10 Kitchen Secrets your chef is hiding from you


The kitchen is unchartered territory for many bar and restaurant owners who are afraid to question the chef on matters that they are not too familiar with. Well. It’s time to get familiar, because your kitchen could be hemorrhaging money and if its your business, you’ll want to know how and why.

These ten points will help identify where some of your cash could be going:

1. When stock is ordered, it is normally stored by a cook or cleaner with no interest in the First In First Out system of storage and so piles everything on top of older stock, increasing spoilage and expensive unnecessary wastage.

2. The Chef keeps no record of what he has produced each day so has no way of referencing how much preparation he needs to do each day resulting in over production and thrown out food. A record of Production should be implemented that cross references number of orders with items produced with any other details relevant such as local special event that brought in business etc.

3. The Chef has no “Kitchen Bible” in place that should contain all his recipes, guidelines for production, induction for new cooks etc, meaning that when the Chef is off duty, all recipes are prepared by the cooks the way they want to prepare them resulting in inconsistencies and potential unhappy customers.

4. The Chef has not scheduled the staff correctly in the kitchen so nobody can leave the kitchen for a break because it’s too busy. Instead, the cooks eat and drink at their station, which is both unhygienic and impossible to monitor what they consume (steaks???)

5. The Chef has hired some part time cooks and has not allowed any time to train them on the menu and the procedures of the kitchen. This results in spoiled foods, over preparation and general chaos.

6. The part time worker hired to clean the pots and pans has very little English, so the Chef has not spent any time showing him how the machines work or what chemicals to use in what quantities. The result? Expensive cleaning chemicals overused and machines running with half loads wasting energy and water.

7. The Chef has not shown staff how to trim meats properly with the result that more meat is being thrown away than is necessary. Unskilled cooks afraid to show the chef their mistake hide the trimmings in black garbage bags in the kitchen never to be seen. Start by removing the black rubbish bags from the kitchen and replacing them with large fish box size containers for the waste that the chef has to inspect before it is allowed to be thrown away. And train the cooks how to use a knife.

8. The Chef allows staff to take home left over meals with the result that staff purposely over produce to ensure there are meals left over each night. Is your kitchen feeding staff families too?

9. The last Chef on duty (normally the dessert chef) is only worried about his section and hasn’t bothered to check that every other section is closed up correctly for the night with the result that many containers are left uncovered, fridges are left unlocked and ovens are left on. But at least his section is clean….

10. The Chef is too busy in the office with paperwork to worry about points 1-9 and this is costing you money. Lots of it. Its your kitchen, so don’t be afraid to step on toes if it’s costing you money.

Views: 6

Tags: chef, kitchen, park, secrets, south

Comment

You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Comment by Jeffrey J Kingman on October 31, 2009 at 5:13am
Chef Elias and the author both provide salient truths. It does start at the time with leadership - effective leadership... and positive attitude.

Unfortunately, so many BOH folk are removed from the face-to-face with guests, consequent organizationally isolated from the big picture. I too, have taken over and also consulted kitchens where these flaws were prevalent. I've also had good fortune to work with organizations where professionalism reigned.

Perhaps some of the negatives are societal: the usual litany of how we as society have raised our young, but perhaps also this: the move from "from scratch" to pre-made, has made us careless and unconnected with why we do what we do. Based on having worked across the US, I also think that some regions "get" having pride in work more than other regions.

Non-Operator
Comment by Paul Paz on October 30, 2009 at 10:21pm
Hey Barry...
Good post for these cost concious times. Your list is a reminder to us all to not overlook the "basics". After my 30-years in my profesional restaurant craft... I still need those reminders not to take anything for granted. And I still don't know it all!
Paul

Non-Operator
Comment by Barry Chandler on October 30, 2009 at 6:58pm
Thanks for your feedback guys. Not a fair representation of EVERY kitchen certainly, but having worked with more than 100 kitchen clients, these are realities I have come across and are certainly issues that owners need to know about it. If these issues are not present in your kitchens, then you're doing a great job!

Cheers,

Barry

Operator
Comment by James King on October 30, 2009 at 6:20pm
Chef Elias, I totally agree with your statement! Also if someone is not comfortable asking the chef questions, just maybe they should take a look in the mirror.
Comment by Chef Len Elias CEC on October 30, 2009 at 3:23pm
Not a very fair portrayal of the majority of kitchens I know. If this happening in your establishment or those that you are familar with all I can say is it starts at the top.

Advertisments

 

DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Restaurants may feel the pinch of pricier coffee later this year

Prices for arabica coffee futures hit a 26-month high amid a drought in Brazil, which produces a third of the world's coffee  -More

McDonald's rules out all-day breakfast in push to simplify

McDonald's breakfast menu accounts for 25% of the chain's U.S.  -More

Easy ways to use 5 uncommon spring greens

As light, crisp greens arrive at farmers markets and grocery stores, chefs are finding creative ways to add them to spring me -More

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

National Restaurant Association Offers Training DVDs on Harassment Prevention, Social Media Use, and Customer Service

The National Restaurant Association has released three new DVDs that offer best practices in dealing with harassment and discrimination, customer service training, and the first of its kind video guide on the use of social media.

Yum! Brands Reports First-Quarter EPS Growth of 24% Excluding Special Items

China Division System Sales Increased 17% with Operating Profit Growth of 80%; Yum! Reaffirms Full-Year Guidance of at Lea

Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes Certified As Nation's Largest 'Green' Restaurant Chain

National Group Salutes Country's Only Large Restaurant Group to be 'Certified Green Restaurants®'

National Restaurant Association and EatStreet Release Online Ordering Guide

The National Restaurant Association and EatStreet have released a free educational guide focusing on online ordering and emerging restaurant technology trends.

Boyd's Coffee Launches Single-Cup Coffees For Retail And Foodservice

The coffees come in a variety of roast levels and include organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified™ options: French No. 6®, Red Wagon® Organic Coffee, Good Morning™, Hi-Rev® (delivers more caffeine), and Lost Lake™ Decaf Organic Coffee.

CROWD FUNDING

If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.

TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: Hamish Jolly: A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it's not what you think) - Hamish Jolly (2013)

Hamish Jolly, an ocean swimmer in Australia, wanted a wetsuit that would deter a curious shark from mistaking him for a potential source of nourishment. (Which, statistically, is rare, but certainly a fate worth avoiding.) Working with a team of scientists, he and his friends came up with a fresh approach — not a shark cage, not a suit of chain-mail, but a sleek suit that taps our growing understanding of shark vision.

TED: Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion - Michel Laberge (2014)

Our energy future depends on nuclear fusion, says Michel Laberge. The plasma physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy. His secret recipe? High speeds, scorching temperatures and crushing pressure. In this hopeful talk, he explains how nuclear fusion might be just around the corner.

TED: Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win - Sarah Lewis (2014)

At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

TED: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service