Chuck Porter is the Kitchen and Training Manager for Applebee's in Eastpoint, Md. He has been with Applebee's for five years and just recently was promoted to Training Manager, which means he travels to different stores to improve the efficiency of each kitchen. Porter has traveled and worked at Applebee's in Towson, Eastpoint, Bel Air, and Aberdeen.
Q: As a former manager at the Towson Applebee's, what differences did you see working in Towson versus other areas?
Porter: One of the biggest and the most important was staffing. Bei ng close to Towson University, with so many students ensured a large job pool to pull from. Hiring a student gave you at least 4 years of dedicated work. There are so many college students in Towson. Even compared to other cities such as Bel Air, Towson is more more alive with the young workers and students.
Q: How have you seen the current state of the economy affecting the restaurant business?
Porter: I am not at liberty to give out our numbers unfortunately. However business is still booming and families are still eating.
Q: What is the most difficult aspect in being a manager of a restaurant?
Porter: As a kitchen trainer, I try to turn kitchens around to be faster and better. Right now, we are trying to make the swith from the "cook" title to the "chef" title. Instead of aportioning everything ahead of time, we are putting that responsibility on the "chef" to scoop or handle the correct amount for the customer. This is the hardest part becasue that is all they have been used to and it really is a brand new concept to them.
Q: How important are restaurant inspections to the managerial staff at Applebee's?
Porter: Restaurant inspections are important to ensure a quality and consistent product. They are very important to us. We make sure our kitchens are always up to standards on a daily basis. It is the manager's job to make sure our employees know and uphold these standards as well.
Q: On average, how often is an Applebee's store inspected, and what types of inspections?
Porter: We have what's called an in-house inspection. They inspect everything from the kitchen to the floor. The inspections are random.