How important is teamwork for an executive chef?

You have to collaborate and communicate effectively to get the job done. Every person on the line has a different responsibility when cooking. The dispatcher, whose job is to communicate the orders to the cooks, could shout: “Shoot two fish, which means cook two fish. Teams always outperform individuals if they work effectively.

When groups come together to solve a problem, they find solutions that are more creative and flexible than individuals. In a restaurant, great food and service are always a team effort. If the food is not well prepared or if the service is poor, the customer may not enjoy the dining experience. Every member of the team has a role to make the customer experience memorable.

Chefs usually think only of kitchen equipment. Kitchen staff members can be considered a team (“us”) allied against reception staff (“them”). Kitchen staff from other shifts, management and other components of the operation can also be considered “them”. This isn't productive in a well-functioning restaurant.

Staff may believe that if only “they were more understanding, worked harder, or knew what it's really like,” we could do the best job. Of course, this same thinking prevails in other groups, except the other way around. Teamwork is the cornerstone of many companies and is an especially important component of a successful restaurant. By ensuring that all team members are working toward a common goal, both staff and customers will have a more optimal experience.

Effective teamwork involves careful planning and ongoing team training that focuses on using each person's individual strengths to promote the restaurant's business objectives. By investing in teamwork initiatives, your restaurant will benefit from higher staff morale, lower turnover rates and employees who are truly motivated to do their jobs well. Chef Amanda Fuller, executive chef of the Sam Prince Hospitality Group.

Samuel Rockhill
Samuel Rockhill

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