talking to the new generation

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by akat, Jun 9, 2015.

  1. akat

    akat

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    ... I`m finding it really hard to give instruction to allot of my younger cooks and floor staff. They just don't like being told what to do.

    I don't have a temper , much, but f*** me are they precious ! Any tips from the younger team out there on how to actually get through that massive head ? how have times changed !
     
  2. canele

    canele

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    yes... fire them.

    I know all to well what you are talking about.
     
  3. panini

    panini

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    @akat

    I'm not the younger team. In fact I am of the older generation. I have encountered some of what you are talking about. You have to learn how to communicate with millennials. This generation comes to work with a little chip on their shoulders. After all, they were raised in a pretty crappy economy, actually a recession. They have been schooled in a very technical atmosphere.

    Just my experience,

    I think that technology itself has not given them the human communication skills to engage with adults and workplace supervision.

    They are a very intelligent bunch though. They have come up admiring the young financial achievers, and with their success they try to help the world..

    I have made some changes in my style of management. I have found that they really need a sense of purpose to keep them involved. They need to be kept in the loop. Once outside, you may never get them back. I have learned to communicate with technology. I hardly ever pick up a land line phone at all. Everything I communicate is through a wire or air and followed up with verbal conformation. Unlike the older ways, you need to challenge them and give them insight to the company goals and how success of your business might, even in a small way, help change the world. It seems to me that money is not the force that drives them. They need respect and they need to be needed.

    That's probably deep, but I have given a situation like yours much thought. It seem to be working./img/vbsmilies/smilies/peace.gif  
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
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  4. canele

    canele

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    Actually, i feel they have had it all to easy in life. They all seem to think they know everything, don't want to take instruction, follow what they are being told.... and not having to really work HARD.

    I love the "im cold" ... well, if you are cold you are NOT working hard enough in my kitchen.

    I am not their babysitter. I am not there to hold their millennials hands. They are not in my kitchen to change my kitchen to suit themselves. There are winners and losers and not everyone gets a trophy for participating. I have expectations and its up to them to meet them. ...not for me to lower my standards.

    yes i know that is hard line.... but there are plenty of people who want that job and will do the job the way i require it.... not the way they want to do it. When they have their own business...then they can call all the shots.
     
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  5. fablesable

    fablesable

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    I completely understand both @panini  and @Canele  perspectives. I have for years leading up to owning my own shop, believed very much as @Canele  does. However, in the last few years I have come to realize as @panini  has, that giving the millennials the sense of being needed and purpose is very important to them. I communicate differently now with a more precise detail of what I am needing and looking for and let them figure the best course of action to get there. They are incredibly intelligent compared to our generations time due to mass overload of technology and information these kids have had to download everyday all of their lives. We do not give them enough credit. 

    That being said, I run a tight ship yet give everyone a "3 times your out" shot. I have and give very clear instructions towards the businesses' needs and allow an open door policy for questions, concerns and discussions. I have had more than a few "princesses and princes" come in for a job and not last a week due to their lack of personal willpower and ethics. This is all taken on an individual basis more than a "lump them all in" millennials problem. I have also had the challenge of hiring people around my generation and found them very stubborn, hard-headed and stuck in their ways not wanting to learn nor do it my way. I guess it really is how you approach it. 

    @akat  Have you ever asked the millennials that you are talking about, how they see doing things or how it can be better?? Have you given instruction and explained why you ask this?? They might come up with some ingenious ways to be more efficient if allowed to think outside the box for a moment. It could also be just one or two individuals with poor or no work ethics as they never had to learn what that is up until now. 

    I really hope it starts to work out for you /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif  
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
  6. panini

    panini

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    I will have to reread my post, but I certainly did not mean to give the impression that I was lowering my standards. In fact I was trying

    say the exact opposite.

    It's all about respect. Generations change influenced by their surroundings.

    Yea, I think that is a hard line.but that's just me./img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

    I'm sure my elders felt the same way about my generation. Our surroundings were different, many of us were pretty screwed up coming home from war. I'm just really grateful for the people that took the time to try an understand us and gave us a chance. Trained us, learned to communicate with us, had patience for us, and most of all, respected us. The times do change.
     
