The restaurant industry is fast-paced and grueling. From the front of the house to the chefs in the back, it takes a team to execute a good dining experience. What is hard to manage are the personalities of the cast of characters, as that's what usually throws the team off.
A staff member writes:
I used to manage a high-volume single-location restaurant in the bay area. I was the assistant manager there, in front of the house. We had a chef at the time who was highly hard-headed, even by chef standards. He always made mistakes but always had an excuse and never wanted any criticism.
I was in charge of ordering for the front of the house and bar, and he was in charge of ordering for the kitchen. We ordered many things from the same supplier to see each other's items in the order before it was finalized.
One day, I went through the order to see if I had missed anything I needed. I noticed twenty cases of red onions (we don't carry red onions but frequently order small quantities for private events with specific menu items). I assume he meant twenty red onions by each. So I called him up to clarify before changing it.
Me: 'Hey, good evening. I think you added too many onions to the order, and it should be.'
Chef: 'Why are you telling me what I need? You don't know what I need; I know what I need. Leave it alone, and don't call me on my day off.' Click.
Cue malicious compliance He's off Sunday and Monday, and this is Sunday. I leave it alone, and the order auto-submits for next-day delivery. Since deliveries come in Monday morning, the person who signs for it is usually a prep cook, not anyone in a decision-making role.
So I know the twenty cases will likely be accepted since the kitchen staff knows not to bother the chef on his days off.
I roll in around 1 PM to close, and twenty cases of onions are just packed anywhere there's room. Each case, for context, is about 2' by 1' by 1'. It's ridiculous. I say nothing and continue running the shift.
My GM was pissed when he found out we had twenty cases of an ingredient we don't carry, when in fact, my intuition was correct, and we needed about 20 onions for a private event later that week. Chef never said a word about it to me, but he's not a chef there anymore, which is for the best.
and cue the onion puns:
That chef has layers like an ogre.
It's not a tragedy. Special today French Onion soup. If memory serves, you have just enough onions to make one batch.
Sometimes the trash takes itself out.