I am currently working for Marriott in banquets and I wanted to know if anyone else here has worked for this company and their thoughts. The reason why I ask is I am seriously considering finding a different position elsewhere. I have not worked for the high end Marriott properties but my experience thus far with the Marriott brand has been less than satisfactory.
Thoughts on Marriott
Firstly welcome to ChefTalk.....lot's good peers here.
I worked for Marriott for 10 years. I was a Banquet Chef in Washington D.C. for 3 of those years.
I also worked in their food service division, and the conference center division, all as Chefs.
I can tell you this:
The name Marriott means very little unless the management is fulfilling Bill's vision.
Marriott has so many venues in hotel, conference center, college food service, catering....the list is endless.
If the problem you are having is related more to the people you work for or with that has nothing to do with the Marriott name.
The Marriott philosophy is management not the people who do the day to day work.
Can you tell us more about what's troubling you?
I am happy to hear from a veteran with the company. To be more specific, as I was rather vague, the executive chef, the executive sous chef, and the banquet chef never seem to be checking any of the product before it goes out to the crowd. I know for a fact that my banquet chef never checks my cooler. I strive to take pride in what I do and get the job done well, though the problems lies not within the laissez faire management style, but the inconsistent plating, presentation, and recipe guidelines. One minute they want a grande display of something the next they want market style presentation, just as an example. The banquet captains generally get things presented the way they want it because I have not time to argue. Where is the banquet chef to deal with these matters? Filleting fish for 4 hours. I see sanitary issues all the time such as the wiping of knives on garbage can rims, fish sitting out at room temp waiting to be filleted for way too long, and the list goes on. I do not want to have my impressions of this company ruined from the beginning, however there are some real major issues. I was just curious if this is a norm for this market type? I have not spoken with chefs that work for or seen the type of cuisine they do at the Ritz Carlton or the other high end brands but I assume they strive for a better professional environment.
Thank you for welcoming me to forum. I am 5 years into the business thus far and have had many great experiences and have worked for a few awesome chefs. When I had to start this job, as the last one was with DNC working for a sports team- hockey no season, I have slowly been losing the drive to go in everyday.
I don't think it's Marriott. ChefRoss could tell you otherwise. I suspect you are just in the wrong property for what you want to be doing. Some chefs/cooks are happy with the standards you describe. If you aren't and have higher aspirations, then yes it is time you moved on. Not necessarily out of Marriott but definitely out of where you are.
Agreed Chefwriter,,,,,I was responding to the OP's initial message.
Nidan2010...please understand that what you are seeing and experiencing has nothing to do with the name of the company.
I believe I alluded to that in my response to you.
Proper kitchen prep and logistics are universal irrespective of the name above the door.
Now that you've explained yourself a bit better we understand what you mean.
With only five years under your belt....you have seen only a small window into our industry. At best, if anything, try to take this as a learning experience. Good or bad you are still learning and absorbing technique, learning to work faster and keeping your station and kitchen clean.
Let us know how things are going and you are free to vent here anytime.
I appreciate the input. I just wanted to try to find out if this is a normal standard for this company. I did not think it was but I thought it would be good to ask. I have learned many things at this property and all of them will make me a better supervisor later on. I truly believe it is important not just to manage but to inspire.
Never worked for Marriott, but I did work for Hilton for a few years. One guy there worked for Marriott before, and another guy had left and gone to Marriott. From what they said, its almost the same thing with a different name.One thing I learned, all big hotels have the same bullshit . You have the F&B bossing the chef around, the GM telling him something else, director of finance telling the GM another thing, and bla bla bla. Everybody trying to kiss the right ass so they can get that transfer to Hawaii and promotion they want, and it rolls on down the hill. It really just depends on who is in charge.
Dont let it get to you. Its big and corporate and all about numbers. Food is really a second thought after everything else in big operations. It looks good on your resume to have high volume experience, and you actually can learn a good deal about the numbers side of things and how to cook for thousands of people. Plus you get insurance and those awesome employee rates at other locations. Cant beat paying $30 per night for a room that normally costs $300.
I've never worked for the Marriott (though I did do a phone interview with them for a pastry position...was quite sad at the time that they didn't hire me). I don't know a lot about them, but I do know that their standards are not as low as the problems you've described. Then again, no company is going to openly state that they have low standards. Sadly, the truth is that many places will tell you, "Here's where our (or corporate's) standards are," during orientation, and then when you get to the kitchen it's far, far different. The trick is not to let it get to you...stick to the standards, correct people when you can/is appropriate, etc, and become the line-lead, sous, or exec chef who can enforce the correct standards eventually. Learn from them, even if what you are learning is how NOT to do things. It's not an ideal situation, and I'm sorry you have to deal with it. Perhaps try looking into transferring to another Marriott (maybe a more upscale one?) and see if that makes a difference. I was recently hired by Hyatt and I couldn't be happier. I know from talking to some of the other career Hyatt employees that occasionally they dislike a particular establishment but since they enjoy working for the company they simply do their time at the location and then put in for a transfer and hope for a difference. Sometimes it works out well, other times it doesn't. But each time it's a fresh start with new opportunities to learn and grow. I wish you the best of luck!