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saturday, april 24, 2010
strange things are going on at saxy's job.
first of all, it IS a new business, so some shake down and issues are to be expected, but, really, some of this goes beyond what one would expect. paycheck issues? not a good thing, but expected. having to throw away $1000 worth of food because the kitchen manager lost his freaking mind? not so much.
at the rate things are going right now, saxy might end up with a lot more hours only because everyone else is dropping like flies. it's kinda scary to watch, and we're really getting anxious about them making it to their first year anniversary.
the owner's really don't know much about the restaurant biz, but they do seem to have a handle on business in general, so they made sure to hire experienced people for their top positions, including a kitchen manager with 20 or 30 years experience and who has helped open a number of places. which only makes his recent behavior more weird. anyway, he seemed like a pretty good guy, but he over hired for the kitchen, which is why hours have been so bad for people. a week or two ago, $9000 of their $11,000 overhead was all kitchen. this is just a bit much for a business that's just opened and is still trying to get a clientele in. anyway, it didn't end there. he also was doing inventory and it wasn't to the benefit of the restaurant: ordering food they weren't selling and under buying the stuff they were selling. they went through the walk-ins last monday and found box upon box of steaks which they had to sell at discounts before they went bad (granted, $10 for a 6 oz steak isn't a bad deal for the consumer, but i bet it really hurt the bottom line for the restaurant) as well as having to throw out a whole bunch of food that hadn't been used in time. a week later, they're still finding stuff that needs to be tossed or used immediately. apparently the owner took a box of steaks home last night and they were already gone.
and there were minor issues: not allowing a bit more creativity to get rid of things with the kitchen staff (example: one of the chefs came up with the idea of a tomato soup that was delish when made and pairing it with some mozzarella sticksa kind of toasted cheese and tomato soup combo, and the kitchen manager said no) and plating (as in placing the food on the plate in a way that makes it look appealing/attractive), plus the nearly as important staffing issues (too many hires, bad scheduling, and so on). i'd say he was acting like the restaurant was a full blown success already except even successful restaurants have to watch it when it comes to inventory. it was just odd behavior for someone who should have known better. and, of course, he made all these promises to saxy about training and that wasn't coming through either, and hours started getting cut because there weren't enough customers to cover the number of people working the brigade every night. so it's been very frustrating for him: hours cut, no really learning growing on, no room for creativity or really playing around with the food (which he really needs to do especially since he's not home to cook much any more), so, yea, it's been looking bad.
toss in that this is the second week with late checks, and you can see why people are dropping like flies over there right now. probably not a bad thing since it means more hours for those who are left, but the pay check thing is a big issue. the owners want to do the right thing, but coming to the end of the money when not quite on your feet and having so much wasted has got to be a frustrating thing.
anyway, the owners suspended the kitchen manage for a few days, then brought him back but as the sous chef. he stayed maybe a day and quit. then he went and posted a bunch of bad reviews about the place.
yea, something definitely wrong with this guy. everyone is puzzled.
on the plus side right now is that the owner is encouraging more creativity in recipes and plating from the people who remain. she's even told saxy she wants to use his pico de gallo. and she really seems to have a good head on her shoulders. if nothing else, this experience will make her learn what she doesn't know and make sure to look over the shoulder of her new kitchen manager. he may not be too happy with it, but everything is on the line for this woman and her husband. and she seems very with it. she just put her trust in someone who seemed to deserve it but didn't. now she knows better. and hopefully they'll get the paycheck thing worked out and things will go up from here for everyone who sticks it out.
word of the moment: exurb
a region or settlement that lies outside a city and usually beyond its suburbs and that often is inhabited chiefly by well-to-do families
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