From Hotel to Country Club

Joined Jan 18, 2006 there's been some ongoing problems that I'm not sure I want to deal with at the hotel I work at and have been looking around. There's going to be a country club opening up that's looking for cooks and a sous chef. While I'd like to be the sous chef obviously...I don't feel I'm ready and would feel more comfortable being a cook. I have a couple questions on the differences between a hotel and country club other than the obvious.

-I used to do refrigeration and frequently serviced country clubs and they always seemed kind of slow...can I expect good fast paced work like a normal restaurant?
-Can I expect the same fine dining level food I've been doing at my hotel?
-What are the hours like? Weekends like normal or weekends off...nights?
-How is the pay on average? (I'm in Southern California)

While I realize I can ask the HR manager or Chef these questions, I'd like to get some insight before I do. Thanks guys.
Joined Jun 8, 2007
"can I expect good fast paced work like a normal restaurant?"

No, at least not all of the time. It all really depends on the size of club members this place is going to have. (my opinion the first question you should ask to the chef)

If this club has 300+ members you will be busy.

"Can I expect the same fine dining level food I've been doing at my hotel?"

Request a menu from the chef, or if he doesnt have one yet, make it a point to talk about the cuisine....pick his/her brain.

"What are the hours like? Weekends like normal or weekends off...nights?"
depends on the property.....similar to any other F&B operation
"How is the pay on average? (I'm in Southern California)"
Similar to hotel, sometimes better (high volume obviously pays more....get that member count)

hope this helped



Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Clubs are a lot less work physically, but a lot more difficult because you have the same clientele over and over again. When I worked in clubs it seemed like some members treated you like their personal chef. It takes a while to build relationships at a club, but when the members like you the perks can be fantastic. If they don't then you're out the door like yesterdays' head cheese.
Joined Aug 11, 2000
lol "yesterday's head cheese".......
a friend of mine that works in a top level club says that on a BUSY Friday he'll have a member show up in the kitchen during rush wanting an egg white omelet...
It's not unusual for the clubs to shut down here for a couple months in the winter and the bigger club chefs usually take paid for 7-10day eating excursions to NYC or Napa.....R&D.
STL is a club town. At one that is just a "food club" (no sports attached) membership is $100,00 plus substantial annual dues....there's a waiting line.
The French chef brings over French cooks and puts them up at the Club's condos when they get into town. I used to do alittle work around the pastry chef....funniest guy.....petit, chipped front tooth, smokes....while prepping, listens to country western music and makes sublime classic french pastries....BIZARRE to see all this in action.
Joined Jun 10, 2007
I'd say that if you want fine dining, go into fine dining.

Frequently even in the nicest clubs in town, you'll stray into sandwich territory at some point simply because after 15 rounds of tennis, that's what the members want.

Also, be prepard to do special occasions if the club requires it. Think grad parties, weddings even. I'd find out if they do that kind of thing because it's a heck of a lot of organizational and physical work, and the club usually isn't shut down the day before to prep.

It all sort of depends on where you are now. If you're actually in a legitimately fine dining atmosphere (that is to say that your place qualifies as "fine dining" by rating) you might want to try to stick it out as those positions look a bit better in the long run. You also learn more.

However, if you're burnt out and need a lifestyle job, Club all the way. In the union ones, OT=Double Time. You get paid union salary which is comparable to Hotel. Good benefits in some cases.

That's my 2 :beer:
Joined Jan 18, 2006
So I talked to the Chef today and they're estimitating and limiting the members to 450. The food I do now is rated 4 stars by AAA fine dining, and it's gotten a bunch if DiRona awards, so it's at least decent. I forgot to ask about the menu, but I sent him my resume and we're going to talk next week.

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