What Should My Kitchen Manager Be Doing....

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by cook1st, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. cook1st

    cook1st

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    I have an idea of what role I would like my Kitchen Manager to have. However, his role may change depending if i am there vs not, or if hes opening vs closing or if he's filling in for another cook...I may be over thinking it because his role and responsibilities should remain the same with a little variance depending on certain circumstances. 

    Kitchen Manager Responsibilities

    General

    1. As Kitchen Manager, you will primarily deal with the employees, administrative duties (scheduling, inventory, party planning, etc.), ensuring the line runs smoothly before/during/after service.
    2. Be a leader and a good example of what you want others to do. Clean, prep, cook and always be doing something. If you stand around looking at your phone, others will feel that it is ok to do so because their leader is also doing it.
    3. Leadership Skills: Kitchen Managers are in charge often manage the entire kitchen, from the dishwasher to the cooks. Being a good leader, who can assign tasks, hire the right people, motivate workers in a high stress environment will help you immensely.
    4. You are no longer responsible for just ONE station, but the entire line from dish pit to sauté to food runner. Think of the bigger picture.
    5. Time Management Skills: Kitchens get busy quickly, food can get ruined easily if you cannot manage your time. Great time management will help you avoid burned or spoiled food and angry customers.
    6. Quality Control: The Kitchen Manager is responsible for ensuring that food that leaves the kitchen is of the highest quality and will make diners happy.  The Kitchen Manager will often be asked to ensure that portions are correct and the food is plated in an attractive manner.
    7.  

    Morning Prep


    1.Make sure the reach-in, walk-in, freezers are organized and cleaned.

    2.Do a run through on mise for all the stations—check for freshness, quantity, and taste.

    3.Write a list of prep items that weren’t finished.

    4.Think of a few things BOH can do during downtime.

    Opening (Prior to service)

    1. Comparing what AM Prep didn’t finish, write this list for PM crew to finish.
    2. Make sure the Pre Shift Sheet is done so FOH knows counts, specials, and what to push.
    3. Do a roll call on each station’s Mise (there should be no need to go upstairs for items prior to the first rush)
    4. Ingredients at correct temps. Hot Food above 135F and Cold Food below 41F
    5. Write a list of tasks BOH can perform during slow periods.

    During Service

    1. Jump onto any station if needed.
    2. Fill out the Food Wastage Sheet every time something is thrown away, sent back, or if no ticket is presented when food is made.
    3. You will be responsible for arranging tickets and ordering food preparation so that customers receive food in the order it should be sent out.  For example, the Kitchen Manager will tell the line cooks when to cook different menu items for a table of customers so that they will all be hot and ready to be served at the same time.
    4. Ensure all food sent out is the correct portion, tastes good, looks clean, etc.
    5. Make sure Line Cooks are cleaning water banes, using clean utensils, plates, pans. Cleanliness is very important in the kitchen.
    6. Make necessary cuts when service hours get slow.
    7. Ingredients at correct temps. Hot Food above 135F and Cold Food below 41F
    8. Delegate tasks properly during downtime.
    9. On some occasions, you will be responsible for prepping while I manage the line.

    Post Service

    1. Make sure the prep sheets are prepared, the most important part of this how complete the prep list for the AM is. Please make sure you are not missing anything.
    1. Check all stations, from expo to sauté. Everything has to be labeled, placed in containers and/or wrapped. Make sure the reach-in, walk-in, freezers are organized and cleaned.
    2. Check stations before clocking out. Make sure all stations are cleaned, all food is stored properly in the correct spot.
    3. Check in with Chef or GM to see how service went.

    Administrative & other BOH

    1. You will complete the schedule in accordance to people’s availability.
    2. Ordering food from our vendors, more important please keep in mind the quantity ordering versus how much of the item is used.
    3. Keep track of food orders for large parties and order accordingly.
    Is this the general gist of it? Seems like it's not that much....are there any obvious ideas that I am missing? Thanks ChefTalk Community!!!

    Hmm, do I want him handling more of food side or admin side? Prep or Line side? There's just too many options and variables...
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
  2. someday

    someday

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    You've described a sous chef. 

    I don't understand, if you are running the kitchen, why you are hiring a kitchen manager. Are you hiring your own boss???
     
  3. cook1st

    cook1st

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    Hmmm, when i placed the ad--it titled CDC/Kitchen Manager... I may not have used the right job title, but the person I hired seems qualified to do the job. I am not running the kitchen, I mean I try but it is not working as planned. Things to seem fall apart when I'm not there...Ill be upstairs doing some last minute prepping(during service), while my sous does expo and she's not the best at it and things will go out late, food will sit due to poor communication. Hmmm, crap....I should have her do the prep while I stay on the line. However, there are a few things that I can only prep...I've tried showing them and watching them while they prep and it goes well, but when they do it on their own --they seem to take short cuts(like not drying the chicken thoroughly/or trying to dredge 12 pieces at a time, taking a stock off sooner than it's supposed to) and it doesnt turn out the same. 

