Foodservice Employees

akinc Mar 13, 2014

  1. akinc

    akinc Skid Plates

    Messages:
    1,216
    Location:
    Dayton, Tennessee
    How many folks here work in foodservice? Or have worked in foodservice? I've been in the industry for close to 17 years. Started as a dishwasher at a steakhouse. Now I'm an Executive Chef w/ a very reputable company. I won't say the name, but the company also provides linen services, building maintenance and concessions at most of the stadiums and arenas around the country.


    Do you have any horror stories to share with the group? Or any feel good stories? Recipes? Whatever?




    I know this is Cooking in the Nation, if this needs to be moved then so be it. I figured this subforum seemed appropriate.

    I know everybody can relate to this...

    I love it when non-industry people tell you the better way to do your job. I know it's cliche but it's true. It happens to just about everybody not just foodservice people.

    I believe it should mandatory for every person to spend at least a year working in a restaurant, front of the house and back of the house.

    I learned teamwork and camraderie while busting my arse on a cook's line on a busy Friday night. I've also learned to act civil and respectful while being talked down to because the appetizer came out with the entree. Or because the sandwich line is backwards and the meat should go on first......... AHHHHHH!!!

    Ok, this can be a ranting area too, I guess. You don't have to reveal the establishment you work for or worked for. Let it out.....

    Post up those stories..........
     
  2. civicjoe

    civicjoe lone wolf mod Super Moderator Founding Member

    Messages:
    2,200
    Location:
    Nevada
    Yes, I agree with this sooo much I did 4 years in quick service food
     
  3. Muadeeb

    Muadeeb Bastard Admin from Hell Admin

    Messages:
    15,515
    Location:
    Dallas
    4 years at a theme park. Still can't eat a corn dog 14 years later.
     
  4. TKDx00

    TKDx00 Lockers Installed Founding Member

    Messages:
    2,075
    Location:
    S.Subs of Chicago, IL.
    I was a short order cook for 3.5 yrs for a well known Bowling Center chain. I made some changes to the standard items for sale at the snack bar. The manager loved it, we were actually turning a better profit. However, after a year corporate said we had to go back to the standard items. Seems the larger houses started to complain. I quit shortly after. I miss those super busy Friday and Saturday nights sometimes.
     
  5. davemj98

    davemj98 Bought an X

    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Indiana
    Aaramark is the spawn of Satan; I have some strong feelings about other corporations.
     
  6. akinc

    akinc Skid Plates

    Messages:
    1,216
    Location:
    Dayton, Tennessee
    I love when the corporate folks who aren't on the front lines decide what's better for the business. And they've never worked in the kitchen a day.
     
  7. C3po

    C3po Bought an X

    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    Boston
    I used to work in the restaurant biz as a Sushi Chef, tho not formally trained, I was privileged enough to work under some very hard working and talented Pan Asian/Fusion chefs in the area.

    I work a corporate job now, but in my retirement, I will open up a small place.

    The one thing I missed the most was the comradery of the restaurant crew, mid day chef special staff meal, learning how to prep properly, keeping up with my knife skills, pranking the new guy to drian all the water from the coffee maker or mix the wasabe in the walk-in, and countless cute young nieve hostesses.....


    Also, Kitchen Confidential is an awesome book.

    Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk
     
  8. robcarync

    robcarync Sliders

    Messages:
    948
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    I think the sentiment applies to any type of job that directly deals with the general public. Dealing with lots of people isn't so bad if it is inter-business dealings...but when people feel comfortable or don't have to act professional...you see the worst in some nut jobs.

    I bagged and scanned groceries at a Food Lion for 3 months...just for a summer before I was going back to grad school. It was a beach town on an island. It was the only grocery store on the island. I worked there for the summer. You get the picture. Mad house. Literally lines to the back of the store. Saturdays were the worst because that was when the week long rental houses had check in. Lots of crazy people...but here are my general thoughts from my grocery store experience:

    1) Don't ***** to me about how high the prices are. We are the only grocery store on the island...supply and demand my friends. I also don't get to set the prices...and I don't benefit from the artificially inflated prices. I also can't magically change them or give you a discount. The cashier can't just make their own prices up.

