Schooling Doesn’t Make You A Fit.
A thought a day. No.28
So, I’ve been working on my reddit game lately trying to find Chef questions to answer and provide feedback because apparently when you start a SaaS company you find forums to be seen as an expert in your field.
17 years into the Culinary industry, I think I can answer some questions now.
So, here’s the best question I found today along with my reply.
Hope you enjoy!
Hi, so this is about my friend in culinary school. We had mock interviews for placements today and after his interview was done, the panel from our college told him that he is not fit for this industry. The reason given that he is soft spoken and emotionally not strong (they said if someone says something to you or criticizes you then you will start crying). They recommended that he goes for front office instead. But that doesnt seem right after 3 years of culinary school. He holds a president position in college currently and can manage things excellently. Do you think they are right? If not then how can I condole him? And if yes, then what should he do next?
Ok so this is a seriously hot topic and I'm going to try to be as thorough as I can.
First off: 10 years in Culinary school doesn't make you fit for the industry.
20 years in the industry DOES NOT make you fit for the industry.
A common issue that is absolutely infuriating for us in the industry is the implication that schooling directly translates to performance/fit.
It absolutely does not.
That said, those are two problems that will absolutely have to be addressed.
And make no mistake, they are problems.
If you're too quiet you can't be heard on the line.
Can't be heard on the line there's a communication breakdown.
Breakdown leads to mistakes.
Mistakes lead to dead food.
Dead food leads to refires.
Refires lead to high food cost and ticket times.
High ticket times lead to unhappy guests. (I'll get back to the FC% later)
Unhappy guests leads to fewer guests.
Fewer guests leads to unhappy staff.
Unhappy staff leads to even unhappier guests and now they have two reasons to not return.
Fewer guests and higher food costs narrows the gap between operational costs and profitability and that's a gap we want wider than the grand canyon.
Now, your friend is a president blah blah etc etc.
Ok that's a good sign.
They at the very least know politics and that can get you a decent distance.
However, when it comes down to it the line is about performance.
If you can't perform you're less than worthless.
You're a detriment to the team and leading them towards failure.
Now the solution.
He knows the two things to work on.
He needs to get in a kitchen and start working.
He'll suck at first.
It's fine we all do.
IMO I was terrible for 12 years.
Year 13 I got pretty fucking good,
Year 14 I had 3/4 of a 3 time JB winning team refer to me as "the best I've ever seen".
the 4th never saw me cook.
Anyways, he needs to get on the line and cook.
ASK FUCKING QUESTIONS & TASTE EVERYTHING.
If eating it won't get him sick he needs to try it in as many ways as available.
He'll get criticized often.
Respond, Yes Chef.
99% of the time.
The other 1% is "yes Chef, will you show me how?"
Be careful with that one.
That sentence alone can get you fired on the spot if delivered inappropriately.
Reassure the Chef that you know your place and you want to learn from the best available.
They'll often teach you, but its spider man in this bitch;
You only get taught once.
After that you're a fuck up.
So pay attention.
When its time for service BE VOCAL!
You hear a call that involves you repeat it back followed with heard.
Yell it with gusto.
I'd rather tell you to tone it down than turn it up.
Do this for years.
So what do you tell your friend?
Tell them to read this and if they have any more questions to reach out to me.
I'm always happy to help.
I’m Commis Chef Chris Martin. I’ve been in the Culinary industry for 17 years and I love spending my time helping as many people as I can, whether it's through advising on how I dealt with some of my own life challenges, or if it’s through SavorThePassion.com where I’m making ordering a Chef as easy as a pizza.
Thank you very much for your time; it is the most precious resource we have available to us, so thank you. If you're interested in learning more about what I am all about the best way to do it is to visit https://linktr.ee/CommisChefChris
Follow Your Passion.
~Commis Chef Chris