    Ideally, I would like a person who can do the same things I can, but also negates my weaknesses(leadership, managing cooks, follow through with rules, etc)
     
  4. someday

    someday

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    So you are hiring your boss?? You've described someone who is in charge of the prep, service and breakdown of the line. In other words, a sous chef. 

    Interesting position to be in....I would also say that the stuff you described (management, leadership, follow through) should be part of the job description. I also don't see ordering or inventory or anything like that on there. To me, a kitchen manager does more admin stuff than cooking stuff. I see them as someone who works at a corporate chain and is responsible for numbers, etc, not really the cooking (at least in a day-to-day grind sort of way). 

    I haven't read your other posts TOO carefully to have a full grasp on what is going on, so I won't lecture you. You might benefit from starting over and working for a "real" chef who can teach you and build you up. 
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
  5. cook1st

    cook1st

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    I updated the role & responsibilities above, I'm just having issues of what side I want him to take...how is normally broken down? Admin vs food related, line vs prep. Should I take my strengths and go with that or go with his strengths and let him have that. Hmmm, I got some thinking to do...
     
  6. Iceman

    Iceman

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    Sounds like you should call Mr. Rodgers.
     
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  7. cook1st

    cook1st

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    Like aaron rodgers? or the danny tanner/bob saga of your time? I don't get it...does someone usually call him at the end of the show and ask him a problem in which he will probably give you anecdotal advice?
     
  8. Iceman

    Iceman

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    If you hire a "Kitchen Manager" ... and give him that list of responsibilities ... he walks out the door. After he shoves that list up an uncomfortable place of yours.


    You hire people that know the job. You expect them to know what to do, unless you really goof up and hire an idiot, then you should worry about your own job. We're PROFESSIONALS. WE know the responsibilities of the jobs we have trained to do. Don't hire people and then treat them like incompetents. Do not get upset when people walk out leaving you in the weeds without a map.
     
  9. cook1st

    cook1st

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    Should I give him anything or should i wait until he asks me for things? I have to provide some sense of direction, right?
     
  10. someday

    someday

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    I don't see anything wrong with a formal job description similar to the one you posted here. It might be a little heavy handed but usually when I am hiring or am hired at a place there is something that tells my what my job description is. 

    If this KM does all that, what are YOU going to do?? Sounds like he/she is going to take your job. I still don't get it. 
     
  11. cook1st

    cook1st

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    Those responsibilities are everything I can think of when it comes to tasks for both of us. Now I have to figure out what to delegate to him and what to keep for myself. 
     
  12. chef torrie

    chef torrie

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    I am so, so, so confused. In a couple of your other threads you've posted, you seem to be talking about doing better lately, all these tasks you have been doing, and seem to have been delegating better lately.

    As somebody already stated, KMs are usually reserved for corporate chains, hotels, high end banquet facilities.

    99 percent of what you described is the job of a proper executive chef or executive sous. A couple people have mentioned in a couple of your other threads that maybe you should step back, hire an executive chef, and take the lead sous rule. And you seemed to be against that idea, yet it sounds like that is almost exactly what you have done. An establishment such as yours has absolutely no need for a KM, executive chef, sous chefs, etc. An executive chef and a true sous chef should be able to tackle all of those tasks with absolutely no issue at all.

    Ill say it again, I am so, so confused.
    How much is the KM getting paid? Geesh. Sounds like your owners have a lot of expendable money they don't mind throwing around. I don't see anyway possible a place like yours can POsSIBLY be in the black. Not with paying a GM, KM, ES, SS. Not to mention a bunch of line cooks and prep drones who obviously aren't worth their weight in grass clippings.

    I mean, do what you want, but you may want to re think the route your going. You need capable cooks. You need a capable sous. You need to cut dead weight man. You stated earlier that your sous has a hard trouble expediting tickets? This doesn't even sound like real life to me. In a pinch I will have my pantry cook expo. Or even call in somebody from the FOH. And they do just fine. A sous chef can not be struggling with this. And I didn't even mention the fact that she works three days a week. You need to find yourself a real sous, and put her on the line(if she can handle that without problems) 3 shifts a week. It seems like you are becoming less passive aggressive and growing more of a backbone, but you have to make the RIGHT moves with that new found confidence. You had no problem giving a cook the week off, why so hesitant to make other moves? More important moves, that will help things run better, and help the bottom line.

    If I were you if see if the Kitchen Manager person you hired would be okay with being the executive chef. You could then become executive sous. You move you current sous to a position more her "pace". And cut the dead weight on the line. If people aren't producing as needed, talk to them. If they don't change, bye bye.
    Just my $.02 man.

