In a kitchen with hiarchy, the chef will usually expedite. I run the expo side on the busy nights/ weekends at the country club. We give an Amuse to each table, have a soup/salad course, an appetizer and an entree course. It is up to the expo to time things properly.
If it's slow, and the guys are going quick, you'll hold back on firing the entrees. If it's busy, you will slow down the amuse, and the salads, while sometimes even firing the entrees simultaneously with the salads, as it should take 3-5 minutes for salads, and 15 to 20 for entrees.
Running expo flawlessly in a busy coursed fine dining setting is an art. You never want to leave your table waiting...
Now, all of this is even more exasperated in a country club setting because everyone knows one another. So, if you have 70 reservations spread out from 7-8:30, it doesn't seem like a big deal right? But, when the Smiths come in and see the Johnsons and join them for a drink at the bar, and so on, and so on; all of the sudden at 8:30 you are seating a virtual 70 top....makes for a nightmare every weekend!
That about sums it up. I love it when I go in Friday morning and don't get to go home (or sleep) till Monday, reality becomes the nightmare.
Originally Posted by NO ChoP!
The timing system that works for me, in simple form, in certain settings...no set rules.
Ticket comes in, first and second courses get called, first courses should go out 5-7 minutes after. The time the first course goes out gets written on the ticket. Nine to eleven minutes later the entrees are fired and they should only take 6-9 minutes to finish and plate.
Ideally the total time before an entree goes out should not exceed 20 minutes after the first course goes out.
So basically and ideally no dish should take more than 6-7 minutes from fire to cook and plate....first course start to finish. Second course can get started as soon as the ticket comes in and in total shouldn't take more than 20-25 minutes start to finish. All of this is predetermined in menu development.
The expediter has to control the pace of the kitchen. If the expo gets say 10 tickets at the same time and say 5 were order fired and 5 were put on hold he would have to get the order fired food out the door in the order they came in at and say the tickets on hold are held past those 5 tickets and they were sold. So he'd tell the line what's on hold and what's not and they would have to get them started based on time of the order and dish cooking time. So when those tickets on hold get fired he could send them out in a timely manner so the guest would not have to wait another fifthteen mins for mid well New York just because the server put the entrees on hold because they had apps.expo runs the line so that at points in service they don't get bottled necked with like 50 plus dishes needing to be plated in 5 mins. He has to understand how long pick up times are on dishes so that food go out together and do not sit in the window dying waiting for the rest of the food for the table..
Table 62 order comes in
Seat 1 chopped salad and onion soup
Seat 2 app sampler
Seat 3 seafood chowder and Caesar salad
Seat 4 buratta salad
Cheese platter share.
Table 62 entrees
Seat 1. Mid rare newyork 14 oz
Seat 2. Catch of the day.
Seat 3. Mid well filet
Seat 4. Vegetable pasta
Entrees all hold
So expo would call out the apps to work first and send them out ASAP together
Then he would tell the fish guy he has a catch but its on hold coming with a mid well filet
Then he would tell the entremet he needs a veg pasta ands coming with 62 as well coming with a mid well filet
Then expo would ask how long on that midwell filet and mr newyork
Grill guy would say he would need 15 mins on the mid well.
Then expo would tell entremet and fish station that mid well gonna need at least 15 mins and its on hold so take your time. Meanwhile the time goes bys and 10 mins has passed and he's know fish guys catch take 7 mins and veg pasta is a min pick up so hell tell them get your stuff ready but don't start they should be almost ready for entrees in the next 10mins so fish guy can start searing off his fish and entremet can start marking all his pans to start the veg for the steaks and the veg pasta. So that when the order is fired it should not take more than 5 mins for all the food to go out because pasta is usually picked up ala minute.
That way as the order was picked up the cooks can get the food ready while the Foh clears the table and by the time the table is clear the food shoulda be ready to go. Leaving a seamless timed service which would make the guest realize that they have the servers utmost attention for an enjoyable evening.
Lolbusy nights we sit 70 in like 15-20 mins and guess what it's always busy where I work and we are a fine dinning setting. So every night is like a night mare. I think most my kitchen has done was 217 covers in 50 mins so imagine 80 fish 20 pastas,100 sides, 120 apps, and maybe 80 steaks and 20 lambs and each steak and lamb has their veg on the plate. All done by a 6 man line. Errrrrrrrrrrr that was a night mare
Aahhh, I've expo'd a few lines. I miss the old terminology and style. Five was a "fistful", three was always a "trip" , then there is the "all day, working, working hard, need, NEED, "rock that filet and Jesus will have that sole up by the time the server gets here", etc............
But where I work each station gets their ticket when it needs to be fired. The servers do the timing.
P.S. I've always hated the term "fire/ing" I prefer work/ing. Just a thing.
I see the server as fireing it and then I have it working haha
Im used to pulling the ticket out of the printer, then its called out to the line its "walking in". five minutes before the server needs the ticket he/she "fires" the ticket. at which point the food is "working". Capeesh? heard that?