Take-out was so popular and though we were more prepared than on New Year’s Eve, it was still chaotic.
What should have happened:
- We should have cleared all the prep tables at pick up time.
- Told the cooks to put aside any items they were working on.
- Assigned people to
- Cold Appetizers
- Hot appetizers
- Sauces – Hot and Cold
- Taken the master list of all the items needed and packed them up in their containers from each station.
- We should have preprinted the labels with the reheating instructions so they weren’t printed at the last minute; with crooked edges and on the wrong size labels. That was a huge mistake.
- Sous Chefs/Manager could pull from the different stacks and pack them, label them and arrange in the dining room for the runners to take to the cars.
What really happened
was we had sous chefs helping the line cooks pack up items a few orders at a time while their other projects were continuing. We’re reaching over plates that we didn’t need until service 2 hours later. We worked around half chopped parsley on cutting boards. The stove was full of reducing sauces which should have been set on a side table so we had the burners free TO COOK THE TAKE-OUT ORDERS.
We had multiple master lists, depending on who did the totals. We had misplaced instructions typed on all sorts of labels and papers. My manger has to take last minute orders for those guests who misread the instructions for preordering or tried to order over the days we were closed.. But there is no making friends when you tell callers we cannot fill their order for their Valentine’s Dinner. The Master List kept changing.
We ending up putting the packed items on the tables in the dining room in a not very organized way and packed the bags from there. We were late. Too many people doing the same thing.
Yes, we opened to a full, but socially distanced dinner service at 5:00 pm. The magnificent thing we did was to set up the preorder system. All packages had to be picked up between 3:00 pm and 5:30 pm. (With a few exceptions) We didn’t do that on New Year’s Eve. Pissed off staff to start the New Year. But, the kitchen staff did what they do and rallied.