Joy and I had – a plan. We wanted to stand back during one service and watch our staff in action. We wanted to see what we are doing right, what we are doing wrong, and what needs to be done so Joy and I can take a half of a day off.
That plan lasted about 20 minutes.
Here’s the issue: Joy and I still do too much. We still struggle with giving up control. We micro-manage. We need to stop that.
We have a Sous. I have a right-hand woman. And, Molly Molly Molly is making a brief return to help run the dining room. We have really, really good people around us. We need to let them do their job. We need to figure out if they are doing their job. That can’t happen if we continue to have our hands in every single detail.
So, we took a step back and we watched.
We started in the kitchen. Couple of things we noticed: the hot line calls on to the cold line to do too much. If, for example, the hot line ran out of pork belly – the cook would call out to the folks on the cold line to cut them more. However, it’s not the cold line’s responsibility to do that – and it means that the cooks on the hot line aren’t prepped for dinner service. That’s a major problem. Another major issue: wiping the plates. The edge of those white plates should be polished. The person eating should see their reflection in the edge of those plates – and too often, they’re not. Wiping the edges is an after-thought. That blows me away. Those chefs and cooks are in most mornings by 7:30 preparing the food – why is plating it an after-thought?!? That enrages me.
We moved downstairs. Molly Molly Molly was on cash stand – so I wasn’t worried about a thing regarding that. I had two women running around like crazy, up and down the stairs to go get food – instead of one person running and the other person making sure the customers had drinks, had cleared plates, etc. The scene felt almost chaotic. Then, I had a guy ask me about a wine price. I told him the prices were on the back of the menu, but he didn’t have a menu – and in that instant I realized that we should also have the prices in our tiny market, too.
We went back upstairs and instantly the chefs on the line asked Joy for her help. Our project was over.
In those 20 minutes, we saw our crew doing a lot of really good things. We also saw a lot of room for improvement.
Joy and I are going to do the same thing again tonight. We’re going to make this place great.