or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › Can't decide if I should quit or continue
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Can't decide if I should quit or continue

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I've been in the Japanese cuisine for about two years now, specifically sushi. Started as a sushi helper and then gradually made my way to the chef position. I now am one of the 6 sushi chefs at this small but reputable sushi restaurant in my area. Everyone has different definitions for the chef title. I am not the top dog in the sushi bar at this restaurant, don't maintain inventory, not in charge of staffing and don't fillet fish. However, I do have some shifts during which I am in charge of the sushi bar and this to me is what differentiates a chef from a cook.

With the introduction out of the way, I am struggling right now and need some advices that may play a role in my decision making.

I started sushi because I love cooking and I love sushi. I don't enjoy hot kitchens and that is one of the main reasons why I chose sushi over other cuisines.

when I first started as a sushi helper, I had just recently gotten out of high school. I had no plan to go to a college and I was just being a bum leeching off my parents. This led to that and I started working as a sushi helper.

Now, I am a junior at the college I started attending back in 2013. I really believe the career I am studying in school is my future. Being a sushi chef is only a temporary hobby/income and I will stop being a sushi chef as soon as I graduate, if not earlier.

Finally, this is my dilemma:
I have two jobs right now. One as a sushi chef and the other as a server. I make more money as a server.. The server system set up at the restaurant I am serving at is very productive and this helps me take home big chunks of tips at the end of the night. As the sushi chef, to make the same amount of money as I do serving, I would have to work 15 more hours.

So work 30 hours as a server and take home x amout of money or work as a sushi chef 45 hours to take home the same x amount of money?

I do enjoy being a sushi chef and even though I only have two years left, my sushi chef income will increase as my experience does.

But present day income wise, working as a sushi chef is so inefficient. I really don't know what to do.
post #2 of 14

Income as a server is erratic and depends on business.

Sushi job is reliable and the pay is even all the time

post #3 of 14

That's a tough pickle, @Fantality. One aspect of a career is the level of pleasure you have or seek from what you do. And the other piece you need to weigh is the money. There is not some subversive virtue to working like a pauper simply to feel good. Bills still need to get paid. You still need to eat. So, money can certainly be an overwhelming deciding factor to determining which path you follow. Weight the pros and cons, look at your satisfaction in the work you do and make the best decision possible.

Keep us posted!

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

Reply

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

Reply
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
I gave it a really hard thinking and decided on quitting. The key factor of my decision making was that I was not enjoying working there. I enjoy working as a sushi chef and my previous restaurant was full of friends so it was a blast to work there. Not this one though.

Asked the owner for a one on one. Told him I was quitting. He really didn't want me to go. Finally said okay after a long conversation but still heavily insisted that I stay even if tremendously decreasing the number of shifts I worked there. Throughout the dinner service tonight, he reminded me to think about it like 3 times lol. Love the owner. The co-worker chefs? Not so much. I don't feel any connection to them.
post #5 of 14

 "Love the owner. The co-worker chefs? Not so much. I don't feel any connection to them."

 

Remember why you are in this industry in the first place.

Is it for friends?

Getting along?

Or is it to further your career?

People will come and go in your life, but it is the job that continues.

post #6 of 14

@Fantality ,

You may have mentioned, can I ask what you are studying in college?

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
Reply
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
Reply
post #7 of 14

Love what you love, but only have one true love.....,

 

That is to say, if you love making sushi, then do it.  If you love the tips from serving then do that.  If you love your studies and future career, then that's the way to go.

 

I'd suggest going outside of N.America to work as a server for a while.  There, you will find that tipping doesn't occur frequently and when it does, it's usually pocket change--nothing at all to do with a percentage of the bill.  Europe, Asia, Latin America, it's nothing at all like N.America.  If you like this situation, then serving is the way to go.  But if you're only in it for the money, well then....

 

I couldn't help but notice that you've taken the title of "Chef" without understanding the responsibilities that go  with it. 

 

See, your Sushi place is a business.  With all businesses, the primary objective is to....

What?

Make money of course.

Thus, the Chef is in charge of one portion of the business, the kitchen, and his/her main objective is...

What?

To make money.

If the Chef can't make the kitchen run profitably, or in the case of a non-profit, run according to budget, then out the door he/she goes.  It's really that simple.  If you  were to go to any employer right now and tell them you worked as a Chef, one of their first questions  would be to ask what kind of food cost and what kind of labour cost you are running.  Any employer, any country, any culture, will ask this. 

 

Are you ready for this kind of responsibility? 

 

You went to college and spent money on education while you were working as a sushi prepper.  What caused you to make this decision?

 

Hope I'm not too harsh on you.  But most employers who have an employee who can't decide between three careers will get you to make the decision or they will make it for you.  Harsh as it sounds, I know, but they (employers) have a business to run.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by panini View Post

@Fantality
 ,
You may have mentioned, can I ask what you are studying in college?

Something that has nothing to do with food services. Music lol.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefross View Post

 "Love the owner. The co-worker chefs? Not so much. I don't feel any connection to them."

