The Bear’s “Every Second Counts” Is Deeper Than You Realize
7 mins read

The Bear’s “Every Second Counts” Is Deeper Than You Realize


  • In ‘The Bear,’ “Every Second Counts” reflects the value of time management in the kitchen, crucial for success in the cutthroat restaurant business.
  • Chef Terry’s backstory in season 2 reveals a deeper meaning of “Every Second Counts” as a reminder to embrace and savor each moment.
  • While Richie grasps the true essence of “Every Second Counts,” Carmy struggles to internalize the concept due to past traumas and grief.



As obvious as it may seem, the meaning of “Every Second Counts” in The Bear has a deeper significance. Set in Chicago, The Bear season 1 gives audiences a glimpse of all the challenges Carmy has to overcome to be able to save his family’s sandwich shop from toppling after his brother’s tragic demise. However, after walking through the harsh realities of running a small restaurant business and shedding some light on Carmy’s past traumas, The Bear season 1 ends on an optimistic note when Carmy and his kitchen staff find new hope.

The Bear season 2 marks the inception of a new journey for Carmy, Sydney, and their staff when they start another restaurant business. While Carmy and his sister, Sugar, struggle to meet deadlines while balancing it all with their personal lives, the restaurant’s staff members go through their individual rite of passage, where they learn valuable lessons. One of these lessons revolves around understanding the true meaning of “Every Second Counts.


The Bear: Kitchen & Chef Lingo Explained

From Staging and The Brigade to Cartouche, Family Style, and more, discover the meaning of various chef and kitchen lingo from Hulu’s The Bear.

“Every Second Counts” Reflects The Value Of Time Management In The Kitchen

The obvious meaning of “Every Second Counts” explained

The Bear Every Second Counts

On the surface, “Every Second Counts” has an obvious meaning, seemingly reflecting the value of managing time in the kitchen. The statement explains why Carmy meticulously calculates the number of seconds it would take for food to move from one counter in his kitchen to another before it reaches his customers. As Carmy’s flashbacks and Donna’s hinted backstory reveal, the restaurant business is cutthroat. To retain customers and ensure they are well ahead of their competitors, restaurant owners like Sydney and Carmy must constantly beat the clock.

Instead of letting crucial time slip by, she and Richie make ”
every second count
” by rallying their team, managing all orders, and implementing quick, decisive actions to salvage the situation.

Even in The Bear season 2’s finale, the camera keeps panning towards the “Every Second Counts” board in the central kitchen after Carmy gets stuck in the freezer and Sydney initially struggles to figure out what she should do next. However, instead of letting crucial time slip by, she and Richie make “every second count” by rallying their team, managing all orders, and implementing quick, decisive actions to salvage the situation. However, beyond this surface-level interpretation, “Every Second Count” also has a deeper message, which is revealed in The Bear‘s season 2, episode 7 (titled “Forks”).

“Every Second Counts” Completes Chef Terry’s Backstory

Chef Terry hints at the true meaning of “Every Second Counts” in season 2’s episode 7

Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Richie and Olivia Colman as Chef Terry in The Bear

Olivia Colman’s Chef Terry briefly appears in The Bear season 2’s episode 7 but leaves Richie with profound wisdom. While teaching Richie how to peel mushrooms, she tells him she learned a lot about her father while packing his belongings after his demise. She recounts that while going through her father’s stuff, she found several notes and entries that reminded him of the little things he valued. She even mentions that each note was signed off similarly. However, before she concludes her story, she gets called outside, leaving Richie curious about the “sign off” in her father’s notes.

Every Second Counts
” not only reminds one of the sense of urgency in the kitchen but also highlights the importance of embracing and savoring each moment.

That is when Richie looks up at the clock in the kitchen and sees the “Every Second Counts” board below it, realizing that Chef Terry’s father signed off with the kitchen credo. This realization helps Richie understand that “Every Second Counts” not only reminds one of the sense of urgency in the kitchen but also highlights the importance of embracing and savoring each moment. In Copenhagen, Will Poulter’s Chef Luca hangs the same reminder in his kitchen and advises Marcus to be patient and embrace the world outside by making “every second count” instead of solely toiling away in the kitchen.


The Bear Season 2’s Fork References Have A Deeper Meaning Than You Realized

The Bear season 2 makes numerous references to forks over its 10-episode run, and these allusions may have a deeper meaning than it seems.

Carmy Doesn’t, But Richie Understands The Real Meaning Of “Every Second Counts”

Richie can help Carmy understand what “Every Second Counts” truly means

Since both Carmy and Luca worked with Chef Terry in the past, Carmy, too, likely learned about the credo’s meaning from Terry. Unfortunately, unlike Luca, Carmy still struggles to understand its true essence. He knows the importance of embracing the present. However, his experience working under toxic leaders and his grief for his brother often get in his way of fully internalizing Chef Terry’s teachings. However, as seen in The Bear‘s seasons 1 and 2, Carmy is gradually working towards finding joy in little things, even though sometimes it is an uphill battle for him.

Richie, on the other hand, learns to make “every second count” in The Bear season 2’s episode 8 when he “forks” his life in a new direction despite initially feeling lost and overwhelmed by his divorce. He realizes that even the most menial tasks like cleaning forks can have value in the kitchen and can eventually open the doors for bigger opportunities. Just like Carmy helped Richie acquire these newfound learnings about the importance of making “every second count,” hopefully, Richie, too, will help Carmy overcome his internal battles in The Bear season 3.

The Bear

seasons 1 and 2 are available on Hulu for streaming.

The Bear TV Poster

The Bear

Set in a Chicago sandwich shop, The Bear follows Carmy Berzatto, a young professionally trained chef who returns to take over his family business after the unexpected death of his brother. At odds with many of the shop’s employees due to his culinary training, Carmy struggles to maintain order and keep the shop from failing entirely. Jeremy Allen White stars as Carmy alongside Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Ayo Edebiri. 

Jeremy Allen White , Ebon Moss-Bachrach , Ayo Edebiri , Lionel Boyce , Liza Colón-Zayas , Abby Elliott , Oliver Platt

Release Date
June 23, 2022


Streaming Service(s)
Hulu , Disney+

Christopher Storer

Christopher Storer

Christopher Storer

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