Sometimes I really dislike FOH staff!

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by leeniek, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. leeniek

    leeniek

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    What is it with servers, expos and stupidviors in the FOH that makes them think that they can tell the BOH how to do their jobs?

    Most of the time I can ignore them and let whatever they say go in one ear and out the other but sadly today was not one of those days for me.

    It pretty much started for me when I got in.. FOH opener was late and when she saw me asked why I was opening and I just said to  her that I needed to leave early so I scheduled myself to open.  Why she cared I have no idea but whatever.  Then she nitpics at every single plate I put up.. at one point she told me not to make such fluffy pancakes and all I said was.. that is fresh batter and it makes fluffy cakes... and from then I stopped talking to her unless I absolutely had to.  By that stage the KM was in and she was getting on his last nerve too. 

    Until 9am it was the KM and I alone on the hot side, working four stations between the two of us.  Normally on a Wednesday it is fine.. we have a couple of groups of regulars that come in and it's groups of six or seven and even with them the early morning it is fine as the rest of the customers straggle in over the morning.  I have no idea what on earth was going on but today was very different.  I was steady busy for the hour that I was on my own before the KM came in and then shortly before 8am, it hit the fan and we got killed. I was working on one side of the kitchen and the KM was doing the other.  We did cross over and help each other when we could but unfortunately ticket times ran long and well stuff happens. 

    The FOH stupidvisor annoyed the stuffing out of the KM and I.. and the height of our rush she had the audacity to pull tickets from our side and check the times and tell us how late they were running.  Hmm.. we have the tickets right in front of us and we see how long they were running and by throwing her power around all she did was make us mad and not help the process at all.  Her actions ended up in a meeting with the KM and I and the owner as well as her and we told her to her face to let us run the kitchen and to keep her nose on her side of the  pass.  We run the kitchen very differently than the FOH and we see many areas in which she could make changes for the better but we keep our noses on our side of the pass and make sure the kitchen runs smoothly.

    Thanks for letting me vent!
     
  2. ljokjel

    ljokjel

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    Had one of these days myself today. Im about to freak out. We're already understaffed, and he's running around with the idea of having the same level of service as TFL. Trying to get him to get his shit together before we get a full hotell (tomorrow) and get his staff organized. The restaurant has the operation and diciplin of a kindergarden.

    Camels....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 24, 2010
  3. foodpump

    foodpump

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    If you let FOH, or even have them think that that they have complete control over the kitchen, then you have trouble on your hands.  I would have told her to get her hands off the tickets or get slapped on the wrist with a spatula.

    Sometimes you need to take them down a peg or two.

    This is my favorite way.............

    You're a b'fast place, right?  Get a raw egg, blow it out hollow, thread a piece of string through it, tie a open paper clip on the other end, and hook the contraption on the back of the waitron's apron.

    I have seen nothing--nothing,  funnier than a waitress with an attitude boldly marching through a dining room with an egg dangling between her legs. 
     
    soap and momandchef like this.
  4. iplaywithfire

    iplaywithfire

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    Way back when...

    A waiter kept trying to nose onto my station.  My Sous went to the office and came back with a roll of duct tape.  He asked the waiter to step back four feet, then he proceeded to tape a line on the floor in front of, and to the one exposed side of my station.  Then he calmly explained that no one other than himself and myself were to walk beyond that line. 

    I miss that guy. 
     
  5. leeniek

    leeniek

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     Foodpump that egg story is great!  I would love to do that to the stupidvisor but it wouldn't have the same effect because she is always in the pass and rarely in the diningroom.

    If the KM and I had a dollar for every time we have heard FOH staff complain to us that the stupidvisor is not doing her job and making sure servers do their duties, we could both retire.  It happens sometimes in the kitchen too but most of the time all it takes is a reminder and the stuff gets done. (we all forget something now and then)  If not, then they enjoy a shift cut until they figure out how to do what is expected of them.
     
  6. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    I would tell her in a nice soft loving voice that if she takes the tickets off the wheel again I will throw her ass out the front door. The front of the house has no concept of what goes on on the front line. I would also talk with the KM and have her work a few shifts on the line so she will be more understanding in the future.

      I hope all is well with you and the family, my best to you for the Holidays have a merry Christmas. I will think of you while I'm sipping a Mai Tai on Waikiki beach...........Bill
     
  7. fryguy

    fryguy

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    that is one of the oldest problems in the kitchen. It seems where ever your go there is that divide with the front and bake of the house. Not sure what can be done about it, but the best thing to do is ALWAYS remain calm and let them do the freaking out.....just keep your side of the street clean....Merry Christmas to you and all my fellow chefs

    FRYGUY
     
  8. stl243

    stl243

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    we have a tape line on the floor...and a nicely written sign that says "FOH: by passing this line you waive all right to complain about having food, pots, knives hurled in your direction"

    while we keep it light and jovial...they get the idea.
     
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  9. leeniek

    leeniek

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     Both the KM and I have suggested to the owner that she spend a shift or two in the kitchen so that she gets a better understanding of why we do the things we do, and well.. we have yet to see that happen.  I even suggested with that she and I switch places for an hour on a Saturday so she could see what really happens on our side of the wall, and yep.. we have yet to see that one happen too.  As far as she is concerned her staff are perfect and never are in the wrong, and somehow always tries to pin it on the kitchen when there is an issue.  Both the KM and I will take it if it is truly the kitchen at fault, but if the kitchen is not at fault neither of us are afraid of telling her (or anyone else) just what the issue at hand really is. 

