Kitchen nightmare: Halal Italian restaurant chef reveals incident where ‘staff never showed up’ for work

Running a restaurant is no easy task. 

Besides long working hours, there is also the tricky issue of manpower to grapple with as the executive chef and owner of Italian restaurant Kucina, Gero DiMaria, revealed in a recent podcast interview

The clip, posted on Kucina restaurant’s TikTok account on Nov 1, sheds light on one of his toughest moments as a chef.

@kucinaitaliansg Untold Stories of running an F&B by Chef Gero 🇮🇹 #fypsg #sgtiktok #sgfoodie #sghalal #sgmakan ♬ original sound – Kucina Italian Restaurant SG

Best described as a kitchen nightmare, he recounted an incident where he was forced to work alone in the kitchen, stating that his “staff never showed up” for work.

To exacerbate the situation, it was a busy Friday night, and he had a 90-pax reservation list with only a part-timer to assist him.

“I will run the kitchen alone with just the part-timer,” he explained in the interview when his restaurant manager asked him how he planned to manage for that night’s dinner service.

He gave specific instructions to the part-timer, saying, “You will just listen to my voice, nobody else.”

She managed the cold side of the kitchen while he cooked the pastas, pizzas, and mains. “I was handling all three sections,” he added.

Amazingly, Chef Gero managed to complete the dinner service which left his manager impressed. 

Netizens in the comments section empathised with him, praising his determined attitude in a challenging situation.

One user questioned whether the quality of the food served that day lived up to their standards, to which the restaurant replied, “Yes, of course.”

Some were curious to know whether the kitchen staff who didn’t show up were fired, and the restaurant updated that their services were terminated.

The comments section also revealed that the part-timer on that day was compensated well for their effort.

Mental health in the F&B Industry

In another TikTok clip, Chef Gero addressed the topic of mental health within the service industry.

@kucinaitaliansg Mental Health 🧠 #fypsg #sgtiktok #sgfoodie #sghalal #sgmakan ♬ The Champion – Lux-Inspira

He acknowledged that young individuals in the F&B line are affected by this issue, as they often lack confidence because they constantly compare themselves to others they see on social media.

“Nobody has a perfect life,” he mentioned. “What you see on social media is a perception.”

He recounted the time when he started as a dishwasher and had to overcome several obstacles to reach his current position as a business owner.

He mentioned that if he had given up, he wouldn’t be where he is now.

Chef Gero said that it’s all about gaining experience, and when “you’re running a business, you cannot let down your clientele.”

He also advised pushing away negative people and emphasised the importance of reaching out to positive individuals when dealing with mental health issues.

“You can’t keep everything in,” he added. “You need to [have] a mentor, someone you can trust.”

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