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Need Some Advice

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I've been cooking for about 12 years now, a mixture between corporate, fine dining, and mom and pops places. Recently had to step away from the fine dining scene due to moving to another city and not having a car, not to mention there isn't anything close by that's even close to what would interest me. Anyways, I'm working two corporate restaurant jobs, and I'm making 45k between both @60 hours a week. Which is less hours I worked as a sous chef and more money. Although I'm extremely bored, it's easy money. I'd like to get back into fine dining, but realize I wouldn't make the same pay and couldn't do two jobs since most of them want you to come in at 1 or 2. So I've been thinking maybe I should stick it out, save my money and open a food truck, or maybe just stick it out and see what happens. What would you do if you were in my shoes, any advice or suggestions?
post #2 of 11

I would only leave your current jobs if there were compelling reason to do so. 

 

If you don't have the means to drive, plus there isn't anything fine dining wise where you'd like to work, what would your plan be? Money isn't everything, but 45k is a pretty decent living in this business and I don't know if I could justify stepping down without compelling reason. 

 

If there were a great restaurant nearby where you'd learn a lot, work in a great kitchen, etc then maybe you could think about it. If your options are limited (and they seem like they are) they you might stay put for a while. 

I like the idea of opening a food truck down the line. Keep in mind that food trucks cost more to start up than you might think. 

 

If you have the itch to cook finer food, then you could just cook nice stuff on your time off, cater events for friends, throw dinner parties, etc. 

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well, I live outside of atlanta, so there is a lot of nice spots around, but a 45 to an hour drive kind of sucks....btw I'm about to turn 30, not saying I know it all, but I've learned enough that I confidently say I know what my style is, would have no problem creating a good menu, and don't feel the need to prove myself to myself anymore (if that makes sense). Also, I've found it much easier to find joy in cooking on my off time and not feel completely drained like I used to. Plus I literally have no stress. Don't get me wrong, I definitely miss the finer dining, but it can be very stressful.
post #4 of 11

You said in your post you didn't have a car and there was nothing that interested you around, so I assumed to would have trouble getting to work outside your immediate area. 

post #5 of 11

I guess this a confilict between doing something you want or saving money for future investment.

In your shoes in my thirties i would probably stick around at least for a bit and see what happens. Who knows maybe promotion or something better in general. 

 

But i love the rush, and i love to cook especially when theres excitement and adreniline. So i know for a fact i would take the job, save some cash and probably invest in trying to find a good job that would pay me well after maybe a few months. 

 

Now since its not me in your shoes, i would say that the most reasonable decision would be to stick it out, earn some cash and invest on what you want, the way you want. If the worst comes and you thrive to return to the fine dining scene there isnt anything holding you back it seems. 

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
A 45 minute drive without atlanta traffic isn't exactly next door....
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I guess the best option would be to save some cash and see how I feel in a few months
post #8 of 11

Man, as much as I love being the exec I have to say that it would be hard to leave your particular situation.  Like you say, that's more than almost any normal sous job money wise and not far from exec pay. And about the same or less hours and zero stress.  I'd ride that train at least for awhile. Save some cash, maybe think about getting a car.  Build up some financial reserve but keep your head in the game a bit. Read culinary books, hang out here, check out the blogs, watch cooking shows, and eat out at any interesting joint you can find.  You're 30- old enough to know the lay of the land but still plenty young to jump back in the game again down the road.

"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
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"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
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post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the advice. I subscribe to Eater, so I get a lot of emails in my inbox about what's going on in the culinary world, haven't had a chance to read or check out menus as often as I'd like to, but I'll be sure to find some time. Anyone have an idea of cost to start a food truck? I'm thinking around 50k for a nice used truck, and assume about 20k to get all the licenses and be up and running. So maybe 70k altogether?
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Kuch View Post

Thank you for the advice. I subscribe to Eater, so I get a lot of emails in my inbox about what's going on in the culinary world, haven't had a chance to read or check out menus as often as I'd like to, but I'll be sure to find some time. Anyone have an idea of cost to start a food truck? I'm thinking around 50k for a nice used truck, and assume about 20k to get all the licenses and be up and running. So maybe 70k altogether?

I don´t remember but i think Chef Buba has a food truck, i could be wrong though, so maybe he would be the best to give you advice relating to cost. 

I think though 70k could be really nice to get a start.... maybe even more then what most start with. 

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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post #11 of 11

I would rather work outside the food service business than to work in two restaurants that didn't give me a satisfied feeling of accomplishment. I would also take less money to work in a restaurant that gave me the opportunity to learn, grow and successfully fulfill my passion. That being said, this business isn't about working in a restaurant as a front line cook of Sous without having a vision for the bigger picture. The bigger picture is always to become a Chef or owner. In my case it was always wanting to have my own. If I were you I would really investigate the food truck idea and see if you and your ideas can make you a living. Chefbuba can give you all the ups and downs on owning a food truck. Chefbuba is also a Chef that has been around the block a few times with a lot of talent and great menu ideas. The whole idea of a food truck is, people only have to do a few items real well. Most food trucks have a limited menu and minimum labor to do whats needed. The food trucks in todays world are a far cry from yesteryear. I would look at a menu that would be well received with a truck that had a nice looking wrap..........Good luck.......

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