or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › To Stay, or Not to Stay That is the Question
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

To Stay, or Not to Stay That is the Question - Page 2

Poll Results: To stay, or not to stay

Poll expired: Jan 24, 2016  
  • 50% (1)
    Stay
  • 50% (1)
    Go
2 Total Votes  
post #31 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hookedcook View Post
 

Good you took it.  I believe a good life lesson is when opportunity presents it's self you should absolutely take it.  You never know when the next one will come.  The restaurant business is a business of chances anyway with an un seeable future most of the time. 

 

I can't tell you how many times I have started a new better job and thought "how did I get here?"  "Can I do this job?"  "Do I have enough experience?"  Short answer is you never know until you try, and it usually works out . It's been 16 years since I  graduated culinary school and still every job I take those thoughts still come into my head.  Absolut worst case scenario is you get fired or admit that you are over your head and quit.  Big deal.  So you take all the lessons and money (executive chef money, not line cook money!) you earned and move on to the next restaurant better than you were before.

 

I agree with paying your dues but anyone on here who thinks you need to be a line cook for 5 years and then a sous for 5 years then exec sous before finally one day when you have PAID YOUR DUES you apply for an exec job, at that point you are probably a jaded  broke chef who is already tired of the kitchen at that point? 

 

Soak up as much information as you can, be honest, work hard, DON'T complain, be humble, and be happy you got a SERIOUSLY LUCKY BREAK to move up the ladder fast.  Like the old saying  "FAKE IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT"  People really do that and a lot of them become very successful.

For the most part, most people who try this will fail. I am not most people, me even posting about this and trying to absorb the info puts me in 22 percentile of cooks and then add my skill set and other characteristics that are relevant in this field I also have... So far I am killing it.... this may not last. My last menu,...which is the dinner menu will make or break me. However, my restaurant menu also posed a problem because of our doughnuts...we have a 4 slot fryer with 4 baskets... one of our most popular dishes, not even desserts required another basket to drown the balls. The fryer has a limit of how many they can do and now is restaurant week and we are giving them normal portions and the guest is already asking for to go boxes halfway through the 2nd out of the third entree. so we reduce, take off prices the menu, use the smaller plate. its about adapting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan View Post
 

The turnover rate is stupid at this place where you work.

I agree, we also pay minimum wage for EVERYONE in the kitchen except sous and head chef

post #32 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cook1st View Post
 

I agree, we also pay minimum wage for EVERYONE in the kitchen except sous and head chef

 

That sounds like a recipe for disaster.  The best way to guarantee poor performance is not to reward good performance.  You either need to have a menu so simple that a monkey could cook (eg McDonalds, BK) or have a deep bench to replace those who quit when they realize the job isn't worth the effort.  No good, skilled cook will work long for minimum wage- they don't have to.  In most markets good help is hard to find and harder to keep.  You must be pretty lucky...or you're setting yourself up for a fall.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
post #33 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
 

 

That sounds like a recipe for disaster.  The best way to guarantee poor performance is not to reward good performance.  You either need to have a menu so simple that a monkey could cook (eg McDonalds, BK) or have a deep bench to replace those who quit when they realize the job isn't worth the effort.  No good, skilled cook will work long for minimum wage- they don't have to.  In most markets good help is hard to find and harder to keep.  You must be pretty lucky...or you're setting yourself up for a fall.

Weve been open for 14 months, we havent had the time to reward people with raises bc most people do not stay there long enough.

post #34 of 46

Most people don't stay because they are being paid shit, a high turnover rate will kill you. Our min wage is $9.47 and a line cook with no special skill set makes $12-15 hr around here. Why would they work for min wage for you?

post #35 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cook1st View Post
 

Weve been open for 14 months, we havent had the time to reward people with raises bc most people do not stay there long enough.

 

So you want people to work for pitiful pay now for potential better pay later on? How much later?... See any flaws in this line of thinking.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
post #36 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheflayne View Post
 

 

So you want people to work for pitiful pay now for potential better pay later on? How much later?... See any flaws in this line of thinking.

I do, but I haven't been there as a boss long enough to make that decision. I started there roughly 11 months ago with min. wage. As the head chef now, I can start making some changes and I'll definitely ask for a raise for my guys, atleast two of them. I figured it was customary to give raises after 6 months...Lots of people in our area start off at min. wage, I know i did and I'm awesome. Is that how I want to continue with hiring? I have no idea, i want to say no, but that may be how it goes. How do you arrange your payment structure?

post #37 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefbuba View Post
 

Most people don't stay because they are being paid shit, a high turnover rate will kill you. Our min wage is $9.47 and a line cook with no special skill set makes $12-15 hr around here. Why would they work for min wage for you?

