Who of our readers has experienced something similar to the following scenario?
WHAT DO YOU DO?
1) Call a reliable supplier whom you know is open and will have the meat. Place the order and stress the urgency---explain the situation briefly as time is going and there's no time to chat.
2) As your morning Brigade is setting up for their service, have a very quick meeting with them to explain the situation. Be sure to inform them that the meeting will be postponed until approximately 12:30 or 1:00 and that you understand that they have concerns to discuss in this meeting, but ask for their support in this situation first.
3) Divide the work load and do not forget to include the Stewarding Department. Also inform the Senior Service Staff Supervisor because by this time the Night Manager may be on his final rounds, or checking with a guest on early check out, checking Night Audit, etc.
4) Assist with and help to speed up your ordering from the line staff and for the function. Do not forget to inform Storeroom staff of the situation and the need to work together, and also that you have had to by-pass the system and order the meat.
5) Once you are confident that Breakfast Service is set, check where you can/and whom you may ask to assist on the function prep. (Do not forget the Bakery and Pastry--for extra bread and pastry, etc.)
6) Even though the main item of meat is not there yet, prep basic needs, salads, appetizer, soup or even court bouillon for cooking; example: shrimps for appetizer, etc.
KEEP TO YOUR PLAN! When the Lunch Staff comes in at 8:00 and 9:00 a.m., have a quick meeting with them and explain the situation briefly. Have someone who normally assists on Banquets set up everything needed in the function's area.
10:30 a.m.---SUPPLIER CALLS----his vehicle has broken down and cannot make the delivery until 11:30 at the earliest---??---Inform supplier that you will send a taxi to collect the meat and ask for the location of the broken-down vehicle. Explain the situation to the Concierge and/or Sales, and ensure they send out transport.
YOU KNOW that this will definitely hinder the production of the meal and will surely slow down the service time by at least 1/2 hour----WHAT NOW?
Go to the Maitre 'd and explain + have them stall--give a complimentary cocktail upon arrival, etc.
Now the Banquet Chef and Staff are in----take time to go through prep, explain what has already been done, tell the location of items and inform them that the meat should be there in a short time, etc.--don't worry about explaining problems.
ALL GOES OFF WELL
COMMUNICATION!----It's the factor that either makes or breaks all our efforts; not memos, chat or complaining, but communicating. You could be the best surgeon in the world, but if you are unable to communicate with staff, nurses, technicians and patients, where would you be? It applies to all areas of one's life and all forms of work and situations.
Many diverse and worse scenarios have happened to me in my 25+ years of working in a kitchen. Sometimes, it seems they just keep coming and on the rare day that all goes well, you feel that it may be the calm before the storm!