WWE Cake

WWE Cake
Cake I made for my girlfriend's son

Show piece I made in culinary school

Show piece I made in culinary school

Share it

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Kitchen War Stories

One thing is for sure if you have worked in the food service industry long enough you have either heard one, seen one or have been apart of one. Kitchen war stories or accidents cost food service businesses large amounts of money every year and can even cause them to go belly up. This is why more and more safety precautions are but in place every year by food service companies. Some companies even go as far as to offer rewards for having no accidents for the year or month. Kitchens are very dangerous and the more fast paced they are the more dangerous they become. This is why there are tons of war stories out there. I will share a couple kitchen war stories with you then please fee free to share your stories in the comment section.

One time in a restaurant where I worked I guy strained the oil out of a fryer while it was hot.  Then he took the oil out back to the to oil dumpster to dump it.  Well the light was out and it was dark.  They just brought a new oil dumpster which had a lid and the old one did not.  The guy went to dump the oil like he did many times before but it was dark and the lid was closed so he poured the hot oil all down the front of him.  It scalded his feet arms and chest.

Once more in the same restaurant a guy was making pizza dough from scratch in a big mixer with a dough hook.  Well the dough stuck to the side a little and it was only on speed one. So he thought he could put his hand in the mixer to scrape the dough off the sides.  Well he wasn't fast enough the dough hook took his arm and snapped it like a twig.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Managers vs Employees

In my food service experience I find that a lot of times establishments can become a battle of managers vs employees.  I believe it usually comes from changes in management.  When you have a management staff who is relaxed on some of the rules, then you change over the management staff and try to lay down the law so to speak the employees tend to rebel.  Sometimes this happens when one manager leaves and a new one is brought in to fill the position.  The battle can also arise when there is an inconsistency in counseling employees. 
     I find that the younger staff members tend to test management more often than older staff members.  The younger employees are there to make a few dollars and don't really have much responsibility.  Where as the older staff members are trying to support families or to make a living.  A lot of the younger staff tend to have the attitude of i don't care I'll just get another job.  These are the staff members that will try to tell you what they will and will not do.  The flip side of this is with the older staff who have been with the company for a long time and think they know better than management because they may have been there longer.
     Some of these types of employees can be counseled and become very productive good employees.  While others are like poison to the rest of the staff and get others to follow them creating a bad environment.  These types of people challenge management at every turn until they quit or get fired.  Some of them will straighten out after counseling just long enough until you have to start the counseling process over again.  This makes them very difficult to get rid off unless they do something that gives you cause for immediate termination.
    The best thing to avoid the managers vs employees situation is that management needs to be consistent  and all on the same page.  Management also has to treat the employees with respect as well

      

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Holiday Season Is Here

The holiday season is here which is one of the busiest times of the year for restaurants and food service establishments. Many of us like to open those holiday cook books to prepare are own holiday treats for family and  friends.  However many companies will be planning holiday parties for their staff and many other private holiday parties will be planned as well.
      This is one of the busiest times of  the year.  Not only are food service establishments preparing for holiday parties they also have to contend with the day to day business as well.  More people are out and about this time of the year shopping as well as dining.
      This is a good time of the year to be working in the food service industry.  There are plenty of extra hours prepping and planning for the holiday events. There is also a lot of money to be made by restaurants and food service establishments.
       These events can be small office parties to large and extravagant events where it seems like money is no object.  Some companies will bring in interior decorators, live bands, snow machines, and spare no expense on food.  Events can take anywhere from a month to a week to plan.
       This can also be the funnest time of the year.  We get to step away from the day to day food production and create the food for these events.  It may be creating the delectable holiday desserts or putting together a beautiful holiday show piece or creating the mouth watering foods to impress our guests.  This is a time when we get to test or sharpen our skills.  

Friday, August 10, 2012

Food Cost

Food cost is is the percentage of total restaurant sales spent on food. It is calculated by using  this formula.  Beginning Inventory  +  Purchases - Ending Inventory  divided by Food Sales.
         Food cost control is a constant on going battle in every food service establishment.  Many things come into play when talking about food cost.  The biggest ones are waste and theft.  Employees will rob you blind if you don't stay focused.  The server that gives out extras in hopes to get a bigger tip, the dishwasher that takes out the trash with a hidden case of food only to be retrieved later or a cook who carries a backpack everyday.  These are just a few.  The other big one is waste caused by over ordering, not rotating properly, over portioning, improper food handling or prepping. 
        Another big factor in food cost is knowing the cost of the food how to cost out a plate  and where to get it at the best price.  Last but not least you have to count accurate inventories. 
         Food cost is one of the toughest costs to control in the food service industry.  Your team will need constant coaching and mentoring so that everyone can do their part to keep the food cost inline.  Also reward your team when they do well to get repeat behavior.  Post the monthly food cost so everyone can see it and let your team know what the goals are. In the end Food cost will most likely always be a challenge with the ever changing economy and the many variables that affect it.