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Thread: Who's right: Rocco or Jeffrey?

  1. #61
    FORT Fogey Catniptoy's Avatar
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    I'm on Jeffrey's side. I waitressed my way through college, and I know what it is like to be on the lowest rung of the ladder. We may not see everything that goes on and a lot of it may be fake for the show, but I do know what I HAVE seen on the show. I've seen Rocco tell tables that the waiter is a f---- up, when the problem wasn't the waiter's fault at all. I've seen Rocco scream at his cooking staff for ice-cold food when he was very aware that the food is under two tiny lamps and needed covers that he hadn't provided, and had to be carried up a bunch of stairs to be delivered to the tables. I've seen Rocco give a Vespa (I think that's how it's spelled--it's an expensive motorbike) to a bar manager to get her to come back to work, and THAT'S not going to cause other people to be jealous or dissatisfied in their jobs, is it? He doesn't know how to manage staff. He motivates them with trips to the Hamptons and big speeches and then doesn't follow through with any of the teamwork and support he promises them. If your employees are miserable, your customers aren't going to be happy.
    I worked in an Irish pub once that used silverplate, and we had to polish it. I think Rocco insists on using silver even though he uses appetizer boats with little paper liners with red checks on them. Probably Jeffrey feels that they could do away with the silver and the extra cost of using it and go for stainless. Rocco obviously has big ideas but he hasn't shown that he knows how to be practical (Huge flower costs when there are only plants? Unbelievably expensive personal business cards?). The wait staff and the restaurant can't make any money when the tables don't turn over. People sit there bellowing, "Where's Rocco? Is Rocco coming? Will he be here later? I'm staying until he comes!" There is no money in that for the waiters or the restaurant itself. The guests are unhappy because they wanted to see Rocco, the star, and the wait staff is miserable because their tables are automatically dissatisfied before they've even eaten the food. I think it is ridiculous that Jeffrey tried to talk to Rocco intelligently, even without the cameras, about the restaurant being in the red, and Rocco just said, "No comment." That isn't professional. Rocco refuses to show up at meetings, claims that he has never seen a financial statement even though his assistant has seen all of them, and speaks unprofessionally about his staff with customers. He's a negative influence on his own restaurant.
    Last edited by Catniptoy; 05-13-2004 at 03:15 AM.

  2. #62
    FORT Fan decan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catniptoy
    If your employees are miserable, your customers aren't going to be happy
    THAT says it all! I couldn't agree more..... I mean in essence that's where all the problems lie and if Rocco paid a bit more closer attention over them in the first place then we might not be seeing the resturant to be in the red. And probably no need for alot of Jeffery's cameo on the show either.

    Still don't get me wrong tho, I'm sure Rocco's a great guy. But like you said, he ain't the manager type. He just doesn't fit to be a good owner. Celebrity chef, book author or awards presenter- yes he is but resturant owner- No way jose

  3. #63
    Queeny queeny's Avatar
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    yeay catnip. well said .thank you

  4. #64
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    Rocco's "style"

    Quote Originally Posted by Catniptoy
    I'm on Jeffrey's side. . I've seen Rocco tell tables that the waiter is a f---- up, when the problem wasn't the waiter's fault at all. I've seen Rocco scream at his cooking staff for ice-cold food when he was very aware that the food is under two tiny lamps and needed covers that he hadn't provided, and had to be carried up a bunch of stairs to be delivered to the tables.
    . Probably Jeffrey feels that they could do away with the silver and the extra cost of using it and go for stainless. Rocco obviously has big ideas but he hasn't shown that he knows how to be practical (Huge flower costs when there are only plants? Unbelievably expensive personal business cards?). The wait staff and the restaurant can't make any money when the tables don't turn over. People sit there bellowing, "Where's Rocco? Is Rocco coming? Will he be here later? I'm staying until he comes!" There is no money in that for the waiters or the restaurant itself. The guests are unhappy because they wanted to see Rocco, the star, and the wait staff is miserable because their tables are automatically dissatisfied before they've even eaten the food. I think it is ridiculous that Jeffrey tried to talk to Rocco intelligently, even without the cameras, about the restaurant being in the red, and Rocco just said, "No comment." That isn't professional. Rocco refuses to show up at meetings, claims that he has never seen a financial statement even though his assistant has seen all of them, and speaks unprofessionally about his staff with customers. He's a negative influence on his own restaurant.
    I agree, I am on Jeffrey's side.
    Putting aside personality issues, which there are faults on both sides, it comes to an issue of effectiveness.

    Rocco's style works well in a kitchen. There, a chef is a God, and the chef instills fear and envy in his line cooks. This fear translates into enduring animal-like labor (12-14 hour days 6 days a week in a 100 degree kitchen) for relatively little money. This mentality comes out of the French tradition of, basically, giving your adolescent children to another to learn a trade, during which time the "instructor" could do pretty much anythign short of killing the kid as long as the trade was imparted on him. Verbal and physical abuse is not uncommon in French kitchens, and even Emeril Lagassee has tales of having pots thrown at him. Not to be outdown, I heard that even Bobby Flay likes to fling things to get the attention of line cooks. The unquestioned dictatorial nature has been in place in kitchens for a long time, and multiply it by 10 in NYC.
    This management style doesn't work well Front of the House though, and Rocco's chastizing, criticizing, mocking employees both to their face and in front of customers is unprofessional by the standard of that job. Doing the same thing to a line cook, for whatever reason, is considered acceptable. Go figure.

