“Service” is the term we use to define the hours in which the restaurant is open for the clients. Our restaurant opens at 20.00hrs and will accept reservations until 22.00hrs. Service normally finishes when the last Desert has left the kitchen, that is normally around midnight. Though we are in Service for 4 hours, we spend the rest of the day preparing for Service.
Lao Cook Team normally start work around 10.00hrs, and sometimes will have a”Break” of about 2 hours between 16.30hrs and 18.30hrs, and will arrive home between 01.30 and 02.30.
During Service, each person has a specific task to do when the orders come in. An order is divided in to sections, normally Starters, Mains (and then later) Desert. Each kitchen section prepares his dishes to order, and the dishes cannot leave the kitchen until all components have come together.
Perhaps Sen is working on the Soups, and Toon is working on the Cold Starters and Kham is in charge of the Fried starters, if the order demands one of each section (say a table for 3 persons), then all the sections must complete their dish at the same time.
This runs extremely smoothly when you have the first table seated, but as the night continues, you find that you are calling out orders at the same time for table numbers 4,8,2 Starters as well as 5,7,3,1´s Main Courses and 9, 10´s Deserts. Then in 15 minutes time you will be wanting tables 4,8,2´s Main courses as well as newly arrived tables 15,18´s Starters for 8 persons….etc..
It is all to do with timing and coordination, and above all, good food. 🙂
Sometimes on busy days we like to call those 4 hours of Service “Organised Chaos” because all you can hear is shouting and the clanking of Woks, Pans, Pestle & Mortar, Oven Doors closing and opening, Fridges being slammed and Waitresses and Cooks being verbally abused (its not all gold at the end of the rainbow) 😉
Music to our ears….