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The Most Important Part

by Adam Zack — October 2, 2019

Sous-chef

[ soo-shef; French soo-shef ] the second in command in a kitchen; the person ranking next after the head chef.

We all have sous-chefs in our stores.

The executive chef gets all the credit. They are the big names – Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, David Chang. They are the creative face of the brand, the ones ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the restaurant. But it’s the sous-chef who deserves the credit for the prosperity of the restaurant – or deli. They put in the long hours, place the food orders and direct, inspect and insure that what is going on the plate and into your mouth is delicious and consistent every time. It’s like the executive chef is the car – be it an old Nissan pickup or a new Ferrari – and the sous chef is the driver.

We don’t give our sous-chefs enough credit. We need to thank, honor and reward them more, for they are the ones doing the work. In your stores, you as the owner are the executive chef. You are ultimately responsible (and on the hook) for successes and failures. When you have outstanding profits, you reap the rewards. When business is tough and profits are down, you absorb them personally. We all have sous-chefs in our stores, they just may be known by different titles – store manager, customer service supervisor, human resources manager (a particularly difficult and stressful position in today’s legal, me-too, take no personal responsibility climate – cheers to you HR Directors). We have so many people that we entrust with the keys to our cars and today is the day to tell them how much you appreciate them driving them with care and caution, performing the maintenance, keeping them clean. And it goes beyond work to your home. To your and my partners, spouses, families that are the sous-chef, thank you for being the key to success and happiness. Without you the car just sits there.

Read More – The Benefit of Kindness

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