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Ticket machine nightmares?

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M1k3

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Sounds kinda hypocritical lol. But as long as Im not coming in right before closing or being an ass its fine ha. Plenty of places to support that specialize in brunch.
I was kidding. I hated brunch. But probably because I had to close the night before 🤦‍♂️
 

GorillaGrunt

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We had a saying, especially for the unlucky clopeners, went like this:

buck frunch

eta: and in Spanish, always pinche brunch, never said without the pinche
 

M1k3

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We had a saying, especially for the unlucky clopeners, went like this:

buck frunch

eta: and in Spanish, always pinche brunch, never said without the pinche
Aye huey usually made an appearance also.
 

Tnaquin35

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Anyone else used to have the ticket machine nightmares? Being in the weeds? And they went away along with remembering any other dreams?
My worst nightmares came true a few months ago. We had just opened up the restaurant not even a month before, a small upscale wine bar/bistro, serving Italian-cajun fusion. The place was PACKED!! We literally had customers sitting in the park across the street to eat because there was no room left in the restaurant. Ticket printer is going off constantly of course. I go to grab the tickets, and there's 20 tickets all from one server in a row within a 2 minute time frame. I was PISSED!!! Then he has the nerve to come on the line and tell me that he forgot to put the type prep on half of his tickets 🙃🙃 i was not happy at all!

Another time, pretty similar to this one but a different server, kept ringing in appetizers AFTER she rang up the entrées for several tables. She would ring in the apps up to 10 minutes after ringing in the entrées. Needless to say, the customers got their meals backwards that night. And apparently we don't have the capability to split checks after they order, so all of our big tables with separate checks get rang in at different times, which OBVIOUSLY is a problem!!
 

daveb

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Luftmensch

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Have any of you read Bourdain's kitchen confidential? He narrates the audio book - it was an entertaining listen. I have been curious for a long while now...

How much of the book is 'true' or a shared view. I wonder if it is of a time and of a place (New York in the 80's/90's). He derides brunch... Excerpt from the New Yorker:

Then there are the People Who Brunch. The “B” word is dreaded by all dedicated cooks. We hate the smell and spatter of omelettes. We despise hollandaise, home fries, those pathetic fruit garnishes, and all the other cliché accompaniments designed to induce a credulous public into paying $12.95 for two eggs. Nothing demoralizes an aspiring Escoffier faster than requiring him to cook egg-white omelettes or eggs over easy with bacon. You can dress brunch up with all the focaccia, smoked salmon, and caviar in the world, but it’s still breakfast.
In fairness, the modern brunch was driven by millennials. In the 80's/90's it was probably a less developed concept. It might not be the height of the culinary arts (if that is your aspiration) but it is big business on the weekend in Australia. A pretty solid institution. The market is split though... we have a strong ecosystem of cafes that do good breakfast/brunch/lunch and restaurants that do lunch/dinner. It is rare to find business that do breakfast/brunch/lunch/dinner well.

Do cooks hate brunch?


Reminded me of Bourdains's rant about well done steaks. Again; excerpt from the New Yorker:

People who order their meat well-done perform a valuable service for those of us in the business who are cost-conscious: they pay for the privilege of eating our garbage. In many kitchens, there’s a time-honored practice called “save for well-done.” When one of the cooks finds a particularly unlovely piece of steak—tough, riddled with nerve and connective tissue, off the hip end of the loin, and maybe a little stinky from age—he’ll dangle it in the air and say, “Hey, Chef, whaddya want me to do with this?” Now, the chef has three options. He can tell the cook to throw the offending item into the trash, but that means a total loss, and in the restaurant business every item of cut, fabricated, or prepared food should earn at least three times the amount it originally cost if the chef is to make his correct food-cost percentage. Or he can decide to serve that steak to “the family”—that is, the floor staff—though that, economically, is the same as throwing it out. But no. What he’s going to do is repeat the mantra of cost-conscious chefs everywhere: “Save for well-done.” The way he figures it, the philistine who orders his food well-done is not likely to notice the difference between food and flotsam.
Hehe... again... I am curious? Is this view shared?
 

big_adventure

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Hehe... again... I am curious? Is this view shared?
From my experience working the line nearly 30 years ago...

...yes. Not quite as dramatically as that, no, just because you didn't even have to ask. Looking at 4 rib eyes sitting there, I would automatically give the best-looking and -feeling cut to the rarest order. And the worst to anyone ordering it hockey-pucked. They simply will never notice, and it's not dangerous once you transform all of that delicious meat into carbonized smudge.

For the thread - well, it's been a long, long time, but when I worked a kitchen I ABSOLUTELY had dreams/nightmares with the rail loaded with tickets and the machine spitting and spitting and spitting and beeping and beeping and beeping.

