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Porthos

iPods in the Kitchen

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I'm not a restaurant professional but need input from those who are. I have recently had a teenager who wants to go into the restaurant BOH for a living who has helped in a kitchen my wife and I run. It is an all-volunteer kitchen tied into a historical reenactment fair and we do a "catering style" meal to feed some of the reenactors. He shows potential and wants to return the next time we do this.

My question has to do with one thing he did. He had his ears plugged into his iPOD a lot and it made getting his attention difficult at times. In a real working kitchen is being plugged into your music typically tolerated or not? If not, in the future I will want to have him leave the tunes for his down-time. Otherwise, I'll just let it go.

Thanks in advance for your feedback.


Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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No way in hell.

Stereo in the back low enough so the front doesn't hear it durring prep (not service) but I think having ear buds (even one) in is ridiculous and rude.


Sleep, bike, cook, feed, repeat...

Chef Facebook HQ Menlo Park, CA

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the teenager has to choose -


The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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If there are tunes in the kitchen everyone should hear the same thing. A beat up radio works great.

Ear buds would be ok if you have to clean the dumpsters or pressure wash the sidewalk.

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No Radio,Tv or Newspapers. NO talking. Head down on the cutting board. Been there. Done that.

As long as it doesn't interrupt timing and the flow of the KITCHEN, I think a COMMUNITY radio is fine during prep periods. Headphones? Forget it.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2


Edited by Bjs229 (log)

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Not acceptable. Everyone needs to able to hear what's going on, including 'hot behind', 'knife behind', 'quemo', etc. He's also at a huge disadvantage if there's some type of accident, he won't hear glass break, etc. Then there's just the normal flow of orders being placed, dishes being 86'ed, calls to make things on the fly, complaints -there's a lot you absorb in a kitchen, even if the talk isn't directed to your station.

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No way in hell.

Agreed... and the same goes for cell phones. Most people have developed a Pavlovian response to them that makes them physically unable to ignore the noise or vibration that signals a text no matter what they're doing at that moment. I once saw a server sit plates down on the way out of the kitchen to check a text and the line was drawn. I told the boss (restaurant owner) that the headphones and cells could be banned or I was going to start tossing them in the fryer every time I had to repeat myself or watch something not getting done while someone texted. The boss went with banning.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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In a nutshell. It is flat out disrespectful and unacceptable to the team.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk


Edited by Bjs229 (log)

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I couldn't care less about it being "disrespectful" (I worked in an office printing shipping labels and sticking them on envelopes all day and got told that listening to my iPod was disrespectful), but in a kitchen with knives and hot liquids it seems dangerous to not be able to hear as others have said.

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It's a safety issue more than anything. Just like Lisa said, if someone can't hear calls, breaking glass, or the normal cues to be aware of what someone may be doing behind them, then they are a danger to themselves and the rest of the crew. Yeah, being in the dish pit sucks, and I understand the desire for music. Get a small stereo. Kid's a volunteer, so all the sturm and dram about respect in the kitchen and things doesn't really apply as much, I'd venture, but rules still have to be followed. If the kid wants to go into kitchens professionally, then this is one thing that will get him in trouble very quickly - and based on the heat generated by the responses, likely fired on the spot in a lot of kitchens. Best to let him know why, not just that it's forbidden. It's a teachable moment.

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Here in Las Vegas, it's a health department issue. If an inspector pops in and sees cooks with earbuds deployed, that's a demerit.


Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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It's a no brainer to me - in an environment like a kitchen where communication is clearly key then it is not acceptable. I was lucky enough to work as an amateur in a Michelin star kitchen for the day and we had music from a radio whilst doing mise en place but once service started that was stopped and the serious work began.

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