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Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004

Delicious and Nutritious



Fun Shoe

It's been four years, and Wroughtirony's not jumping around the industry any more, time for a fresh start.

Updated slightly from Turkeybone's OP:

Welcome to the Something Offal Restaurant Industry Thread!

This thread is for those of us who work in the restaurant industry to talk shop and discuss industry related topics, and also for newbies who are seeking advice on how to start a culinary career. Front of house, back of house, big chain or level seven vegan brasserie, all are welcome so long as it's interesting.

Anyone is welcome to post, as long as the thread rules are followed.


Thread Rules

*Keep it civil. Bluntness is fine, personal attacks are not.
*Please read the OP before posting for the first time, it contains a useful FAQ
*Front of House vs. Back of House mudslinging, dick-measuring and hostility is prohibited in this thread. It's not cute and it helps no one.
*This is a newbie-friendly thread. That means only that nobody will be ridiculed for not knowing something. Willful ignorance is not protected under this rule.
*Tipping discussion is not for this thread. Take it to D&D.

Touchy Subjects
*Kitchen Confidential This book is not a career guide. We've all read it, most of us liked it and virtually none of us behave that way. The professionalism issue is discussed in more detail in the FAQ. Check yourself before you post “facts” that come from this book.

*Help, help! I'm being oppressed! We all have to start somewhere. There's nothing wrong with being super green and posting here. A lot of our regulars came here asking how to get a dishwashing gig. That said, a little humility goes a long way when you're starting out. Ranting about how your sous chef is a moron won't get you much sympathy, regardless of whether or not it's true. She's obviously doing something you're not, seeing as you're hauling trash until 2AM for min wage and she has a set schedule, benefits and a comma in her bank balance. The traditional kitchen is structured like a military unit. Dishwashing or low end prep is like boot camp. You have to kill your ego and learn to take orders or else you're useless. Unlike the military, a restaurant has no obligation or incentive to hold on to a willful, entitled private. Righteous indignation won't help your career. At best its a distraction, and at worse it will get you fired. What will help your career is to ask lots of questions and to keep an eye out for ways to do your job better, even if that job is peeling rutabagas or cleaning the grease trap.


FAQ:


I've never had a job in my life and I think I want to be a chef. What do I do?


Well, the first thing you do is take a good hard look at your motivations for wanting to work in this industry. Is it because you like to watch Top Chef? Did you read Kitchen Confidential and think Bourdain's life sounded badass? Does everyone rave about your potato salad? If your reason is solely the result of media exposure and an enjoyment of cooking dinner for your family and friends, you might want to reevaluate. A lot of professional cooking is mindless assembly line work at an insane pace. Have you ever stood up for nine hours without sitting down once? Do you need your hands to get up from your knees? How's your work ethic? Bullshit tolerance? Ability to handle heat? The make-or-break qualities that separate those who make it from those who wash out rarely have to do with what we think of as the "culinary arts."

We recommend one year as an entry-level cook/dishwasher/porter before anyone makes a hard decision about starting a career in this industry. You may be a hardass, but statistically, you'll wash out in weeks. And you know what? Deciding that you value free time, family, regular work hours, the respect of your peers, money, job security and benefits is a completely sane thing to do. A lot of us who have been ruined for anything other than restaurants probably wish we could go back in a time machine and finish college with a degree in finance.


I've been working fifteen years as marketing director of Adidas. I'm ready for a change. How do I transition my skills to the restaurant industry?

See above.


Should I go to Culinary School?

Well, personally I think it bought me about three to five years of basic experience in a kitchen. At no point will culinary school prevent you from having to prove yourself; there are just as many fuckups that come from school as do David Changs. If you need a quick jump on some experience, then maybe you should consider it. But seriously look into the program and the financing! Many, MANY schools are going to gently caress you over, are for-profit, etc. Community college is a cheap and great way to get some experience, especially if the school is respected. Most Le Cordon Bleu's are going to gently caress you over. Please don't go into serious debt for culinary school.


I'm already a sucker who works in a restaurant.. when should I look for another job?

