Commitment vs. Practicality

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by frostythespider, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. frostythespider

    frostythespider

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Restaurant Manager
    I've been working for the same owner of this cafe-style, counter service restaurant since he first opened.  I was his first line cook, and eventually took over managing the kitchen some months down the road.  I decided I needed more time to strengthen my abilities as a chef (and leader) so I took a step back and we brought in a more experienced chef.  After 3 years, and two of these guys not being able to satisfy the owner's expectations, the job was put on my plate again (much to my dismay).  

    The guy who owns the place is a decent enough person whom I respect but the recurring issues that have occurred in the past with the other chefs make me wonder if I'm already halfway into a potentially toxic situation.  I would even dare to say he's done some things with his business that I find highly questionable, morally.  Now he's cooking up this plan to move into a larger space, have two separate restaurants with full service, alcohol, etc.  With me running the kitchen... 

    At the end of the day, here's my dilemma:

    -I don't know if I'm anywhere close to being experienced enough to run a full setup like that, let alone with competence.

    -I don't know if I'm ready to commit the next 5-10 years of my life to something that could either a) make me some good money or b) drive me absolutely insane and miserable and worst yet, make me resent the entire industry.

    What really adds to the conflict of the whole thing is I practically designed and implemented our newest menu, come up with all the soups and specials, and operate as a mouthpiece for the business.  I moved to the city to pursue music and perform as often as possible and I don't think I can actively pursue both goals.

    I don't expect other people to help me make up my mind in life but if I have these ^two doubts in my head, then it already seems like I should consider other alternatives?  Right?

    Cheers
     
  2. chefross

    chefross

    Messages:
    2,697
    Likes Received:
    363
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    If the owner had 2 guys that couldn't get it right, and came back to you, and you were the one who implemented menus and specials, it sounds like you have it together, but are unsure if you want to pursue this.

    This is your decision alone.  Sounds like you know what to do. 

    -I don't know if I'm anywhere close to being experienced enough to run a full setup like that, let alone with competence.

    -I don't know if I'm ready to commit the next 5-10 years of my life to something that could either a) make me some good money or b) drive me absolutely insane and miserable and worst yet, make me resent the entire industry.

    Failure is always an option...insanity too.  Your choice.
     
  3. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,740
    Likes Received:
    343
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    I agree with Ross.  Give yourself more credit.
     
  4. taylor frost

    taylor frost

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Restaurant Manager
    You make a great point Chef Ross, however the doubt that always pops up in my head is "Maybe I'm just less willing to speak out against something I think is a b.s. call" in referring to the other chefs before me.  And I'm also hesitant to commit because I put my aspirations as a musician on the backburner to help fill in this position gaps and 5 years basically dropped off the calendar in the process.  As a realistic person, I know I must balance what pays the bills vs. what fulfills me as a person, but I've found more recently that if I cannot balance the two, then whatever project I'm sinking all of that time into starts to slip in quality.  

    But again, you said it best.  I know what I need to do and it's really just to make a decision, right or wrong.  Thanks for the input guys.

    I'll let you know how it shapes up.
     
  5. phaedrus

    phaedrus

    Messages:
    1,549
    Likes Received:
    121
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    We all need money to live but when you're lying on your deathbed you won't say to yourself, gee I wish I'd earned more money!  No, you'll regret all the things you were afraid to do or never got around to.  Obviously there has to be a balance and we're not all special snowflakes.  But everyone should take one shot at figuring how why he or she is on this planet, and doing that thing they were put here to do.
     
    nicko likes this.