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upper-class chain restaurants?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
So what are professional chefs' opinions regarding restaurants similar to Roy's? You know....restaurants that were started by a well known chef (or are well known in their own right), but now has dozens and dozens of locations.

Do they tend to gravitate toward being operated like any other chain restaurant (like Outback) or do they tend to operate as if they were still independently owned? ARe the chefs and cooks limited to a fixed menu? Is there no chef in the kitchen...only a kitchen manager?

If someone were considering applying to such a restaurant, would they tend to get the independent/privately owned restaurant experience? Or would they get the chain operations experience?

From my experiences with roy's, each location tends to have its own unique menu with some fixed/signature dishes. The times I have gone to Morton's, the menu is generally the same at each location with a couple of small specials.

I know this is very vague. I guess I am just trying to figure out if applying to these semi-chain restaurants would give me the kind of restaurant experience I am looking for.

post #2 of 7
I actually work for the under the same corporation Roys is under. The company is OSI incorp. Carrabas, Cheesburgers in paradise, Roys, Lee roy Selmons, Blue coral, Outback steakhouse, Bonefish Grill are all under OSI.

I work for bonefish grill in poughkeepsie new york. Its pretty profesional. I mean, there is some normal drama, but nothing that is the fault of it being a corporate restaurant. But for the most part, everyone, including joint-venture partners(district manager) are very down to earth, and are very good at what they do. The product is surprisingly fresh, produce is recieved 5 out of 7 days. Our fish is caught by private purveyors specifically work for bonefish grill. Fish is flown in from the gulf, or atlantic, pacific etc.. Hand cut in house everyday. Service is a pleasure to work, many things are made to order, almost nothing is prepped ahead of time cooking wise. But simple prep like scallops wrapped in bacon, fish coated with coconut, seared tuna sashimi, crab cakes breaded, shrimp portioned out, which is done during morning prep is done by service. What is required of you is cooking and plating.

I hope that made sense, basically, the line runs very smoothly as prep is nver something that is lacking.. The food is a pleasure to cook, I enjoy many of our dishes, I have a new found love for fish.

Corporate can be great, places like Bonefish Grill and Roys were started indepentdantly by a restaurant tuer and a chef/ chef, respectivly, and were then purchased by osi for help with expansion and financial backing. Bonefish has kept many rituals the same since the begining and the people are just great. My kitchen is run by a kitchen manager, who happens to be a very talented chef, but also has the kitchen manager title cuz its "corporate" now.
post #3 of 7
I've said this before, but I'll say it again. There are a lot of good quality corporate restaurant concepts out there, but be careful. Once you move over to the dark side of corporate restaurants, it can be very hard to get back into true fine dining. Many Chefs see it as a sell out. This may or may not be crap, but it is still reality. Also consider that there is a very real salary limitation with these places. Mainly in the $50k to $55k range. This may be very acceptable for some, especially younger folks, single people, etc. Once you have a home, a family to support, two car payments, braces, tuition, vet bills and such, $55k is just not enough to cut it in a single income family. Many of these places are fine to work for, good benefits, good hours and such, but I feel that they severely limit your growth potential.
It's Good To Be The King!
It's Good To Be The King!
post #4 of 7
As compared to what, for instance? I have read on these boards and from my own experience (limited as it may be) that 55k in the resto business is pretty good. What do you expect a Chef/Sous to be making at a decent/high end independent located in a large Market (Chicago/SF/NY)?

Don't get me wrong...I fully support the independents and favor them over any type of "chain" or corp dining, but the salaries for all kitchen positions is rediculously low and needs an adjustment...
post #5 of 7
I'm pretty sure he is talking about Execs. As a chef himself, he's fully aware of how much line cooks make.
post #6 of 7
Roy's is a good case study for your question.
Unlike most other OSI concepts, the chef and GM are both equity partners, combined, they own about 10% of the restaurant.
All Roy's chef partners have been personally vetted and trained by Roy and his team.
The Roys menu has two components....half is Roy's personal recipes that you will find in every unit. Miso Butterfish, slow braised short ribs, pan seared scallops etc.
The other half is chef's daily creative, but in the spirit of Roy's fusion.

In my opinion, working at a Roys does not feel like working for a chain at all, and if you bust your ***, and are committed to quality, there is a great opportunity to become a chef partner at your own Roy's.

At a busy unit, a chef partner makes well over $125k....not bad working for a chain, if you will.

Mortons, Flemings, Ruth's, Del Frisco's et al, basically the same menu at all locations with only a small portion of the menu is chef's daily creative.

Cat Man
post #7 of 7
stewy,what need to decide is at your age do need knowledge or money.i choose knowledge first workingin top places picking chefs heads and winning comps which gave me confidence.once i,d had my fun it was time to make money(the cost of a family)now i earn good money but pick the jobs i want.the reason i can do this is because i worked stupid hours to learn my trade for peanuts,but now i,m reaping the benefits.
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