When you don't feel challenged anymore.
When you get panic attacks before service.
When your paycheck bounces! NO IFS ANDS OR BUTS!

A lot of you seem to be ex-industry people....
The restaurant industry has a hideous burnout rate and endemic low pay, as well as being hard on the body. A number of the regulars in this thread's predecessors have moved on to other ways to earn a buck due to burnout, injury, or getting other opportunites.

Case in point:

NinjaDebugger posted:

Nobody is going to look out for your best interests but you, especially not in this crapsack industry. Look out for yourself first and foremost, or you're going to lose it all.

Sandwich Anarchist posted:

A single 6 hour shift on a slow night to see what someone can do is hardly "days of slave labor". A tasting isn't going to show me how he handles pressure, or how he works with the staff I already have. Nor will it give my commis the opportunity to give me their input on him.

And if you think starting 12/hour at 50 hours a week Tuesday through Saturday is this horrific slave trade, I don't know what you expect. Just because you work in a nightmare shithole doesn't mean we all run our operations like that.


Previous thread can be found here.

Liquid Communism fucked around with this message at Jul 31, 2017 around 00:39

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Willie Tomg
Feb 2, 2006


ABANDON ALL HOPE, YE WHO ENTER HERE

Chef De Cuisinart
Oct 31, 2010

Brandy does in fact, in my experience, contribute to Getting Down.

Willie Tomg posted:

ABANDON ALL HOPE, YE WHO ENTER HERE

I dunno, I'm doing pretty well.

iospace
Apr 20, 2020




Fun Shoe

What if you never had hope to begin with?

curufinor
Apr 4, 2016

by Smythe


Hope is a kind of booze, right? Hey, look at this guy, trying to steal everyone's booze

Manuel Calavera
Nov 1, 2008

Hey waiter, what's this metatarsal doing in my soup?



Take care of your backs too, folk who may look into this thread out of curiosity. I pinched my sciatic nerve and it loving sucks, but it's almost back to normal. Hopefully by the end of the week.

A Man and his dog
Oct 24, 2013

by R. Guyovich


I really need to ask for a raise.

But I'm scared of the response.

Sigh....

Republicans
Oct 14, 2003

- More money for us

- Fuck you


Had the most infuriatingly-paced day yesterday. Slammed from 8-12 then juuuuuuust busy enough to keep you on the line constantly with no time to do dishes or prep. Every time I finish a ticket and I take two steps toward the pit another comes in and I suppress the urge to yell fuckwords.

JawKnee
Mar 24, 2007

BORN TO PLAY
BENNING IS A FUCK
冰球神
Score Em All 2018
I am a goal man
410,757,864,530 SNIPED SHOTS


A Man and his dog posted:

I really need to ask for a raise.

But I'm scared of the response.

Sigh....

worst case: "No". Just go for it dude.

pile of brown
Dec 31, 2004

GBS sucks but this avatar is pretty great.


Liquid Communism posted:


I've been working fifteen years as marketing director of Adidas. I'm ready for a change. How do I transition my skills to the restaurant industry?

See above.


Did you make this up or have I posted this story I honestly can't remember

Iron Chef Ramen
Sep 14, 2007

Only the very best.


Republicans posted:

Had the most infuriatingly-paced day yesterday. Slammed from 8-12 then juuuuuuust busy enough to keep you on the line constantly with no time to do dishes or prep. Every time I finish a ticket and I take two steps toward the pit another comes in and I suppress the urge to yell fuckwords.

This is my every Saturday when I open, and still have things I need to get done for brunch.

SHVPS4DETH
Mar 19, 2009

seen so much i'm going blind
and i'm brain-dead virtually


oh, hello new industry thread

someone i didn't like got fired and i was glad of it

oh yeah the one thing OP left out is that like, you got any weed?

JawKnee
Mar 24, 2007

BORN TO PLAY
BENNING IS A FUCK
冰球神
Score Em All 2018
I am a goal man
410,757,864,530 SNIPED SHOTS


OP should have a big sparkly text gif saying DON'T OPEN A RESTAURANT

iospace
Apr 20, 2020




Fun Shoe

JawKnee posted:

OP should have a big sparkly text gif saying DON'T WORK IN A RESTAURANT

fixed

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004

Delicious and Nutritious



Fun Shoe

pile of brown posted:

Did you make this up or have I posted this story I honestly can't remember

I think you posted it, I quoted that line from Turkeybone.

