I recently learned the high price of failure as an executive chef. Two weeks ago Friday, I had some friends hit up the restaurant for their birthday. I figured that since it was midnight and we were closed down that I didn’t really need to go in depth into inventory and decided to enjoy a beer with my friends. Easily the worst decision I’ve ever made to this day.
I got sloshed like a good Irish chef would, developed a very nasty hangover for the next day, and slumped my way into work early to start the prep work for the coming day. I had assumed we’d be ok for the day with the current amount of inventory and lets begin on that note. Johnny (one of the owners) kept asking me if we had enough soup to run the special and I said yes. That was until I burned the bottom of two thirds of each soup, eliminating it from the menu. Johnny let it slide and we started to make do. That is until we realized that we were out of salad mix and heads of romaine twenty minutes before service. That’s when it began to hit the fan.
The Epic Failure:
Shock hit me like a lightning bolt. How could I have been stupid enough to overlook such a glaring need. Joe (another owner) covered our behinds however, by making a last minute delivery of greens to us through a purveyor downtown. This was just the beginning, as orders started piling up. Soon most of my specials were eighty-sixed, and we couldn’t pump out salads fast enough to prevent us from catching the weeds.
No matter what we did, everything was a catastrophe. Food was being sent back from every section of the kitchen. Pork chops undercooked to the point of bleeding, cold soups, salads forgetting to be changed by salad station’s type prep on orders, and of course, the was me on expo and saute sinking like the titanic. I threw Joe on saute as I desperately tried to organize expo, now more than fifteen tickets behinds. Food was placed in front of me for a person with scallop allergies. Two bowls, one containing scallops and shrimp the other just shrimp. I then sent them out, so lost in confusion, to the wrong person, nearly causing a allergic reaction. The fury from the server who just lost hundreds in tips due to my mistake nearly made me quit.
Death For Dinner?
Due to my lack of preparation and accountable failure in pulling us out of the weeds, I nearly killed a man with food. Something so awful, so wretched that I didn’t sleep a wink that night. All in all, I had cost us over two thousand in food being comped. Cost servers hundreds in tips that would and could not be fixed. I also failed the owners by loosing control and not being responsible for my ordering. It was a mistake that I should never have made.