I dont know...my sous started as dishwasher two doors down and one day got up and quit bc he was tired of not becoming a line cook even though they promised to move him up...He stayed there 8 months with no improvement on him being a line cook so he left. He came to us and my old chef hired him at minimum wage about 7 months ago. When I got promoted I made him and this girl who was there earlier than me co sous and both got a bump...I tried to get one of them on salary, but they had seen how many hours I worked and after everything I made roughly 25% less than minimum wage. They both took wage increases... one makes 12 and other makes 13. Others on the line who have been less than 6 months all make 10.50(min wage) and they seem happy. At 6 months, well have a review and bump them up accordingly. I have no idea what I am doing and i'm willing to admit that, but i also have a great GM with 15 + years experience who I rely on and consult with everyday. 

 

We truly work together because he knows how new I am to this, so he still has the chance to mold me how he wants. I meet all my menu deadlines, I'm a monster cook with even a more killer work ethic. I do not expect perfection from my team, but I do expect improvement. For my sous, I give .50 cents per hour to get the 12 he wanted, company only wanted to give him 11.50, so I told the GM i would cover the rest as along as they didnt tell them. Of course i got mad one day and told him, but he said he knew. I can only do so much and yes you will nitpick everything I say, but I am just learning and going with it. 

post #38 of 46

Is this in a very small town......I originally thought Peter Principal but you don't even have enough experience to qualify for that.

post #39 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbrad View Post
 

Is this in a very small town......I originally thought Peter Principal but you don't even have enough experience to qualify for that.

District of Columbia...so it is fairly big market.

post #40 of 46

Yeah that's a pretty big market.........I said small town because it seemed like there weren't many qualified people around.I think this early in your career you are doing yourself a disservice by taking a head chef job.You should be learning the basics right now instead of taking on way too much responsibility.Even if you do well this time if you walk into another head chef job in the future it might not go so well.At this point you are already commited and need to start staying at jobs longer.......early on it can be exciting when someone feels you are good enough to want to bring you with them to a new place but future employers are going to look at time spent at one job.......for a head chef you should spend at least two years.My advice is to save as much of that money as you can and the next time around take a cooking job at a much better place and start learning.You said you want to open your own place so make that your goal.......not moving up at an unrealistic and unsustainable rate.As a business owner would you hire someone with your resume?

post #41 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbrad View Post
 

Yeah that's a pretty big market.........I said small town because it seemed like there weren't many qualified people around.I think this early in your career you are doing yourself a disservice by taking a head chef job.You should be learning the basics right now instead of taking on way too much responsibility.Even if you do well this time if you walk into another head chef job in the future it might not go so well.At this point you are already commited and need to start staying at jobs longer.......early on it can be exciting when someone feels you are good enough to want to bring you with them to a new place but future employers are going to look at time spent at one job.......for a head chef you should spend at least two years.My advice is to save as much of that money as you can and the next time around take a cooking job at a much better place and start learning.You said you want to open your own place so make that your goal.......not moving up at an unrealistic and unsustainable rate.As a business owner would you hire someone with your resume?

That's what everyone seems to be saying, yet I still went against what they all said. Even when I became Sous Chef, I had expressed my frustration to my old chef that I was underdeveloped...underdeveloped in the sense that if i went up against other sous chefs in a cooking show(just for example's sake), I would get demolished. Like you said, I don't have the basics down, like making basic doughs, sauces, protein preparations, flavor profiles, cooking techniques---you name it and I guarantee my peers will know more than me. However; I know this and I spend most of my free time watching videos and trying it out for family meal or specials that FOH never vocalizes. 

 

I have been cooking for almost 12 months and I have been at this restaurant for 11 months and I don't plan on leaving. I always wanted to stay here for at least 1-2 years before I moved onto my next one to learn more or go to a restaurant that cooks food that I am interested in. I will save very aggressively because I know the next job I take will be for a sous chef, even a line cook with my the year(s) i have under my belt. However; for the moment, I will make the most of this opportunity and try my best to succeed regardless of the overwhelming odds of failure. As a business owner, I would definitely hire me....but someone else just did... They own 3 other successful restaurants, so I feel slightly validated for the time being. As of right now, I can only focus on now and put the future aside, no matter how illogical that sounds. 

post #42 of 46

You keep trying to validate your hiring to responders on here, there is no need. You have the job, focus on it; rather than on trying to validate the fact to other people, which only takes time and focus away from where it should be.