    2) If you don't have the stupid scan card, don't ***** at me when you don't get the sale price, when I told you to take a free scan card. When you don't get the sale price, don't pay me and take the receipt...take 3 steps...and turn around and demand your money back. Go to customer service to return your 2 liter bottle of Coke. I can't just give you $2 back here.

    3) If your coupon doesn't scan properly...you probably just can't read. Out of everyone that gave me a coupon...and then had the register deny them when it was scanned...NOT ONE was legitimate. Read the coupon...it only works for the 20 ounce bag of peeled and de-veined shrimp. You have to buy a 3 pack of chicken breasts to get the Mac & Cheese half off. It can be confusing, but don’t cause a scene in public with 30 other people behind you for 30 cents off. I literally gave people the coupon price out of my pocket to get them to leave me alone.

    4) After the cashier takes your money, types it into the register, and opens the drawer…it is too late to say “hey….let me give you 3 pennies to make it easier for you to count my change”. No. It isn’t easier. Say what you want about the education system in our country…but I have a couple engineering degrees that indicates I am at worst, pretty good at math. When you are scanning groceries all day…the numbers really just flow together. Once the numbers are in the register, my drawer will be off. Simple math, it is…but it is easy to get caught off guard and freeze up on the spot making you look like a doofus. Just take the 2 pennies.

    5) If you request paper bags, I will smack you unless you bought 10 boxes of pop tarts. Paper bags are larger, but the extra space is all vertical. You just slow down the baggers as we are trying to get you guys out of here as efficiently as possible.

    6) Don’t bring your own cloth bag when you are buying $400 worth of groceries. Cloth bags are nice for buying a few items here and there, but not with all the groceries you just bought…you aren’t helping the environment. Also, for co-baggable items: I can’t bag your bleach, raw steak, raw chicken, celery, and bug spray in the same bag. I just can’t legally. Save the cloth bag for buying your organic vegetables later.

    7) How many times have you gone grocery shopping? No matter where you are from, the process is similar. Start unloading your cart on the conveyor (if applicable) as soon as it is available. It is nice if you actually group like items together (produce, cold items, chemicals, etc). If you don’t want your bread smashed, don’t put it on the conveyor right in front of your 30-pack suitcase of Natty Light…not our fault. Once your cart is empty, push it forward to the bagger so they can make room for more bags. Don’t stand around like you forgot the groceries have to go out of the cart…and then back in.

    8) Cashiers often times, don’t know where anything is. Read the signs. My box was about 10 square feet behind a register. I know where the bar codes are on every product and know some produce codes. Where to find them…not a clue. Of course…I was always happy to help, but don’t give me an attitude when I don’t know which shelf on which side of which aisle it’s on. raspberry vinaigrette dressing is probably on the salad dressing aisle next to the normal vinaigrette dressing that you have in your hand. You will have to do some work here.

    9) How can people not take the 2 seconds to put the cart back in the stall neatly? Really. It is easy and courteous. Bonus points if you actually grab a cart from the stall on your way in...or take your cart back to the store instead of leaving it flipped over behind some bushes at the end of the parking lot. Clearing the parking lot is the worst when it is 100 degree beach weather.

    10) Putting your ice cream in 2 plastic bags inside a paper bag will not keep it from melting in your car if you go to the beach afterwards.

    11) Offer to help! Nothing is more refreshing than when a customer is on top of their game, helps bag from the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] bagging station, and helps gets their items back in their cart. Especially if the cashier doesn’t have a bagger…and you sit there and awkwardly watch the cashier scan $300 of groceries, then turn around and bag them. I get it…it isn’t your job. But you don’t want to be here, and neither do we. Working together, at least we can get one of us out of here sooner.

