Unprofessional head chef

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by russellsi, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. russellsi

    russellsi

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    I am currently a sous chef that believes in creating a professional and respectful work environment. Lately my head chef has neglected to enforce most rules, drinks moonshine through his shifts, puts pretty much all work on me except schedule making and promotes sexually harassing conversations. He leads by a horrible example and when he decides to throw a tantrum uses the excuse " it's just what chefs do" or "that's how a kitchen works". Personally I see that as a personality flaw, seeing how the ENTIRE kitchen AND the owners would rather see me in his position. Are these issues I should bring up to the owners and risk causing him to lose his job or just brush them under the rug until I move on to the next place?
     
  2. wlong

    wlong

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    Then why are you not there if everyone including to owner want you in that position?  Why would you have to bring this up to the owner if he want you there anyway?  What am I missing?
     
  3. russellsi

    russellsi

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    We are a new restaurant, the only thing I can really figure is they made an "investment" and had future plans for him. He has fallen short of their expectations. I also think maybe they are trying to give him a chance and work out all the issues they are having with him. Three of the 5 owners have expressed their opinion to get him out, but there always seems to be excuses for why or they will just talk to him about things. I plan on opening my own restaurant so I am probably not a likely candidate to replace him.
     
  4. spoiledbroth

    spoiledbroth

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    The moonshine presents some pretty serious liability issues for the company you work for, I believe anyway. I'm not a lawyer but I'd say your issues are serious enough to warrant immediate action; whether it's talking to the proprietors (who you seem to be in well with) or getting a new job will ultimately be up to you to decide.
     
  5. lagom

    lagom

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    "3 of the 5 owners."

    That line right there speaks volumes of problems comming your or anyone elses way. Get out while you can.
     
  6. spoiledbroth

    spoiledbroth

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    Respectfully disagree, most restaurants in my experience have at least 1 "silent" partner (again, in my experience the concept of a silent partner is a fallacy, but I digress), even if it's the bank. I don't think inherently 3-5 owners is any more or less stable a corporate structure than a single owner. What if the singular owner/operator gets hit by a bus?
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
  7. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Every place that I worked with multipul partners was a nightmare. I once opened a place with a partner, never again.
     
  8. spoiledbroth

    spoiledbroth

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    Yeah but then can we not all hold up more than one owner operator who has been turned into an absolute unbearable mess by the weight of running an operation by themselves? Or have I just got great luck ;)
     
  9. russellsi

    russellsi

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    It's a family business, that's why there are that many owners. They are actually very good people to work for and treat their employees as best as they can. That is beside the point though. I really just want opinions about taking my issues to them and potentially getting someone (unintentionally) fired or let things go their own way.
     
  10. spoiledbroth

    spoiledbroth

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    http://www.cheftalk.com/t/82308/rant-about-standards I think this probably applies pretty well, check out the thread here
    And I am suggesting that you could potentially be fired. Not everyone is going to see what you're doing as a stunning testament to your loyalty, as they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Moreover it becomes a your word versus his word type situation. Unless he only just beat you to the punch on applying for the position of Chef, that could present problems for you. If everyone wanted you in his position as you say, why wouldn't it just be so? Most jurisdictions have legislation allowing employers to let people go with very little notice...
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
  11. wlong

    wlong

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    Is this the same restaurant? 

    russellsi says "I became a chef de cuisine in June last year. I work In a small kitchen that is starting to get a good amount of recognition. We are wanting to take things to another level, but my main problem is getting respect from all of the kitchen staff. I am looking for input in different management styles that may help me keep a positive control over the kitchen without having to become a complete jerk."

    As others have said above, the chef is your boss and I would assume he does the hiring and firing so you need to have your ducks all in roll if you go over his head cause it would be a safe bet if he stays, you go.  In fact, so safe, I think any bank would cover those odds with out any collateral. 
     
  12. russellsi

    russellsi

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    Different place. I am well respected where I am now, especially compared to the last place.
     
  13. spoiledbroth

    spoiledbroth

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    Ultimately the choice is yours but in my experience if you aren't able to sway them to do what you have proposed you're going to have problems there in the future (worst case being punitive dismissal).
     
  14. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    I'll offer that you don't really need to bring anything to the owners attention other than making sure they know you will take the job if it is offered to you. If they are aware of the chefs' problems, your participation is not required when it comes to deciding whether to keep him or not.  They already know that. If they want him gone, he's gone. Let them handle that. When and if they approach you about filling the spot, simply accept the position offered. The chef will have no reason to blame you. 
     
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  15. chefross

    chefross

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    Best advice so far....

    Been there and done that.

    I have always been a firm believer that EVERYONE get what's coming to them in the end.

    Always!!!
     
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  16. cheftorres87

    cheftorres87

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    I have worked for several unprofessional chefs, it sucks, one got fired...we threw a party.

    I was in a similar position, dealing with chefs/management who at least in my opinion had very low standards and to me, were not entirely professional.
    I brought up problems to them, they didn't want to deal or listen to the problems when they are serious problems.

    I staged, and got a new job and put in my two weeks notice yesterday.

    If management isn't willing to find a solution, eg talk to the chef about his problems, or replace him, you have to consider the fact that they have probably become buddy buddy, and that chef isn't going anywhere because he's "part of the family"
     
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  17. madewithnotepad

    madewithnotepad

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    I like to be professional. If I have the power to do so, I'll clean house of the people who don't want to act in a professional manner. They're just a cancer on the whole operation.