Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Week beginning March 31st - When systems fail, chaos reins - Jason Atherton

You probably cannot get more of an informed point of view than Jason Atherton at the moment, and in an interview in the Caterer magazine last week, they asked him about how he manages to maintain his standards with all the openings of restaurants he has had recently.

One of the answers was about the importance of systems and he used the example that if a plate is returned during service there is no way the waiter will bring it back directly to the pass. The system is that the waiter will ask the chef for two minutes of his time away from the pass and explain the problem quietly and efficiently.

This is a recognised, trained and accepted system within his restaurants and if it is not followed, then 'chaos reins'.

Systems are so important to the running of ANYTHING that is deemed or wishes to be deemed as professional, whether it be a sports team or player, a high end kitchen, McDonalds restaurants or even the Armed forces.

We are very much into systems here at the moment (well we have been for ages really), because also as Jason says, once these systems are tried and tested within one place, they can be transferred to another and the staff know what to do, how to do it and when to do it. It makes things all that more simple.

For example in the sink area, all the dishes are stacked in a certain way before rinsing & the cutlery is placed in the soaking tray all facing the one way. At certain points of the day (10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm and 5 pm) the managers and the baristas all have jobs to do before anything else is done. If these jobs are not done, if these systems are not followed, then chaos reins.

A smooth, efficient, happy, busy service is the dream of hospitality. Music pumping, customers happy, staff working easily,  systems in place - basically, nothing going wrong. All working to a system.

This is also very much highlighted in an excellent book I have read a number of times - The E-myth revisited. Systems, systems, systems. The book is mainly set up to talk about how franchises work and that the first business you have is like a prototype, whereby you can start to think about, implement and document all the systems that, if you so desire, will then be able to be turned out into the next 5, 10, 20, 50 or in the case of McDonalds, 34,000 businesses.

Or you can choose not to, but you know what will happen if you don't.

Please enjoy the menu this week and we will systematically, but still with personality and hospitality, enjoy bringing it to you.

Traditional bircher muesli with rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.60
Granola muesli with pomegranate molasses and rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.60
Fruit salad (pineapple, mango, strawberries, grapes, passion fruit) 3.70
Ciabatta roll with omelette, pancetta, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Ciabatta roll with courgette omelette, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Croissant with Italian roast ham, talleggio cheese, spinach & plum tomatoes 4.90
Seven seed bakery bloomer toast with home made preserves 1.90
Pumpkin seed and apricot fruit toast 2.40
Banana bread 2.40
Porridge with choices of cinnamon, dried fruit, chopped nuts, honey, golden syrup or compote 3.00

Pastries by Seven Seed bakery
French butter croissant 1.90
Pain au chocolat 2.50
Almond croissant 2.80

Baked Treats
Sweet Muffin:Red plum and ginger 2.40
Savoury Scone: Asparagus, mustard and Gruyère 2.40
Yarrow and blood orange friands 2.40
Super moist chocolate brownies 2.40
White chocolate blondies 2.40
Portuguese tarts 2.00
ANZAC cookies 2.00
Afgan Biscuits 2.00

Soup: 4.50
Coffee and beef with semolina bread

French retro baguettes 5.00
Ham, gherkin, red onion, Gruyère, dijon and rocket
Roasted red peppers, courgette, red onion, olive tepenade and spinach.

Foccacias 5.30
Pancetta, baked apple, brie, aioli and spinach
Mushrooms, fennel, mustard cheese sauce and rocket

Salads: 5.50/6.90
Citrus prawns with paprika purple sprouting broccoli, Darwin's barberry and coriander mayonnaise
Pickled hispi cabbage with horseradish, juniper, caraway, mustard and ham
Spaghetti plant with a parsley pesto dressing and mini ramsons

Tart: 4.40 or 7.90 with salad
Roasted alexanders and blue cheese quiche.

1 comment:

  1. hi peter,
    i've been tracking this and a couple of other blogs a bit lately, currently looking into refurbing a cafe at the moment but im a chef and i dont want to do the wrong thing by my future barista!
    interested in how you guys set up your bar/espresso machine area? and whether you think you could improve the setup or the flow in any way? maybe a photo?
    could be a cool idea for a little blog post? ;)