    12) Bagging groceries is like Tetris with food. It really is fun when you aren’t dealing with jack-waggons all day. To this day, whenever I go grocery shopping, I 1) bag my own groceries and tell the poor high school kid to take a break, 2) grab my cart from a stall on the way in to the store, 3) return my cart to the stall, and line them all up nicely, and 4) be polite and say thanks on the way out.

    Now, being a seasonal grocery job at the beach, my experience was constant, non-stop bagging and scanning. Every group would come in and buy a weeks worth of groceries for their beach vacation. Multi-family vacations would sometimes spend $2000+ in one visit…three or four carts full. 30 total minutes of break for 12 hours of hard work (wah wah…I know). I don’t mind the hard work, but when people are a constant ass hat to you for 12 hours…it is tough. Not to mention my “managers” weren’t really management material. Let’s be honest, as an 18+ person with a work ethic, the 16 year olds basically showed up high, slacked off, and the manager made me pick up the slack.
     

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  9. mudchet

    mudchet Got Mud?<br><img src="http://i164.photobucket.com/ Founding Member

    Messages:
    639
    Location:
    Brentwood, TN
    I was a cook at a fast food chicken place. Boss would have me painting the inside of the store and then need a batch of chicken cooked up. I would get yelled at for washing the wet paint off my hands before breading the chicken. One time I accidentally dumped a batch of cooked chicken on the floor. I started throwing it in the trash. Boss made me take it out of the trash and off ghe floor and put it into the warmer to sell it. I dont eat much fried chicken anymore.
     
  10. sickboy595

    sickboy595 Bought an X

    Messages:
    59
    Location:
    Crystal River, FL
    ^^^Rob,
    I'm a manager of a grocery store...most of those are spot on, we think those things but in reality we dare not say any of them to the customer. In the world of retail grocery price is king and right behind it is customer service. Part of my job is to put up with and help the legions of people that forget their brains as soon as they hit the door. I could write a book on all of the idiotic things people do or ask for.
    Oh and by the way I've been doing it for 17 years now. Not sure what kind of managers you had, but we run a tight ship. Slackers are dealt with.

    I also worked in the restaurant of a local golf resort while I was high school. Started off as a dishwasher moving up to prep cook. When I graduated I went in the military. And that's a whole other thread.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014
  11. AZhiAZiAM

    AZhiAZiAM Suspension Lift

    Messages:
    4,914
    Location:
    Fresno,CA
    i've worked/ managed a restaurant for the last 10 years. i actually still manage it when my godfather doesn't want to go in. i also agree that everyone should work it. at the age of 15 i believe you should be put into a restaurant in an area and work a minimum of a year. when it comes to my bussers/host/delivery drivers i only higher the minimum age i can so they actually want to work for money. if they don't work i fire them that day.
     
  12. robcarync

    robcarync Sliders

    Messages:
    948
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    My "manager" was a 20 year old community college drop out...I was 24 at the time with an engineering degree and various forms of leadership and professional experience. Not that my education makes me better than anyone else...but you can see where I was coming from. She didn't have a clue what she was doing, but thought she was great. It was a great job if you were a 16 year old stoner...not so much if you are 18 and up with a work ethic. Anyway...enough of my rants...I thought someone may get some humor out of my posts :)
     
  13. akinc

    akinc Skid Plates

    Messages:
    1,216
    Location:
    Dayton, Tennessee
    What a great can of worms this opened up..........

    When the wife and I grocery shop, I really do try to help out all I can with the bagging and what not. It's all part of the service industry.

    When we go out to eat, when we are done with our meal we stack the plates that haven't been taken away nice and neat at the end of the table, our table is clean and you can barely tell that anybody ate there. And we have a child who made messes growing up. My wife also has a foddservice background and we have respect. My Mom was divorced and had 3 kids to raise and she did it on a waitreeses salary and tips, no help from the government.......




