changing lanes

Joined May 8, 2004
Having worked my way up, I have been in the business for 37yrs.

I heard that large companies/corporations have a chef that is soley responsible for their employee's cafeteria/dining room.

What would that Chef's title be and where are those jobs?

After working in casinos, large hotels, private clubs, etc., I am looking for a change.
Joined Apr 24, 2004
I have mainly worked in Hotels, but have always been responsible for the kitchen and restaurant staff (excluding my current job).
It has been something I have insisted on at the first interview, after all if you don't have the power to hire and fire then you are not the boss even in your own kitchen!
My title has always been Chef nothing more.
These jobs don't always come with the responsibility of other staff, but when you give a good argument at an interview you can normally get a better salary and they are normally all too pleased to let you take over the responsibility!
In my experience you have to demand, make it known that you are a good team leader but to be a good team leader you need authority, you can gain respect but never gain authority!
I don't have as many years experience as you, but I've made many moves to improve my standard of life!
My advice try it. Take the first job in the paper, tell them that in order for them to succeed and to grow you need full control and a better salary, it will work!
But if you get the job you must follow this up with quick actions which means firing and hiring fast, and getting a good team that will work for you!
Joined Jul 31, 2000
I feel a bit compelled to offer a different approach then Lins, you must be clear and confident when interviewing, but demanding is not such a great idea.

BTW, if I understand your question correctly, you are talking about contract food service. Companies like Sodexho, Compass, Flick, Restaurant associates et al, are what I believe you are talking about.

These companies basically contract with companies to feed there main stream populace and well as executive level and so one. The pay if fair, there are medical and 401k benefits and paid vacation and such. You do trade some of your creative abilities and can get pigeonholed so to speak, but the quality of life (especially if you have a family is pretty decent.

Check out there a good recourse.


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
One of the better companies I've seen in the business is Bon Apetit Management.

How about colleges and universities? Smaller private colleges can offer quite a nice schedule, large universities can be quite hectic. You could also try teaching or offsite catering. Offsite catering is pretty low pressure. If you're on, you get all kinds of downtime. Five minutes here, five minutes there.

Joined Nov 29, 2001
Those are Corporate Chefs and that's what my husband is doing now. I suggested he looked into corporate dining when we were moving from SW CO to FL. I pointed out that corporate means no weekends, nights or holidays.

He scouted the newspapers and sites like Career Builder. He got lucky and a daily e-mail alert held this particular opportunity. He mailed in a resume and voila! Happy as a clam. It's the perfect food gig and I envy him so much.

Large corporations, companies who own their own buildings, the want ads, are all good places to start. Don't be afraid to ask friends in the corporate world if their places offer dining. Print business cards and send resumes. In this market, no strategy is too much. Good luck!
Joined Aug 11, 2000
BonAppetit is really trying to use local foods, they contacted me to line up farmers for Washington University. I met the person responsible for pushing that policy through.....she is now working at Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market in SF. So, by them using locally sourced food you have more creativity in what you prepare. :)
Joined Oct 13, 2001
I did 3 years (97 -00) with a contract management company and it can be good.As cape chef said you are pigeonholed in a lot of ways as far as creativity goes but there are always the specials.Your years of experience and talent can go a long way in this arena.The benefits were very good with the company I worked for and the B&I accounts is where they are all moving towards.Just knowing how to apply the basics of food preperation can realy have a major affect on the property you work at.So much of the food in these establishments comes from a bag , canned ,thaw and serve,or heat and serve that the quality is not near the same as what you can offer with your experience.Also with the few special functions you would be asked to do you can realy shine.Just make sure that they leave you enough of a free hand to purchase from local vendors.This is sometimes a battle but if your food is good who can complain?I would take it,play the game, and have fun.
Good luck, Doug...................
Joined May 26, 2004
Corporate foodservice allows you to have more of a real life, I have done both in my career and they are beneficial at certain times in your life, for example when you have kids. You have the luxury of having nights off, you can have every other weekend off or so, you have Holidays off, and just more flexiblity with your schedule. :chef:
Joined May 8, 2004
Thanks for the input! Haven't been to this site for awhile & appreciate all the info.
Please keep me posted if you hear of anything coming up in the Nevada or Oregon locations.
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