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why does it seem so hard all of a sudden

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Why does it seem so hard to get a back of the house position all of a sudden in a kitchen. The place i was working at closed down and i want to get another job first before i decide to go to school to get more experience. I must of applied to about 14 places including chains beacuse their is nothing wrong with chains I could actually start out as a cook in one of those places pretty easily given the chance.

True story right here i went to a interview for a dishwashing job in some fancy place i was competing with 11 people for a DISHWASHING JOB what the **** lol?.

Another problem i am having is i do not know if i want to go to culinary school if i had the chance i rather go with ACF but their is none around the Bethlehem PA area and the ones that are in PA by me are like 2 hours away. The one that was near me was Allentown but i called up and she said we do not even do that anymore i am a retired chef and laughed i am like ookkk sorry bye.

Jesus thank god i do not have kids they would be eating dirt from the ground right now. So maybe one of you can steer me in the right direction thank you.
post #2 of 18
I was in your exact same position 4 years ago. I was let go from my fast food job due to the place being overstaffed, and I shrugged it off thinking I would find another job quickly.

It was a freaking nightmare. I applied and interviewed for host, busser, dishwasher, and cook positions for at least 20 different restaurants in various areas across the city. Alot of places I was given 2nd interviews, and even a basic math and personality test. All of these places met with little luck, the TGIF that was just about to open that I was hopeful for cancelled their interview with me because they had filled all available positions.

I finally was able to find a job as a busser for a local pizzaria making decent money for my age (with tips it ended up being about $9/hr). A month into the job, I had received a call from a different TGIF that I had applied at 4 months ago. I remembered the interviewer's name, and I summoned up all the charm I could for our second interview, and I was offered an entry-level position on the salad line.

It was through that job at TGIF that I met my former chef/mentor that brought me over to the hotel I work at now.

I think I got lost about the moral of the story, just wanted to share with you my frustrations about being in the similar situation. Keep your head in there, man, do not burn any connections at all.
post #3 of 18
I feel yah, I've been looking for my first kitchen job around here and can't seem to even find a dishwashing job... I'm just gonna keep applying until i've been to every single place in town I guess.
post #4 of 18
Just hang in there. I was let go from my last kitchen in march. The ONLY reason I started a new job 3 weeks ago is that my restaurant just opened. This is the slow season for most restaurants (mothers day aside) although with the weather picking up and the blessed end of tax season restaurants everywhere will be picking up and hiring soon. I had applied everywhere and have a good looking resume, but it was "We are in the slow season, we will be busy around June."

I was also thinking about culinary school till i saw more then a few comments across the web about how someone had just graduated BUT were only making $8-$11 an hour as a prep cook or pantry chef cause they didn't have line experience. Whereas people who can find the kitchen they fit into and learn everything they can, earn some good money. I also decided that the best answer was to sign up for restaurant and hotel management to learn the buisiness formula and have a softer job available when i feel to old to cook anymore. :crazy:
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
post #5 of 18
Try the brew works in Bethlehem, usually they are hiring.
Fluctuat nec mergitur
Fluctuat nec mergitur
post #6 of 18
wrong time of year.... everyone has left school for the summer... so there are a lot of young people ready to do your job for the bottom dollar....

simple supply demand issue.... the demand is the same, the supply has increased, cheapest option wins... simple
post #7 of 18
Our economy is suffering right now so it can be very hard finding a job. That is why I like to tell people about HospitalityCrossing.com.This site has a very large number of chef jobs and other hospitality related positions in restaurants etc. I think this site would be a good place for you to look.
post #8 of 18
I was talking to my new chef about things today.

Pretty much he is initiating a shakeout, the people that are going to stay are going to stay, the people that consistently call off and come in late are going to be forced out.

Thats just how it is, right now people are ruthless for hours. One of my cooks that actually shows up to work on time just got his motorcycle repossessed because he is on 2-3 days/week.
post #9 of 18
wat ever it is bro hang in ther..is juz a matter of time..
lucky enuff ur still single dude..juz b more patient..
post #10 of 18
as a seasonal restaurant owner, i can only confirm that we are all pinching pennies for the moment..the economy is sliding, costs are soaring and the forecast for the food indusry is that diners will not be eating out as much at full service restaurants.i think the fast food chains will survive,cuz they always do but for us independents it will be a bit of a tough time..i know that i am doing alot of other tasks that i would normally have the waitstaff do, just to cut down the payroll..they are all 'chomping at the bit' to work, but if i can save hundreds of dollars by doing the work myself, that's my mode for survival for the time being..think things are going to stink at least til after the election...can't wait til this one is over, as it just seems endless...historic, but endless..my god, what will cnn have to talk about then? as other posters have stated, this is the slow season..the summer season really doesn't kick off til july 4th weekend..maybe there is a local bakery in your town or even the bakery in a market( i'm thinking whole foods or good health food store), or are there summer camps or dude ranches in your area?..i was the chef at a dude ranch a few winters back in arizona ,and it was a blast...be patient..be persistent without benig annoying. recall places where you have applied.i know being patient doesn't pay the rent or car payment, or insurance, but usually restaurant workers have to plan their finances around the slow times...hang in there..it will change and then you'll be flooded with calls and interviews..how old are you anyay?, if you don't mind me asking...maybe the dishwashing jobs are going to someone younger, as it is a very physically demanding job
in view of the current economic crisis or downslide, i am thinking of opening a small mobile food kitchen...no sure what as yet, but most likely a combination of wraps,burritos, quesadillas, chilis,gumbos stews, milkshakes, hot dogs with lots of toppings, sweet potato fries,maybe spring and eggrolls, some good old fashion sandwiches like tuna, egg and chicken(seems its hard to find these anymore)..everyone wants a 'panini'... brownies, key lime and lemon bars..we are in an area in southwest colorado with a mind boggling building boom(lots of construction workers)..gosh, the disparity between the have and have nots is huge here..anyone have any ideas for the food wagon?..i'm not sure how diverse i should be or if i should just stick to a few items and grow out from there..these are just thoughts and ideas...thanks for any input..sorry to turn the original post around

