Will be the year of balance. 2007 saw me fully make the transition out of the kitchen, onto the floor and into ownership. In 2008 some changes are coming. The GM will return to work one night a week (Friday), giving me a night with The Sardine. For at least the first few months of the year, I'll be in the kitchen one night a week, as my steadiest cook is in Mexico for the winter. I'll be in the office a couple days a week and on the floor a couple of days. I'll work 4 days and be off 3.
Our sous is really more the chef de cuisine at this point. He has really stepped up to the responsibility well. A month ago he left a note on the walk-in reminding the crew to do some basic things and telling them "I want fresh food, make small batches". I grinned when I saw it because it wasn't me writing it, but it's what I would have said. He's also taken on doing the small errands that I used to have to do, like picking up things at the store.
Our office manager has also really taken on more than we've expected. Just as the chef de cuisine has taken my role in maintaining standards, our office manager (who is also a waiter) is using the voice of the GM, looking over paperwork, and managing the myriad details of invoicing, discounts, comps and proper procedures.
What I need to keep in mind is that this only happened by the GM and I stepping away, creating the need for someone to fill those roles, and giving them the opportunity to grow into them. More than ever, our jobs are to develop people. We used to develop people more in a personal way, turning around the troubled teen, giving a safe haven for the misfit to discover self-worth and earn a living. We will always do this I'm sure, but now we can also develop people professionally, helping them become leaders themselves.
Right now though, it's time for inventory.