Hotel or Restaurant?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by mikeb, Jan 28, 2005.

  1. mikeb

    mikeb

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    Just curious what the chefs here think. Which is a better place to work and develop good cooking skills, a hotel or a restaurant? I've already spent time in 2 of the best fine dining restaurants in the city, but have no hotel experience. How would working in a hotel compare to a fine dining restaurant? Thanks in advance for the responses...
     
  2. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Banquets and lots of outlets. Production skills and organization is what you learn in a hotel. You may be called upon one day to prep four different banquets going on at once, 10, 45, 100, and 125, all different menus. You also learn breakfast and buffets which many fine dining restaurants don't do. You also get to work with many different cuts of meat which fine dining restaurants never use like steamship rounds and whole lambs. Guess that's not a cut is it? :)
     
  3. cape chef

    cape chef

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    Kuan, I want to name you SUPERKUANbecause as I don't post as much as I once did, your advice and knowledge is spot on. :chef:
     
  4. eds77k5

    eds77k5

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    kuan is right on. hotels can be fun. especially when the banquet person comes to you at 11:45 and askes if the lunch banquet is ready and you dont have a contract for it. by the time you get through cussing out the catering department you have 10 minutes to put together a banquet for 25 ladies, protein, starch, veg, salads, dessert, no problem. :D i live for this, it makes my day :D
     
  5. siserilla

    siserilla

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    I thought I'd bring this thread back to see if I could get some advice as well.

    I'm slowly starting to look at places for my extern. I've been looking at a lot of hotels and a few restaurants too. What are the benefits/cons for working for a hotel vs. a regular restaurant? I guess anything you guys could tell me would be great.
     
  6. cheech

    cheech

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    I have been in this line of work for over 10 years now, and I have worked both the restaurant and hotel side. I currently work in a hotel, and don't think I'll leave the hotel side for this reason. This business burns you out quickly, whether it be 400 covers a night, or 5 large banquets at once. The hotel gives you the opportunity to move around and keep the burnout at bay. If you tire from the line, you can do banquets, or GM or pastry, whatever you like.

    I also like the ability to learn so many things. You can do the same 10 items on a restaurant menu the entire time you are there. The hotel menu's always have something new to learn. Even working in the hotel restaurant will give you many of the same hotel experiences. Especially at a small property you will be looked to to do a little bit of everything.
     
  7. nick.shu

    nick.shu

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    ive seen many things - done functions at a strip club, worked in a dementia unit, chicken processing facility, clubs pubs and hotels, fine dining establishments, ma and pa places, cafes and industrial canteens, schools and convents, off site catering, nursing homes, hospitals,breweries even at a hotel school - i work as an agency chef (short term placements).

    You get out of a job what you want. If it's money then go for the highest bidder. If its stuff like volume and multi outlet management, then hotels are a good start. If it is technique and finesse, then fine dining.

    For me, its actually the challenge of potentially different situations - with agency work its all about flexibility and experience in all kinds of workplaces, and the ability to reconcile your knowledge with what you have to do.

    I currently work in at least 3 workplaces each week, sometimes i can achieve that in 1 day.

    But i digress. It is all about the learning (i have been through close to 100 establishments in 18 months) no matter how accelerated, and it is one of the best ways to choose a workplace (kinda like a proxy employment without the hassles)

    There you go, thats my 10 cents worth (oh hang on, make that 5 cents from me and the other 5 to my ex-wife)

    but anyway.