There are almost no times that I really want to be or to act like a tourist, but recently I found myself in an area that caters to them. My hotel featured a “kitchen tour.” So, given I love to cook, I thought this might be a good diversion given I was there over the weekend. And, since they have to serve so many people with such varied tastes, I thought I might get some ideas for serving my friends when they visit and have the same characteristics.
The chief chef commented that the variations in the daily tasks were enormous given the natural freedoms of their guests to choose dining venues in the area and of course have many points of view about food choice. The day we visited, he knew rather accurately what the evening numbers would be, and based upon past similar evenings, he felt he had a good bead on the amount of fish and other highly perishable ingredients he needed to be sure he pleased all the diners.
As he led the tour group around the kitchen, he commented on how each area was organized and how the teams communicated. Obviously, there was nothing left to chance. Everyone knew their job and how their jobs interrelated. He showed how complex dishes were prepared and how even one unnecessary walking step was eliminated to reduce time.
What stunned me was his role in the evening meal. Every single dish that went out of the kitchen was inspected and he said he might add a garnish, decoration, or “flair” to the presentation that would make it memorable. No dish was allowed to leave the kitchen without him reviewing it … every single dish.
In this way, he could best coach anyone who had not been doing their jobs. He did not rely on supervisors to tell him what was going on.
Interesting model. And, it may be the reason that their revenues and profitability have improved year-on-year, and why this hotel is one of the most attractive and popular destinations for travelers with options for where they stay.