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Is Your Job Actually Important to Your Restaurant?

Chef Steven Howard| Chef's Blade

Prep Cook

Every menu item is dependent upon the recipe being executed with ingredients in all the right proportions. If pastas are being packaged one ounce too heavy you are costing the restaurant possibly ten cents per dish. If you are one ounce too light, customers will feel that they are being cheated and not come back. This may not sound like much, but if you are an Italian restaurant serving 300 pasta dishes per day, you just cost the restaurant $30.00 per day or $900 per month or $10,800 per year! Imagine what that means if you’re dealing with $15.00 per lb. Beef Tenderloin and your city’s most reputable steak house. You would be wasting more money than your annual salary.

Therefore, to excel at this job, you need to be as involved with your sous and executive chef as anyone in the restaurant about EXACT measurements, and visual excellence (for items needing assembly like bacon wrapped shrimp) and your organizational skills. Superior data entry and/or keeping exemplary notes, food waste, and build-to lists will impress the powers that be that you understand how portioning affects profitability and how appearance affects presentation, it will also show you can manage your time, cleanliness, equipment and storage requirements. This tells them you understand how to help the restaurant make money, which is a sign of an up-and-coming manager type and will put you in line for your next promotion!

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