  7. mrglacier

    mrglacier

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    OMG the "I'm cold..." crap is a death sentence in my kitchen. The air conditioning is in and out and I've gone off on a few people claiming it is too cold. "Move your ass." To the OP, put your bollox on and tell them to shape up or ship out. Time is money, and if they don't have the passion or commitment to understand how a kitchen is supposed to work, they need to go work in a different environment. As the chef you control the temp, the pace, the energy of the kitchen. If you are unwilling to put your foot down, maybe you should rethink the chair. Perhaps it is harsh, but being a millenial myself, I get tired of my generation whining about having to work hard. That's why the majority of Millenials still live at home with degrees for a job they're never going to get.
     
  8. panini

    panini

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    @mrGlacier

    Wow! Now I'm really bummed. I just hope you all are an exception to the rule. Millennials are our future. I may be alone but I enjoy the changes I have made communicating with staff.

     I actually have family who are millennials, they work hard and have really nice jobs. I've witnessed millennials working in technology and other fields. I have been fascinated with the production and communication coming from a new style work environment. I'm laughing to myself thinking about what you would think about a nap pod. Or a bar in a office. Or casual dress.

      Some of the previous posts remind me when I was coming up in the kitchens. The old European & American Chef bastards, God I despised them! Running around with that old sharp-stick-in-the-eye routine of communicating and discipline. Especially that old notion that these worthless young cooks have to pay their dues! I think that's one of the reasons some this industry is still in the dark ages.

    Oh well, I just have to add, for me,  I think the current crew where I work, could out produce any of the past. Their mostly millennials and the atmosphere is quite calm.

    Now you a holes, GET BACK TO WORK!!/img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif  

    Oh I have to add. When I worked ships, it used to be cold. All I could think about was how cold I was. I'm sure my production sucked.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
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  9. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    My only real issue with the younger generation is that most of them think it's their constitutional right to be on their cell phones all day.  It drives me nuts! 
     
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  10. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Text them that unless they put their phones away while at work, they will be unemployed. :~)
     
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  11. panini

    panini

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    Cell phone usage is a real issue. I think the issue is important enough to address in the employee manual or guidelines.

    Rules about cellphones won't usually work if the are punitive in nature.

    We are a small operation and our guidelines might not be applicable in larger operations. We have a designated an area that is secure and clean.

    This could be the chefs office or other area.

    Everyones cellphone is deposited there when in the kitchen or customer area. 

    We all agreed that emergency calls should come in or go out on the company landline. 

    We agreed that most breaks would be at the same time daily. So friends and family know when to call in and when to expect calls.

    When you leave the area you just grab your phone.

    If an employee is going to do anything outside for the company like delivering or picking something up, the Company supplies the phone with unlimited local.

    This works pretty good for us.
     
  12. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Meh, Millenial/perennial....  I treat all potential (deleted) the same way, regardless if I'm the only white guy in the kitchen like in S'pore, or some pierced, tatted, body-modified know it all with fingernails that demonstrate that they've never worked in a kitchen, or worked at all for that matter.

    I don't lecture, don't complain, don't whine or harp, but instead I ask questions.  After all this time I finally figured out that asking a question is a lot more powerful than explaining a process that they've already blocked out of their heads.

    Take for instance last month, my two week C.C. work experience girl.  I have a good relationship with the local C.C., they send potential students 'round, and I interview them before taking on the task of two weeks of one-on-one babysitting.  The student I picked aced her interview and both of us were happy to get started.  Then I get a phone call from the school explaining that the student broke her collar bone skateboarding, BUT the school would send another student in her place.  Didn't give me a chance to refuse neither, and I knew I didn't interview this student, and knew I was her third or 4th choice.  Just (deleted) great....

    So she shows up on the first day, 5 minutes late.  Tells me she's parked on the street infront of the store, and that's it's O.K., right?Paste   I go into (Deleted)-hole mode and groan inwardly.

    "Geez I dunno, the City guys were here about a week ago and I know they changed the parking signs, why'n'chya stick your head out and see what the time limit is?"  Absolute horse-pucky, but if I tell her it's one hr max, she'll either complain or hold me responsible if she gets towed.  D.a.m.h.I.k.t....

    She pouts and is about to argue, but I've already dissapeared back into the kitchen.  She comes back 10 minutes later announcing she's parked in the parking lot down the street.

    First task with her is to line out  36, 4" tarts with sweet dough.  I take out a hunk of dough and ask her to set up the dough sheeter.  I know the C.C. has the exact same sheeter, and know students have to do a minimum of 4 types of doughs with this.  She pouts and pulls out a rolling pin.  I ignore her and tell her to roll out to 3 mm.

