Archived Food Ave/Cafe Member Tips

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Does anyone have any tips for a new worker in this position? It is a lot of information to take in and I feel as if I am moving a lot slower than I should be. Turns out I am fairly bad at multi-tasking when it comes to the food industry-- which I've never been a part of until now. Thanks for any tips you can give..or any shorthand lists of what to do in opening/closing. Or directing me somewhere I can try to get better..I don't like letting other TMs down.

Not sure if this is the right forum for it-- but I am feeling quite lost about now.
 

buliSBI

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Hard to say since every store has a different setup for Food Ave. Whats your setup. Food Cafe, Pizza Hut Express, and/or Starbux.

Its a lot to take in but just learn a rhythm as you go. But read the Food Ave/Services Guideline pages. And read the weekly and daily cleaning and prep duties.

Non-PizzaHut/Non-Starbux
Closing Shift:
Communicate with the opening TM.
Check any messages from the FATL.
Prep for tomorrow's salads and sandwiches.
Pull bread out to thaw. Transfer meats to thaw.
Perform the necessary weekly cleaning/maintenance duties.
Start washing any dishes as soon as you can.
Sanitize surfaces as you go.

If business is slow, clean or prep don't stop. Check dates and equipment.

Closing Tips:
Do your next day PREP as soon as you arrive. Then do your weekly cleaning duties. Check dates.

If pretzels are held in the steamer drawer, clean one tray at a time. Place pretzels in food service paper wrap and place back in drawer. Place butter in bun warmer.

Hold remaining hotdogs in bun warmer during the last hour.
Place a long line of towels at the front and base of hot dog warmer plate. Place damp cleaning towels on hotdog warmer. Place ice on burnt on areas; not a whole lot of the ice so it wont spill over. Within a minute, burnt on junk should release.

Replace coffee drip trays with cleaning towels. Pull the coffee, if it hasn't been selling 2 hours before closing. (check with FATL)

Last hour, bag enough popcorn to get to closing. Clean popcorn machine. Place grate back inside and layer paper wrap under bagged popcorn.

As soon as it hits your FA closing time, lights out/closed sign up. Turn your soda/icee machines off. Use hot water from coffee maker and pour down the soda fountain/icee grate and drain.

Record your waste as you go.
 
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Tonight was indeed my first night on my own. I didn't grasp everything well during training, especially not for a night shift considering 1 out of 6 training days were night.
I thought it was doing good until the team leader that checks me out at night didn't like the cleanliness of the counters/sinks and I overlooked completely that I had forgotten to empty out the pizza hut express counter. And I still don't know how to QMOS...let alone prep half of the food..

We do have cafe/pizza hut express. Our store has it set that Starbucks has 2 employees, but the cafe area only has 1. It's not my place to say, and maybe I am just feeling out of place because I've never done food service but it seemed like an awful lot of work for one person. Since I had completely overlooked that one area, another one of my coworkers was asked to finish up because they wanted me off the clock to avoid overtime. I am horrible at multi-tasking..so things end up getting burnt, dishes don't get done, or customers get angry. I get very stressed out when there is a long line of customers. The tasks themselves are not that difficult, it's just all together I get overwhelmed.

Also very embarrassed that someone else had to pick up and help me with my work..because I know if I was on the opposite end of the deal I would be irritated. I feel so awful and discouraged by the entire experience, but I desperately need to keep a job.
 
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Hang in there, I know its overwhelming at first. I have to say though that I'm jealous you had 6 days of training. I'm a GSA and only got 1, yet am still expected to know everything and am held responsible for it.
 

buliSBI

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Hang in there. I was actually one of the last TMs to get some proper training at my store before I left. Other TMs I worked with were basically thrown in Food Ave with no training and with no idea about Food Service safety guidelines. All they were told is that if something needed to be made to look in the recipe book. And go by the closing shift duties as best as they could.

The whole prepping and proofing Pizza Hut pizzas was not my favorite either. The short time my FA had a Pizza Hut, my fellow TMs always suggested cooking the remaining pizzas as the pans are easier to clean.

Just communicate to your FATL and other FATMs that you might have questions about stuff or need tips. The TMs I always liked were the ones that asked for help and asked questions. All you really need at Food Ave is rhythm and communication and things will get easier. No one of the bat with no F/S experience is going to be perfect. So don't feel like you failed.
 
