I have recently discovered the TV show "Kitchen Nightmares" starring Gordon Ramsey. Sort of avoided it for awhile but then watched an episode (in the 5th season) when there was nothing else on and got hooked.
More or less the last several weeks, I have been watching a "marathon".
Basically the problems that is a recurring theme of the crap restaurants Gordon visited:
* The menu is way too large. Gordon always grouses when he is given a menu the size of a phone book. The problem with a vast menu is that most of the independent kitchens do not have the staff to be able to do all the dishes well. On a smaller menu, the chefs can perfect rather than hapscatter trying to make 200 different dishes. I have noticed that entrees in chain restaurants are basically 6-12 basic ingredients.
Ramsey also hates pictures in menus for some reason and always rags on it when he sees it. He says that there is no need for a picture if the food is always of quality.
* People who start a restaurant who have never been in the industry at all. They think that it could not be too difficult, open a venue, cook the food, serve the food, get paid. Or guys who went to culinary school and then jump in with their own restuarant without some training on how a kitchen works. In my opinion, chefs and people in the food industry get no respect from the public and most morons think (how hard can this be?).
* Because most of these people do not know what the hell they are doing, things like having too much stock, with spoilage in the refrigerator and freezer. A lot of the time, they make too much food, which they freeze and then reheat. Ramsey was really anal about having anything outside of ice cream frozen and hates microwaves with a passion. A lot of these places premade food, froze it, then thawed it out and put it in the microwave.
*Not having a head chef to expidiate the orders. Running a kitchen is like a military operation. There is the head chef, who gives the orders to his underlings, and knows how to delegate authority to the others. When there is no leadership, everyone does their own thing and the quality of the food goes to hell. What makes it worse is when the owner either A.) Does everything and refuses to delegate authority to anyone while making crap or B.) Bad cooks who are lazy, don't care and is basically riding the back of the restaurant and the cowardly owners.
* The owner(s) themselves who did not realize that...........running a restaurant is freaking hard ass work. I think some of them get into it and realize what it is, and then get so far in debt so quickly that there is no escape. This also includes opening a bar too.
*Goofballs in the kitchen who have no business there. This comes from a lot of different directions. Lazy cooks and servers, people who steal, people who absolutely hate each other. I think a dilemma is that a kitchen needs to be a disciplined place but it has a lot of undisciplined people making low wages. The owners can be despots in which the underlings will hate and undermine or the opposite, the owner is too easy going, imbecilic or absentee and the underlings run all them.
Even though I think this show is a bit hype, I think this show should be a requirement for anyone who wants to get their first business license to run a restaurant to go to a three day seminar, with basically one day watching the "Best of Kitchen Nightmares".
<message edited by senor boogie woogie on Thu, 03/28/13 10:12 PM>