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Working in an open kitchen


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I've never worked in a restaurant with a closed kitchen, so I can't really compare, but I've been working in a restuarant with an open kitchen for the last year or so, and it has been a sometimes great and sometimes not-so-great experience.

Some of the things I love about it are that you have a direct connection with the people for whom you're making food. It's very rewarding to see whatever you've been working on being enjoyed by someone rather than just having it go off to a mysterious invisible table. It's also nice (or torture, depending on how long my shift is..) to, in my case anyway, be able to see outside and have lots of natural light.

There are also lots of downsides. Customers sitting around the kitchen asking lots of questions while you're totally swamped is annoying, as are incessant little kids and drunk people (there's really not much of a difference), or people wearing so much perfume you can hardly smell the food you're preparing. You also have to be constantly aware of how you're presenting yourself, what you say, how you act. Once a customer complained because I pulled my pants up (they were sagging a little, and I only touched the waist line) and didn't change my gloves.

What are your experiences working (or on the other side of things, eating) in open kitchens? How do they compare to closed kitchens?

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I hear you brother, the last place i worked basically the open kitchen was behind the 12 seat bar. It had it's ups and downs, it was fun to see how people we're digging your food and it was easier to adjust things you could see what was working and what wasn't. I loved being able to see outside, most kitchens are like windowless dungeons, it was great to be able to watch customers and interact with service staff, we became a tight unit because we rerally worked closely with them. When you work out in the open it forces you to rethink the way you work (at least it did for me), You have to work clean, no swearing, no eating in the kitchen, watch out for little ticks, it's for the better I became a lot more efficient that way.

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I would hate it.

Too many witnesses when I start choking the life out of the worthless line dog that forgot to fire a chicken for the third freaking time this shift.

My language would also be an issue, as it tends to be somewhat, um... colorful, shall we say? :rolleyes:

I'm so awesome I don't even need a sig...Oh wait...SON OF A...

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I used to work in a dive bar and I got people telling about their biographies (some customers have more than one personality)....I would normally avoid the eye-contact unless they are ready for another drink. There's this regular customer who sampled every beer on tap and then order the cheapest beer everytime!

Leave the gun, take the canoli

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I work in a semi open kitchen, the advantages are that i can see 7 out of my 9 tables.Keeping an eye on guests from the kitchen is important for me.You do work better, cleaner , if you know people can glance up from the table and see you working .Also i do tend to get the flames jumping if there are kids watching :biggrin: Guests have to approach my kitchen door which has a slatted window in it to go to the bathroom, and 99% of them look in to see whats going on.

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One of my first jobs was in an open kitchen. Image was very important to the management, and hats were NOT allowed. There were 3 or 4 girls in the kitchen, and we were supposed to look cute, so I had to work with my hair ineffectively contained by a headband. One night I'm sauteeing something, and smell the unmistakable stench of burning hair. On my break I had to run to the washroom to confirm my suspicions, instead of a pesky lock of hair that was constantly falling into my eyes....I now had bangs! :wacko:

If only I'd worn looser pants....

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I've worked in a few open kitchens and they have their pro and cons.

I like the pressure of working clean and watching my language but I hate it when some "foodies" want to chat right in the middle of the rush. I'd love to hear about the dinner they made for friends last week over some free drinks after service. But that rarely ever happens.

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