    It's funny how there is always this divide between the front and back... you'd think that we'd be able to work together to make things go smoothly but somehow it just doesn't seem to happen.

    Merry Christmas to everyone here... and Bill, enjoy your time on the beach with your MaiTai!  Have one for alll of us here too!
     
  10. chefross

    chefross

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    The FOH has no business interfering with what goes on behind the line.  I'm not surprised at all that your owner will not take your dare and come behind the line, as that will show to her beloved FOH that she doubts their abilities and may side with you.

    The bottom line is that the customer is satisfied, all the rest is moot.

    Most wait staff are not in any way professional servers. If they were you'd nary hear a peep from them as they would understand the inner workings of the BOH.

    Why DON'T you start nitpicking their side and see how they like it?  

    NOT!

    You are better than that.

    I feel your pain.
     
  11. gobblygook

    gobblygook

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    Both sides of the "line" have the whole "us vs them" mentality.  The kitchen staff get their say here, but the FoH is just trying to get their jobs done, which is serving the customers.  When the kitchen interferes with the servers' ability to serve food, then the server gets the ear full from the customer.  They're just passing that along.  In the FoH mindset, it doesn't matter WHY the food isn't coming out fast enough, all that matters is that it isn't coming out fast enough.  Likewise, when food is stacking up in the window, the BoH doesn't care WHY the food isn't making it out of the kitchen, only that it isn't making it out of the kitchen.  The dividing line between FoH and BoH is the point of demarcation for "not my problem".

    Server:  Food is coming out too slowly.

    Cook:  We're short-handed

    Server: Not my problem!

    Cook:  Food is stacking up in the window

    Server: We're short-handed.

    Cook:  Not my problem!

    It really is a two-way street.
     
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  12. allium

    allium

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    Compounding difficulties: one of the first things I learned when getting into a kitchen is that no one will listen to a thing you say unless you speak loudly and, often, forcefully.

    "Excuse me, could you please try to get that food out a little faster, maybe, if that's alright with you?"--not going to work.
     
  13. chef bert

    chef bert Banned

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    Yeah, I've had days like that.
     
  14. gobblygook

    gobblygook

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    But it seems that the BoH has no difficulty in telling the FoH what to do, but when it's reversed, the BoH gets the "who do YOU think you are" attitude.  You can't bark at them and not expect the same in return. 

    Mind you, I'm not coming down on one side or the other, just pointing out that it's a two-way street.  I'm going to get banned to "waitstafftalk.com" if I ain't careful :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  15. greg

    greg

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    Don't you mean "seemed" and not "seems"? If I recall correctly, what experience you do have was some time ago. I don't bring this up to nitpick, but because the dynamics in restaurants have changed somewhat in the past 15 years.
     
  16. tufftruck

    tufftruck

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    I work in a 4 unit corporate place that has it's pros and cons, but the best thing is that every member of management can hold their own behind the line, at the pass, and in the dining room.  From the GM to the KM to the Bar manager. That doesn't stop the cooks or servers from our usual quips and jabs to each other, but it helps having people who know whats going on on both sides of the window, on both sides of the window (not sure if that makes sense, but thankfully the Holiday's are almost over!)
     
  17. stl243

    stl243

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    it is a two-way street.

    i have done both, and the FOH manager has been a line cook.

    we just focus on keeping things light, and fun, with an emphasis on the fact that we all work for the same purpose. only rarely will we have an issue between the two.

    mostly its "if you need another side of something, ask for it.  dont walk back there and get it yourself" 
     
  18. leeniek

    leeniek

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     I have done FOH myself and found that I completely hated it, so I do understand where the staff is coming from at times.  For me I what I hated was the way customers treated the foh staff than anything else.  At one point when I worked at the cafe, I had a customer say to me after a conversation about education "you have your BA, why are you working here?" and I replied "just because I have a degree does not make me any better than anyone else, plus this is stress free, and gives me time to be with my children, who will only be at home for so long, and then I can pursue another career.  I also like what I am doing, who I work with and who I work for."  They didn't like that so much but did give me a good tip and were always very pleasant to me after that.
     
  19. leeniek

    leeniek

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     I agree, it is a two way street and where my gripe really lies is with our FOH stupidvisor.  She is "associate manager" and unfortunately very ill prepared to do the job.  She is very good at writing notes, doing paperwork and talking to the owner about how everyone else is effing up, but that is where it stops with her.  She has no authority over her staff and while she is supposed to be in charge, she clearly is not and it shows in how they work.  I'm wondering if it is an age thing.. she is  20 years younger than me and when I was in my early twenties I was pretty meek when it came to standing up to people, and I know I would have been eaten alive had I gone into this business right after highschool. 
     
  20. tufftruck

    tufftruck

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    I agree that the majority of the public treats servers as a lower class and it's a shame they have to rely on them for their living. My wife is a server/bartender and I am amazed at some of the things people say and do.  I think we as cooks forget about how they get it from both sides of the kitchen door...

    In regards to how well our FOH and BOH managers understand both sides of the line:  I found out today that one of our AKM's got fired, about the same time I was writing my original reply, for blowing up at a server (the last in a string of problems apparently). So it goes, so it goes.

    Good luck with the young Ms. Stupidvisor!