or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › If you had the chance....
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

If you had the chance....

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Which would you choose if you had the chance:

would you rather open your own restaurant (or buy into part ownership) where you will be limited to a small to medium sized grill menu (meaning no experimentation or classical/traditional plates)...OR would you rather be a chef working under other chefs where the menu is broader with more traditional/classical dishes but never have your own place or be the boss?

Stunted growth, but the boss? Or continuous growth but NEVER the boss?

I am having this debate right now, and I just don't know...
post #2 of 16
For me that would be a no-brainer. Grow or die is the watchword. I would much rather work for somebody else, where I could continually learn and stretch my abilities, then be a stagnant boss.

I also feel that "never" is a long, long time. Why can't it be both; a stretch in the learning environment and then open your own place, where you'll be more likely to succeed because you know so much more.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #3 of 16
As much as I would love to be my own boss the limited possibilities of a grill menu would be frustrating. On the other hand if it was a Mexican Grill I would be just peachy. I could always network and learn from other chefs in other ways or even by staging at their restaurants on the "once in a blue moon" day off. Even if that wasn't possible...

I have to go with opening my own/co-owned place. :smoking:
Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
Reply
Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
Reply
post #4 of 16
ownership!!!!!!
be in controll of your destiny.(this includes financial) Always ways to make monies.
Space should never cap creativity, **** I'm working out of 1000SQ FT
:D :lol: Just me though
pan

Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
Paninicakes.com

Reply

Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
Paninicakes.com

Reply
post #5 of 16
I think he was referring more to the rigidity of the menu in a grill environment but I can't see how you could not change the menu if you own the place. Taking that for granted I stand by my answer and even if I had to make the same crap day in and out and only got one off chances to make truly daring dishes at home I would still want to own a crappy little grill than work for someone else and never move up.
Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
Reply
Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
Reply
post #6 of 16
Mike, Mike, Mike
I'm sure he was talking about the rigidity..what did you say?
I'm saying, if you have kitchen equipment you can be creative in ways to create income. Heck, I can start upscale hot catering out the back door if I wanted.
Oh BTW We agree, don't we?:D :lol: :rolleyes: :smoking: :eek:

Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
Paninicakes.com

Reply

Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
Paninicakes.com

Reply
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
It actually is a smallish Mexican grill place. The focus is on fresh ingredients. It is NOT like a Rubio's Baja Grill place. Rather, it serves traditional mexican dishes with an emphasis on everything being fresh and not from cans--including the tortillas! So none of those crappy doughy thick crappy grocery store tortillas, for example.

The reason why I wouldn't be able to change the menu is that if I were to buy in, it would MAYBE be 20-25% ownership only, if I am lucky. And to make it a possibility, I would need to approach this on an egg shell basis...i.e. "I am here to fund and support and be a worker in YOUR restaurant. Not to change things." I dont necessarily have the funds to open a restaurant all on my own, so this represents a realistic way of breaking into the industry and restauranteering.

So their menu is pretty set (at least for now). Also, I have been cooking real mexican food my entire life, so this would not be a learning experience but merely a business opportunity. So that leads me to the whole idea of being stunted creatively (at least for now)--not learning any new dishes or techniques. True, I can stage with other chefs. I hadnt taken that into consideration. GREAT! I will have to think about that now too--thanks for the added variable mredikop! :eek: just kidding of course.

And, true, the whole idea from my originial post of "NEVER expanding the menu or NEVER being the boss" is overly extreme. But I feel like I should weigh my decision from the WORST case scenario--at least in part.

But thank you all for your input so far!
post #8 of 16
Catering out the back door is that like buying stuff that "falls off a truck"?

You have a point and yes we both agree that even part ownership is better than being a cog in the machine. **** the man!

LOL Stewey, yes that added variable means even less time off I know. Of course you can always cook something and present it to the majority owner and say "I want to serve this as a special and see if it does well what do you think?" There is also the sneakier, subterfuge laden and more intrigue based way of cooking something really good for yourself for lunch and let him/her try it. If presented properly they will think it's their idea when they ask if you can add it to the menu. This requires a little neurolinguistic programing to pull off but then it's "their" idea.
Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
Reply
Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
Reply
post #9 of 16
Ownership is my plan. If you own it you can eventually expand and the future it brighter.

I need to be in control I want to be in control I need to see the light and the big picture not make someone else richer.

Granted experince and learning from others is great but it has its limitation and who is to say you can learn from the peopel you hire? or you cant challenge yourself?
post #10 of 16
Catering out the back door is that like buying stuff that "falls off a truck"?

I'll just let that one go. I guess you've never had a bus.

Stewey,
Don't like the sounds of your deal.

Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
Paninicakes.com

Reply

Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
Paninicakes.com

Reply
post #11 of 16
Don't shy away from a challenge.
post #12 of 16
I have never had a bus... and I want one. :mad:

I knew a chef who did catering gigs on the sly behind the owner's back "out the back door" as you say. The kicker is he ordered the food and charged it to the restaurant and used it free for his catering gigs. He was caught, fired, prosecuted and sued. I guess none of that happens if you own the place. Although someone creative/crazy enough might try to sue themselves.
Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
Reply
Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
Reply
post #13 of 16
Stewey, do you know the numbers? Why would this fella want to sell part of his business? How well do you know him? Personally, I'm leary of partners. Any less than 50% and you could easily get screwed. Having said all that, in the end self employment will allow you the most creativity.

Tony
post #14 of 16
stick it out as a cog for a while till youve got the financial backing to make a crack at 51%=<ownership maybe find a well off backer for something... who knows, or take the 20% stake make suggestions, "this fits your MO tastes great and (and this is important) is cost effective, what do you think?" but wait a while before you start offering suggestions.

then use that experience and cash to move up
post #15 of 16
After a certain point, if you want to make any money in this business, you need to transition from cook to businessman. Learning is great and all, but what about family and your personal life? I don't know about you, but the thought of grinding behind the stoves my whole life isn't very appealing.

I'd much rather open (or buy into) a simple restaurant concept that makes me money than a fine dining restaurant that barely breaks even.

In the end, what is the whole point of the restaurant business anyway? To feed people, and make money.

Anyhow, would you be buying into the restaurant to become the Chef de Cuisine, or are they simply looking to raise some quick money? I know plenty of owners who prefer the chef to buy in (produces more serious candidates, promotes long term stability). I think it could be a good opportunity, but of course when you put your own money on the line you've always got to be cautious...
post #16 of 16
It all really comes down to your long term desires in life and work. As far as I am concerned it is the limited menu/ownership that offers the most freedom why?

As far as long term managment goes the simpler the concept, the simpler the menu the lower the food cost, lower the labour cost the higher the profit. (Think hot dog stands and ice cream stands). So with if you are limited to a few simple items make those items the best damned examples of that cuisine and people will notice that more than they notice the variety. (Our lunch offers 4 sandwiches and 1 soup, people line up in the rain for our tuna sandwiches).

Now about your personal/professional happiness: If you are owning a profitable establishment but its limits are no longer challenging, you can take that profit and hire people to run the restaurant while go and do something that will keep you challenged i.e., sit at home and drink whiskey, play with your kids, go back to school .....or.......go do a stage in any restaurant in the world.

A position in a large kitchen with a varied menu is still going to be limited style and the teachings of the chefs there now. You might eventually make a good salary but will you have time to spend it?

Just my thoughts. B.T.W. I run a cafe that has the aforementioned menu. I can afford to close for two months where I get to go to the south of france and work in a 3 star pastry kitchen next summer. Yeah!!!
"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
Reply
"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › If you had the chance....