20 Hell’s Kitchen

The following topic will be addressed in this post:

Discuss an example which you have experienced or witnessed where quality control gone awry.

The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection– Lexus tagline

Top businesspeople understand the negative effects of mistakes and waste on the bottom line. As a result, they try to curb mistakes as much as possible (eliminating mistakes is impossible). To help in this mistake reduction process, managers use concepts such as Total Quality Management and Six Sigma management.

Can managers become too obsessed with perfection? Yes, it happens constantly. Many managers do not understand that mistakes cannot be totally eliminated. Some managers are pressured to perform from other sources. Some managers have obsessive compulsive personalities or some other internal factor that makes them seek perfection. The reasons for quality control gone awry are many and varied.

In this post, I will address quality control gone awry. Instead of a negative instance, however, I will discuss awry quality control that I think benefits the customer.

Perfection is relentlessly pursued by many people, but no one so exacting as the Executive Chef. Like many people, I have worked in restaurants and I have seen chefs ply their trade first hand. The general public is probably most familiar with the workings of the “heart of the house” through televised programs such as Hell’s Kitchen with Gordon Ramsay or Iron Chef with various top chefs. In these shows, we see the primary chefs directing teams of assistants and sometimes, especially in Mr. Ramsay’s case, using harsh language with their staffs.

Why are these chefs so precise? They are not simply feeding people. At these levels, the chefs are artists. They understand that the flavor mixture of their culinary creations is only the beginning. They understand that the ambiance, dish presentation, use of exotic ingredients, and beverage pairings are just as important. The elite chefs are elevating dining by creating experiences rather than just meals.

At the elite level, the competition between chefs is fierce. They all take great pride in their profession and realize the rewards that can accrue to the best of the best. Moreover, the chefs realize that every dish sent out of the kitchen carries their reputations, training, and livelihoods. In the best circumstances, the chefs build great teams of like-minded personnel around them.

Is this relentless pursuit a problem? Sometimes, yes. People can be cruel and unrealistic. But, for the most part, the customers benefit. They pay for and receive the experiences they seek. New culinary ground is covered. The free market works as customers receive value and the chefs self-actualize. Cheers!

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2 Responses to 20 Hell’s Kitchen

  1. Great take on quality control gone awry. I agree with you that quality control to the extreme can be a great thing because in the end it is the customers who benefit. If the customers are happy and want to come back, it is the company who benefits, and thus the owner, managers, and employees benefit because they get to keep their jobs and work towards making more of a profit.

  2. Les says:

    I like your topic – restaurants and quality control. This brings up the question of how much of the dining experience is related to the food itself and how much is related to non-food items.

    In our reading assignment, “It’s a Jungle in There”, the author talks about his 11 commandments for theme restaurants on page 74. These commandments are entertainment, education, environment, employees, earnings, sight, sound, smell, touch, passion, and taste. While a chef will concentrate more on the food being served, the restaurant owner is concerned about everything. Taste is only one of his eleven commandments. Is great food enough for a restaurant to succeed, or do restaurants need the complete package for success?

    I’ve had great food from passionate street vendors, and they were able to use many of the author’s commandments for very little money. And I appreciated the food’s cost.

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