    I'm still so, so confused.

    Again brother, good luck in whichever direction you choose to go.

    Cheers, T.
     
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  13. cook1st

    cook1st

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    For this instance, I was looking for someone who is able to do what I do and more. The job title for this person whether it be KM or CDC is not relevant. I do have a sous chef, but she only works 3 days a week, so sadly she is one of the people who have to go. Also today one person just quit, no notice, nada. Part of why I have been doing better lately is bc I've learned a few things from my kitchen manager. 

    I was contemplating on stepping back and hiring a chef, but when I realized this...it was too late. I had already hired two people and a stage coming in for KM position. Everyone loved him and we hired him...if i had told my GM/owners that I changed my mind and want to step back and learn from a head chef...I don't think it would've went well, but at the same point I may be rationalizing bc that is not the deicision I made so I'm not going to focus too much on what i should've done. However, I did tell them that I will give them 30 days from the hire date of KM . 

    I can see that after a few weeks, I may not need a kitchen manager and all i really needed was a line and prep cook with experience bc that was how I spent a lot of my time while at the restaurant. Hmm, that isn't a bad idea...the role swap with my kitchen manager....I'm going to continue on and re-evaluate in 20ish days. 

    Yea, you're not the only one confused...the last few months have definitely been a rollercoaster of emotions...
     
  14. kaiquekuisine

    kaiquekuisine

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    Honestly in your position....

    I would fire the dead weight and BE THE BOSS!! Because you are the leader of this knock off circus and right now your not doing well. 

    You either swim or sink right now. 

    Or just quit, and use this experience and the fact you got yourself an executive chef title to find a new job in a place where you can learn something. 
     
  15. cook1st

    cook1st

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    I will, i may consult with my KM as to fire all the people at once or do it over a 5 day period. We have 3 parties of 150+ on sat and sunday, is it selfish of me to utilize them for the parties and then fire them monday?
     
  16. chef torrie

    chef torrie

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    @Cook1st man. Cmon bro! CMON! You seem like such nice guy. I mean this really and truly man. But if we were friends, or worked together id grab you by the shoulders, shake you violently, and ask you WTF! And I mean this in the kindest way possible man.

    And I assure you it wouldn't be because your trying your @ss off, because believe me chef, I know you are. You just need to stop being so wishy-washy, get on with it, and make the decisions you know that you need to make. You seem to be fine making decisions that you think are the "big ones", but not making the ones that are REALLY going to make the train run smoothly. ENOUGH with the lists. Some lists are crucial. I.E. a daily prep list.(not including the normal mise that needs to be done on each station for service. This is a given that every half competent line cook should be able to figure out within 2 shifts of working) an inventory list . Maybe a VERY BASIC & GENERAL opening checklist, and end of night check list. I say basic and general because like I said, nobody should have to be reminded to label and date, to flip containers, rotate old product (FIFO), and wrap stuff in the bain after service. It's a given. IMHO you have way way way way to many lists out. And laminating them does nothing. A kitchen shouldbhave flow. Everything has a place. Everybody has a spot. A well prepped, well set up, well managed rush or push should be something like a harmonized symphony . Beethoven's fifth. CONTROLLED chaos. You need to get to this place, and fast.

    You say you don't care about job titles, this and that but your actions speak otherwise. Your asking for our opinions/advice, but don't seem to be taking the big ones, and the great advice that all of these great, veteran chefs and cooks who have been in and around this industry for a long time are giving. Everybody is truly trying to help and give the best advice possible. And I totally know that it is easier from our side of the keyboard, not in your situation. But a lot, if not most of us have been in a situation like yours. Maybe not in your position exactly, but worked in a place with the same type of stuff going on.

    So like I said, you say the title or position of this new hire manager doesn't matter. And you seem to want to often have him in the kitchen during service, either cooking or overseeing things during service. So if titles don't matter , tell him he's now executive chef. Same pay,same responsibilities. You can now be executive sous, chef de cuisine, whatever title floats your boat. Fire your sous chefs. Put an ad out on Craigslist for a sous chef. More than competent. Serious candidates need only apply. Thoroughly go thru resumes. Call previous employers and references. Go through an interview process with the top few applicants. Somebody applying for such a position will know , without being asked or told, what the general duties of a true sous are. You will obviously have to let them know how you and your kitchen manager want things done, and explain to him that you have had a difficult time recently with the position and that you are really looking forward to see what he/she can bring to the team. You will not need to give them a double sided laminated check list, trust me. They will know, without being told, and they will almost certainly know the job will absolutely entail about a 50hr work week give or take. You pay them what they deserve. Because even though it may be a tad bit more than your giving your sous now, you will only need one instead of two, he/she will be competent, won't leave u hanging for brunch and act like its fine when you bring it up and tell them it's hurting and putting a drag on you, who like I said, I really , truly believe and know are trying to do your best and turn your place around. A great sous is such an important cog in a well run kitchen. Equally if not more important than any other working position. Then like I said earlier, you either move your current sous to a station on the line a couple nights a week or prep a couple nights a week if you see fit and she is willing. You work with your new hires and see if they are handling what they need to handle and if they are learning the system. If they are great, if not you tell them they need to pick it up. You get rid of the rest of the dead weight ASAP. hire some cooks and prep people if needed. I'm really rooting for you man. Nothing I say regardless of how it may come off is ill hearted or left handed. I just feel your pain. Good luck again.

