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Losing my passion!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hows it fellow Chefs!


I have been working as a Development Chef for a group of restaurants, belonging to a big company, for 8 months now.

When I started, I was offered a great package, nice salary, a vehicle, very good incentives and best of all, free range with the menu, prices, products and the Chefs and cooks I hire. The two managers at the time of being hired were brilliant, we had the same outlook on food, taste, and the general direction we wanted the restaurants to go, attention to detail on everything in the restaurants. I was involved in the decor, bars, menu layout and design, marketing and even training the FOH staff. I loved the work, sixty hours a week, five days a week, dream job!

After four months, we a new manager arrived, who happened to be the brother of the Director of the company. He wanted to standardize the restaurants, kind of turn them into something like a Wetherspoons. Both managers were forced to resign, I lost a couple of good cooks, my incentive was taken away, vehicle gone.

The new guy started changing the way the restaurants were run, within a month made the places tacky, plain restaurants. I was pushed out from my roll, and now all I do is pretty much sit at a computer and feed him numbers, hardly any cooking or development. The quality of the food has gone down, lack of Chefs, I have two cooks at one of the restaurants, who now have to cook, wash up, porter food and clean the bloody toilets.

He took over the design of my menus, and it literally looks like a ten year old designed them now, you cant even read thing.

He has pushed our prices way up, to the extent that we have potential customers sit down. read the menu and leave. Four dollars for 330ml coke (every other restaurant in town is two bucks, and considered high)

My GPs when I started, were 65%. now I have to have them at 75%.


I know this guy wants me out, and is giving me useless work to get me to resign, and I do want to quit, I have lost every bit of interest in the place. Problem is there is absolutely no other work in the town i'm in. Moving is not really an option, as I have a LTL on the house I'm in.


Anyone else been in this situation? Should I stick it out and be unhappy, and hope it gets better. or try my luck somewhere else?


Hope someone can give some advice.

post #2 of 10

I've been there before, holding down a job just for the money.  It's a miserable experience.  The best I can offer you is to keep looking, while you try to improve your situation.  One question, with all these changes what has happened to your top and bottom line?  If the places have gotten that bad are you losing customers?  If you are losing customers, are you losing more than has been made up in this guy's cost cutting measures?  Where is your profit now, compared to before this guy came?  I know that he is family of the owners, but if profits have been dropping then I would definitely go speak with them about the direction of the place.  If profits are up, then you will have a hard fight on your hands, even if, ultimately, this type of business plan is not sustainable.


At some point you may have to make the hard decision as to whether to stay and compromise your standards or figure out a way to get out from under your house and move to find a better job, but only you can decide what is most important to you-and yes, financial security is important  especially if you have a family, or a house, etc.  I loved it when I was young and had no responsibilities.  I could do whatever it took to follow my passion, but now my passion is my family and unfortunately sometimes my career decisions are based on what's best for them, and not what's best for my passion for food.

post #3 of 10

Long story short, it is time to go............It isn't worth staying in this jobs and you know it

post #4 of 10

Frankie007, sometimes that is much easier said than done, especially in smaller communities that may not have near the amount of restaurants like a city does.  And if you have a mortage payment or family to consider, it becomes that much more complicated.  Sometimes you are forced to ride out a situation that is not the best, and so you need to look and see if there is any way possible to improve the situation.

post #5 of 10

Pete!  I have been in this same situation many times throughout my life. I know the feeling. I put the word out that I was looking around and about 1 month after the feelers went out I landed a better position. What I did do was write th president of the company telling hi why I was leaving. I told him that I refused to lower my standards after being in this business so long.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...


Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

post #6 of 10

Oh yes - know the situation too well indeed.

There really is very little one can do especially since the guy is related to one of the directors - question is, how many directors are there?

If there are more than one, might be worth to compile a nice report with some black & white figures to go along and pass it to the other guys. They might not be so lenient with the new manager just because he is related to one of them.

Have often seen, that in the higher ups it can become very unfriendly very quick if money is the main topic...


Other than that - fully agree with what everyone else has said - put out those feelers, see what the market says.

It might not even be posted openings - sometimes people don't even know they are looking for a new Chef.

And if you happen to have something along the lines of a headhunter - let them know as well.


Last but not least (and mind you, this is always risky and depending on the size of the community often not feasible) is to go at it yourself.

Talk to some investors, put together a plan for a restaurant they way you believe is best (and from what I heard you definitely have the experience after having set up this place that is now being taken over by incompetency).

As I said - risky and not always feasible - but if it is, definitely an avenue I would explore.

post #7 of 10

Don't quit your job without having a new one lined up.

post #8 of 10
Hello from me too and from Greece. We have the same problem almost to all restaurants because of the financial crisis and the only that i can say to you is to find the balance bitween the patient and your limits. When you start hating your job, your self ,etc its time for you to go somewere else. BUT find something else first you need a job. Nothing is going to be better again there...don't give them value doesn't worth it..
post #9 of 10

 I agree Pete, you should get something else first. It is just me, I was never good at doing the right thing that is why I have nothing in my bank account! I just thought from personal experience there is only so much time you will spend resuscitating  a dead patient/restaurant gone wrong. I am 48 and have no patience or will to do any of that. I give 100% every day at every job but I don't take bull#$?# of anyone any more. Of course it is hard when you invest your time and effort and I guess it has to be a balance....I have a mortgage but still it feels good that if I don't like it I don't have to take it. I t makes me feel free, the job is hard enough........

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi Guys, Thank you all for your helpful suggestions!


I have decided to resign, and have given my notice.


I am starting an events catering, and consultancy company with a chef friend of mine, still in research phase, and I'm sure with the advice from

the ChefTalk family, We will get it up and running soon.


I will be asking many questions, and giving feed back on how things are going.


Thanks again everyone!





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