Ego trap.

In the food and beverage industry, this is very common. Ego traps typically involve promotions where you sacrifice pay, for a career. This typically is in the best interest of the employer.

A good example would be that a bartender or server in a nice restaurant typically makes more than the manager. Sometimes it’s double or even triple the pay.

When in the ego trap you can count on more headaches, more responsibility, and far less rewards. This person is typically a servant and a slave to the establishment. They also make the establishment what it is for a short while. Then they burn out and faze out, until someone else falls into this trap.

This all comes with the notion that it’s good for a resume and sometimes the delusion of making more money. If on salary. Forget it. That person is in a world of hurt. The unfortunate reality is that it isn’t worth it, most of the time. Servers and bartenders are making more money than the chefs and managers. This completely makes sense from a economic stand point as far as matters go. The customers pay the servers and bartenders. The management is on the payroll represents a percentage; that effects the bottom line.

If you want to see this in it’s true form, go out to a bar late at night and watch servers and bartenders after a shift piss away money like a bad MC Hammer video. You can typically see some sweaty cooks in the corner drinking the cheapest draft beer.

This is why it’s important to not take salary or negotiate incentives when taking a management position. It also helps if you already have a job when you interview with a job. You are far less apt to get screwed over and backed into lesser pay. It would also be wise to review if a trap has ever been in place. Sometimes management positions are rewarding. Sometimes they help advance a career. It’s natural for an employer to want to get more for less. It doesn’t mean you need to subscribe.

Ego traps are more apt to happen when you are just getting into management. It can be a good character builder. Better be ready to suck it up and deal with some reality.

Don’t work for someone unless they are better than you. Don’t allow others to judge you when they know less.

It’s frustrating to work for someone who isn’t going to teach you anything you don’t already know. This is the fault of the person whose knowledge doesn’t match up. It’s just not healthy as far as growth goes. Sanity also runs thin in this situation. A boss should know how to do anything they are telling you to do. It’s also a plus when they can do the job better than you. It makes people question why this person is in charge. That ultimately effects the guest on some level of efficiency or annoyance.

Big corporations sometimes put people in charge for interesting reasons. The one person that stands out would be the narc. They will inform us of anything we need to know. The problem with this lies in integrity. It’s hard to have that when you lack the knowledge of associates.

This seems like a basic premise. It’s easier said than done. Sometimes we just need a job. Loyalties should apply to this type of situation. Typically bridges will get burned. That’s a good thing. A boss should be a role model.

In the food and beverage industry, it has changed a lot. I remember when a Food and Beverage Manager used to have a great knowledge of wine, beer and spirits. Be able to jump on the line and be able to cook. Be graceful with the guests. Manage the staff with procedures. Understand a profit and loss sheet. The list goes on and it doesn’t include cliché commentary either. Certain things factor into this. Money would be at the top of the list. People need to realize you get what you pay for. Sometimes it also backfires and what you thought you were paying less for ends up costing you money.

Reality TV is a good example for this rant. Look at the concept. It wouldn’t work if they didn’t have a jerk. This is typically how these type of people react when they get thrown into a situation where they lack the knowledge to keep up on a fundamental level. Well perhaps scripted reality TV isn’t the best example, but it works.

Marco Pierre White did something awhile back that I admired. He gave back his Michelin Stars because he was tired of being judged by people who know less than him. He was the youngest Chef to achieve three stars. I look up to that on many levels. It’s extremely annoying to get judged by people who lack the knowledge of the person providing the product. We now live in a culture that abounds simpletons who like to act like they know. They don’t! I would like to see them pull off a catering event for let’s say, a thousand people. Don’t make anyone sick and pull it off in a timely fashion and have every variable dynamic on those plates be on point. Mr White had some poetic reasoning behind his decision. His personal freedom would be the most admirable.

People like to judge. All I ask is teach me something, if not have a nice day!

Organic you say.

Currently the word organic is being taken advantage of. The practice makes sense. With big business and politics getting involved it also makes the premise corrupt. It’s about making money and having control of the food supply. That’s the only thing that makes sense for these people.
 Small farmers get squeezed financially. They have to come up with far too much money in order to provide a label.
A lot of farmers do things legit. They don’t feel the need to get involved. I’m assuming that may have something with limited capital.
I have seen enough situations where uninformed people raise a stink because someone doesn’t have the organic label. They are merely uniformed. It’s also insulting to the farmer to criticize the hard work that is involved.
With food labeling already being a sham. It would be polite to just support your local farmer. Also growing your own vegetables is always a good idea. Hopefully it’s organic enough.
The people responsible for this labeling know what they are doing. It’s to bad that hard working people have to take this off the chin. These same people also don’t want the small farms to thrive or survive.They want factory controlled farms where they can cut costs on the feed. This evil derivative will make you sick. You get what you pay for. Support local farmers as much as you can. If you stop going to the grocery store no one will notice. If you support a farmer. It could save his or her farm. It’s as simple as that.
Organic is a trendy idea. It’s a good idea. It’s also a good idea to question things and research each label; it can be very misleading. Legislation is put into place to make sure this is this way. People are on the band wagon. I just hope more people figure out where its destination is. It’s far easier to go through a source that is reliable. Co-ops. Farmers’ markets and specialty food sources. Then this process doesn’t need to be like figuring out an Rubik’s cube.

A politically correct chef kitchen doesn’t work out.

