7 tips on how to organise your day as a Head Pastry Chef
Updated: May 11
Dealing with thousands of requests daily that your hotel pastry department receives may not be easy at all. That’s why being well-prepared and coordinated is crucial.
So below are 8 simple tips on how to organise your day, maintain control of your kitchen and work smoothly with your team to deal with many even last-minute requests.
1. COFFEE AND MORNING GREETINGS TO ALL TEAM MEMBERS
Every morning, before you start your hectic day, it’s nice to spend 10 minutes of your time along with your fellow chefs, waiters and dishwashers and greet them over a cup of coffee in the kitchen, not forgetting to add a nice smile on your face. This is how long-term relationships of trust are built.
Running a quick check on all your raw materials including dry & frozen ingredients and creating an updated list hung at the storage room’s door will give you a clear vision of your inventory status at the beginning of the day.
Rotating interns to constantly rearrange the inventory in the room, even though may be exhausting sometimes, is always a good method to memorise what is stocked and where to find an item when needed. Hence enabling them to keep track of all expiry dates.
2. MORNING BRIEFING
Having a small informal meeting with your team before it gets pretty busy makes everyone aware of the tasks and commitments of the day. Involving everyone in the workflow of each department regarding orders, services and production helps to understand which jobs have the highest priority to help things get started.
It’s always better if everyone had a notebook to write down the tasks to be done, how to do them and in what quantities, thus avoiding having to repeat it a thousand times.
Meanwhile, the chef will take responsibility for service orders, employment needs and last-minute email updates.
3. PLACE EACH TEAM MEMBER
If you know your team well, you will be able to know who is best suited to execute a specific task based on attitude, technical ability, speed, pleasure to achieve goals and interest in professional growth. Create a job list taking into account while constantly giving confidence to those seeking it while maintaining proper supervision.
4. COMMUNICATE BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS
A sly chef never trusts blindly the orders he receives by mail, rather he maintains a constant verbal communication with the managers of other departments. He takes into account the profile of his customers and always prepares a plan B. This is vital as work can get ruined by external factors: delays, misunderstandings, eating habits of diners, miscommunicated intolerances, non-functioning equipment, unfavourable weather conditions. A good chef should always predict such things.
5. TAKE CARE OF THE ORDERS
Let’s face it! it happens to everyone at least once in a lifetime when they run out of sugar. For this reason, it is always a good idea to create a list with all the raw materials that you usually use in your kitchen and divide it into fresh, dried, frozen, fruit, etc. Orders are made after the morning check so the team will be assigned daily operations as well as service orders for the following days.
6. ALWAYS PRODUCE BEFOREHAND
Usually, in a hotel pastry shop, production is executed a week earlier, taking into consideration factors such as occupation, staff and workload. In general, it is up to each of you to adapt this concept to your daily routine, this applies for the banquets as well. This way the desserts are finalised the same day without too much stress and freeing time if unexpected events occur.
7. TAKE IT EASY, BUDDY!
All Pastry Chefs want to be proud of what comes out of their kitchen but sometimes achieving everything is almost impossible. The reasons can include: lack of personnel, lack of equipment or too many deadlines all together. Don't be stubborn, help yourself with externally produced sweets, today the market offers an infinite range of high-quality products if you know how to choose. Remember that if you squeeze your employees too much just to satisfy your ego, they will lose confidence in you sooner or later.
A LAST PIECE OF ADVICE: This is how our typical day is: long and tiring.
Sometimes having a good cold beer together relieves the weariness and brings our hearts closer.
only one condition applies: the chef always pays for the first round ...