I’ve talked about the red flags and what you should be watching out for if you take a new job. Today, let’s lighten up the mood and show some love to the places that treat their staff with respect and dignity. These are the places that are worth your time and energy and while they’re a bit harder to find they do exist, often without much praise.
They have a low staff turnover:
By nature, our industry is plagued with a ridiculously high rate of turnover and most people don’t stay in one spot for more than two years. Even when I’m not actively looking for a gig, I still pay attention to the job boards so I know who to stay away from. If a place is posting every couple of weeks, it means something is wrong with the leadership since good people stay with good management but will bail on the BS at the drop of a dime.
They pay on time:
This is critical and not up for debate. I show up early and perform and I expect only two things in return, to be treated with basic respect and to get paid on time without hassle. I get it, from time to time, things go sideways, the accountant got sick, mail was delayed, mistakes happen. But if it turns into a constant issue, it doesn’t stay an issue because I won’t be cooking there much longer. Here’s the thing, a whole lot of people in the industry are struggling and if checks are late, they have to pay late fees which means that they get even less of what little they’re making to actually live on. Meanwhile, the owner doesn’t have to pay any kind of fees or do anything other than shrug their shoulders.
The owner is hands-on (and knows what they’re doing):
Point blank, I will not work for anyone who thinks they’re too good to wash dishes and take out the trash. That said, I’ll bust my ass for someone who’s not afraid to jump in and help out and is able to do what’s needed to keep things running. No, I don’t want to have someone micromanage me and be up my ass all the time but I do want to know that if shit hits, they’re going to help fix things.
The place is clean:
I’ve said it a thousand times and I’ll scream it from rooftops, a clean Kitchen is a pimp Kitchen. I hate hate hate a fucking dirty Kitchen and I’ve had to deep clean way too many grease-covered shitholes to ever want to deal with this again. Ah, but if the place is already clean, that means people care, that they have standards, they take pride, they give a fuck.
They don’t use Sysco:
Okay fine, if you’re in the middle of nowhere and it’s either use em or hunt elk and forage for mushrooms (which actually sounds fun) I’ll give you a pass. Aside from that, a Sysco truck means that the powers that be are lazy and don’t really care about the food. It means that they’re willing to serve whatever the sales rep has on special this week and that they’re not willing to take a few minutes to work with other vendors to get better products.
I’m old school in my values and respect is a pretty big deal to me. If someone disrespects me, I end things. Ahhh, but I’ve also worked for guys who did respect me and valued what I did for them and their customers and I busted my ass because I wanted to make them happy and dare I say even proud. Guys like Joe Weber, Alan Carlson, and Gene Kincaid are guys who I’d still help out at a moment’s notice if they ever needed anything and while they’re not perfect, they’re still in my cool book. And I’m not talking about BS, these dudes literally treated everyone, from the Chef to the Dishwasher to the delivery driver with the same level of respect and that right there is why guys like this have low staff turnover, clean restaurants and don’t ever worry about payroll bouncing……