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Hours of work

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
The chef industry is hard and usually paired with long hours. I am curious to see hours other chefs put in arround the globe.. I myself work seven days a week, and work least twelve and a half hours a day to sometimes 18hours a day. Just out of interest?
post #2 of 29
60 to 70 hours a week here:)
"what doesn't destroy me, makes me stronger"
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"what doesn't destroy me, makes me stronger"
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post #3 of 29
It depends on what is going on...but sometimes I will work about 12 to 13 hours a day, but usually it is 10..but that is the nature of the beast.:smoking:
post #4 of 29
Typically 6 days a week 65-75 hours a week in the US. When I was in France it was closer to 80 hours or more a week.
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Nicko 
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Thanks,

Nicko 
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post #5 of 29
I have never worked outside the US but I've never worked in any lead position less than 65 hours and have worked over 100. Nicko is right, typically the average is 65 hours
post #6 of 29
The restaurant I work at is closed on Sunday (THANK GOD), so I keep myself around full-time. I'd work more, but I go to school 24 hours a week. The most i have worked is 100 hours in one week. 16-18 hour days
post #7 of 29
I own my own business where I am both chef and owner I start my day at 9am and go home about 2am. Of course I take an hour or two off to play with my son. We are closed Sun and Mon but being a bakery we need to prepare the day before that leaves just Sunday to well ... wash the uniform, menu plan, buy equipment, and eat.

I have to say, I have always loved working long hours on my feet especially in a physical position. ESPECIALLY when it is slammed. I have always worked 10-12 hours a day. And now that 1/2 my day is consummed with "business" I miss the long hours of "work".


Non! C'est pas possible.... I thought the french work week was capped at 35 hrs@week;). (Actually I was recently reading an article, in a French trade journal, that was talking about the problem French culinary world is having finding people who want to work in the profession, when so many young people would rather just go get a 35hours@week job with all the holidays. I worked casually in France, and the one thing that earned the most points with the chef was simply my expectation of long hourse with no breaks or holidays.)
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"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
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post #8 of 29
60 average and up to 140 on special event weeks. 140 is a real
killer though. Every year it gets harder and harder. At forty years
old I did a major event this last week and I was Jello by Monday night.
post #9 of 29
I usually pull about 10 hours a night, 7 days a week.
post #10 of 29
I spent 2004-2005 working 16-20 hour days with only 6 days off for the entire year (opening my second Restaurant, which killed me!!) Prior to that I had just the Cafe' and Catering co., and I averaged 6 days a week 10 plus hours daily, except in high cater season when it wasn't unusual to sleep in my van in between caters.
And I wouldn't trade this Profession for anything!
post #11 of 29
Wow... and I thought I was entitled to complain about 30 hours of school and 40 hours of work (70 combined) per week.

If I put in a 100 hour week... my chef would have a heart attack from the 60 hours of OT I just grabbed from his labor cost. I would assume, though, that most Chef positions are salaried.
post #12 of 29
Your assumption is right, correctamundo! Remember if you
are good at what you do, you are compensated to a certain
level. Its a blue and white collar job. Its rare you'll have the
financial stability of a doctor, lawyer, or banker, but, on the
other hand, your body and mind will slowly wear out, hearing loss
from years of listening to hoods, arthritis in your hands, feet, and
back, possible substance abuse and marital problems, a pretty
sick unacceptable sense of humor.......wait a minute, not a whole
lot of money, the possiblility of having some of these problems,
what the heck am I doing.........excuse me, I have to walk upstairs
and hand in my resignation. I must be crazy!!
post #13 of 29

You know...I'd work long hours if I could find a place that would let me?

Oddly enough the only places I've worked complained that I "worked too long". Jeez. Clock in...clock out... (reminds me of the commercial about 'the clapper')

Another thing is when I work I forget about my body. I can feel like total c**p but I start in the kitchen and it's all gone. I would forget about breaks, lunch...work through. It was just fun...

When the shift is over reality really bites though. Until the next shift...

I would LOVE a position where I could create until I was done.

April
post #14 of 29
Here's a thought about hours. Although I don't suggest ever doing this since it's kinda like figuring out your hourly wage....:rolleyes: :D

I started in the restaurant business in 1977 and worked until 2003 when I was forced to take a leave because of physical issues. During my 26 active years in the restaurant industry, between all the OT as an hourly (and yes there used to be a ton of it), working two jobs to make ends meet (when the OT dissappeared),opening/re-opening restaurants (16 total) and the running of operations (as the Exec or Sous Chef, F&B Director, GM, KM, Floor or Bar Manager) I worked approximately 87,880 hrs.

I actually kept a log for most of my career outta curiosity. The number was based on an average of 65 hrs a week for 26 years. There were weeks that I far surpassed 65 hrs and didn't take a day off for well over a year. I even took into account vacations (phhht! like they happened) and the occasional bout with unemployment (otherwise known as a vacation):blush:

To put this in perspective, a person that works a 40 hr work week for the same number of years would have worked on 54,080hrs. For a difference of 33,800hrs. Or, to make it even more depressing.... It's like working 42.25 yrs. So considering I'm in my middle 40's.....:eek:

I'm sure most of my family would think I'm nuts and would probably try and have me committed, but given the chance I would do it all over again (with a couple of variations) in a NY minute.:cool:

An old boss and friend by the name of Dave Burghaus used to say....