Naelyan
Jul 21, 2007
Far from perfect, but better than you...

Fun Shoe

A Man and his dog posted:

I really need to ask for a raise.

But I'm scared of the response.

Sigh....

My owner casually mentioned to me that I got a raise starting the current pay period as he handed me my cheque last Friday. I think it's because he wants to push back our salary talk, but that's totally ok with me. Overtime at a higher hourly? Yeah, ok.

iospace
Apr 20, 2020




Fun Shoe

So, question. In the US, does overtime kick in at 40 hours a week, or is it supposed to kick in at 8 hours in a day?

A Man and his dog
Oct 24, 2013

by R. Guyovich


Everywhere I've worked, the owners want to stop you at 40 hours so you don't get the overtime pay.

It's hilarious to me, because I went and got a second job to fill in my free time and the owner of my primary job doesn't get that....

It's an America thing.

Chef De Cuisinart
Oct 31, 2010

Brandy does in fact, in my experience, contribute to Getting Down.

After 8 hours a day in California, after 40/wk everywhere else.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004

Delicious and Nutritious



Fun Shoe

Chef De Cuisinart posted:

After 8 hours a day in California, after 40/wk everywhere else.

Even with that, there are legal ways to set 'alternate schedules' in California to accommodate stuff like working 4x10's without OT. My old employers had that set up for our Cali-based units.

Flunky
Jan 1, 2014


JawKnee posted:

OP should have a big sparkly text gif saying DON'T OPEN A RESTAURANT

But my friends love my bbq, they all agreed I could run a restaurant!

SymmetryrtemmyS
Jul 13, 2013



Overtime chat: it's 80 hours in a 14 day period in Oregon, so you can work 60 hours in a week and 10 hours the next week and still get paid regular rates. gently caress Oregon.

JawKnee
Mar 24, 2007

BORN TO PLAY
BENNING IS A FUCK
冰球神
Score Em All 2018
I am a goal man
410,757,864,530 SNIPED SHOTS


Flunky posted:

But my friends love my bbq, they all agreed I could run a restaurant!

oh totally, and you can even bbq in the pit formed when that restaurant is run into the ground

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


Chef De Cuisinart posted:

After 8 hours a day in California, after 40/wk everywhere else.

Also if it's the 7th consecutive workday in the pay week even if it's less then 40/wk for some bizarre reason.

Naelyan
Jul 21, 2007
Far from perfect, but better than you...

Fun Shoe

SymmetryrtemmyS posted:

Overtime chat: it's 80 hours in a 14 day period in Oregon, so you can work 60 hours in a week and 10 hours the next week and still get paid regular rates. gently caress Oregon.

In Ontario (which is in Canada, the land of socialism and Good Things) as long as the schedules and pay periods are 2 weeks long, it's 88 hours in a 14 day period. Whattup.

iospace
Apr 20, 2020




Fun Shoe

pentyne posted:

Also if it's the 7th consecutive workday in the pay week even if it's less then 40/wk for some bizarre reason.

That's not a bad thing. It gives companies an incentive to not schedule someone for 7 straight 5 hour shifts, which would be hell.

Errant Gin Monks
Oct 2, 2009

"Yeah..."
- Marshawn Lynch


Hello new industry thread.

Samizdata
May 14, 2007


pentyne posted:

Also if it's the 7th consecutive workday in the pay week even if it's less then 40/wk for some bizarre reason.

Hell, in Illinois, under the One Day Rest In Seven Act, you can't even schedule 7 days straight without being actionable. We used to have to boot people during optional overtime when I worked in scheduling.

The one true heezy
Mar 23, 2004


.

The one true heezy fucked around with this message at Jul 18, 2017 around 11:35

cods
Nov 13, 2005

Oh snap-kins!

Hi guys. I'm finally glad we got a new thread. I hated posting in that one and going a billion Pages deep for the last several years.

