Why the details matter.

Joined Nov 8, 2001
Hello Colleagues

We all know the important of details in our business and how the smallest mistakes can sink us. I wanted to share a recent experience of mine with the intent that someone might be able to learn from my mistakes. Due to the Covid pandemic I watched my restaurant, like so many others close, open, close again and eventually had to close permanently and lay off 85 people. This was of course devastating to many but I was fortunate to find new employment rather quickly. I was going to be a personal chef for working for a contract catering company at a sorority house near a local university. While this was a significant pay cut, I learned to enjoy this job and found it rather easy. That complacency was the mistake that led to my eventual termination. The detail that I missed was not checking product before it was served. I received a bread delivery that morning and proceeded to use that bread at lunch. I served a sandwich that had a nickle size piece of mold on the bread. I am still kicking myself for not noticing the mold, and since this was bread received that day, I just assumed it was fresh. Unfortunately the customer took a picture of this moldy bread and it went viral. I of course immediately apologized and attempted to do service recovery. I thought things would be ok, as the feedback I received from my employer and from the sorority national office, was along the basis that the "customer over reacted, and these things happen.' A day later I was fired. Now, at the end of the day, this mistake was mine and I lost the confidence of the customer to serve safe food, and I own that mistake. Had I paid attention to the details, like we all know that we should, I would still have a job.
Joined Feb 8, 2009
The problem really was with the person making the sandwich. Everyone in the kitchen s/b heads up on the quality of the product being sent out to the customer. If I have to tell my kitchen staff and line cooks not to serve moldy bread or slimy lunch meats, I didn't train them real well. In todays world where everyone is a food critic with a camera is even harder.
The Catering company made you the scape goat, Screw them for not sticking with their Manager. They think they solved the problem by firing you.
I hope you land back on your feet. Sorry about you losing your Restaurant. I wish you well....ChefBillyB
Joined Aug 13, 2019
Sometimes it happens, move on. Things are different today, you used to know which people "do the right thing.....all the time....no matter what." Now everyone one needs a list, and needs to be checked. It'll be okay.
Joined Oct 31, 2012
I agree you were made the scapegoat. I wonder (according to what you posted) why no one blamed the bakery? Delivered that morning should mean baked recently. As in too recently to be moldy.
I'd like to think I would have caught that but I can't say I wouldn't have let that slip by as well. I've never checked bread for mold when it was delivered that morning. Good for you for taking the hit so well.
You should have no problem getting another job. Best of luck.
Joined May 5, 2010
I'm sorry you lost your job over this.

The things that are the most worrisome here are...

That someone with a phone took a picture of a slice of moldy bread and sent it viral.
That the catering company executive that made the decision to fire the Chef did so for politics.
That the slice of moldy bread even existed if the bread came in fresh every day.
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