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^^^ All the above. Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question. Ask, ask, ask.

It IS stressful at first. It IS a lot of work. And it DOES require so much multi-tasking and time management. Take it in stride and keep at it. If you can get past that rough first period, I think you will find it a very enjoyable, fast-paced job that makes the hours fly by. I enjoyed being back there, being able to manage my own time and keep things arranged and clean to my liking. And if you do well, it can be a great stepping-off point for different jobs in the building, like pFresh. I had my STL come up to ME and ask me if I'd like the promotion from FA TM to PA simply based off of my work ethic and great reviews that I'd gotten. I'm a PA now and I really like it, but there's nothing quite like being queen of the Food Ave.
 

redeye58

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This is def one of those "practice makes perfect".
With repetition, it gets easier & multi-tasking starts becoming second nature but it's gonna be hard at first.
My problem with closing was that I always seemed to forget 1 or 2 small things.
 
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Thanks everyone for all the words of encouragement, because I definitely need it. I have one more closing shift tonight and then it starts to vary a bit. Maybe I'll have a better night tonight. I really hope I don't forget everything and I am able to close on time..

I do have one more question for regulars; the night shifts I've had have been 4/430-9PM but I have one listed to close at 830. I thought the cafe closed at nine, allotted finish up to 930? Why would I be closing 30-1hr early with all my typical duties. The next week ahead has odd hours.

On a final note-- I am starting to get red marks/small cuts on my fingertips. My FATL told me that I would be getting dry hands from handwashing..but I am unsure if this is something else..I do not think I am allergic to latex and as many times I've burned myself first closing night-- yeah, that's not the same.
 
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buliSBI

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It might be an edit mistake. But double check with your FATL and ETL-HR. But they could have made the scheduling computer happy in order to make the schedule. But you will more than likely close regular time.

Your hands are drying out from the sanitizer and degreaser. Your sanitizing solution should be in a narrow range of pH. If the test strip is in the extreme. Its too strong and will strip away natural oils and moisture in your skin. And will have to be adjusted. Best thing is to lotion them up before and after your shift. The degreaser stuff is pretty strong itself so really avoid contact.

If things are still the same, you should be using plastic Food Service gloves.
 

redeye58

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Re: closing shift at 8:30 - does your state have earlier closing times on Sundays? Our state does so FA/SB closes an hr earlier as well.

Re: hand care - use gloves when possible (or practical), especially when cleaning with even a mild corrosive. During your off times, use a good moisterizing hand cream - not lotion - to keep them from cracking. Keep your nails trimmed (to avoid snagging & breaking them off) & moisterize your cuticles, too.
 
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The shift detail is because Sundays close earlier. Boy that makes me nervous considering I am usually finishing about 15 minutes late where I am right now; putting me at finish 9:45. 8:30 is a lot earlier than that. :/

I apologized to the lead for being late, but I guess because I am new they are allotting me until 10PM until I get into the swing of things. Not sure how much faster I can do it at this point, but I had a lot of setbacks today including burning more things and morning shift not finishing prep and leaving me to do it.

Thanks for all the input here, especially about the hand moisturizer. My team lead provided me with some. :)
 
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On Sundays, they'd have the closer come in an hour earlier so you still got 4.5 hours to get everything done. The only person who got an hour cut was the mid, who had to make sure everything on their end was done by 4pm instead of 5pm.

ETA: When I first started at Food Ave, my hands went through a "molting" stage where all the skin dried up and flaked off due to dryness, twice. After that, though, I was fine. The only ongoing problems I would have from the water would be paper cuts not healing due to constant submersion...it was pretty bad, and painful. Glad I don't have that problem anymore.

But, just in case you don't already know, if you use Oven Degreaser, WEAR GLOVES. I'm serious. Even the tiniest bit on your skin will strip and burn and it is so painful. Your finger tips sound like what mine were like before I realized exactly how potent the degreaser was, and I scrubbed one of the bread stick warmer componants with my bare hands. I lost about three layers of skin on all my fingertips and they were shiny, tight and cracked for ages.

