===Any creative suggestions on how to reprimand my cooks for their negligence? Anything I can think of means I’ll be short handed (again) and the labor pool in this small town is…===
I believe that there are labor laws that will prevent you from firing or to make forced restitution from employees due to negligence. Taking a guess here, since you don’t mention any nighttime chef or kitchen manager( just a head cook who comes in at the morning), I will point out that whoever is the manager or most likely -you- are responsible for all aspects of closing up and locking the doors for the next days business.
All you can do is talk to them and discuss their responsibilities for what is needed to close down.
One thing that I have to do at night is to turn off certain fuses at the fuse box and arm the fire control systems. I do it, but there can be at least one to two other people who double check to make sure. Who checks up on things before closing at your place?
As for the wasted corned beef, St. Patty’s Day is over. How much leftover beef, cabbage, carrots are left over? What are you going to do with it? How many corned beef sandwiches will you serve this week before it goes old and gray? Your cooks probably did you a favor.
Of course, if you do have too much leftover corned beef and stuff, you could demonstrate some generosity by donating it to the homeless shelter…. or tell your cooks that they can take some home.
If your cooks were able to lower your food costs, would you show your appreciation? Give them a raise? I bet not, as I feel that you may be….
==== VERY small & shallow….===
Last year, we cooked so much corned beef that it was ridiculous. The days after the celebration, my boss kept on trying to sell the stuff, but he was damned if he would give it away to charity. It was criminal as to how much of it went straight into the trash. I wonder if you are like him….small and shallow. He was the type that would force waitresses to make up for cash shortages and as I posted above, I think it isn’t legal.
===…Thanks for letting me vent.===
That’s all you can do. Talk to them in the manner that other forum members have suggested, except for what Adjudicator posted.