Call or walk-in?

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Joined Oct 9, 2015
Hello... first post here. just finished culinary school and am trying to get a job at a few restaurants close by in a small city (Pensacola, Fl). My question is "is it better to call, email or walk in and talk to the chef?" I would think face to face is best but I do not want to be intrusive either. Any advice would be appreciated. 

Also the places are not huge restaurants but more mid size with maybe 5-6 cooks and only open for dinner.

Brad
 

pete

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Please, please, please call first and make an appointment with the chef.  Nothing I hated more than someone showing up, wanting a chunk of my time, when I was busy and didn't have something scheduled.
 
5,192
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Joined Jul 28, 2001
I would walk in. Make sure you ask one of the servers, cooks, or even the dishwasher if this is a slow time for the Chef. If the opportunity

to meet the Chef, introduce yourself and explain you are just breaking into the field and just wanted to meet him or he.r Just to network a little because you've heard good things about them.
 
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Joined Oct 3, 2015
Call, you wouldn't want to pop in at the wrong time. Even if someone says its slow you don't know what the head chef is doing.
 

kuan

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I would walk in. Make sure you ask one of the servers, cooks, or even the dishwasher if this is a slow time for the Chef. If the opportunity

to meet the Chef, introduce yourself and explain you are just breaking into the field and just wanted to meet him or he.r Just to network a little because you've heard good things about them.
Excuse me chef.  You are a peer.   A bit different from someone looking to get a first job.  Your perspective is different.
 
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Joined Jul 28, 2001
Well, I guess I was wrong. Sorry Bahnk,.

May be geographical, we have a great CC program here and a couple of Culinary Schools. Chefs here are pretty open to helping the interns and graduates. Lots of networking going on. I'm assuming you meant you were not applying for an opening or job listing, you were just getting out there to see what's happening.

  I personally would not schedule time by phone for a newbie who just wanted to chat. That's just me though, I hate being called to a phone for a non issue, like sales people, telemarketers, job seekers, etc.  but we're just a small place. I have however, had students come in unannounced. If I'm unavailable I usually tell the person to hang around for a few minutes, maybe fill out the second page of our application which asks about their goals and contact information.  Then tell them their free to watch the guys in the kitchen for a bit if they want. 

Other Chefs and Owners also just drop by as I do them when we get freed and are in their area.

  Like I said, here it's a little different. So do call. That seems to be the consensus. Good luck and have fun.
 
7
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Joined Oct 9, 2015
Thanks for this info. I was thinking of calling first so I think thats what I will do... just don't want to be blown off over the phone. But I guess its most respectful.
 
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Joined Aug 21, 2004
From my point of view, a walk is no more intrusive into my day than a phone call. They both take the same amount of response time, however to me the walk in shows more initiative and effort. Neither method is a game changer nor deal breaker, just a first impression, but you only get one of those.
 
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Joined Oct 31, 2012
I have to agree with the walk in method. The bad time to walk in is during lunch or dinner service. So before 11 o'clock and after 2pm but before 5pm. I would consider this common sense but perhaps it isn't. You don't walk in during service and service times are the same everywhere. 

     When someone called our restaurant for a job, I always told them they had to fill out an application. I would not say whether or not we were hiring, just that they had to fill out the application. 

If and when they showed up, they actually made the effort to come down and I got to see them in person. Were they well groomed and presentable? Had they made an effort to look like they wanted to impress? Not suit and tie, just clean, neat, decent clothing, shirt tucked in, no funky t-shirts.

     Ability to fill out the application shows ability to follow simple directions, read and write. A quick glance for those qualities usually told me all I needed to know.  Did I get a firm handshake and a look in the eye? Were they articulate or mumbled? 

The saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" held true for me. 

So you could call to verify when the chef will be there and not taking a day off, but in my experience, nothing beats showing up. 
 
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Joined Dec 23, 2004
 
From my point of view, a walk is no more intrusive into my day than a phone call. They both take the same amount of response time, however to me the walk in shows more initiative and effort. Neither method is a game changer nor deal breaker, just a first impression, but you only get one of those.
I'm with cheflayne.  I'll preface this by stating it's just my preference but a drop in is no more intrusive and a call and it does show initiative.  Plus you have a lot better chance of making an impression in person.  Don't do it on a Monday and not during peak hours.  Over the years I've had people drop in to try to talk to me right at service time.  Those apps go right in the garbage can!  If you understand kitchens so little as to bug me at 12:30 or 6:00 pm I have no use for you.
 
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