Chef Forum banner

Goal oriented and need advice

2263 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  leo r.
I need some career counseling, what better place than here? You are all honest and fair in your replies, so I ask you to lend me a bit of advice and thank you all in advance.
I have no wife and no kids, I have some money saved up, and I want to own a restaurant in the very... distant future (long-term goal). With no restaurant experience, but much ambition to learn, where should I begin (school vs. baptism by fire) and what goals (short-term) should I set to ensure I remain on the right track?
1 - 3 of 13 Posts
Mike best of luck. Just remember that in a lot of ways opening a restaurant is like opening any other business. You wouldn't expect to make a sucess of a service station if you've never changed a tire. You probably wouldn't make a good fine clothing store owner if you never bought your own clothes. I think you get my point. Number one thing to remember is no matter how good a cook/chef you may be, a restaurant is a businesslike any other so you must learn how to run a business. If you don't know how to operate the books and all other aspects you'll likely fail. The mortality of restaurants is very high and I suspect most of it is because of a lack of business knowledge. You will need to have some culinary background so course work is in order so you know how a food operation/kitchen is run. But I don't think you have to study the finer points of making a stock or the difference between a chiboust and a mousse. You can hire a chef to do that, you just need to be able to speak the same language in order to work together. Because though you may go it alone, you and the chef will be partners, for better or worse. Just go into it with your eyes open and a background of knowledge. The more, and the more varied, the better.
See less See more
Heh heh, he said AAS.....:D
You have no wife and kids and some money saved up, that's good in one respect, you can devote the time and resources necessary to achieve this goal.
First I would think you need to as was said get the basic culinary schooling. And again basics is what you want. Also get basic restaurant business courses. There are many good books available as well. Once you know what the term "menu mix" means you're on your way to getting a grip on whats required. After that I would devote as much time as possible to as many different jobs as possible. You don't have to spend years at each one, 6 months depending on the establishment and the time should be fine. For example, all jobs are good learning experiences from dishwashing to front of the house. One day you may be called on to wash your own dishes and a basic machine knowledge and what a dishwasher has to go through will create an empathy that will take you a long way. Nothing will work against you as quick as telling a dishwasher to hurry up and work faster AND go shuck those oysters if you haven't done it yourself and they know it (my opinion) also time your jobs to get the full feeling. ie work in a catering operation during the holiday season. Work in a fast food joint in the summer, do front of the house work at the height of tourist season in a seasonal area. Get a job as a line cook, even a fry cook in a family restaurant that's busy as ****. As a pilot you're no stranger to stress I imagine. Get used to the stress and heat and pressure of a busy kitchen and you'll be ready for anything. You will also be in a better position to decide exactly what it is that you want to do. Who knows you may end up wanting to become a food writer, R&D chef, catering company owner, **** you may be happy owning the snack bar at the bowling alley. There's a million ways to go and the better your flight plan, the better chance you have of landing at the right airport and not someones back yard with a pit bull that's hungry!
See less See more
1 - 3 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.