    Let's keep this going. I like where it's headed.
     
  14. AZhiAZiAM

    AZhiAZiAM Suspension Lift

    Messages:
    4,914
    Location:
    Fresno,CA
    you and our wife sir are awesome, that's one of the biggest things i can't stand is when someone brings a child in and just completely destroys a table. i get it, its the person job to clean up for the money but there is a time when its just disrespectful and no courtesy. i've seen kids just throw **** everywhere and the family is just like oh ya well there is a mess for you to clean up bye. then stiff my servers.
     
  15. Intender

    Intender Wheeling

    Messages:
    462
    Location:
    Lewisville NC
    I worked fast food for a little over a year in high school. I hated the job, but I all of my friends and I applied pretty much at the same time and all worked there together so that made it bearable. Only time I really hated it was in the afternoons during the week. I got out of school at 11am my senior year so I went straight to work most days. After the lunch rush until about 3:30 was so slow. It was usuallly just the manager, a cashier, and me in the kitchen for about 3 hours. It was either rediculously slow, or a random bus with about 40 highschool kids would show up and you couldnt possibly make enough food fast enough. The reason I quit was since pretty much all of my friends worked there we were all graduating on the same night and I was the last of everyone from high school to ask for the night of graduation off and the manager refused to let me have the night off. After what was initially a civil conversation, he got angry and started yelling at me and I quit. As I was walking out he told me I had to turn in my uniform or he would deduct it from my check, so I stripped down to my underwear set my uniform on the counter and walked out.

    After that I worked at Food Lion for a couple of years until I transfered to a 4 year college. My manager was literally insane, and other than having to deal with her it wasnt all that bad. However dealing with her became a little too much. I went to Appalachian State and would still come home and work on the weekends sometimes, but the manager would call me during the week if somebody called in and ask if I could come in a work for a few hours, then get angry when I would tell her no. I was like, seriously its a 1 1/2 hour drive each way, I wont make enough to cover my gas back and forth. After about the 4th or 5th time she called trying to get me to drive from Boone to work during the week and I refused, she called me back one night around 10:30pm giving me some crap about taking my job seriously and responsibility. I hung up on her and the woman calls my mom telling her I need to take my career seriously or I will never amount to anything in life. Needless to say I quit after that.
     
  16. Intender

    Intender Wheeling

    Messages:
    462
    Location:
    Lewisville NC
    Sadly thats just common courtesy I think, and not too many people have that these days. I have a 3 year old and when we eat out it usually looks like a tornado hit out table afterwords. My wife and I usually do our best to keep stuff like the salt and pepper away from him and keep the sugar packs away, and when we leave we will try and get most of the stuff off the floor. We stacked the plates and moved them to the end of the table to keep them away from him initially, but now its just habit. And now we kind of wipe off the table if we have time out of habit as well. But I will be honest if I have a crappy server I am much more like to leave a mess. I know servers usually only make a couple bucks and hour so I will leave the standard 15% tip even if I didnt get good serve, but no more, and the horrible mess as punishment for poor service. I usually try and notice if they have bus boys or not just because of this, no sense in leaving the mess for the wrong person. I have only left little or no tip on a few occasions in my life and it was well deserved.

    One think I have noticed about my friends that work as servers and cooks, for more than just a short period of time, is that they tend to leave what I consider to be an absurd tip. One of my best friends worked as a waiter for about 12 years and will usually leave about 30-40% tip minimum. It is not unusual for him to tip greater than 50%, and if his meal is cheap he will tip almost as much as the meal.
     
  17. AZhiAZiAM

    AZhiAZiAM Suspension Lift

    Messages:
    4,914
    Location:
    Fresno,CA
    i hope you mounted to much more than her. and if you did send her a pay stub saying thank you for her positive reinforcement and that she was absolutely right.
     

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