I am(okay, was until 3 days ago) ExecChef in NYC. I have been in New York for 5 yearsand I have had a blast, buts it is time to go!

the restaurant I was cheffing at closed the other day(Manhattan rent lol, and so many other things).

We are getting rid of our apartment, and my wife and I are moving in with the former general manager and her bf so we can save on rent for a few months and then we are going to move to California. gently caress these winters(last year's not so bad but it still sucks)

I'm from the south, I moved to vail Colorado when I finished culinary school, and worked in a ski resort/hotel for a couple of years and then I moved to Portland Oregon where I cooked and then became a sous chef at local place over there, and then about 5 years ago I moved to New York and I have been a head chef/exec(depending on where) for the last like 3 years.

A lot of My experience in New York has mostly been working for a small hospitality company that has some very busy and some not so very busy restaurants all over the city and I've basically either ran, worked at, consulted forlike 3/4 of the restaurant in my little company. As I stated earlier one of the places I was currently stationed at closed(it will be retooled/rebranded in like 4 months) but because of all this bullshit that I won't get into that was happening in the company, there really wasn't a spot that I was satisfied having, and my wife and I have been dying to leave anyway so we are seeing this is our golden opportunity to get the gently caress out of here as it's been a glorious and gracious ride so far.


I'm also looking to get out of lovely stand-alone small Hospitality groups as well because they are absolutely awful, and I've been saying it in this thread for years and I've never done it but I'm finally ready to sell out.

I'm looking to apply to hotels over there and I want to be a boring old hotel chef with a nice salary and benes. Working for little guys help me climb the ladder quick and it was good and amazing yet awful experience at the same time but I'm ready for that stability in my life again and I really always enjoyed working in hotels.

The fun part is I'm taking care of selling everything and getting rid of my apartment in like a whirlwind 72-hour crazyshit show, and after we settle into our friend's apartment I'm going to undercover line cook somewhere so I can still save some cash for the next month or two while I get a job lined up and can save some money. Not having to worry about homicidal alcoholic drug fueled manic retards is going to be a nice break for me for a couple of weeks while I arrange everything.




I would love to answer any questions anyone has for me about, well whatever, and I would love to answer. I'm also unemployed for the next couple weeks so I'll have the time. As well as if anyone has any useful information or advice for the Los Angeles dining scene/good info it would be appreciated.

Errant Gin Monks
Oct 2, 2009

"Yeah..."
- Marshawn Lynch


cods posted:

.
I would love to answer any questions anyone has for me about, well whatever, and I would love to answer. I'm also unemployed for the next couple weeks so I'll have the time. As well as if anyone has any useful information or advice for the Los Angeles dining scene/good info it would be appreciated.

Welcome to Southern California. You're going to love and hate it here.

Live by where you work. You think you know traffic. You don't know traffic.

cods
Nov 13, 2005

Oh snap-kins!

The ole love/hate. It sounds like here!

Yeah, I'm going to air BNB it the first two months so I can find something relative to where my job is going to be.

Is summer/end of Summer a good time to head over there?

Errant Gin Monks
Oct 2, 2009

"Yeah..."
- Marshawn Lynch


cods posted:

The ole love/hate. It sounds like here!

Yeah, I'm going to air BNB it the first two months so I can find something relative to where my job is going to be.

Is summer/end of Summer a good time to head over there?

Any time is a good time. I live in the South Bay, so it's always 75ish. It gets a bit hotter inland and less expensive. And over the mountains it gets stupid hot.

Don't worry about Air BnB after a few weeks. Find a room for rent. You can get a room somewhere with roommates for usually around a grand a month.

The hotel clusters are downtown stretching to the west side (Santa Monica area) and there are tons of them.

Long Beach is also a lot fun and has good opportunities.

Be prepared for the parking apocolypse. Parking here sucks, just like NYC. Salaries are higher out here than in NYC, but cost of living is brutal, but you are used to that.

