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Rant about hiring new cooks

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Though I have been seeing this for a few years, I still find it a bit mind boggling.  I work in Las Vegas, where the unemployment rate is even higher than the national average.  Many of the casinos are union, which translates to about $15-$17/hr for a cook.  AND YET.  It is so hard to find employees.  

Right now I am very short staffed and working everyone on overtime ($25/hr), and many of them don't want it.  They normally work an 8 hour shift that includes a 1 hour paid break with a free meal and yet they don't want to work late.

Now it isn't everyone.  Some love the chance at the extra money, and I do have many amazing workers.  Some just have family commitments and I understand that.  But beyond that I am amazed at how hard it is to attract and keep people in some of these positions.

The work may be a bit repetitive, but I would think there would be people lined up wanting this kind of work while the economy is still recovering.

post #2 of 10

Sadly I'm not in a position to relocate again yet...otherwise I'd be there, lol.  I'd love an opportunity like that.  Even with the large amounts of overtime.  I'll admit that I prefer to work an 8-hour shift and go home, but the extra money could be nice.  Besides, I'm young...I'll survive :)  Around here the problem is that many people are looking for people with higher qualifications and more experience than I have and offering $9-10/hour...for an entry level job.  I'm OK with the pay (for one, San Antonio is a comparatively inexpensive place to live), my problem is finding someone who will hire me so I can get the experience everyone seems to expect from me.  My friend who lives next door to me also had the same problem a couple years ago...and he graduated from Le Cordon Bleu, so I know it's not just because I don't have a fancy degree.  If someone here in town gave me the same opportunity you have there in Vegas, I'd be there...with bells on.

post #3 of 10

Boy, I wish I could move to Vegas after reading your posts. Have you tried contacting culinary schools? Even  those in California or Denver. New graduates, even older ones, may be inclined to move if they knew they had work lined up. Johnson and Wales has campuses in California and Denver, California Culinary Academy, CIA at Greystone and i'm sure many community college programs. Craigslisting in those locations that have a nearby culinary program could help if you stated out right who your were.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

We have culinary schools here.  The problem is that many people going to school for culinary training have aspirations higher than wanting the more mundane task of scooping muffins or spending an entire shift just making cake batters.  They often don't see the long term goal that if you do it well for a year or two, there is always room to move up.  I think too many are looking for the "glamorous" work.  

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jellly View Post

We have culinary schools here.  The problem is that many people going to school for culinary training have aspirations higher than wanting the more mundane task of scooping muffins or spending an entire shift just making cake batters.  They often don't see the long term goal that if you do it well for a year or two, there is always room to move up.  I think too many are looking for the "glamorous" work.  

 

Personally, whilst I agree on one hand, I think you are asking a great deal from someone who has aspirations in the business to do those menial tasks for a year or two, purely based on your word.

 

I've been in a similar situation, where I had two offers; one was part time prep chef, part time KP at a fantastic restaurant, with the promise that I'd be moved up in around 18 months. The other, was at a not-so-great restaurant, but I was taken on as a full time commis.

 

Now, my problem was that whilst I really, really wanted to go to the better place (and infact, in hindsight I wish I had), I was unwilling to do 18 months of work which wasn't that beneficial to me, on someones word. Whats to stop them, after the 18 months saying 'actually, this hasn't worked out, thanks'.

 

IMO, give them 7 hours or making cake batters, and 1 hour of doing something else, be it shadowing you in your work or just something more fun. Hell, even the worst tasks can be enjoyable if its not what you usually do.

post #6 of 10

According to the Department of Labor, during May 2011, there were:

  • 44,120 chefs or head cooks employed, and
  • 762,000 restaurant cooks employed
  • 806,120 total restaurant cooks/chefs

 

That means there was one chef or head cook for every 17 restaurant cooks or approximately 5.8% of the restaurant cooking staff were head cooks or chefs.

 

I haven't found a DOL breakdown, but based on my experience, I would guess the breakdown to be along the lines of:

  • Executive chefs = 4,120 (0.5%)
  • Sous chefs = 12,360  (1.5%)
  • Head cooks = 27,640 (3.4%
  • Chef de Partie (Station leaders) = 90,000 (11.1%)
  • Line cooks = 270,000  (33.5%)
  • Prep cooks = 402,000  (49.9%)

 

So, where do you think an entry level person, whether or not a culinary school graduate, will start and how long will it take to move up?

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #7 of 10

Quote

 

"  I'm from a super-star-stuper-show "  I should be the executive chief chef in charge because I have personality and talents.

 

All the rest of  you should prepare to take notes and learn how to make a &#$^#$#@*( as i'm the damn best at that!

 

"are we done yet?"

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #8 of 10

i am not a culinary graduates,i am hard working,my position line cook in botique hotel and u will not worry to my schedule,im willing to have always overtime,im willing also to train,,

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Alfred View Post

Sadly I'm not in a position to relocate again yet...otherwise I'd be there, lol.  I'd love an opportunity like that.  Even with the large amounts of overtime.  I'll admit that I prefer to work an 8-hour shift and go home, but the extra money could be nice.  Besides, I'm young...I'll survive :)  Around here the problem is that many people are looking for people with higher qualifications and more experience than I have and offering $9-10/hour...for an entry level job.  I'm OK with the pay (for one, San Antonio is a comparatively inexpensive place to live), my problem is finding someone who will hire me so I can get the experience everyone seems to expect from me.  My friend who lives next door to me also had the same problem a couple years ago...and he graduated from Le Cordon Bleu, so I know it's not just because I don't have a fancy degree.  If someone here in town gave me the same opportunity you have there in Vegas, I'd be there...with bells on.

 

Isn't taking an internship an option? I realize you may not be in a position to work for (nearly) free, but the catch 22 with having no experience and not being able to gain it is common for graduates in all industries. Internship or some underpaid job for few months should solve this.

 

Otherwise I am not surprised to hear about the situation in Vegas. It's similar to what entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley experience - too much competition for good workers, and too high expectations from those although they have never really worked in the field.

post #10 of 10
duplicate post, sorry, I am new to the forum and couldn't figure out the first was posted. Mods, please delete
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