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Moving into chain management

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hello to all the chefs/managers out there...

I am put into a sticky situation that has really made me think seriously about my future financial independence as well as my life as a cook.

One of my classmates is an assistant GM for a chain restaurant, and he has informed me that this entire area of restaurants in that chain has been bought from corporate by a private franchiser.

One of the changes that the franchiser is going to introduce is an introductory level kitchen supervisor into these restaurants. He knows I am interested in getting my foot into the door with an entry level position and has let me know, I in turn forwarded him my resume that he said he would take to his bosses. He said the job responsibilities would be those of a 1st level line cook with added purchasing and kitchen sanitation/cleanliness responsibilities.

If I were to pursue such job (I am unsure of the pay right now, though I'd be willing to bet its more then I make now), would it be possible for me to take what I've learned as both a cook and a (potential) supervisor and return back to the field of non-chain cooking, or am I pretty much stuck in the corporate world once I go with chains. Any input on this subject would be greatly appreciated...
post #2 of 5
Speaking from experience I would say that taking this position would be a good experience for you. You would defiantly be able to take the knowledge from chain restaurants and apply that to non chain. There are positives and negatives to both sides of the fence, purchasing power and money are the major positives of a chain restaurant the major negative is the fact that in a chain restaurant every single menu item must be followed to an exact spec and there is little or no room for personal creative flare so if that is something you can live with take the position it will be a woth while experience for you. I have been managing chain style restaurants for the past 6 years now of the total 12 that I have been in the industry do be careful if they put you on salarybecause you will be the first one in and the last one out. (the fifo rule also applies to salary managers/ chefs lol)
post #3 of 5

Take it,RAS....

ANY managerial experience is beneficial and you'd be crazy to turn down an offer like that at your age.Don't forget,we went to the same school,so I know what your student loans are like!
Sure,you won't be able to get creative as chefderrick said,but you'll be getting your feet wet as far as purchasing/managing a staff is concerned,and that in itelf is valuable.Just make an effort to cook at home to satisfy the creative bug and keep up on skills.It'll make you that much better down the road.
Me and my little group of chef friends all have a mix of corporate and private on our resumes.You learn from both.You're not going to have a stigma attached to your name just because you went corporate,so don't worry about it.
"Sometimes people can be oh so dense"

The Pixies
"Sometimes people can be oh so dense"

The Pixies
post #4 of 5
I've been in the restaurant biz for 24 years now.
Started out washing dishes in a small cafe when I was 16 and immediately fell in love with restaurant life and people.
The first 11 years in independents, the latter 13 with a large causal dining chain.
The combination of experience in both sectors allowed me to start my own company last year.

Entry level management in a chain will give you perspectives on things you'd never get elsewhere, while at the same time, create advancement opportunities (assuming you work really hard) to potentiallymove into senior management one day (if you so desire).

Drawbacks are a pair of handcuffs on your creative side, but not completely so. Large chains have challenges that they often look to the operations field to help solve. You might turn in to a rock star there, getting noticed and promoted.

Positives are if you are fortunate to move into a corporate level postion after time(R&D, Purchasing, Training and so on), you might find the 'Bankers Hours' pretty appealing.

For the first 5 years I spent working at this large chain, I worked every single Easter, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, New Years Eve etc.
The last 9 yrs there, I worked 9:30 to 5:30 M-F.
I got to travel and see the world and learn more about food than I ever could have working for an independent.

Priceless education.

So I guess it really comes down to looking at things from a short term perspective or a long term one.

The Cat Man
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Well, theres no guarantee I even have a job (or an interview) with this employer yet. My resume has been put in important hands, thats all I know.

If they do call though and make an offer, I think I will take them up. Thanks guys!
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