 

Trying to change other people's opinions in the present, is an exercise in futility because it generally only happens in the future,

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
post #43 of 46
I agree with cheflayne.....you have the job so do it to the best of your abilities.What I suggest is getting everything you can out of this experience and seriously plan your next move because that could be the real start to your learning.Out of curiosity I'm wondering if this is your second or third career.
post #44 of 46
[/quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cook1st View Post

Sad, but i think I'm more than qualified to do the work. I made a plan to reduce labor by 40% , this week i only achedived 26%, but I was also in the middle of a storm where i had to call in more expensive labor. I've also stopped ordering so much from our regular purveryors like fells, coastal, cardinal, IGF and gone to restaurant depot with my sous and another worker. While this did increase labor, it also decreased COGS by 37 percent from our average mondays. 

Not going to lie. Reading this just really bothered me. First of all, if you plan to reduce labor by 40% and you ran a 26, that means your labor was at 66 percent! Which means that if you do 100,000 dollars in food sales, that week you spent 66,000 dollars to do it. And if going to depot reduced your COGS by 37% before you paid a utility bill your entire p/l was absorbed by food purchasing and inventory control leaving you very little room to make a salary like that and absolutely no room for the restaurant to stay open longer then 6 months unless Donald trump owns it. Food cost is controlled by portioning, waste ELIMINATION and smart ordering. The most expensive thing on your menu is what winds up in your garbage can. The last fluid ounces of a quart of heavy cream! The scraps from the PISMO that you throw away, the cents that add up over and over again through out the course of a week, month, year to equate to dollars lost. Your schedule has to reflect your business. Write your schedule from the busiest day to your slowest. These are the management aspects of being a chef it is vital to learn before you assume the position. Because with your bounce around resume already one year in, and potential to get fired for not meeting profit demand for your salary at your location you will make your self a tough sell going forward.
post #45 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefGraz View Post

[/quote]
Not going to lie. Reading this just really bothered me. First of all, if you plan to reduce labor by 40% and you ran a 26, that means your labor was at 66 percent! Which means that if you do 100,000 dollars in food sales, that week you spent 66,000 dollars to do it. And if going to depot reduced your COGS by 37% before you paid a utility bill your entire p/l was absorbed by food purchasing and inventory control leaving you very little room to make a salary like that and absolutely no room for the restaurant to stay open longer then 6 months unless Donald trump owns it. Food cost is controlled by portioning, waste ELIMINATION and smart ordering. The most expensive thing on your menu is what winds up in your garbage can. The last fluid ounces of a quart of heavy cream! The scraps from the PISMO that you throw away, the cents that add up over and over again through out the course of a week, month, year to equate to dollars lost. Your schedule has to reflect your business. Write your schedule from the busiest day to your slowest. These are the management aspects of being a chef it is vital to learn before you assume the position. Because with your bounce around resume already one year in, and potential to get fired for not meeting profit demand for your salary at your location you will make your self a tough sell going forward.

Hmmm, perhaps my math is off or I overpromised on something I can not do. I have much to learn, but I love the advice of writing my schedule from busiest to slowest. This week I blundered the schedule by putting only two people for Valentines day--- I hadnt realized it was this sunday and normally we do a three person line with a dishwasher, but since I promised cost cutting I only scheduled two person line where I am working a double(brunch and dinner service with a pre fixe menu for v-day). On top of that I also did a two person line for super bowl, but lucked out because we only 32 covers not including bar. May i ask what PISMO is?

post #46 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheflayne View Post
 

You keep trying to validate your hiring to responders on here, there is no need. You have the job, focus on it; rather than on trying to validate the fact to other people, which only takes time and focus away from where it should be.

 

Trying to change other people's opinions in the present, is an exercise in futility because it generally only happens in the future,

This post really got to me... I was on the train to work and I got an email saying someone responded and I open the email to read this post. So for the next few days, I didn't go on cheftalk and do exactly what you said I did...which was validating my situation. I focused on work and it really put things into perspective... Thanks Cheflayne. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › To Stay, or Not to Stay That is the Question