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne


food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

post #11 of 18


I caught a huge break and came into some luck for the first time in my life when I got a job on the line at the nicest restaurant in town with my only other experience being in pizza.

I applied and included a cover letter that mentioned ambitions and a willingness to learn and the chef (sous chef because they're between exec chefs) put me on the line with the intent of building my skills. Plus he wanted an aspiring chef in the kitchen.

Truth... I got lucky but I also was extremely professional about the whole enterprise and now I have a job.

Dress appropriately and

Good luck.
post #12 of 18
Hey durangojo,

As far as your mobile food wagon is concerned, I would keep it simple, do your basic sandwiches, a really good hotdog with all the toppings, a dessert that is easy to eat without a fork...brownies, cookies. Sweet potato fries are awesome. Wish you luck, sounds like a winner.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
I am 19 and ras thanks for that first reply very enlightning story. I tried that website hospitality crossing good stuff ill see if it brings out any luck for me i could just go to culinary school i am just not comfortable enough to pay and commit to that yet without knowing more all i am doing now is reading books on cooking and everything culinary related, and wasting time practicing with the paintball team trying to sell some of my old gear to pay for my car payment coming up until i get a job lol.
post #14 of 18
As for the ACF, you can always join there national chapter.

Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
post #15 of 18
It took me along time to get a job in the industry. Because alot of companys don't want to give to take time to teach someone who doesn't have kitchen experience. When someone in fresh out of school or still enrolled or not they have to teach speed, give direction, menu items, and correct procedures, recipes. I finally got my break when I met this chef at this SOS(Share Our Stength) Charity Event. I told him really would love to work a internship for the Hotel. I took a five dollar pay cut(having a car note, rent, and a child on the way). So, if you could start off as a intern( you probably going to work for little..But, what you need right now is the experience).
post #16 of 18
I just finally got a job at a local pizza joint, running the grill, so I'm happy.

Chubya, i hear yah on the too young for work thing, my parents wouldn't let me work while I was still in high school, which I think is part of why it was harder for me to find a job.. the others being a slow economy and school being out for the summer. I really wish I had started out younger, because I'm really enjoying this line of work, and I might have been a bit more motivated back in the day if I had a job I liked.
post #17 of 18
My dad didn't let me work either except for summer farm help. Got to college and all of the sudden the wrestling scholarship was more paper than money and I had to work to help him pay for the whole thing.

Rest assured when i have kids, they will be allowed the valuable experience of having a job as a teenager.
post #18 of 18
I also thought about the seasonal jobs. I know a guy who went to Yellowstone for the summer season and wound up being the head chef in a four star restaurant in Denver. His only prior experience was working in a pizza place and what I taught him when he worked with me in a mom and pop place. Today he owns his own restaurant in Colorado.
Durangojo: I looked into a lunch wagon type business once. The logistics of the operation prevented me from actually doing it, but I still think it's a good idea. I don't know what you have in mind, but I would look for something versatile that you can swap equipment in and out of in case you want to chance gears for different things such as local events or fairs. For instance, you might sell subs and fresh fruit to working people on the week days and then maybe sell grilled buffalo burgers at a local fair. I think it's best to start off simple. Once you're up and running, you can always add things. Plus you will have feedback from your customers about what they would like you to provide. That way you won't invest a lot of time, energy and money into something that may not sell. If you look at the ads in carnival trade magazines, you can find good deals on used mobile units. Most carnies only keep their units 3 to 5 years. After that they start having equipment and mechanical problems that are really inconvenient to get repaired on the road, but not a big deal if you stay in your local area. Your menu will target the people in the given area you are serving, and as you move around, that can change. If you are in a business district, then salads, wraps, fresh fruit and high-end coffee will probably sell best. Take that stuff near a construction crew and they'll probably lynch you. :D Good luck with it because I think there's a lot of potential for income for a relatively small investment. I'm so jealous that you got to work at a dude ranch!
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