Remember why you are in this industry in the first place.
Is it for friends?
Getting along?
Or is it to further your career?
People will come and go in your life, but it is the job that continues.

Good advice but I don't feel like it applies to someone like me because I'm not looking to become a master chef or something. I'm only doing this while going to school and even if I don't quit now, I will 2 years later when I graduate.
post #10 of 14
Can only share my experience....
Always knew I would end up in the healthcare field.
Wanted a top notch education and would have to pay my own way.
Grew up baking at my beloved Gma's knee so made sense to work in food service.
Started out (14 oops slightly illegal lol) in the hometown bakery known for their wedding cakes.
Learned a lot but the pay was barely keeping me in lip gloss.
A friend's mom hired me on at a 24 hour cafe.
The tips were great so quit the bakery and for the next 10 years or so worked various jobs (always with my eye on the next gig that would allow a pretty good lifestyle while paying tuition, books , daycare ) plus the occasional event cakes for various caterers.

Graduated with honors from a respected nursing program passed the boards and worked as a BSN with certifications in 4 specialities for over 20 years.
Never got completely away from hospitality .... kept up with the movers and shakers and worked the odd job as well as event cakes (caterer friend let me use his kitchen) and retired a couple of years ago, my career cut short by a blown lumbar spine.

Just my story......
Still on call for a few caterer friends.
The money is nice and it keeps me from going nuts sitting around the house.

Good luck with whatever path you choose.
Don't burn any bridges.
Always be true to yourself, kind to others and you will do ok.
smile.gif

mimi
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodpump View Post

Love what you love, but only have one true love.....,

That is to say, if you love making sushi, then do it.  If you love the tips from serving then do that.  If you love your studies and future career, then that's the way to go.

I'd suggest going outside of N.America to work as a server for a while.  There, you will find that tipping doesn't occur frequently and when it does, it's usually pocket change--nothing at all to do with a percentage of the bill.  Europe, Asia, Latin America, it's nothing at all like N.America.  If you like this situation, then serving is the way to go.  But if you're only in it for the money, well then....

I couldn't help but notice that you've taken the title of "Chef" without understanding the responsibilities that go  with it. 

See, your Sushi place is a business.  With all businesses, the primary objective is to....
What?
Make money of course.
Thus, the Chef is in charge of one portion of the business, the kitchen, and his/her main objective is...
What?
To make money.
If the Chef can't make the kitchen run profitably, or in the case of a non-profit, run according to budget, then out the door he/she goes.  It's really that simple.  If you  were to go to any employer right now and tell them you worked as a Chef, one of their first questions  would be to ask what kind of food cost and what kind of labour cost you are running.  Any employer, any country, any culture, will ask this. 

Are you ready for this kind of responsibility? 

You went to college and spent money on education while you were working as a sushi prepper.  What caused you to make this decision?

Hope I'm not too harsh on you.  But most employers who have an employee who can't decide between three careers will get you to make the decision or they will make it for you.  Harsh as it sounds, I know, but they (employers) have a business to run.

I just had a dilemma that I couldn't make a decision on so I posted it here hoping to get some advices. Didn't get many inputs but I was able to take some time to think over it and come up with a decision that's for the best. Neither working as a waiter or a sushi chef is a permanent future for me. I am only doing this while attending school to get some extra income. If I'm working anyways, I might as well do something I enjoy doing.

As for the chef title, I have mentioned that many people have their own definition of it. My old friend's definition of a chef was a person who enjoyed cooking and a cook was someone who was just in it for the money. My current employer's definition of a chef is someone who can oversee and maintain the sushi bar alone. I'm pretty sure there are hundreds if not thousands of other definitions out there. You can't really force yours on someone else but if I'm a sushi prepper in your eyes, then so be it.

Lastly, nobody is going to make a decision for me. I already made my decision and that's what my 2nd post was about. I only kept the thread up to date because someone asked me to share what happens.
post #12 of 14

Hey, no hard feelings.

 

Forcing my opinion on you?  Perish the thought.  It's just that if you ever need a job to earn some extra cash and you tell a prospective employer that you are a Sushi Chef, be prepared to have them ask you what your food an labour costs were for that kitchen. 

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodpump View Post

Hey, no hard feelings.

Forcing my opinion on you?  Perish the thought.  It's just that if you ever need a job to earn some extra cash and you tell a prospective employer that you are a Sushi Chef, be prepared to have them ask you what your food an labour costs were for that kitchen. 

Don't worry about it. We are having a mature adult-to-adult conversation.

I am pretty sure what you say is true for some employers but not all. At my previous restaurant, none of the sushi chefs did inventory. The supervisor took care of it all. We had sushi chefs with 15-20 year experience. At my current location, one chef takes care of the inventory. It doesn't mean the other 4, 5 with myself included, are not chefs.

I don't know how the hot kitchens work with the head chef and sous titles and all. What your saying might apply 100% in hot kitchens but I would have to respectfully disagree that it is the same in sushi bars.
post #14 of 14

servers don't know cooks, only cooks know cooks.

if you ever want your own place , stay in the kitchen.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › Can't decide if I should quit or continue