I need to rant tonight. I left the restaurant earlier and our new cook trainee did something that still has my jaw dropped down. Not in a good way. I noticed he sent out a brisket plate and that there was a pile of the brisket burnt ends on his cutting board.
"What's this?" I asked him. "Why didn't you put this on the plate?"
"Um, well, I..." he began.
Turns out this wasn't the first time dude CUT OFF THE BURNT ENDS AND PUT THEM IN THE SCAP PILE. The burnt ends. The best freakin' part of the brisket, in my opinion. Wasted.
I gave him my standard lecture about waste, walked away, and then came back after a few moments of reflection.
"This is the gold! People ask specifically for these little bits of heaven. You scrapped the best part of the brisket!"
I wish I knew whether any of it sunk in. It's one of the greatest challenges of running a restaurant: you are only as good as your weakest employee. I'm not saying he's weak, he's a good guy actually, but he's a greenhorn.
As business owners, we can't do everything. If we are always working in the business, we can never work on the business to grow it and improve it. It's a constant challenge to find that balance between the two.It's also really really difficult to give up control. Especially from a control freak (husband's term) like me.
We are blessed with great employees who care about our business. Seeing someone chuck out the gold tonight made me think I have a false sense of security. But then I reel myself back in from my doom and gloom cliff edge, and remember it was just a few burnt ends on a hunk of meat. It's correctible. Crisis averted.
That said, I think the next post will be how to make burnt ends. Make burnt ends? I know, there are only two ends to a brisket that get extra rub and smoke and a crunch that then melts in your mouth. But there is a way to fake burnt ends. We don't do it at Smokin' Pete's, but many joints out there do. And even though anyone thinking about it would know you can't keep burnt ends in stock, really, their customers don't care as long as they get them.
Mmmm. It is going to be a post I'll enjoy.