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What it's like at a Country Club...?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I just got accepted to be the sous/kitchen maker at the country club here... Big step

From what I gather, lots of plated events, lots of buffet style, and menu items from 11-2 and 5-9. Regular every day menu and then the seasonal menu Thurs-Sun

I come from sous at a steakhouse. What will be my biggest challenge? We often do parties of 80-150 here, sometimes more than one a day
post #2 of 7

This winter I got a job at a country club to tide me over just until my (good) other job started back up. It was a good learning experience for me but in the end it just wasn't my type of job. I think my biggest problem was all the douchbag members who think that they are the royalty of the world and treat you like you are just a slave-boy servant. Luckily, I was in a closed kitchen, so I didn't have to deal with it that much.

 

And, I always kept 5 o' clock shadow so I wasn't relegated to wearing "The Hat of Shame" and end up out on the carving station to be prodded by fat kids in expensive, ugly sweaters and cardigans. Haha! Good strategy, right? The look on a poor cooks face as they would re-enter the kitchen after a stint on the carving station. Oh god, the horror! That's the face of a broken man! 

 

Also, the FOH would let the members order ANYTHING they wanted. We would get tickets for things that were on the menu... 8 menus ago. We would also get just random made up things that the members felt like eating. We would always joke that the server would say "Oh, yeah. I'm sure they have that (ingredient) back there. We have EVERYTHING!" And of course the wait staff never checked to see if we actually could make it. They'd just put the order through and come back 10 minutes later and ask "Do you have my food ready yet?"   

 

Overall, it wasn't that bad of a job. Just different. The pay was pretty low by my standards. I was just a line cook... but a higher paid line cook. But the pay was pretty much in line with restaurants here in SLC. But, I've got a mortgage to pay.

 

That's just my experience. Yours may vary. If I remember right, you are up in Davis county, right? 

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic Cardenas View Post

This winter I got a job at a country club to tide me over just until my (good) other job started back up. It was a good learning experience for me but in the end it just wasn't my type of job. I think my biggest problem was all the douchbag members who think that they are the royalty of the world and treat you like you are just a slave-boy servant. Luckily, I was in a closed kitchen, so I didn't have to deal with it that much.

And, I always kept 5 o' clock shadow so I wasn't relegated to wearing "The Hat of Shame" and end up out on the carving station to be prodded by fat kids in expensive, ugly sweaters and cardigans. Haha! Good strategy, right? The look on a poor cooks face as they would re-enter the kitchen after a stint on the carving station. Oh god, the horror! That's the face of a broken man! 

Also, the FOH would let the members order ANYTHING they wanted. We would get tickets for things that were on the menu... 8 menus ago. We would also get just random made up things that the members felt like eating. We would always joke that the server would say "Oh, yeah. I'm sure they have that (ingredient) back there. We have EVERYTHING!" And of course the wait staff never checked to see if we actually could make it. They'd just put the order through and come back 10 minutes later and ask "Do you have my food ready yet?"   

Overall, it wasn't that bad of a job. Just different. The pay was pretty low by my standards. I was just a line cook... but a higher paid line cook. But the pay was pretty much in line with restaurants here in SLC. But, I've got a mortgage to pay.

That's just my experience. Yours may vary. If I remember right, you are up in Davis county, right? 

Weber

The Club is like right in between both hospitals in O-town
post #4 of 7

I've got about 10 years country club experience, from busser on up to GM. Clubs are all different because most of them are still self-operated. Whether a sous position is going to be good or bad depends totally on the chef. If they are a responsible chef that runs a profitable kitchen, it will be a great experience. If they are on top of production, the parties will go out easy. If they are disorganized, the parties will be a nightmare. Ala carte service should be a walk in the park for you if you came from a steak house, depending on the kitchen and the staffing level.

 

How many members are there at your club and how many covers a night do they do in the dining room? Is there one menu at each meal period, multiple menus, multiple dining rooms? Everything is relative.

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

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Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply
post #5 of 7

I worked at a country club for 4 1/2 years, as well as a summer internship for school. I started as a dishwasher/line cook and worked my way to sous chef. It was a small club though so it wasn't the longest ladder. The pro and con to this environment can be the members. There are some members who are absolute jerks and then there are some who are awesome. We had one who drank to much and yelled at every server until the started crying. We had others who would call 15 minutes before closing, say they would be there in 10, arrive in 25, and stay 2 1/2 hours past closing. We then had a couple who would buy everyone in the kitchen a gift basket with cheese, honey, and other good stuff every holiday season. There was another member who would hold his birthday party there and he would give every person that worked there $50 tip on top of the normal gratuity added to the bill. The good ones I mentioned weren't just throwing money around either to show off. They were the kind of guys who personally welcome every new employee who started working there, no matter how low on the totem pole. I think the member attitudes has a lot to do with where the place is located. 

 

Budgets tend to be a little bit better since they are usually private clubs. Most country clubs have a minimum that members have to spend each month so you know you'll at least hit a certain number. Just remember that the last weekend of the month is always crazy. Two that I worked at as a whole, were run by a board who also had a restaurant committee that acted as a liaison.

 

What people said about the job depending on the chef you have is very true. The first chef I had was great. Sometimes he got a little disorganized but never too bad. Unfortunately, he was a recovering drug addict/alcoholic and every once in a while would fall off the wagon. That made the job very frustrating but those moments didn't happen too often and usually only lasted 2 days or so. Those years were some of my most satisfying times in the industry.

 

We then got another chef when my first chef suddenly disappeared. Unfortunately, this guy had a chip on his shoulder. He didn't like the previous chef, he didn't like the fact that I went to culinary school, and he didn't like the fact I was a lot younger than him and was the sous chef. In his mind, I should have been at least in my mid-30's. It was basically 3 strikes against me before he had even worked a shift with me. He wanted to get rid of me right away but he couldn't. There's a long story but essentially I reported directly to the board and not him which he hated. I wasn't a disobedient employee either; he just didn't like me based on assumptions.

 

Based on what you said about having previously worked at a steakhouse, you should be well prepared for this job. There's opportunity to learn a lot. Good luck. 

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
From what I understand, there are 350-375 members currently

Today was my first day, the day AFTER the biggest men's invitational of the year. I've got to say, it was fun. Fairly dead, but it seems like it's going to be a great place to work for a couple years to come!
post #7 of 7

If the club is well managed with decent people at the helm (ie. not nucking-futz) then you'll have a great time.

 

I remember a few of the perks that we had at a club I worked at ... probably not fit for public comment but suffice it to say we had full use of the facilities after the guests had left but no one ever seemed to bring a bathing suit!

 

(mind you this was quite a few years ago!)

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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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"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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