    Cheers, T.
     
  17. cronker

    cronker

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    I'm seriously starting to not get you at all, Cook1st.
    You say you hired a KM to do (and know) your job and more - in my opinion that would make him your superior. Then you say you might hire a new Exec Chef and take a back seat.
    For crying out loud, man, how many manager positions do you think your business can afford?
    You have a GM, a KM, an exec chef and a sous before we talk about the grunts. You don't seem to be able to hold your position with any kind of value to the business, likewise the sous and possibly even the GM if they can't see the chaos here.
    In my world, the FOH always handles the expediting, sometimes even the lowliest food runner can expedite without needing a dedicated person - they were hired on the understanding that they can read a docket like anyone else. And if we get a bit mixed up, a quick question to chef always puts us right.
    All the duties of the KM - does he cook at all, as well?
    You sound like you are trying to staff a Marriott when reality suggests you are running an Olive Garden.
    Do you, or even the GM, understand a P&L report? I mean, REALLY understand one? Can you immediately identify why your linen cost is up by 12% on last month? Why food cost and wastage are up by 40% this month? Is your wastage report really accurate, or do you have people taking whole sides of Atlantic Salmon home at end of shift (don't laugh, I've seen it happen!)
    In my world, I can see a discrepancy on my P&L shining out at me with the pain like bashing your thumb with a hammer.
    I would, without even knowing your financials, suggest strongly that your payroll percentage is way, way over budget. If I were the GM, I would grab that fucking laminator and put it right on eBay, just to try to get something back for the money you are currently losing.

    I can guarantee you, an Exec Chef of a business that gets run into the ground and goes broke due to his poor management won't be getting much of a reputation, or another chance somewhere else in a likewise position.
    Step away from the tall white hat and embroidered chefs jacket and do what you know is right for your career, the business and the guests of your venue - NOW.
     
  18. cook1st

    cook1st

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    Owner came in Sunday to have dinner, so I asked him and the GM to have a quick discussion. I told them for me, i"t was either I get the support I need or I leave. Never did I realize there's a middle ground, that I could take a step back to sous and hire a head chef. This is the route I think is best for me and the company." They said, "we respect that, let me speak to (GM) for a minute."

    Owner and GM didnt say anything regarding what i just told them, i went home slightly worried...First I gave them my one month, then I agreed to see if I can solve this by making some personnel changes, now I want to hire a head chef after not even a week with our KM who is still working at his other place to finish out his two week's notice. Wishy/washy ...hmm is there a more powerful word to emphasize how I've been acting...

    Today, owner called me which is rare bc he usually relays everything through GM...

    He started by asking me, " what do you want?

    I responded with, "what do i want in life or ." At this point i was totally confused

    He simply responds, "No, what do you want?"

    I say, "A functioning kitchen."

    He sighed....I'm guessing that was the wrong answer .

    He then told me, "we want you, you know how many times I wanted to fire your ass? Remember when you walked out on my fucking food, I'm sorry--I'm just tired of indecisiveness. You cant make a firm decision to save your life. When I asked you what you wanted...first and foremost I wanted to hear what position you wanted. If you don't know what position you want, how can you tell me anything else."

    I tried to defend my answer and before I could say anything, he said, "I'm not finished." Ill give you and your kitchen manager 30 days from when he actually starts, not this 1 or 2 day shit and you operate the kitchen the way you want. After that we'll all sit down and well see if you still have a job," and hung up.

    What the heck just happened?
     
  19. kaiquekuisine

    kaiquekuisine

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    I just think you got your ultimatum. 

    The owners are now taking charge, someting you should have done a long time ago. 

    You have 30 days now probably to show if your making any turn over, to have the kitchen working and to have everything up to snuff. 

    In other words, i think you may just be in a real difficult situation now. 

    If what you wrote is true, then most likely the owners are going to decide what you couldnt this entire time. 

    What they are going to do with you, if they are going to keep ya or fire ya. And don´t expect to keep a sous chef position anymore.... right now your walking on thin ice. 

    Good luck to ya... 
     
  20. chef torrie

    chef torrie

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    Probably what needed to happen.

    Get your $#!+ together and you'll be fine.

    Don't, and your canned. Pretty simple. Do what needs to be done.