    Jeffrey is trying to make money, end of story. Rocco is failing; moreover, he is failing to try to make the restuarant financially successful. The ONLY time Rocco is speechless is when he is face-to-face with Jeffrey. Why? Jeffrey is one of the few people who doesn't fear him, and probably has more gravitas than he does.

    As for the flowers, is it wrong to buy flowers with company money and give it to someone else? What if that someone else was another restaurant, namely, Union Pacific? I'm not suggesting Rocco is embezzling, but I think Jeffrey might have questions...

  5. #65
    FORT Fan decan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharonSez
    The ONLY time Rocco is speechless is when he is face-to-face with Jeffrey. Why? Jeffrey is one of the few people who doesn't fear him, and probably has more gravitas than he does.
    Haha right on! how true it is.... but the main reason why Jeffery doesn't fear him is because Jeffery's the one in control, he has all the dough (no pun intended)

  6. #66
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    Maybe JC should fire Rocco, but keep Mama as the executive chef. I mean she is always there in the kitchen, everyone likes her, and her meatballs are legendary. But maybe Rocco won't like that :-)

    Rocco does well when he is not with Jeffrey (look at Union Pacific), Jeffrey does well with his own team (where he can have accountability); but a 50-50 partnership can be a recipe for disaster (like a bad marriage) if partners are incompatible. A divorce may be a reasonable escape route out of this mess!

    A question for the smart ones out there: If JC were to fire Rocco, how much will he have to pay to buy over Rocco's 50% share. It's not like the restaurant is profitable and Rocco hasn't contributed much except his name. If Rocco were to buy JC's share, how much does he have to pay JC?
    Last edited by SurferBlonde; 05-14-2004 at 02:30 PM.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurferBlonde

    A question for the smart ones out there: If JC were to fire Rocco, how much will he have to pay to buy over Rocco's 50% share. It's not like the restaurant is profitable and Rocco hasn't contributed much except his name. If Rocco were to buy JC's share, how much does he have to pay JC?
    The courts will determine all of that, which is why both parties have filed. The case is a business divorce if you will. The courts can either say that JC gets the place and Rocco gets nothing, Rocco gets it and JC gets nothing, or one of the two of them gets it only by paying the other X amount. That's why Rocco loses no matter what. Either he's pushed out of his own place, or he's forced to keep it, but has no money for it.

  8. #68
    FORT Fan decan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I'mChris
    The courts will determine all of that, which is why both parties have filed. The case is a business divorce if you will. The courts can either say that JC gets the place and Rocco gets nothing, Rocco gets it and JC gets nothing, or one of the two of them gets it only by paying the other X amount. That's why Rocco loses no matter what. Either he's pushed out of his own place, or he's forced to keep it, but has no money for it.
    All the more reason why Rocco SHOULD have worked things out with Jeffery sooner in the first place. His "disappearing act", his smug attitude and his general rudeness towards JC is what brought him down and paid the price. I just can't understand why he couldn't understand that

  9. #69
    Yo Mama Mama Harold's Avatar
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    I've been gone for awhile, but I have to weigh in here. First, Jeffrey may look like an unmade bed, but what does that have to do with his business acumen? Should only attractive people be able to run successful businesses? Let me tell you, most of the very successful people I know wouldn't win any beauty contests either.

    Second, just because someone made a very poor choice earlier in their life, doesn't mean they can never be a legitimate or successful business person. He's done his time, leave the guy alone.

    Third, his company owns 22 restaurants. Rocco's is the ONLY one not making money. How is this Jeffrey's fault???? Rocco didn't want him micromanaging him, so he didn't. He gave Rocco a fair time period to prove whether or not he could run the restaurant at a profit. He failed miserably.

    Next, Rocco is the poorest excuse for a businessman I have EVER seen. Who in the world would run a business and not even BOTHER to read the financial statements???? And the claim of "I never got them," is so childish as to be repulsive. And when Jeffrey shows up to show him all the emails, memos and reports, Rocco won't even look at them. Just hands them off to Laurant and runs away. I swear to God I want to smack his face right off his skull.

    Then, he is NEVER in the restaurant. As far as I can see, he spends all his time signing books, giving interviews and crudely hitting on women. I'm no rocket scientist, but I'm pretty sure the first rule of Business 101 is PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BUSINESS.

    And finally, he fires his Executive Chef in an extremely unprofessional manner. Who is going to run the kitchen?? Rocco is NEVER THERE. He says he is willing to give his all for 2-3 weeks, but Tony was putting in 80-90 hour weeks (pretty standard for an Exec. Chef). I very seriously doubt that Rocco is willing to put those kind of hours in for the long term. He said he fired Tony to save money, but if he's only willing to work for 2-3 weeks, isn't he going to have to hire someone else??? Oh, and was I the only one who noticed that he lied to Mama about Tony? Saying he locked himself in a conference room and refused to leave??? All I saw was him making a phone call before leaving.

    Rocco turns my stomach on a regular basis. I only watch the show now to see him make an ass out of himself and to cheer on Jeffrey.

  10. #70
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Hmmm, someone with no management skills versus someone with management skills that put him in federal prison. Six of one, I guess.

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