Dear Jon Letters...

Dear Jon Letters






A series for clients and colleagues who are seeking support, asking for advice, and hoping to reignite their passion for hospitality.

Dear Jon:

What can I do about the constant fighting between my Chef and the front of the house staff? -K.C., Boston


Dear K.C.:

This can be a tricky problem because you may be tempted to “take sides” in the arguments between your staff. Remember to address interpersonal problems as business challenges. This distinction will help you focus on your professional objectives.


Infighting can be hugely detrimental to a restaurant or catering company. While your Chef and FOH staff are bickering and placing blame, who’s taking care of the customers?! As a hospitality company, everyone’s goal should be to satisfy your clients and guests. You can make sure your team is on the same page by clarifying your company expectations. Take time at every training session, production meeting, and pre-shift dinner to remind all staff that their attention needs to be focused on the guests.


Because we all come from different backgrounds and had different training, your Chef and FOH staff probably have different levels of experience and communication styles. Some hands-on training will give each member of your team a greater understanding of what their colleagues do. Assign your Chef to join a salesperson on a day of challenging sales calls, tight deadlines surrounding their load of admin work, and conversations with demanding and unyielding clients. In turn, instruct the salesperson to work alongside the Chef during a particularly long and grueling day to experience a hot kitchen, scalding pots and pans, loading and unloading trucks, and last minute changes to menus and guest counts. Your Chef and salesperson may not end up best buddies, but at the very least they’ll have a new appreciation for the challenges their colleagues face.


Good luck and let us know how things turn out!


Do you have a question for Jon? Ask in the comments or send us an email. We may answer your letter next!


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  • #8

    Lauren (Tuesday, 13 August 2019 05:38)

    I get this feeling completely. I feel this way too when I can understand both sides, and staying with any of them can be harmful to the other one.