    "At school we always rolled out to 2 mm"  Statement, challenge.

    "|Well, do you know what it is we're actually making? Can you guarantee me that 2 mm won't burn before the filling is done, or that the tarts won't be too fragile to handle for the customer we're making them for?"  I'm not asking snottily, or as a rhetorical question, I'm just asking as a question that pertains to the work we're doing at the moment.

    No answer, but she sets up the sheeter, and pretty clumisily too.

    After that we make choc. mousse.  I tell her to jot down the recipie while I recite it orally.  She fumbles for a pen....  I ask her how she would proceed with the recipie, she doesn't know.  So I ask her, again asking her what she thinks should be done first, the second, and so on.  She had the theory O.K., but gawd what a mess she made.

    Of course she left a lot chocolate in the mixing bowl and dumped it in the dish pit with her other utensils.  I grabbed the bowl with the rubber spatulaa glued to it, dumped out the water, and brought it to the scale.  She already had about a dozen arguments prepared, but instead I asked her to get and identical bowl and spatula an put them on the scale.  Then I asked her to tare off the weight of the bowl and spatula, and I put the dirty bowl on the scale.

    "So how much chocolate is left in the bowl"  Question, neutral tones, totally relevant to what we're doing.

    "Umm, 120 grams"

    "I'm paying 11 bucks a kilo for couverture, so 120 grams would how much?"  Of course I didn't include the chocolate smeared on the bench or on the edges of the mixing bowl where she folded in the whipped cream. 

    "Uhh...dollar twenty two?"

    "Dollar thirty two.  O.K. have you got the glasses ready to pipe in?"

    And so on, and so on, and so on. I'd like to report that after the third day she actually gave a (deleted) but she didn't.  I just gave her meial tasks that I didn't need to supervise, and both of us were praying for the two weeks to end.

    Just ask questions, that's all..... 
     
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  13. dueh

    dueh

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    The shop I work in is pretty young, I feel. The owner, and Pastry Chef, is 35, her assistant, also a Pastry Chef is 26. Then there is me, 28 and busting my butt to get to pastry chef level. That's it. 3 person shop, open 6 days a week, doing a retail counter with cookies, cupcakes, macarons, cake-pops, etc. Plus all of the custom orders, wedding cakes, tiered cakes, sculpted cakes. Knowing all this stuff has to get done, we get after it. 

    I am starting to think all of these food shows are skewing the view of those looking to enter the industry. We don't just bake a dozen cupcakes, plop a rosette of buttercream on top and sit around drinking coffee waiting for Ted Allen to chop our competition.
     
  14. turtile

    turtile

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    I don't think it has anything to do with the age of your employees.  In my experience, there's an equal amount of older workers who can't give up their phone or follow directions.  The industry has low pay and those who go to school think it's going to be a ton of fun and they're going to make a lot of money (none of which happens).  It's really hard work and the pay isn't great...  Younger workers just don't have as much experience as older workers and they'll probably need to find work in a different industry.
     
  15. onlyflowers

    onlyflowers

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    Work ethic and having standards has nothing to do with age. You're either hiring terrible cooks or somewhat decent, but lazy cooks who you haven't trained properly. Don't slander an entire generation of people based off a hilariously small sample size.
     
  16. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Hi Only Flowers:

    To which post is your response directed at?
     
  17. canele

    canele

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    hey there onlyflowers

    I am pretty sure we can all see and recognize good work ethic and standards..... :)  Its the ones without it that can be an issue. 

    The problem comes when you do try and train. Its not about us not training them properly.... they resist being...trained.
     
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  18. panini

    panini

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    We are currently looking to hire Cake Decorator/bakery Production/ very little Customer Service.

    Had 3 interviews today.

    1. young, just finishing Culinary program. Little experience. Pretty eager, good interviewer.

    1. young, 4 yrs. Decorating assistant, small shop, little customer service.  No current movement in employment, feels stagnating a little. Pretty shy or introverted. Would need to give notice.

    1. 14 yrs. experience, worked good places. Nice portfolio.Says, needs no direction. Can do it all. Good personality.Small scheduling conflict with new young Exec.Pastry Chef. available immediately.

    Which resume went into the circular file?
     
  19. canele

    canele

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    lol

    #3
     
  20. turtile

    turtile

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    Yeah, #3 sound like someone that has been fired constantly...