As I have broadcast to anyone who would listen, I took on the food service for the Ranch a few weeks ago and have been working HEROICALLY (according to me) to get things in order, organized, and working as they should.
This involves interactions with…the Foodies!
AKA the kitchen work team of Ranchers whose job is to assist in the kitchen.
First of all, by general consensus of the Ranch's leadership and program staff, we made the decision a few weeks ago to cease cooking a huge lunch with salad, green vegetable, yellow vegetable, roll, main course and dessert and instead go to…sack lunches.
That the Ranchers prepare themselves.
This was in part because we decided that a) who needs such a lunch to begin with? and b) it kind of didn't make a lot of sense to pay people to prepare their own lunch and then pay them to clean up after it. Kind of like a snake eating its own tail.
Program liked the change because it's more “normalizing” in that most people fend for themselves for lunch, and a lot of them do it via the sack lunch.
But back to the Foodies.
Another matter is that the fact that we need to ramp up the professionalism of the Foodies in the kitchen. Supervision has been a little lax, and we (meaning me) are tightening up.
So I held an in-service on dishwashing this morning. The Ranchers mostly liked it, but one didn't.
“I KNOW how to wash dishes,” she stated adamantly.
“Still,” I said reasonably, “we can all learn to follow certain rules and do our work better.”
She turned her back. I objected. She turned around.
Five minutes later as one Rancher struggled to take apart the working parts of a beverage dispenser, our offended party walked out and went to “tell” on me to Marci. I knew where she'd gone, and what she was doing, and clocked her out of the training so she'll get to do dishwashing 101 all over again.
So…we spent an hour washing five beverage dispensers (but boy, did they need it!)
Later, in staff meeting, we agreed that our commercial kitchen has to pull its weight in the economics of the Ranch. There are so many ways we could make money out of that kitchen, and we need to make money! We can cater, bake, sell, go to Farmers' Markets, get contracts with local restaurants.
But we have to be prepared to do it professionally and better than anyone else. And darned if I don't think we can!
(And I'll make a happy dishwasher out of that girl yet!)