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Is this a bad time to be in the culinary field?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
The economy stinks and around here a chain or indie rest. goes out of business literally every month, so is this a bad time to be in the kitchen? Do you think jobs in tourist areas are more stable than other places, such as mid sized cities?
post #2 of 21
I think the only relevant point to make is that, yes, the economy is suffering. So in that respect the answer is yes; but it could be yes fr anything, no one wants t spend money right now, s whether yu're a chef or candy store owner: things aren't well for a lot of people.
post #3 of 21
I'd venture a guess that tourist spots are the first to take the hit when there's an economic downturn. The safest places are private clubs and even they take a hit.
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post #4 of 21
Very few industries are safe from recession. In some ways you just need to get lucky. Although perhaps the cheaper places will benefit from having clientele used to going more expensive restaurants before. Also there's this general trend towards bistro and less extravagant places.
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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 #5 of 21
I think you'll be okay if your a chef, or your making a good living in a restaraunt. Some people will quit eating out, but if you are already working in a fine dining restaraut, the rich people will always eat out.
you might not be as busy, but you'll still be getting your salary or hourly pay.
the economy in america is **** right now, and I believe that it's only getting worse. Gas prices will be to high, people will lose their jobs, comanies will lose money, people wont be able to afford to go out.
it really hurts the companys because the trucking companies have to charge more to deliver their items, and the companys have to pay more and ask for money from the consumer, who has the least money...
what a mess. thanks George.
I am glad I am moving out of the country, so I can see the difference of the economy in Sweden.
post #6 of 21
A wise man once told me, "When the economy is down, people drink. When the economy is good, people drink."

If you've got a micro brewery or bar/tavern that has a good restaurant, you can still be making money.

The place where I serve part time hasn't slowed down at all. Good food, great beer and god service. Unless there is a big sporting event going on, it's almost always full. The tips are still as high as ever around here.

Go for places where the customer base is fairly well off and you should find yourself in an ok position. The folks in the upper classes can absorb higher costs better than the rest of us.
Finally following my heart to do what I love.

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Finally following my heart to do what I love.

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post #7 of 21
good point. I live in Iowa currently, and work in a small town Bar. almost everyone who comes into the bar smokes. but iowa is passin a law so there will be no smokin in bars. I cant wait to see what this does to the business.
small town=local clientele
so the smokers may just buy a 12 pack and stay at home on a friday night.
post #8 of 21
That same type of law was recently passed here too. The smokers just go out on the patio or step outside and, for the most part, no one seems to mind really. I don't think it will really stop folks from coming out. The smokers step outside at work too.

I can honestly say that I loooove leaving work and not smelling like smoke every night. And I feel so much better too after work now.
Finally following my heart to do what I love.

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Finally following my heart to do what I love.

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post #9 of 21
I have been asssociated with several localities that have implemented smoking bans. It has not had a detrimental effect on the businesses. Those who smoke just go out side as FNG noted. Some employers even provide a sheltered area out doors for their employees. I have seen some that have heating and air conditioning and also have a filtering and exhaust system to keep the air reasonably "clean"
post #10 of 21

In short yes.

-but it depends:
It's probably a great time to open a taco truck: authentic-delicious cheap food.

but a bad time to start a high end spot. Quality ingredients are getting even more expensive, and then to charge what you need to, it puts you food out of reach for the regular joe.

This was a tough first quarter, everyone I know is feeling it -I just hope it dosent get much worse.
-ciao
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post #11 of 21
In my humble opinion ..everywhere is hurting now in all industries.Is this a bad time for the culinary field ...not so ..just that people have less to spend on a night out and may be able to do it less then they could a year ago. As oppsed to 2 or 3 good nights out at a place a month , now it is 1 or 2 ..but , that being said people will always pay to go out and eat ,which provides us who live by it at least some sort of job security. Will ya get rich by it ..chances are no ..but most of us do it for the love of the food and that is what makes it fulfilling ..if you want to do it ..it is always a good time ..even when the economy is shot .. a day at what ya love is better then getting paid to slave at what you hate .....:talk:
post #12 of 21
I was intrigued by this question as I am just getting into the culinary field. I can't speak for where you are obviously but for Australia, the culinary field is most certainly booming and people are quite vocal about the fear of shortages.

According to our Labour Force Survey, the demand for chefs has increased 16% since 2004 and continues to rise.
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post #13 of 21
I was intrigued by this question as I am just getting into the culinary field. I can't speak for where you are obviously but for Australia, the culinary field is most certainly booming and people are quite vocal about the fear of shortages.

According to our Labour Force Survey, the demand for chefs has increased 16% since 2004 and continues to rise.
Nobody likes being told what to do.
Until they get lost.
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Nobody likes being told what to do.
Until they get lost.
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post #14 of 21
I'd just liek to make this point. My girlfriends parents own a liquor store and while they are almost guarranteed to always have customers, the liquor business is primarily import (at least 50%) and when the economy goes to the shitter: overhead goes way up and customers spend less.

So the wise man might have been correct, but he doesn't address the whole issue.
post #15 of 21
The American economy is very soft and food supplies are getting geometrically more expensive. There will be thousands of restaurants closing their doors in 2008, but it's likely to be very different than years past. This time, there will be few people with the riskable funds to re-open those closed establishments. Restaurant staff will work longer hours for no increases in pay and thankful they have work.
post #16 of 21
Well, no matter how bad the economy gets, people still gotta eat. And people will still take their family and freinds out to eat for ocassions like birthdays and such. So while buisness may be tougher, I think being a cook is a failry stable job in terms of job securty in these crazy times.
post #17 of 21
false. tourism is strong currently bc of the strong euro/sterling... so unless youre a tourist trap somewhere in the midwest where only other americans will go, then yes. however, in big cities currently there is an influx of european/asian tourists.
post #18 of 21
I live in a small tourist town. Tourism is fine. People are not cancelling vacations, but locals are eating at home more.
post #19 of 21
I recently returned to the kitchen from my $1200 a week electrical job because of the economy. We do a pretty brisk biz during the week and get crushed on the weekends. People always gotta eat.
“Dinner is and always was a great artistic opportunity”
– Frank Lloyd Wright
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“Dinner is and always was a great artistic opportunity”
– Frank Lloyd Wright
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post #20 of 21
very few industries are recession proof..but its actually a safer bet to say that working in culinary and food has far more benefits than say working in human resources..or retail...or a lot of other white collar jobs. Unless you are at the top..you're at the bottom..during recession the middle gets cut away. Unless you work for a casino or the hotel industry...i would say your food career is probably pretty safe. People always need to eat..and just like movies ppl will always spend money out to eat.
it may not be at the mom and pop shop but you can bet that people will still be eating pizza, applebees and dennys even with 2 cents in their bank accounts.
I also view being a cook as an advantage b/c being that i know how to cook I'm much more resourceful with ingredients and know how to get by with less than 100 bucks enough for myself...quite easily.
it may not be too tasty..but not many people can even boil water..otherwise we wouldn't cook for them. Something as simple as baking a loaf of bread is hard work for your average joe. That's why there were bread lines during the great depression..the baker still had his customers..so did the butcher.
post #21 of 21
we have had the smoking ban for a few years now and thats what everybody thought would happen here, it didnt , the pubs and clubs, restaruants and bars are all still doing the same trade they were before

i so agree with you on that score, and coming in to a work place in the morning and having the place not have that stale tobacco smell is really nice.
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when life hands you lemons, make lemon gelee, lemon meringue pie, or any other dessert your heart desires

www.theunknownchef.com
www.theunknownchef.co.nz
www.shoebridge.co.nz
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