I've been spending time in the kitchen lately, after a few year hiatus to the front of the house. One of things I realized is that I can do a prodigious amount of prep. I've had a few people come and go in the kitchen and I have been amazed at their relative slowness, or that they seem to have only one thing going at a time. Oddly, I am not an organized person. While the GM is always prepared, with notes and plans for everything, I am a seat of the pants guy. You would think this would get in my way in the kitchen, but I'm always able to swing it.
I think this is one of the reasons I've burnt out a few sous chefs. I expect that they will handle the same workload I do. Realizing they can't doesn't make them bad, nor me good, just that I have to readjust expectations. Over the years we have talked about running a prep shift, getting one of the cooks to come in early, get stuff done, and leave early. The problem is if they are strong cooks, who can work unsupervised, I need them on the line at night. And if they're not strong and need supervision, well they have to be there at night also. Plus, there's not enough work to consistently have a prep person and so this good idea has never been implemented.
I do however, have a candidate. Our newest dishwasher is great. He wanted more hours and proposed stripping our floors. We've needed to have this done for years and gave the go-ahead. He has been scraping them with a SPATULA, no chemicals and ripping right along. They're almost done. It's taken him over a month, but I thought it would be impossible. He put casters on one of the stoves that our previous maintenance guy (one of my strong cooks) couldn't do. He's motivated, works by himself, is pleasant, and gets things done. He's also cooked before.
Once the floors are done I am going to try him as a prep cook. Hopefully I'll be able to hand him the crown.