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Money vs experience

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Ok so im done with my externship and im looking for a job. I have applied/ droped off resumes to about 8 different places. I have gave them to some of the Nicer Restaurants in the area where i live. The one restaurant offered me a job(well pretty much) for 9.50-10 and hour. I have an interview tuesday with a nicer hotel. My dad says that i should go apply to a chain(ruby tuesdays, applebees, tgi fridays) to see what they pay because he thinks 9.50 is low for my experence. I know you dont have any special/ menu control at those type place and thats one reason i have stayed clear, he seems to think i would be better make more and hour than getting good experence at this point. I disagree, i think getting paid a little less is but learning more is more inportant than money. Am i wrong or am i crazy.
post #2 of 15
No offence, but your dad is wrong. Typically, the nicer the place, the less you make. Go where you can learn the most.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thats what im trying to tell him, he donest seem to get it
post #4 of 15
Starting pay at a chain restaurant would not be that much different. They do not need culinary grads, they just need people that can follow directions, and the pay is according to that quality.

The dirty secret that most culinary schools dont tell you is that you will have to be working for a few years in the 8 - 14 range before you start making a liveable income.

Go where you can learn the most. Experience translates into gold in this industry. The faster you learn it, the faster you can make that sous position.
post #5 of 15
Your dad is wrong, but what he doesn't realize is that you have a tough road ahead in any case. Bare survival wages for cooks are now the median in the restaurant business.

The path to survival in the short to mid term is get the lead/sous job as fast as possible, and that takes knowledge.
post #6 of 15
even fi they do pay more the expeiernce at said place is better and honestly more respectable them fridays or tuesdays or what ever day of the week resturant you work at.
post #7 of 15
I completely agree, but just to play devil's advocate...There are a couple of things that the chain restaurants can really teach you. Product consistency, large volume production, effective management processes and efficient training. These places have every single thing itemized, audited, inspected and standardized. They have to be for them to be such a turn key system.

I do agree though that the best path is to get the better experience, even if it means lower pay in the beginning. You will have a much brighter future in the long run.
It's Good To Be The King!
It's Good To Be The King!
post #8 of 15
What Montelago says is very true, however.... Each chain has thier own standards, what is practiced at one chain is frowned upon at others. The two common themes all chains share is top heavy mangement, and that both the kitchen and bar rely on convienience products, just like a heroin addict relies on his junk.

If your Dad played a part in your culinary education financing, you might have to listen and nod your head--but not neccesarily do what he tells you to do. Remember: A true diplomat can tell you to go to he** in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #9 of 15
At my old chain kitchen... you could find either Sliced or Diced tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.. but you would never find whole ones.

The discipline and consistency methods are definitely invaluable... plus you learn how to deal with the intense heat of those dinner rushes.
post #10 of 15
If your dad's main concern is the money you're making, then he shouldn't be supporting your chosen career at all, hehehe!

For myself, I need work that's mentally rewarding and challenging. If there's no learning, I get depressed, and an extra couple dollars an hour isn't going to help chase away the Sysco blues.

I will do boring work which pays a bit better in the form of temporary gigs to bring in more money, but my main job is still in fine dining for bupkus an hour. Then, the boring gigs are almost like paid vacation time because they're so easy and mindless. :lol:

And anyway, the point to learning more is not just in terms of food knowledge, but also how to run a tight ship for those future lead positions. And not to waste anything, since your top flight chef needs to watch every penny. It's a very different mentality when you're personally dicing all of those onions and using the scrap for stock, rather than emptying them from a bag and opening a can of broth.

post #11 of 15
Look at it as a continued investment. If you are willing to invest $10,000-$20,000 in culinary school, why then pass up the chance to keep learning for a difference of 1 or 2 dollars an hour??
If necessary, take a part time job waiting tables to pay bills, but now is the time for you to follow the path for where you want to be 5-10 years down the road.
post #12 of 15
i started working at a low paid job (even the sous is only on £6 per hour... 42p more than me... and im due a pay rise tomorrow hehe there is a reason for this... trust me....) because its a fresh kitchen that does on average 300 covers a day, probably 700-1000 covers on weekends (and thats january!) and thats all done between 6-7 kitchen staff (2 potwash 1 prep 1/2 main line 1 starters 1 carving)

i quit a job on $15 or £7 an hour to do it as well... a 9-5 easy job... because this is a good chance to learn
post #13 of 15
As far as experience goes, through my journey so far in this industry ive allways followed the experience route. What ive come to learn or observe from myself and other fellow cook friends of mine is that when you start out at your bottom position dishwasher/garde manger, you are critiqued and watched every moment (at least you should be). The staff above you basically watch your progress and learning ability until they see that you can handle your next position up the ladder. Now for me i never thought i was learning enough so i never thought i was good enough which kept me asking questions.

I dunno bout you guys/gals, but this all lead to that special day where its a friday/saturday night and your sous comes up to you and tells you that your now working the grill/fryers. This is a crazy mixture of feelings that i got, part of me was crazy psyched and there was that little part of me that was tellin me, "im screwed" haha. But this same routine seemed to happen to me going all the way up the ladder to Sous.

So with all being said i find that the best way to really learn is to get when you get thrown in the fire. You are forced to kick some oxtail (cheesy i know) and show what your made of. Plus when your thrown into a very busy service at a new station, it makes all the nights that arent that busy that much less of a headache.
post #14 of 15
drizzle... i work all stations most of the day...

not fun i can tell you, starters, main line, prep, all at once!

hehe... the other day i made 2 pies, 300 yorkshire puddings, 500 roast potatoes, enough prep ready and steamed up for about 40 people all on my own in 2 hours, i was quite impressed...

i get so tired at work, then i stay up till 3am lol... IM A MESS!!! lol

perhaps some late night shift work at morrisons would be a good idea, i could walk from work to morrisons work there for a bit, then walk the rest of the way home... lol, or not lol
post #15 of 15
Everyone hear is spot on. I didnt have the money to go to a proper culinary school so i went the juco route but still learned a lot. The way I see it is you are not going to get the money without the experience. The way Ive approached all my jobs is apply somewhere and learn everything I can and when Im not learning anymore thats when its time to move on. I keeping applying at places I know can use the skills I have but also will allow me to learn new techniques, recipes, etc. and do not even blink at the wage offered so I know the new knowledge will get me more in the future. Money at this stage is irrelevent as long as the restaurant is teaching me something new and I also like to be somewhere I enjoy, and not just counting the hours till my next shift as soon as I get off the previous one.
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