We just lost almost half our kitchen staff...

Joined Apr 21, 2006
We just had almost half of our kitchen staff quit or move on. All in the last week or so. One guy is moving to Atlanta for a better job, which is totally understandable, and he gave his 2 weeks, and this is his last. Another guy, a culinary school intern, just left one night, didn't say a word to anyone, just peaced out, and hasn't been back since. The other guy just put in his 2 weeks today (granted, he wasn't that good anyways) This leaves just 4 of us, only 3 full time, plus the chef. Has this been happening to anybody else??


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
That's the way it always seems to go. I will have a good staff for months on end, then one will give their notice. Suddenly, it seems that half the staff is giving notice or quitting. Just seems to be Murphy's Law.
Joined Feb 22, 2006
This happened to me last fall.....right before the holiday season. I lost my lead cook, pantry cook and saute cook all in my 4 diamond outlet, all within 2 weeks of each other. The cooks I had in my casual were no where near being able to make the move so I was really in the ****. Gotta love when the extern's come in. :crazy:
Joined Jun 11, 2008
Happens all the time. It's the transitory nature of the business. That's why a good chef is a good teacher.
Joined Jan 8, 2006
Being short staffed is not even exciting until you pull a slamming Friday night with better than half the staff as no shows. :)
Joined Oct 29, 2007
We are just now pulling out of this situation. We went from 14 to 8 in one week. We lost 3 line cooks all Garde Manger and all 3 Prep cooks going into May.

I promoted 3 Dishwashers and Hired 3 new Dishwashers and put an ad in for line cooks. I got 36 response's and no takers (25 were exec or sous chefs)
the other eleven said it was to far to drive. I was working the Station for 16 hours a day and trying to do my job. I finally hired 5 apprentice chef in the last two weeks. So far three have lasted. We will see if they last the summer.
Joined Apr 21, 2006
it just sucks, especially because now our sous chef is kind of on a power trip, i guess he feels like he has to make it known that he thinks he's in charge, or whatever. like this morning, it was me, him, and his girlfriend/salad girl. he was always making sure i was doing things correctly (been there almost 3 years now) when he screws up 4 times as much as i do. but i'm not allowed to say anything, of course. sorry for the rant, it's just getting a little frustrating, especially since chef is gone all week on his family vacation. :mad::mad::eek:
Joined Oct 3, 2006
On the PM staff, we had 5, and now were down to 3.

One guy just walked out on us during service. Announced he was quitting and walked off the line. Granted he wasnt our best cook, but he wasnt our worst either.

I am now in front of house for a planned 6 month internship. The day I go, my lunch cook tells me that someone that worked the night before stored raw pork, chicken, and lamb together in the same container. I shook my head as I knew this was going to be a rocky 6 months.
Joined Nov 22, 2007

About twice a year I'll walk into the kitchen, look around at the cooks,
and realize that I don't know anyone's name. :lol:
Joined May 17, 2008

Now, I've done a lot of dumb things (metal in a microwave, etc.) but that's just bonkers.

We're gonna be losing two cooks by the end of the month, at least, so while that's not quite half the staff it still stings a bit.
Joined Oct 3, 2006
Its sad now, both people covering my station now are both fingerpointing at each other.

This now has evolved to a "Screw it, I'm not working tomorrow, I'm not stocking anything" war, which gives me headaches when I have to explain long wait times or 86's to guests.
Joined Jul 20, 2008
Yeah the restaurant I am at is experiencing the same problem. Last Saturday the other sushi chef I worked with wrote down all our recipes and crap then moved to his friend's new restaurant. I don't really care since it's one thing to make those things at our restaurant, but without our head chef's guidance this guy will not be able to duplicate the stuff. Last Sunday we lost our head line cook. He had family issues and had to move.

It's been crazy the past week. To lose one of them would have been fine since the head chef and I can multitask and work in either spot (kitchen or sushi bar), but to lose one from each has just been harsh. But this is how restaurants function--employees come and go. I was born into this business and this is the one pattern that never changes. Loyalty is a joke. The chef is my father so it's not like I'm going anywhere soon. The pressure forces me to become better and faster one day at a time, so I relish it.
Joined Jun 16, 2007
When one person leaves, it makes others wonder if they are going to be let go.

I was laid off when there were 5 of us doing my job, and soon 2 more quit. My company needed help and hired me back.
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