The purpose of this paper is to explain critical thinking and decision-making by different examples, models, and show how it is used in everyday life. Everyone uses critical thinking and decision-making all the time, most of the time without recognition and involuntary and it starts from the time you wake up in the morning till you go to bed. It is used at home and at work. There are three components for every decision made and they are: 1.Criteria- the standards by which decision makers evaluate alternatives. 2. Alternatives- specific courses of action or options, being considered "positions." 3. Cause and Effect Beliefs- cause/effect belief are cognitions linking specific alternatives to specific criteria. These are often referred to as models, theories, assumptions, beliefs, or alternative attributes (Scholl, 1999). The reason for exemplifying the structure of kitchen hierarchy is needed to understand how certain decisions can affect many areas and how critical thinking is needed and used by all involved in the restaurant business. The structure of a restaurant is very complex and it is any ones guess on how anything ever gets accomplished. If it were not for critical thinking and some sort of decision making model then nothing would get accomplished. In a kitchen there are many people organized into a military type hierarchy for good reason and the purpose of this is to explain the structure, operation, and importance of a hotel restaurant kitchen and its employees starting at the top from the Executive Chef down to the dishwashers and cooks. A chart showing this hierarchy follows.
The Executive Chef and the Executive Steward are at the top of this pyramid and together they rule the kitchen and oversee its operation. First, the Executive Steward his/her responsibility is to maintain sanitation for kitchenware, including plates, silverware and storage containers for hot and cold food. Amongst those duties they must also sanitize all food surfaces, including walls, counters, drains, and the floor. Most importantly this department has to have enough clean kitchenware to supply the chef for its customers. Second, the Executive Chef's responsibility is to oversee all departments that produce food for display and consumption. In regards to this is also responsible to maintain low food and labor costs resulting from the production of these food products. The Executive Chef ironically as the name states, depending on the size of the company, is not responsible for the execution of these food products. That duty lies with Executive Sous Chef, Sous is French for second. The Executive Sous Chefs duty is to properly staff and order food directly proportionate to the amount of customers that the restaurant will service. In a kitchen there are many examples of "Critical Thinking" on many levels. The cooks in a restaurant constantly have to make quick decisions in a very hostile environment. All of these decisions are based upon orders given to them by their leaders and the demand for what they produce. In my opinion when it comes to "Critical Thinking and Decision -Making" chefs have it rough. All the responsibility lies on their heads as a great chef an author states "The brigade system divided the kitchen into functional areas. Each one had a command structure like the army's. Every station was led by a chef de partie, and that person was in charge of his unit of sous chefs, cooks, and assistants. Orders and information moved down the chain of command and were spread around to the staff as each "officer" saw fit. And the workers were responsible not just to their superior officer but also to the chef. In that way, the many, many tasks of a large, busy kitchen could, even in the heat of the dinner rush, be managed and coordinated by one personthe chef." (Bourdain, 2002) It took critical thinking to come up with this kitchen hierarchy and some borrowing. It is obvious to anyone who has been in the...
References: Bourdain A. (July, 2002) Management by fire: A conversation with Chef Anthony Bourdain Harvard Business review, 80, 7 Retrieved on March 13, 2006 from http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item.jhtml?id=3081&t=leadership
Scholl, R. (October 2, 1999) Professor of Management, University of Rhode Island Retrieved on March 13, 2006 from http://www.cba.uri.edu/Scholl/Notes/Decision_Making_Models.htm
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