Whenever you get the opportunity to step foot into a successful kitchen, it's always fascinating to watch how it operates. When you can put your focused attention on the way someone is working and why they do it, you can walk away with lessons that if acted upon, could transform the way you move and carry yourself at work. While we were in Chef Norman's kitchen, we, of course, saw great techniques being used, but we couldn't help but wonder what was it that made his kitchen tick.
At first glance, what was most apparent in his facilities was that no matter where you looked, there seemed to be a sense of intentional organization and cleanliness. This would be something that if not instilled in each employee could cause chaos. For example, if you're building petits gateaux and you're making hundreds of them at a time think of how much space you would need to use and how much equipment would be necessary. If not managed correctly, your extra sheet pans, bowls, tools, rings, or Fleximolds could very quickly eat up space that other people need to work. Not only that, but each extra step or movement you would add to the production multiplied by the number of petits gateaux your making will drastically increase the time it will take you to finish a task. When you multiply that extra 10 minutes by the number of production days a year, you could be looking at thousands of dollars in labor that would be wasted.
Generally, where you find organization, you'll find systems AKA the method to the madness. It may not be part of the job that is going to keep you up late at night because you're too excited to get into work the next day, but it should. Every time that you think to yourself where is this, is this something we have, can you hand me that, they're not doing that right, did you see that order, this is dirty, I missed adding an insert here, oh I need to grab the immersion blender, etc these are all inefficiencies that will keep you from doing what you want to do the most, create. As you develop a system to eliminate each one of these mistakes, you'll be increasing your bandwidth to focus on more important things, and more than likely get to work on developing that new skill or technique you've wanted to learn.