Or that moment when you have a lull or it's late in the shift, you head to the walk in to grab something, you stop to chat with someone a minute, you walk back to the line and see a ticket sitting there. Panic ensues as you sprint to the machine and simultaneously check the clock and the time on the order. 17 minutes ago? WTFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF...
 

M1k3

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Yes, we hate brunch. Especially when we closed the day before.
 

daveb

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I've catered "brunch". It's not as bad when going in you know how many covers you'll have and what you're serving beforehand. Unless of course an omelet station is part of the program. That be suck and you have to act like you like it.
 

GorillaGrunt

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Brunch sucks. It’s a logistical/process engineering thing which is why brunch places have the best brunch and cooks at dinner places hate it.

I‘ve not yet been at a place with enough well done steaks ordered to make saving for well done a thing, but definitely the rarer it’s ordered the choosier I’ll be about which piece to give them. Well done steaks are fit only for a motley rabble of outlandish Jack Tarrs.
 

Alder26

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I used to have many kitchen nightmares but by far the most original was when I was a brunch cook (I'll die before I go back to brunch).

The nightmare was before Memorial Day brunch service. In the dream, I walked into work and my chef said "I'm going out of town today, but I wanted to show you how to make the crepe special were doing for Memorial Day". I replied "I've never made crepes before". He shows me how to make it one time and then leaves. The rest of the dream was just ripping crepe after crepe while the printer stacked up tickets.

The actual Memorial Day brunch service was not less stressfu. I had to cook 3k in eggs and French toast by myself and only had an expo to help call tickets and sell food. It sucked ass
 

Luftmensch

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Thanks for the replies! Cool to get some broader insight. Pity... i love a weekend brunch!

Especially when we closed the day before.
A late shift followed by an early one is tough... cruel even! I definitely understand that.


Brunch sucks. It’s a logistical/process engineering thing which is why brunch places have the best brunch and cooks at dinner places hate it.
🤔

Like I said earlier... Australia has a huge cafe culture. Many of them specialise in only breakfast/brunch/lunch (no dinner)... and if theyre good, they can do a roaring trade. They are reasonably intimate as well. Maybe 50 seats on average? There is a lot of competition so many places have creative menus. I'd hope that makes it more interesting for the kitchen? Rather than just churning out plate after plate of eggs!

If the market is more split, it might also give cooks more choice. Specialise in day shifts/meals, if that is what you like. Or dinners if you prefer? 🤷‍♂️


Not quite the same... baristas dont have a ticket machine... After speaking to some of them, I believe their nightmare is the weekend cycling crowd. You are doing a breakfast shift at a nice pace and then 20 people in fluro lycra with clippy-cloppy shoes descend on the venue to get their post-cycle coffee.
 

parbaked

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Australia has a huge cafe culture. Many of them specialise in only breakfast/brunch/lunch (no dinner)... and if theyre good, they can do a roaring trade.
Cafes that specialize in brunch aren't the problem.
The problem is when a restaurant, that does a roaring dinner trade, decides to ad weekend brunch.
It can feel as if the owners are maximizing revenue without considering the stress it can put on their staff...
 

GorillaGrunt

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Cafes that specialize in brunch aren't the problem.
The problem is when a restaurant, that does a roaring dinner trade, decides to ad weekend brunch.
It can feel as if the owners are maximizing revenue without considering the stress it can put on their staff...
exactly. To expand on my remark:
A well designed restaurant and menu considers the interplay of the equipment, workflow on stations, physical movement during service, delivery of food to the tables, and all these elements of the process as a system. If you have a limited number of burners, for example, it will cause a bottleneck on anything sautéed. If you rely too heavily on the deep fryer without enough capacity, the baskets will fill, the oil temp will drop, and it will cause another bottleneck, desynchronizing with other stations. And so on.

So a good brunch place has a menu and kitchen that make sense, whereas a good dinner restaurant that shoehorns in brunch almost necessarily introduces process inefficiencies compared to dinner: “what brunch food can we squeeze out of this kitchen oriented towards cooking steaks, pasta, &c.?” Prep is also squeezed: you can’t start too far ahead, so during the busiest days of dinner service you also have to prep brunch with different ingredients from the dinner ones.

Furthermore, there will almost certainly be at least a couple cooks and servers who have to close and then open, maybe work a double shift. So you get people who are tired and cranky. And the business can make just as much money at brunch as at dinner — but you have to work twice as hard for it.

at a brunch place, however, their supplies and equipment are oriented around the brunch menu rather than an adjunct. Their staff doesn‘t work nights there so more of them may be well rested. The business model incorporates the brunch food as the primary revenue source so decisions on pricing, staffing, ordering, etc. are made accordingly rather than trying to make as much money slinging eggs and bagels at a place where everything is built around selling $50 steaks.

So it’s a question of optimization: a brunch place is optimized for brunch whereas a place with 6 dinners and 2 brunches is going to be forced to bulldoze through suboptimal constraints and loads every week.

In conclusion, buck frunch. Buck it, I say!
 

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