In a hot kitchen with organized thoughts, attention to detail, deadlines, unusual distractions, fire, sanitation, sharp objects and so on, keeping things politically correct can be tough. Being quick, decisive, and to the point is a must. That usually doesn’t fall into line with being PC. This is why chefs get labeled as jerks.
People whose feelings get hurt are not cut out for the restaurant life. I treat others like I would like to be treated most of the time. But when the board is full of tickets and people are making crucial mistakes, it merely becomes a cute idea. It doesn’t make the customer happy when they have to wait. If they have poor food because you didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings and do your job; it becomes a bigger problem.
I don’t think it’s okay to be a jerk just to be a jerk. It’s also not okay to let things slide and try to be everyone’s friend during crunch time. A lot of people simply don’t like to be told what to do, even though they are new to the industry or have old dog syndrome.
More people should realize that the customers come first. They should reflect and evaluate the responsibility and accountability of their actions.This also goes for some hot shot chefs. Too many people make decisions that suit themselves rather than the customer. Blindness and denial comes to the forefront.
A lot of people who are really good, know how to cut through the bullshit. The only things the elite chefs are willing to sugar coat is a pastry or perhaps the occasional strawberry.
It’s simple. Don’t hire cry babies. It will single handedly ruin your business. Ask them what they have for strengths and weaknesses in a job interview. That usually gives you a notion on what you have in front of you. If they can’t give you a couple of weaknesses then that should be a good indication. That type of person will bitch when you tell them to re plate a meal that looks haggard. Once again. The customer doesn’t benefit from PC. Do what you got to do to make it happen!

Taking the stairs instead of the escalator.

This is very common. A lot of young people have a sense of entitlement. Schools serve up a notion of being at the top, without earning it and paying due’s.
What people don’t realize is that they are damaging earning potential later down the road. If they get complaisant and find someone to subscribe, they will never reach a the potential they would have if they would have taken a step back and learned under a seasoned veteran.
This notion dawned on me when I was twenty three. When I was twenty three I read Kitchen Confidential for the second time. Anthony Bourdain explains his theory of using the stairs instead of the escalator. It sunk in. I was six months into my first Executive Chef position. I spoke with a good friend about this theory. I even tried to convince myself that I was different for a short while. My friend assured me that he was right. The reality is. I’m not different, as a Chef you are constantly learning and growing. I know look back and realize how green I was. I’m glad I made the tough decision. I left the comfortable position and threw myself into a situation where I was a Sous Chef for Calvin Belknap an award winning Chef. That’s where I started to grow and get humbled.
After working and learning and keeping this motto with me, I started to grow. I moved to Colorado for a few years and continued to sacrifice money for experience. I worked at the best restaurants and picked as many minds as possible. This was tough for my ego. I had plenty of opportunities to work for second rate restaurants. It wasn’t an option.
I’m know thirty seven years old. I’m grateful for applying this theory throughout my twenties. It was an extremely tough decision. It made my life difficult. I changed a lot of jobs and couch surfed from time to time. I also wasn’t ashamed to leave a place that was comfy. If I learned all I had to learn from someone I would give my notice and move on. If I started working somewhere and I found that the Chef was overrated and couldn’t teach me anything new. I was looking for something else. It’s as simple as that. I had a pursuit to obtain as much knowledge as possible. It was and still is, all about the food.
 I’m now entering my prime. My principals have meaning. The quality of my food has reasons along with a purpose. It’s safe to say I made a lot of people happy. Even pissed off some co worker’s, saw a vast array of amazing food. It helped me persevere through my thirties as a business man.
 It’s not often that I see people apply this motto. It has a lot of depth and sacrifice. If you look at a lot of the top chefs like Thomas Keller and Gordon Ramsey you will see that they worked under people, they failed and had someone to remind them, besides the customer. They even failed at being a first time business owner. I believe that to be a great leader you have to have a foundation to start from. Take the stairs! It’s good for you.

Most forms of Professionalism and corporate jargon, is highly over rated.

To be great is to be authentic, corporate terms set people up for a false notion of reality in a corrupt, unforgiving, fake existence.
Sugar coating for the sake of the thought police or some zeal-less simpleton, results in a poor quality in regards to the finished product. Principals get compromised.
Professionalism is often driven with a blind premise. Common sense is out the window. It becomes cliché, for the less fortunate. Typically this is used as a power move that involves a crutch for more attitude and less amplitude.
True masters of a craft focus on the quality of product. They figure out peoples strengths and weaknesses and try to work with that. They don’t try to package and cage individuality. They find balance. A good boss realizes he is only as good as his team.
Watch out for sharp pencils. Someone who’s sole purpose is to please the bottom line will only hurt themselves in the future. They lose sight of the bigger picture easily. When you pinch to many pennies, the customer suffers. Then they don’t come back. Being in charge of millions of dollars is a big responsibility and every percentage represents a lot of money. Someone has to be the law. Not everyone has to be told what to do. People should learn from each other.
The pursuit of pleasing a machine typically ends up being emotionally draining. Creating a situation that exemplifies the human spirit always wins.
Corporations are ruining this country. They use lobbyists to pay off politicians. Meanwhile humanity is enslaved by the corporate concept. Society is on a treadmill.
Individuality and risk taking is what can break us out of this mind control. It wasn’t always this way. Just a friendly reminder.