Question about my boss...

Joined Aug 15, 2018
So I've been in the food industry for 15 years and have worked with a tons of different characters - in management to be exact. I've worked for lazy incompetent management in which I've had to pick up the slack.. one of my pet peeves and reasons why I have left those managers.

Anyway I recently started at a small catering company - great people, good product, work with a talented chef and sous - but.. since I started... the Chef has done nothing but complain about his Sous. In fact, during my first week there - he said to me, no pressure on you, but I am letting the Sous go... however that day after their 4th or 5th talk about his performance or lack of.. he walked in the kitchen in uniform. I didn't ask questions or worried about it. I just hoped that he would get his crap together - he's very talented, knows what he's doing, I can ask him anything, and he's a nice guy. Anyway he keeps f'king up, walks in late to work, has been late to an on-site catering gig which left the Chef loading up/unloading all of the food/prep to be done on site, he has called out at the last minute to take a personal day - we don't have those, he has dropped the ball on time management more than once on a 45 min entree at a wedding, and on an app for a taste test. There's more but my boss is always stressed and I see him bust his ass while the Sous doesn't really have the same enthusiasm or work ethic. Yes they are friends but only at work. The owners want him gone.. but I want to know why the heck he retains him on staff if he constantly brings him down and doesn't support him. I just don't get it. Yes, I understand no one likes to fire people and it's not an easy thing to do, however I've been on the other side of the fence. However, we plan on expanding the business and we can't do that with someone in management who acts like he doesn't want to be there. I do stay out of it but I see the frustration on my boss's face every day. What are your thoughts?
Joined Aug 21, 2004
I would be leery of any chef that complains about his sous to members of the brigade. I wold be on high alert to one who tells a new member of the brigade that he is letting his sous go. To me, no matter how crappy the sous may be, that is not behavior that I respect or think speaks well of a boss.
Joined Sep 26, 2017
Your writing is a bit confusing to read, but I figure you want to know why the chef has yet to fire the sous chef?

Just ask the chef. He confided in you about firing the sous chef before, so there shouldn't be any awkwardness in following up on the matter with him.
Joined Feb 8, 2009
There are many Chefs that work their way up in this business. They know the food part and aren't really good managers. They lack the skill on managing people. The bad part of this is by not managing properly he is screwing up all the other employees. The longer it goes without him firing the Sous the worst he will look in the eyes of the owners and crew. There are Chefs that are doers and some who are managers. What you have is a doer for a Chef.......Good luck!
Joined Mar 1, 2017
The chef made a terrible mistake in judgement by mentioning this issue to you. He has no business discussing management issues or issues with subordinates with other employees. You would do well to forget it happened and stay out of it. Nothing good can possibly come from getting involved in this matter. The only thing that can and probably will happen is you could end up becoming a target.

If what you have described is accurate, it appears to me the chef has just as many issues as the sous. If this were my operation and I knew what you've described was happening, I would fire them both.

Your best bet is to stay out of it and do your job. You are not being paid for your input in matters of management. Nothing good ever comes from this sort of drama. Step up and take up the slack created by the absence of the sous and you will likely get noticed. If the actions (or inactions) of the sous hinder your ability to do your job, speak up but, keep the conversation focused on your job, not what the sous did or did not do to cause the problem. If the chef tries to confide in you, politely tell him/her that its none of your business and you don't feel comfortable getting involved.

This sort thing is toxic and can utterly eviscerate any sort of positive work environment and turn your job into a living nightmare. Hopefully, the chef will grow a pair and start acting like a chef should.

Good luck. :)
Joined Jan 31, 2012
There are many excellent cooks that make lousy caterers.
Its a different skillset, and working in catering events in almost
any capacity requires that same skillset--timing, managing,
precise method, etc.
And speed, with a focused sense of elapsed time.
And some people just cant do it, no matter how many weddings
or banquets theve done.
Your chef knows this, but doesnt seem to be able to make the

Latest posts

Top Bottom