Chef Was Unfairly Fired After Creating A Reliable Process For The Restaurant, So He Made Sure To Take His Recipe Book With Him And Ruin Their Business

March 20, 2024

Source: Reddit/AITA/Unsplash/@danielnijland

If you’ve ever worked in a kitchen before, then all you’re gonna LOVE this story.

It comes to us from Reddit’s “Malicious Compliance” page and the person who wrote it really nailed it!

Check out what happened!

“So I’m a professional chef and I have been for a few years, and in Australia apprentice chefs are trained in a sorta college where we learn about 150 recipes.

Now many of the recipes are provided to the students in bulky, finicky booklets that you wouldn’t really want to take anywhere with you so I started writing some of the recipes in a separate notebook along with some other recipes I’d learnt from coworkers or family members and created a sort of pseudo-cookbook and I would often bring this book into the kitchen so I would remember ingredient quantities and cooking times and eventually I would leave the book in the kitchen pretty much around the clock.

What I soon found out was that some of the other chefs in the kitchen were using my cookbook to check official recipes for the restaurant we worked for (as typically the head chef would have to tell them and this got annoying for everyone) and this restaurant was a part of a popular sports club in the local area so consistency was extremely important to management.

As such, having a written record of the new recipes or changes to long time recipes was very important.

Their book was THE BOOK.

As it turned out, management had stopped making changes to the official club recipe book a few months before I even started so my book became the defacto official recipe book.

For a while this was no issue to me and I kept adding new recipes to it throughout the next few years, however after my 3rd year working there I finished my studies and became fully qualified as a chef so I suddenly became more expensive to keep on as a staff member and as such management started looking for any reason to replace me with a new apprentice.

Then they got the boot…so they took what belonged to them.

Eventually they found someone to replace me and gave a half *** reason for firing me and told me to “take all my things and leave as I could no longer offer what they were looking for.”

So I took everything I owned and left including the notebook with all the clubs recipes.

For a few days not a whole lot happened but slowly the clubs reviews started complaining about bland food, dry cakes, inconsistent classic recipes and every other food related thing you could think of, at one point there was 50 negative reviews in a single day which for our town was a massive amount of negative reviews in one day.

It felt pretty good since I felt they deserved it and left me unemployed on short notice however I was quickly offered a new job by a smaller restaurant who’s owner knew me from the sports club kitchen.

The Malicious Compliance…

You probably saw this coming…

After about a week I received multiple calls and after answering one i heard one of the higher managers at the sports club asking if I could return the book as the kitchen needed it back.

I obviously laughed and said firmly that it was my book full of my recipes so it wasn’t going anywhere near them, reminding them that they had told me I “could no longer offer what they were looking for.”

The manager clearly began to panic as he offered to give me my job back and “just let bygones be bygones”.

I already had a new job so I completely brushed off this offer and ignored him. I hung up pretty soon after that.

The plan was working…

I started putting the recipes from my book on the new restaurants menu and it was beginning to attract a few regular customers of the sports club so I quickly found myself with more and more responsibility and command within the kitchen to the point that about a third of the menu was from my book.

Now this slow trickle of sports club regulars picked up speed after about 3 months and lead to several high level managers from the club deciding to visit the restaurant I’d helped build and virtually demanded I give them my cookbook claiming it would be much more beneficial for the community if they had it.

My head chef laughed in their faces and told them to **** off.

It’s been about 2 years and my head chef and I have a very positive relationship and the customer base we have at the restaurant is better than ever.

We didn’t take every customer from the big club but it was enough damage to their profits to scare a few investors away and also lead to a decent bit of damage to one of the higher managers reputations.

Furthermore the recipe issues and negative reviews lead to the majority of the kitchen quitting and according to one of my old colleagues they citied the lack of support and organisation from upper management as the final reasons everyone was quitting and this lead to an even larger dip in the quality of the restaurant food.

I also get paid significantly more at this restaurant than I was at the sports club.”

And here’s what people had to say about this story.

This person shared how they’d handle this.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Another individual talked about non-disclosure agreements.

Source: Reddit/AITA

One Reddit user shared their own work story.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This reader said they handled this the right way.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Another individual shared about their family does it.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Nice work, chef!

That’ll teach ’em to try that again.

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