pots of water on the burners. Keep it hot & use as needed.

    It is extremely inconvenient but sometimes you just have to suck it up & do what works.
     
  14. foodpump

    foodpump

    Messages:
    4,864
    Likes Received:
    436
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    This is the part I don't understand.  If you've just opened, then you had to have had a pre-opening inspection form the health dept.  No health inspector would ever allow a place to open without hot water.

    Then, when I re-read through your post I understand that you DO have hot water, but only enough for the first half hour of business.  So, I'm guessing a clapped-out  30 or 40 gallon tank, which is not sufficient.

    So, it is my understanding that IF both the Chef and the owner(s) have more than 2 brain cells to rub together, they will know that:

    1)  If any type of food borne illness is traced back to them, they are toast. (See Leeniek's post on this)

    2) Assuming that they have 2 brain cells to rub together and have liability insurance, the insurance co. will bow out and not cover becasue the owner did not follow standard health bylaws (failure to provide sufficient hot water).

    3) If the dishwasher is a hi-temp machine--meaning that it sanitizes with hot water, it can not possibly sanitize without  preheated water.

    4) More immediately, you WILL NOT get clean plates or glassware.  You can not get rid of fingerprints, grease/oils, or lipstick with cold water--no  matter how much soap you dump in.  Not as dangerous as the sanitation aspect, but very bad for business, as you will be guaranteed of customer complaints about greasy tableware, cloudy glassware, no head of foam on beerglasses, etc.

    5) Customer complaints about lack of hot water in the washrooms. They might not complain directly, but they will do via bookface, twit-head or other media sources

    So that's that, but.....

    In order to drive a car, I need to have a driver's license.  A qualification, if you will.  This does not guarantee that I will stop at every red light or stop sign.  However, in the event of an accident a driver's license does provide me with no excuse for claiming ignorence, not knowing about 4-way stop procedures.  If I have a driver's license, I have no excuse to claim I didn't know any better.

    Now, what qualifications does the owner need?

    None.

    Zip, nada, just enough cash to open up.

    What qualifications does the Chef need?

    None.

    There aren't any qualifications for a Chef.  There is the "red Seal" for cooks, and the topic of sanitation is covered, as well as critical temperatures and food borne illness case studies.  But a cook is a cook, and Chef is in charge of a kitchen, and currently, there aren't any qualifications for a Chef.

    Something as critical and easy to fix as sufficient hot water for a restaurant should not be taken up by a line cook.  It should have been aniticipated and taken care of by the owner or the Chef, yet both have failed.

    And neither of them have any qualifications.....

    Am I making any sense here?
     
  15. brisket

    brisket

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    If you are saying I shouldn't be running the place, you may be right.  No need to beat around the bush though.  Either way, I took chefross' route and had hot water that afternoon.  Thanks for all comments :)
     
  16. foodpump

    foodpump

    Messages:
    4,864
    Likes Received:
    436
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    No..if you did that, then you are indeed qualified to run a kitchen.

    Glad to have you on this site.

    Edward
     
  17. chefross

    chefross

    Messages:
    2,676
    Likes Received:
    348
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    Gotta love the health department......
     
  18. pxatkins

    pxatkins

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    14
    Exp:
    Other
    Foodpump - I'm the head of a consumer organization - you know, the kind of people who watchdog unscrupulous restaurateurs who think it's OK to put at risk the health and safety of their paying customers. And no, I am not part of a union.
     
  19. greg

    greg

    Messages:
    1,056
    Likes Received:
    24
    Exp:
    Professional Chef

    This thread started out in a non-pro area, which is probably why you posted in it. It's in a forum for pro chefs and cooks now, so no more posts here, please.
     
  20. petemccracken

    petemccracken

    Messages:
    3,401
    Likes Received:
    158
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Gee, and all this time I thought that was what the health inspectors were responsible for? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/laser.gif