Phones in the kitchen?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by foodpump, May 17, 2017.

  1. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Need your input on this, what are your house policies on phones in the kitchen, specificaly regarding cooks on the line?

    Am at the point of writing up one cook, and don't know what will happen next. H.R. tells me to physically take her phone away, and while I'd love to, Im pretty sure its not an intelligent thing to do.

    Input?
     
  2. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    Hopefully someone will provide a solid answer. I'd like one too. Our "company policy" is to be two faced. On the one hand, all supervisors are supposed to make sure they have their phone on and ready, just in case as well as making sure every employee has their number. On the other, employees aren't supposed to be on their phones during work, or at least not on the line, or perhaps only in hallways and storage areas, although…..

         I'd like a secure box of some kind where phones can be kept during work, handed in upon arrival.  But of course, management says that would infringe on ???

    HR tells us the same thing. But then don't provide support after the resulting argument/pissed employee. 

    The end result being, most are good about it but there's always one or two or three employees who just can't resist the lure of the internet. 
     
  3. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Does your company have a clearly defined written policy on phones use at work and consequences of not following policy. Has the cook in question signed acknowledging receiving the written policy and consequences; and that she fully understands it? If so, I would initiate the consequences listed. If not I would suggest to HR that they institute such a program post haste. I would also suggest to HR that they physically remove the phone from her possession...or draft a memo giving you authorization and stating that you are following orders and thereby absolved of any responsibilities. Litigious times, you gotta love 'em!

    Shhh... keep this quiet, just between you and me...I would have her accompany you into the walk-in and have a private talk with the compressor running. :~)
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  4. someday

    someday

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    I have a pretty liberal phone policy. I don't see what being a hardass on phones gains anyone. It is 2017, smart phones aren't going away, the ubiquity of them isn't going away...people live with their phones now days. Other professions carry phones with them while they work...nobody writes up my mother or father if they take or make a personal phone call during the day. Doctors, lawyers, business professionals, realtors, plumbers, construction workers, teachers, etc, all keep phones on them all the time. They use discretion...sitting at their desk typing a report or meme? OK, I can take/make a quick call if needed. In a meeting with my boss or co-workers? Probably not a good time to take a call...why should cooks and chefs be any different?

    Rules and whatnot only teach your employees to sneak and hide their phone use. Your employees are using their phones...they just don't let you see it. They run to the bathroom, or run outside for a smoke, or hide in dry storage, etc. 

    I trust my people to be responsible with cell phone use. Why wouldn't I? Do I care if, during prep, a cook jumps out to take 5 and make a phone call or check their email? No I don't. Again, why would I? 

    If it becomes a problem then we'll talk about it. If they spend time on their phone, and are constantly behind and not set up for service, then yeah, it is a problem. But I try not to do a blanket cell phone policy because one person abuses it. That one person needs to know to prioritize better. 

    I do have one cell phone rule tho...no cell usage during service (unless to snap a quick photo). This should be obvious because its crunch time. Emergency...OK yeah, of course. Otherwise no. But that ties into discretion and appropriate times for usage. 

    Haven't really had any problems. 

    I want someone to describe to me what the big deal is? Again, it's 2017, no getting around it. Soon enough they'll be implanted in our brains...what will you guys do then?
     
  5. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Sigh.....no. Currently working in a small hotel with aprox 150 employees. H.R. is leaving at the end of the month, but for the last two months only showed up for two hours every morning. It was her that told me to take the employees phone away. I asked her twice more and got the same answer.

    What I think is fair is this:
    Letter of warning with the caveat that if she uses the phone on the line again, she will be asked to put her phone in her locker. What she does on her breaks is her business. If caught yapping while working--or as per previous guest and servers complaints--with earshot of the customers, termination.


    Don't think the hotel or Chef is capable of any form signing where the employee acknowledges the rules.....
     
  6. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Hi Someday...

    Problems are:
    Cook yapping in machinegun spanish infront of customers (open kitchen) , cook yapping down in prep kitchen totally oblivious to buzzers and timers on ovens, steamers, etc, and has burnt product several times Cook yapping in the walk in with the door open .

    Is it really 2017? Ohmygosh! So what? Next yesr will be 2018. Who gives a (deleted) ?

    This is how I see the problem:

    -If I HAD to have a drink or a joint every day before work, would you say I had a problem? If I couldn't work 4 hours without a drink or a joint, would I have a problem?

    You have a break every 2 hours, what you do on your break is none of my business. What you do before your shift and after your shift is none of my business.

    So, my question is, If you can't go two hours without yapping or texting, would you agree you have a problem?
     
    chefteneal likes this.
  7. chefteneal

    chefteneal

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    What does HR have in emploment contracts about cell phones?
     
  8. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I was going to answer, but my two hours aren't up! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif   /img/vbsmilies/smilies/peace.gif  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/crazy.gif

    Oops, I did answer, I guess I have a problem! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/rollsmile.gif  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/blushing.gif

    Just funning, I totally agree with you.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
     
  9. chersvo

    chersvo

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    Nothing makes me angrier than the cooks having/being on their phones while working.  I just bought a diner style business and took over May 1, retained all of the employees.  Although the server's are respectful of the "no phone" policy (that was actually in place prior) the cooks seem to think it's fine to be YouTube or Amazon or whatever game they may be interested in.  Now, I'm not talking about teenagers.....by any stretch.  I'm ready to tell them to lock their phones up (personal lockers are there from previous owner's but they didn't enforce it) but I'm sure I'll loose some staff over it.  And it's not just the cooks on the line, it's the prep people, the dishers - anyone in the back. I guess all I can do is give it time but honestly if anyone says it's an HR issue, they're wrong.  Not saying that my staff doesn't get to lollygag...if there are no orders then go check your phone, have your cigarette or vape outside but when you're on the line....NO PHONES !!!!
     
  10. chersvo

    chersvo

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    Agreed. I don't know how businesses are supposed to conduct a money making enterprise with all of the ridiculous restraints that are upon them.  When someone refuses to abide by the rules the business owner or manager has to make sure that they cross every t, dot every i to (hopefully) they didn't step on anyone's toes or treat them unfairly.  Unbelievable.
     
  11. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    I haven't had a lot of trouble with them at my present place.  Occasionally I have to tell someone to put their phone away but not very often.
     
  12. chefross

    chefross

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    My goodness, whatever did we do before cell phones?

    Oh yeah, told all our friends and relatives that we are at work and can't call or talk right now.

    Remember?/????
     
  13. peachcreek

    peachcreek

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    I completely empathize with your problems, Foodpump. I just see them as one problem with many examples.

    People need to be focused in the kitchen. Not yelling. Not being oblivious. Not burning food.

    As far as I am concerned a phone/joint/alcohol/ciggie is a personal responsibility. If you have one? Did one? Wanna go have one?

    I'm fine as long as I never notice. If I have to talk to someone about it? I won't have you around.

    I'm not a cop. I'm not a babysitter. But you aren't allowed to pee in my bathtub.

    Love and good boundaries!!!

    Peachcreek
     
  14. halb

    halb

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    The way I see it cell phones have become an addiction and many users are just like drug addicts who will risk their life and freedom for a high. They don't know what life is like without them. Like with other addictions, reasoning and common sense won't work. If you forbid their use they would rather quit than go "unconnected".

    You need to have a clear cell phone policy in place that everybody agrees to, either when hired or put in place when you recognize there is a problem. If an employee can't follow that policy you don't need them.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017