Gravity (the poster here) could probably give you better info as I am back in the IT field and have only been here a year. He has been here forever

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

Take my hand, and I will lead you from this godforsaken internet


Central Texas fast-casual grunt checking in! We've got a healthy supply of drama, communication problems, drugs, additional drugs, and drama resulting from people being on drugs. Our OCD GM (Mina*) has scared off half our staff so now we have exactly ten people to run a store that's open 12 hours a day 7 days a week. 3/4 of our most recent new people have either quit/got fired because of Mina, or are going off to college in a month.

I've been here for a year and so far I'm pretty sure I'm falling apart as a result (tennis elbow, torn groin muscle, almost definitely an ulcer) but I've lost 40 pounds and we actually pay pretty well so I guess I can't complain too much.

One of our shift managers did just have a nervous breakdown and quit, right after another one quit because she finally hated Mina more than she liked working with her best friend. The two before that quit because they hated Mina. She's a fan of scheduling managers to close (we're usually out at midnight-ish) and then come back in at 7am the next day, so it should be pretty unsurprising why they burn out.

Of the four left, one just got promoted to AGM, one has been a shift manager for all of a week, one vastly prefers the kitchen because he can cook kratom-based concoctions in the queso pans when nobody's looking, and the last one is a 20-year-old girl (Tara*) who I'm actually friends with, but we have so much trouble communicating at work (we mutually realized it the other day and started working on a plan to fix it) that Mina schedules us on polar opposite shifts rather than trying to help us work on it, which neither of us particularly likes as a plan since it forces the other managers onto ridiculous schedules just so Mina doesn't have to deal with me and Tara getting in arguments once a month about stupid poo poo that we almost immediately realize is stupid. poo poo, if I held a grudge over every dumb thing a 20-year-old has tried to get in a fight with me about, I'd never have time to do anything else.

I refuse to quit, mostly out of spite. If I do quit I'll probably mutiny over to the pizza place next door that pays better and isn't run by Mina, but then I'd feel bad because our AGM is a good friend of mine and honestly I kinda like that I've been on my particular schedule, closing almost half of the store by myself five days a week, for so long that when anyone else tries it for more than a single day in a row they come up to me and say "goddamn TK, that poo poo is exhausting". (the secret to not giving a poo poo how exhausting it is is weed. lots of weed.)

tweet my meat
Oct 2, 2013


Just quit dude.

Oldsrocket_27
Apr 28, 2009


Upper Midwest frycook here. Chose not to go back to a semi-casual locally run attempt at better quality dining as they re-open in favor of staying at a divey sports bar because I get paid better than before and treated better than I've ever heard of in this industry. I recommend that anyone upset with their job jump ship for the "sellout job" at the earliest opportunity. Missing the creative element is a tiny price to pay when you make enough to try cool things at home and have the time and energy to do so because your boss treats you like a human being.

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

Take my hand, and I will lead you from this godforsaken internet


tweet my meat posted:

Just quit dude.

eh, it's just extra money while going back to college, so it's not like I'm here forever. The people (Mina aside) are awesome and it's a ton of exercise so I'm not really complaining so much as venting, I guess

Crazy Larry
Apr 13, 2013


TheKennedys posted:

eh, it's just extra money while going back to college, so it's not like I'm here forever. The people (Mina aside) are awesome and it's a ton of exercise so I'm not really complaining so much as venting, I guess

Dude, you're falling apart physically at a job that takes a heavy toll on people mentally despite apparently having a better paying option literally next door because of, by your own words, SPITE. You're not venting, you have loving stockholm syndrome.

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

Take my hand, and I will lead you from this godforsaken internet


Crazy Larry posted:

Dude, you're falling apart physically at a job that takes a heavy toll on people mentally despite apparently having a better paying option literally next door because of, by your own words, SPITE. You're not venting, you have loving stockholm syndrome.

This is fair. I dunno, I'm still actively debating it, but I just feel like it's kind of a dick move, plus it's not -entirely- spite, I'm pretty good friends with most people here. It's me, I'm the idiot

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Trebuchet King
Jul 5, 2005

This post...

...is a
WORK OF FICTION!!



TheKennedys posted:

It's me, I'm the idiot

let's keep this one in the back pocket for the next thread's title in however many years

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