When do you do counts?

Joined Jun 29, 2017
Simple question; when do you do your prep counts? Any why does it work for you?

I've recently taken over a new restaurant and have had to build a structure around their existing menu. They didn't have things that I consider the basics (ie, prep charts, recipes, plating specs). I built out par guides for a morning prep cook to come in and count all of our prepared items and assess what needs to be prepped that day for the dinner service and the following days lunch service. There has been some issues of over or under prepping items just because we don't have our pars dialed in just yet. After training my staff on how the new system works my regional chef has asked me to implement prep counts to be written by the night team based on what they are low on and think they need for the following night. Ive never seen prep counts executed this way and was wondering if anyone had experience with this sort of system.

Sorry for the long winded explanation. Thanks for your feedback!
Joined Aug 15, 2003
I don't think that's a bad idea. I presume that the PM line cooks are fairly competent and know their stations enough to make a prep list for the next day. The prep cooks probably don't know as well what to look for and don't have a grasp on what to look for...also, your guys and gals on the line are (again, I assume) consolidating, rotating, wrapping, cleaning and generally organizing their station. They will most likely come in contact with just about everything on the station during the closing process, so it makes sense to have the people who are touching and seeing the station at night write the list. 

Have your sous chef or PM lead line cook supervise this process, especially at the start. He/she can help fill in any gaps in experience and guide the cooks toward prioritizing things for the next day. 
Joined Jun 8, 2017
I do my prep when I get into work (afternoons) and I am a closer; so I also prep for the next morning. Say there are no diced tomatoes left for the lunch shift. I prep those. It makes it easier for me and my co-workers. Also that way some days I don't need to prep in the afternoons if it is a slow lunch. As someday has said, I also do make a prep list for the lunch shift. 
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