Got Rocks, no disrespect intended, but your recent post illustrates two issues. One is your employees opening a dough ball, the other is the teachers ability to teach the process. I am only one pizza maker, and a home cook at that, but in my experience it seems that it can take some length of time for a new technique such as opening a dough ball to be learned. Also , my experience, sometimes the match between teacher and student just doesn't click. You may be able to open your dough balls great, to your satisfaction, but perhaps you and the student are not clicking. Since there seems to be a lack of "qualified" applicants, perhaps a different teaching method or a different teacher would help. Obviously I don't live in your world, these are just my initial observations.
Yeah, my dough is not exactly what I remember it being, it is not horrible to work with, it's just not the perfect dough that I so fondly remember working with back in the day, and that is what I am trying to rectify, so I can have an dough that is easy and fast to stretch and does not have the consistency of wonder bread.
I think I may need to blend some flours to come up with a lesser protein mix to get the workability that I remember having. I am limited by geography as to what products I can get up here through my distributors, and LTL freight for us is not a cost effective or feasible option. So, time to do some experimenting, I'm just glad that flour prices are not what they were a few short years back.
I found something interesting about this particular employee who was heavily on my mind during the rant in my last post.
He has never successfully made a pizza anywhere that he has said he had worked!
He lied on his app, and he lied during his interview, because in his mind, apparently he thought he could just BS his way through, he thought that making quality pizza was easy peasey and that nobody would notice that he was incapable of what he said he could do and the very specific help-wanted ad that he responded to.
I decided to call this guys (alleged) previous employers (300 miles away) to do some verifying right before I signed his payroll check and let him go today.
His previous employers verified my suspicions that he had lied to me, and that they had also let him go shortly after his hiring due to him not being able to handle the duties assigned to him, or even lesser duties being done properly. One place even described him as "Totally Unemployable anywhere in the food service industry" (wow)
I tried to keep him on, I really did. But there was no suitable position in my restaurant for someone with his particular skill set. I even tried him as a DMO (Dish Machine Operator)
When I interviewed this guy, I was very clear that I needed someone who could take ownership of the pizza end of our menu, get that running tight, and be able to train others using the basic components/recipes which I provide, and be able turn out a quality pizza without major oversight from me. Basically I need someone to take ownership of that line of product, I do not have time to start a total noob, that was to be his job, I have other things happening that I must attend to. (like running the place)
Now it's my turn to be condescending towards you;
I just finished a 16 hour day on about 4-5 hours of sleep and we got shorted product by one of our main suppliers and this shorting still has me trying to figure out how i'm going to cover a catered event for 500 people going out at noon tomorrow, and still have enough product to get us through until next week Thursday, so I may seem a little harsh in my next paragraph due to my current stress level..
Maybe someday when you're an employer in a high-volume restaurant that strives for perfection like we do, you may understand why it is beneficial to cut your losses early on with some employees who are not able to handle the responsibilities which they stated that they could handle.
Pizza is not my mainline item. It is a secondary product in my operation.
On a typical day we are already cooking/serving 800-1200 pounds of meat (that takes anywhere from 12-18 hours to prepare) without the volume of off-premise catering that we see this time of year.
Since not everyone is a devout carnivore like the bulk of our customers, this is why I have decided to diversify our menu and make use of the beautiful stack of three European pizza ovens that were already in my new building that we have just purchased.
This also gives me an option to move some of our main product in a different format that would otherwise become waste and in turn lower my food-cost ratio while providing another unique product to our customers.
Do I need to go into the differences between being a home pizza cook, and one that needs the utmost in repeatable consistency, and a very tight order to table timeline, and to stay within projected food/labor costs? Or do you already understand why that is so important?
So, let me know when your parking lot is packed full, and you have vehicles parked up and down the highway for over a city block in both directions with a line of customers out the door waiting for up to an hour to purchase your products and the sheriffs office calling to say they are going to start ticketing my customers for parking on the highway. Then explain to me how well your patience holds out when you realize your new hire is a total and complete fraud. Should I mention the out of pocket costs incurred for each and every new hire you may bring on?
We are only as good as our crew, luckily I have some true rockstars, we do not have time to start out a noob who has zero inherent skills, and is unable to properly execute the most basic of duties in a high-volume commercial kitchen. Did I mention the 71 other restaurants all within a 10 mile radius of us who are all competing for the same customer base? Life in a tourist town sure is grand when you have just shy of 70 days to make your nut for the year, give it a try, you'll love it!
Watch the movie "The great Outdoors" sometime and you'll get a wonderful understanding of where I live and work. And yes, there is actually a restaurant named "Paul Bunyans" here, but they do not serve the 96 ounce steak as seen in the movie.
Alright, rant over. I hope I have not offended anyone too horribly.