So yeah, wear gloves every time you touch that stuff, and if you get any on your skin, wash it off IMMEDIATELY. If you know you're going to be using degreaser a lot, like if you're cleaning the oven, dress appropriately. When I'd come in early to clean the oven I'd wear thick pants and a high-collared shirt layered over a long-sleeved shirt. Because yes, I'd get degreaser accidentally on my chest and neck and that is kind of awkward to rinse off in an efficient manner, lol.
 
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Thanks for all the tips! I am trying to make sure of them! Even the ones about blood and degreaser. x) Fortunately I haven't had anything worse of hangnails and burns. And being a left-handed individual of poor coordination, I take it as an accomplishment.

I know this is sort of an unrelated topic, but when I am not working Food Avenue, I am being cross-trained on cashier..and who knows where else next. How does one manage/ward of foot pains from standing in the isolated spot/spots for several hours on end. When I worked in retail during college, a co-worker told me about insoles for shoes but I never invested.
 

redeye58

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When cashiering, an old-timer gave me some good advice: keep moving.
If a mom has her hands full with the kiddos, I come around & start unloading onto the belt for her (or ask the kids to 'help' if they're old enough - keeps 'em busy). When you're done bagging, come around & put 'em in the cart. This way you can make sure nothing was missed (under the kiddy seat or below) & the guest leaves with all their bags. Moving around also keeps your legs from getting stiff standing in one spot.
 

red

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Ive been hearing a rumor at my store that they are thinking about closing food ave down . Has any one else heard about this?
 

mrknownothing

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Ive been hearing a rumor at my store that they are thinking about closing food ave down . Has any one else heard about this?

It might just be your store. It it wasn't profitable enough, then Spot may have decided to get rid of yours.
 
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Ive been hearing a rumor at my store that they are thinking about closing food ave down . Has any one else heard about this?

I spoke to a guy who was the new Food Avenue person before me, and he said it is surprisingly low-cost to run Food Avenue. I never would have thought that personally, because on my first training day I was immediately appalled by how much food we throw away.


Thanks! I'll definitely check these out!
 
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buliSBI

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For foot pain, look into getting firm arch supports. Some can be pricey, some can be cheap. They are either at real shoe stores, large pharmacies, and the Dr Scholls kiosks. There are even specialty shoe stores that just sell arch supports.

Some Food Aves may get rebranded depending on location and local shopping trends.
 
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My adventure thus far has been varied, I usually finish up within 5 minutes before clock out or up to about 15 minutes late. I've came in for TM who called in sick and worked their shifts and I've just tried to do my best even if my training wasn't very adequate. Even if some higher ups were snippy with me about finishing late I've also received praise and thanks. It is a mixed dish of candy. I just learned how the freezers function today and I've been working for a month. =/

Sorry to repost in a thread that's kinda old. I do have a question about salads and soups. I was never trained on how to make these...nor the churros but I think that's very self explanatory.

Whose job is it to make the salads..or yogurts? I wouldn't think it would be closers job-- but mid or open. I've seen the recipe book and vaguely looked through it for a moment when I was caught up. The primary struggle for me thus far is a never-ending line of guests, not knowing where things are and my inability to decide which tasks to do first.
 

redeye58

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When I was at FA, doing salads & pastas usually fell to the opener or mid.
Salads are usually done early in the day (preferably before lunch rush). You’ll need to thaw out bags of the chicken strips (the ones with the grill stripes on them), get your lettuce & dressing together as well as the add-ons (berries & nuts for the harvest salads; croutons & shredded parmesan for the Caesar salads). Measure out your dressings in the little condiment cups w/clear lids. Set out bowls for each salad (it’s usually easier if you do all of one type, then the other); fill with lettuce, top with chicken strips (pre-measured packet for ea one); harvest salad gets a packet of berries, slivered almonds & cup of poppy seed dressing; Caesar salad gets parmesan sprinkled on top of chicken w/packet of croutons & cup of Caesar dressing. Snap the lids on when done, label, date & put in the front cooler.
We used to make the yogurt parfaits but have gone to the premade yogurt cups now.
Churros are toasted in the oven, dabbed LIGHTLY with butter oil, put in a bag with cinnamon sugar & shaken.
Soup pouches are microwaved, cut open & poured into a bowl. Snap on the lid & serve with crackers.
Hope this helps.
There's a good Starbux opening protocol under the guides section.
 
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