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Saturday, March 7, 2009
Ah the biggest head ache of all managing people. I've only been at the management level for about two years now and I've gained a good bit of hands on experience to go along with my bachlors degree in culinary management. I've learned that managers who do not utilize the bigest tool we have to control our staff are the managers who have the most problems managing their staff. The tool I'm refering to is documentation. From the very begining of my management training I was always told if they don't want to listen document them and then the word will get out among staff. Then everyone will start to fall in place. Another tool we have to control staff is to take money away from them. We do this by sending them home a few times until they correct the behavior. The idea behind this is that when they see their shrinking pay check and aren't making any money they will do what is necessary so they don't get send home.
One of the biggest problems I have found when managing staff is when upper management dosn't back you up. This is when you try to take corrective action against a employee and the upper management over turns your action. This can cause trouble if it happends a lot because then the employee will not listen to you and will always go over your head to get the decision they want or think they will get. Now don't get me wrong if you make a wrong management decision then upper management should step in and over turn it. All in all upper management should back you most of the time so the employee will see you do have authority.
To sum it all up though I beleave managing people is pretty much the same across the board wether you work in the restaurant industry or any other industry.
Posted by Kenneth Rexrode at 6:33 PM
Sunday, March 1, 2009
It has been a year since my last post and I've decided to start posting again. Since then I've gotten out of the restaurant seen and moved on to contract food service which is a little different then working in a restaurant. The company I work for which I'm not going to mention has contracts for various establishments. Everything from government facilities to resorts and law firms. I am now a night chef/manager for the cafeteria I work in at a law firm.
In the restaurant world as a manager you are drilled about labor and food cost to no end but in the contract food service world depending on how the contract is set up things like food cost are not worried about to the extreme as they would be in a restaurant. It is still important but food cost will be generaly higher. For instance where I work we are subsidized and the client pays for all the food and we handle it for them so while we watch food cost it is not a priority unless the client wants to focus on it.
As for everything else we just have to answer to the client much the way a restaurant would answer to corporate. Labor is always a big focus exspecially in these times. As for the rest of the head aches in managing staff it is pretty much the same across the board. Other differences is that the customers are the same people everyday when accounts are not public like the law firm. Things that effect a restaurants business don't effect a private contract food service account. For instance schools being closed could mean a busy day in a restaurant where as at the law firm it could mean nothing or that we would do less business because people have to get their kids.
All in all contract food service is a different world compared to the restaurant world. A restaurant goes under when it dosn't do any business and in contract food service you go under when you lose contracts. Either way you go it is still a tough job and the stresses are about the same so you gotta love it. In my experience both sides of the coin are fun wether you work in a restaurant or in contract food service.
Posted by Kenneth Rexrode at 7:59 PM