Ya gotta love it!!!!
post #15 of 29
Old School,
Dave Burghaus. That name sounds familiar?
What city?
post #16 of 29
Atlanta was where I last saw him and that was back in 1986. We lost touch and I'm not sure where he ended up. Great guy. Learned allot from him too.
post #17 of 29
Stephen-- I think you are right about the sick sense of humor.... if you have one - you are drawn to the industry. If not, it will develop in time...... LOL (I used to work in medical,- field medicine- and we would sit around on break and eat and joke while we watched patients get wounds cleaned and sutured- got asked how can you eat and look at THAT? :smiles: )

Old School- what would REALLY be scary was if you actually divided out the salaried hours you worked and figure out how much you earned per HOUR??
Bon Vive' !
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Bon Vive' !
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post #18 of 29
Jayme,

If I did that I'd probably owe someone money along the way and just never realized it.:crazy: :bounce: ;) :D Stephen, Maybe I'll get into landscaping or building garden railroads. Money can't be any worse. There's just no possible way. Oh wait the body has already fallen apart. There goes that idea. :lol:
post #19 of 29
Old school- Isn't that what you DO???? LOL

I realize it could be hazardous to your health, and you would be the envy of everyone-- but isn't there ANYONE out there that works "normal" hours or a "normal" work week??? It's ok to post it.......(we won't killl you!!):rolleyes:
Bon Vive' !
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Bon Vive' !
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post #20 of 29
:p Now I know that I wont get killed for this I work about 35-40 hrs a week. I know this sounds weird but its true I have a 12 month old baby boy and my boss has two young boys, we work out our schedules so we can spend time with our families. I see that all these people work 65-80 hour weeks, I've done it, I under stand.

:smoking: So if you ever get an opportunity to not kill your self and the higher ups care for their employees, take advantage because it wont last.

:cool: Oh yea I need to have my wife check out these posts so she can get a grip on how long the rest of y'all spend at work.

:confused: How in the heck do you guys find time for this place? Get some sleep/rest!!
post #21 of 29

Lower hours

Hi guys.

I was an absolute work maniac, then I opened my first restaurant and then a hotel, during those seven years I had 30 days off. My wife got pregnant (cant remember finding the time).

After our daughter was born my whole perspective on life changed and just before her first birthday we sold the lot. I freelance now with my average week now sits around 35 -40 hours and the funny thing is this, I now work a quater of what i used to but because i charge by the hour I actually make more.

Last summer I was doing some freelance at a large hotel and got carried away with 60 hour weeks, the adrenalin, the buzz, after three months my wife beat the sense back into me.

The weirdest thing is I realy miss those manic days even though, my hands have tinitinitus, and other body parts failing.

One thing I have realised and what realy gets my blood boiling is that employers take our mad work ethic to their advantage, we work these hours to get the job done, pride, passion all these reasons. If the employers out there compensated chefs for this, then this would be the best proffesion in the world.

Just remember one thing, the chef is the business, without the chef in the kitchen these businesses would not exist. The faster employers realise this, the faster the proffesion will enjoy the fruits of their labour.

Take care

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post #22 of 29
T- LOL- DNA testing??
I have wondered about some of you out there- working 80+ hour weeks and still claiming to have a relationship/marriage/family- how do you squeeze the 25th and 26th hours out of a day? I don't know how you can work so many hours, maintain a home, relationship, have time to spend with children- let alone time to create them.......LOL I realize the sanity is the first thing to go... but.... tips on how to survive? and even better- tips on how to make life more "normal" in this industry?? (for the overworked folks, that is..)
Bon Vive' !
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Bon Vive' !
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post #23 of 29
Jayme,

That's assuming that we were ever sane to begin with.:lol: And.... How's that go???? "Normal is as normal does":beer: :bounce: :look:
post #24 of 29
Oldschool-
My motto back in high school was "Why be normal?" LOL
Why is it that this industry seems to require such hours? the whole 2 shifts concept doesn't work?
Bon Vive' !
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Bon Vive' !
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post #25 of 29
I typically do 10hrs/day 5 days/week but all the can change like the market. I found myself doing 12hrs today (all straight through, didn't even sit down let alone got a lunch break) and the same tomorrow plus I'll be heading in Sunday to do some prep for lots of catering orders plus listing out tasks for the new chef to do. I also work occasionally for other sites with on campus residence so they're opened weekends where as I'm not...so many places that needs little'ol me!

Anyone know how to clone an adult human yet?
post #26 of 29
Count me in as one of the guilty parties working a mere 8 hours a day. I take care of the night shift, from 5pm (of course I arrive a little early) to around 1am. Of course, this partially because the owners are REALLY averse to paying wage workers any sort of overtime so I don't think many of our line cooks (if any) pass 44 hours a week.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #27 of 29
I dont do any were near 100 hours a week i do about 50-60 hours a week but the chef knows he can call me on 7 days a week.
post #28 of 29

I may have to go into hiding...

I currently have a job where I work 40-45 hours/week as a baker.
I work 6am-2pm (or whenever I get done) Monday through Friday.

As my bakery is located in an office building, we are always closed on the weekends, as well as holidays.
The week before Chistmas last year my boss asked me if I wanted any extra time off, as he expected us to be slow!
Erik

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid one day, lying in the hospital dying of nothing"
-Redd Foxx
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Erik

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid one day, lying in the hospital dying of nothing"
-Redd Foxx
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post #29 of 29

Spanner in the works

Ok guys we are all including myself in previous post to this topic going on about the monumental hours we work.

But get this I recently met with Antonin Bonnet, Exec chef of the Greenhouse, Mayfair, London.
Now his chefs only work 4 days (7.45 - 3.30 / 5.30 - finish) he believes that there is life after work and that he wants his chefs sharp and focused, fired up and passionate.

There must be something there because he achieved a Michelin in 12 months.

Full article :
http://www.chefsworld.net/chefs_foru...=1&FTID=fF0%3D

www.chefsworld.net
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