What do you expect on a first day? Employee's/Chefs

Joined May 13, 2017
I start a new job tomorrow for a family owned restaurant. Every restaurant i have worked for it's always different.

sometimes it's great first day/week not too busy but not too slow, extremely busy at times, people train me and don't expect much, sometimes nobody even trains me at all they just say here's a recipe make this!. During service usually they show me and let me do a few of the dishes on my own but a few times i've had people just put me at a station with a helper and they just end up vanishing and i don't know exactly what im doing.

So what im basically wondering as owners/chefs what do you expect from a new hire on the first day/week?

if your an employee what do you expect on your first day/week.

for me the first week is pretty much traumatizing lol. it either goes really well or really bad. to me it feels as if some people expect way too much from new hires. Have you ever worked somewhere like that? did you stay?
Joined Mar 1, 2017
For me, the first two weeks was typically training. The new cook was paired off with more experienced cooks and shown the ropes. I had the new cook rotate stations frequently until they were fully familiar with each station and how the kitchen operated. It wasn't a complicated process so, it rarely took more than a few shifts for the new cook to be up and running on their own.

I say "two weeks" because I never had anyone take that long to get the hang of things. They were usually up and running on their own within a week or so.

Here's the trick. This is not brain science. Its cooking and working in a kitchen. Fundamentally, all kitchens perform the same tasks. Its simply a matter of learning how they go about them. Like you said, every one is different. But, there are common rules that are shared by many kitchens. If its slow and there is nothing to do, clean something. If there is nothing to clean (highly doubtful), clean something anyway or learn the recipes. Look at the next day's prep list and see if you can get a head start on it. Some kitchens do that and some don't. If yours doesn't, clean something. Even if there is nothing to clean, clean something. :)

Do not be idle or make the mistake of appearing to be idle. Chefs and sous chefs that are worth their weight get very excited when they see their staff take the initiative and clean when the kitchen is slow.

Just keep you ears and eyes open and your mouth shut and you will get the hang of things in no time. There is no such thing as a stupid question and if you are chastised for asking a question, the problem is not yours.

Lastly, remember that if you're going to draw attention to yourself, make sure you do it in a positive way.

Good luck! :)
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Joined May 13, 2017
thanks yea im usually up in 2 weeks myself at least on 1-2 stations depending how many there are. i ended up doing pretty good for myself but i felt as if i was slower then i could of been for my first day. felt like i got slammed too seems like majority of the orders are all for my station but thats a good thing i will learn faster when i get slammed repeatedly. that was probably the most productive 1st day for me tbh. where i got slammed but didn't really struggle
Joined Oct 10, 2005
As an employer, what I want is:

Show up on time or earlier

Listen first, then repeat what you’ve understood, then ask questions.

Ask as many questions as you can during your breaks, but when working ask a minimum only related to your task(s) at hand.

For the first two weeks I’m not overly concerned with speed, what I’m interested in is accuracy. Speed will only come when accuracy is mastered.

I’m also interested in how well you get along with others—regardless if they’re f.o.h., cooks, or dishwashers. Not saying to be best friends, but able to work well with them.

How clean you work is also very important. Let’s say you’re doing something with a food processor. I’ll frown and get agitated if I see someone take the lid off and place it dirty side down on the (clean) counter, then hunt for a rubber spatula, then ask what kind of container the product should go in, leaving 1/3 stuck to the blade and bowl and toss it in the dish pit.
Pretty much in that order....

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