I dunno, Etherial..
Owners are kinda funny, they have this overwhelming need to make money--you know, cover the payroll, rent, creditors, etc.
Kitchens can be very romantic, I guess, but I see the commercial kitchen in only two ways:
-The first is potential. The kitchen has the potential to earn some serious bucks. Matter of fact, most owners have already calculated the potential, included it in thier business plan/proposal, and are gambling that this potential will eventually earn them money.
-The second is liability. The kitchen has the potential to poison, maim, or outright kill customers. Employees have the potential to steal, cheat, or drag you into labour law disputes--wrongful dismisals, percieved human rights violations, and the like. Equipment and infrastructure have the potential to nickel and dime you ( Actually one thousand and three thousand) you to death, Municipal gov'ts can drive you insane with demands for upgrades, and don't even start to think about liquor law regulations.
You need time and experience to learn the dynamics of all I have listed above. No one was born with this knowledge, and no one got it with a 2 yr culinary school program
Most owners who are interviewing for someone to take the reigns of a kitchen will ask the one following question. And this question is as valid in N.America as it is in Europe, Afrika, Isreal, or Australia. It is as valid today as it was 100 years ago.
Ready for the question?
"what was your food cost at your last place of employment?"
Answer this question satisfactorly, and the odds are you will be a strong contender for the job.
in order to answer question satisfactorily, you have to have managed a previous kitchen. Not a home kitchen, not waitressing 20-odd years ago, not your military career, but managing a commercial kitchen.
Owners are kind of funny, they don't like to gamble with thier money on someone who just walked in the door. If that someone has been working for them for 5-7 years and worked thier way up from salads to lead cook, and then slowly started to do some paperwork and ordering, then they might take a chance. But not for someone who just walked in the door.
Glad to have you back on the forums