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Losing my passion!

3838 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  mikefromzim
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.
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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.
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