Chef Schedule

Joined Jun 20, 2016
​So I recently received my first chef position and the restaurant is set to open next week.  We have been running on strange schedules because the opening is so hectic.  I am trying to figure out everyones set schedules, specifically mine and my sous chef.  How does the schedule typically work? What the the chefs typical hours? Taking sunday and Monday off...
Joined Aug 15, 2003
There is no such thing. You have to find what your needs are, the strength of your staff, how busy you are, among a multitude of factors.  

How can someone answer that question with little to know information about your restaurant, staffing, etc? 
Joined Aug 21, 2004
new restaurant

come into work any day restaurant is open two hours before service, go home two hours after last plate goes out
Joined Dec 23, 2004
What is the Chef and Sous Chef schedule during an opening?  Open to close, Monday thru Sunday, for the first couple months. At least that's my experience.  Maybe you can carve out a couple shifts off just to catch your breaths but open a new restaurant is a frenetic, somewhat chaotic event no matter how well prepared you are.  I've done maybe half a dozen openings and even the smoothest ones are a lot of work.

A set schedule can be kind of difficult.  You may be able to work it out if your Sous is strong.  But it will always have to be subject to the needs of the business.  You want Sundays off? Good luck not working Mother's Day and Easter, or Valentine's Day if it falls on Sunday.  The biggest days require the big guns be present and on deck.
Joined Feb 8, 2009
The schedule for the Chef and Sous depend on the volume of the restaurant. This isn't a question on what does everyone else do, but, what are the reasons why you do it. There's a reason why the Chef s/b be there on certain days and why the chef could be off. If everyday is equally  busy then the Sous needs to be as good of a replacement and have the same qualities as the chef. When a seasoned chef looks at a schedule for the two top people in the kitchen. They need to look at their goals for managing the kitchen. There are days a Chef wants to work closely with their Sous, so both need to be in house at the same time. I think the Sous s/b the person that oversee's and works the line. They schedule and train employees so that part of the kitchen runs smoothly. there should never be a situation when a lesser quality food comes out of the kitchen. I have had food services in the past when people would tell me " they see a difference in quality when your not here". This is poor management on my part. A Chef should look at a new restaurant scheduling as a blank canvas. It doesn't matter what everyone else does, I need to do whats right for my situation. A good quality chef knows how to rewrite the rule book. I ran all my restaurants saying "say's who" when someone told be everyone else does it this way. Become your own chef with your own ideas. Think outside the box, don't fall into the mold. They pay you to think!......

P.S. when you open a new restaurant there are no days off. Your schedule s/b your off when the food serve line is closed. Put your Sous on the line with you inspecting the plates coming out of the kitchen. This stops when everyone is trained and the wheels turn without any squeaks. Always over schedule during service hours until things are perfect. 
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Joined Oct 21, 2014
Choosing a new opening restaurant as your 1st "spot" wow, quite a masochistic move. Nothing in the Field can be more demanding. I agree with the others, your looking at 14+ hour workdays and if you get a day off in the 1st few months consider yourself lucky .
That sad it's a great experience, especially if you're young and single as it puts a amend this strain on your personal life . Good luck
Joined Aug 26, 2016
Prep before opening till last plate clears the window.  Go home & come back the next day...every day.

After a couple of weeks you'll be able to take a shift here or there, but you'll likely still be there 7 days a week.

After a couple of months you can answer your own question as you'll then know when the slow times/days are.  

The first month will be nothing like your normal business from there on out.  Do not judge your business by the first month.
Joined Jun 27, 2012
You may be tempted to close early esp if you are in a slow streak .

Nothing worse than having what could be "regulars" dropping by with some friends to show them a new, promising place only to find the lights are out with no one "home".

Give the bartender a set of keys if you have to and rotate your line cooks until everything has settled down.

You will find (hope) yourself having to add more (closing) BOH employees as the holidays approach.

After a while you may even start closing later (if the numbers are crunching on the plus end).

Lots of fond memories being young and single and very very tired lol.

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Joined Jul 1, 2009
Im sorry to tell you this, but the owners of the restaurant just bought your entire life for the coming months. Be there or be square.

It is also kind of hard telling you how you should set your schedule, having no knowledge of your opening hours and days, or anything else about your operation for that matter.

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