Hotels vs Restaurants

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Joined Nov 30, 2017
So, I've always wanted to be a chef... I've been working in the best restaurants I can get into in my area, but all I seem to hear from the majority of my coworkers is complaints about the lack of benefits, bad pay, etc. To tell the truth I am worried about these things but I could not picture myself doing anything else. I love food and I love cooking professionally. I hear hotels are a lot better benefits and pay wise, but how are they to work in? Is it harder to move up? Any input is appreciated, thanks.
 
5,487
929
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Yes and no.

Many hotels are union, and with unions everything is based on seniority. If you’re lucky—very lucky, you might be able to get hired full time and within 6-12 months get those benefits. Reality is a b*tch though, and in all probability you would start off part time and would not be eligible for benefits until you go f/t. This might take a while, years even. Union places might pay higher, regardless if p/t or not, but you also have to factor in your union dues which are deducted from each and every paycheque.

The sweet spot is to find a smaller, non union hotel. There, if they need someone f/t, they hire f/t and no farting about with union crap about starting off p/t. Mind you with smaller hotels the benefits might not be as attractive as what the big hotels are offering.

Basically, the grass is never greener on the other side.....
 
4
0
Joined Nov 30, 2017
Yes and no.

Many hotels are union, and with unions everything is based on seniority. If you’re lucky—very lucky, you might be able to get hired full time and within 6-12 months get those benefits. Reality is a b*tch though, and in all probability you would start off part time and would not be eligible for benefits until you go f/t. This might take a while, years even. Union places might pay higher, regardless if p/t or not, but you also have to factor in your union dues which are deducted from each and every paycheque.

The sweet spot is to find a smaller, non union hotel. There, if they need someone f/t, they hire f/t and no farting about with union crap about starting off p/t. Mind you with smaller hotels the benefits might not be as attractive as what the big hotels are offering.

Basically, the grass is never greener on the other side.....
Thank you for your input! I think a smaller hotel would be a good compromise. There are a few in my area that I'll check out.
 
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Joined Aug 15, 2018
So, I've always wanted to be a chef... I've been working in the best restaurants I can get into in my area, but all I seem to hear from the majority of my coworkers is complaints about the lack of benefits, bad pay, etc. To tell the truth I am worried about these things but I could not picture myself doing anything else. I love food and I love cooking professionally. I hear hotels are a lot better benefits and pay wise, but how are they to work in? Is it harder to move up? Any input is appreciated, thanks.

Hey Paul - Many hotels as stated above are union or part of corporations that do offer benefits. However from my experience- there's no life/work balance in the hotel industry.. but then again the same can be said for restaurants but it depends. You could be a Chef at a restaurant that closes at 10:30/11pm. For example when I worked in hotel restaurants - my shift was 4:30am to 5-7pm at night, I was not only responsible for the kitchen, the line but also catering functions. If benefits are what you're looking for - I would look into renowned hotels such as the Westin, The Marriott etc. Good Luck in your search.
 
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Joined Oct 31, 2012
Hotels are great learning environments with multiple food outlets. Union or not union, no two are the same.
I will suggest you dress nicely, pick a hotel and if you can afford it, have breakfast or lunch there. You can just order something simple. Pick a friendly looking employee (waitress, bellhop, front desk clerk) and quietly tell them you are thinking of applying and ask what they think of working there. See if you can get more than one opinion. See how the place operates and note the staff interactions. Then go back a day or two later and apply.
Larger hotels will have more outlets than smaller of course. So a really big hotel might have three or four restaurants, catering, banquets and room service. The smaller may have only one or two outlets and banquets. The bigger may have more opportunities, the smaller less but again, it depends on the dynamics of each place. If you apply, try to speak to the actual executive chef and not Human Resources (HR). The chef will know what he needs and is planning employee wise. HR simply handles the process. And of course if you know of anyone who can recommend you in advance, so much the better.
 
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Joined Jun 11, 2018
I've worked at a Double Tree by Hilton for 1 1/2 years. The pay is alright, but I've been F/T since I started, promoted twice (I'm now the Sous Chef) with full benefits starting for ALL employees after 6 months. Pretty great, considering the industry standard. However, I think it's because the hotel handles large banquets AND has a restaurant, owned by the hotel, built into it. It's probably been my favorite job as a chef/cook so far. You might try looking around for something similar in your area. I feel like it's a lot to handle, but I also get the best of both worlds, so to speak.
 
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