86 Alex Koons, The Bastard Always Preached More Communication



I read this today: “Bad communication ends a lot of good things.”

If my restaurant career ended today, I think my epitaph would read. “86 Alex Koons, the bastard always preached more communication.” It’s the glue that holds all healthy relationships/businesses/restaurants and any functional night of service together.

I think the most important thing I could express to anyone running a restaurant is you must over communicate, everything. Communication needs to be constant, fluid, and consistent for everything to work. Not saying something can create huge waves. Waves of resentment, regret, it can be dangerous to the team or your relationships with people on the team. TMI is not a thing, believe me. Communication is the alpha and the omega, the all mighty holy cornerstone of a healthy kitchen. Don’t underestimate any information.


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“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

George Bernard Shaw

I love this quote. Personally, there have been so many times I have communicated to my team just to have it thrown back in my face that “you never said that.” Now most of the time I would get upset by this. It wasn’t until I figured out that not everyone communicates the same way, and that some people just don’t listen. That’s why I started putting up signs, writing policy, and overly communicating exactly how I wanted things done. This helped create a standard to make sure that expectations were clear and easily met. People talk a lot of shit about policy, but what I have learned is the more people who know about what’s expected, and have a clear view of what it is they are to do they are much happier.

Over communication sometimes doesn’t work though, because communication is a two-way street. When there is writing on the wall though it’s a lot easier to tell someone, I did tell you that, in fact it is posted right here next to the oven. Now this all might sound crazy, but if you’ve worked in a kitchen, I think you will understand.

Lastly, growing up I think I remember a sign by the toilet that basically said, “put the seat down, or don’t pee everywhere”, or something to that effect. Sometimes the simplest things need reminding.

EXTRA SLICE: A cute little video on miscommunication.

Love, crust and pizza dust,

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