Owner wants you to stay on longer / train past resignation date?

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Joined Jul 3, 2015
Howdy all, longtime lurker, first time posting :)

So I've been the head chef at an independent restaurant for the last 3 years. It was my first shot at being the man in charge, and it's been a great run: annual revenue has doubled since I started, we've gotten great reviews and built a really strong crew in the kitchen. But I've been working nonstop since my first job 18 years ago, so now I'm taking a 12-month hiatus from the industry to focus on my kids and let my wife concentrate on her own career.

I figured I'd give them plenty of time to find a replacement. I've put in so much blood, sweat & tears over the last few years I didn't want to leave my crew hanging, so when I submitted my resignation letter a couple weeks ago I gave them 6 week's notice. Now they've found a guy they want, but he's in Alaska until the end of the season. The owners are asking me to stay on and run things until he moves back, and then spend another week training him.

I suppose I don't have anything pressing on the horizon, but I'm excited to finally be there for my kids and don't want to keep putting that off. I also don't want to feel like I'm getting used, as another big reason I'm leaving is that I'm pretty undervalued for this market (even if you add in benefits and profit sharing bonus, my salary is still $16k below the median base salary in Denver).

So my question: should I be willing to stay on for an extra month out of the kindness of my heart? Or should I propose to work for them part-time in a consulting capacity past my resignation date, charging an appropriate hourly consultation fee (and what would be a good rate)? Or should I just say "sorry, I gave you almost two months' notice, not my problem?"

Thanks for your help chefs!
 
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Joined Apr 29, 2011
Leaving on the best terms possible is always the way to go and being out of the kitchen for a year will affect you when you start looking again so doing them a favour now could pay off later when a reference call comes.You might even end up back there with a higher salary if the new chef goes back to Alaska.
 
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Joined Nov 27, 2012
+ one to what Rbrad said, especially if you could do it without to much fuss. Leaving on a bright note never hurt anyone.
 
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Joined Oct 31, 2012
Finish strong. You've done great the past three years. A little longer to set things up right after you leave will pay off in the long run. 

The only catch is that you make it clear that you will stay, train the new chef for a week, and then you are Done. If the new chef decides to stay in Alaska, quits in the first week or some how doesn't make it, you're Done.

     So set the date. The end of the training week for the new chef is ??. That's the day you're done, new chef or not. 
 
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
Negotiate.

Yes you could stay on for a month, but you want that month to be paid out separately, and at oh... one and half month's salary?  It's gotta hurt a little bit, you understand, or if things don't work out with the new guy they'll be calling you up at your new place and asking you for help--again.

I don't comprehend the "training" of the new Chef.  Every Chef I've worked under that came in "cold"  never had more than an hour's worth of "training" from the previous Chef, and most never even that.

You gave them 6 weeks notice, when did they ask you to stay on longer?
 
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Joined Jul 28, 2001
@Maravedi  ,

 This is just my opinion and that's all. I guess I'm going to be on the other side of this. I've always believed you should work to live, not live to work. If you are financially covered and you have promised  your wife and children that this is your decision, then I think staying on is selfish of you. It appears that you have completely fulfilled your commitment. The operation will survive, with you,

or without you. Maybe not as smooth. All Chefs don't come from Alaska. If this Chef is qualified he should not need to be trained.

If you've been totally involved/submersed in this industry for the last 18 yrs. then you owe it to your wife and children. You won't even get that much time back with them in 12 mths. why shorten it?

just me.
 
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Joined Aug 21, 2004
Sounds to me like you did your job well.

Sounds to me like you gave adequate notice of resignation.

I would refuse their request saying that I had prior commitments.
 
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Joined Sep 9, 2012
Sounds like they chose poorly, you gave more than enough notice and it not your responsibility anymore to save them.
 
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Joined Jul 3, 2015
@foodpump, I don't understand the "training" aspect myself lol. I've always come in cold and been expected to know how to run the shop, that's ostensibly what we do, right?

Thank you all for the advice, esp @panini and @cheflayne. 3 years ago they were thinking about closing the place, I turned it around and gave them a profit center. The crew is strong and the restaurant has a good reputation again, that should be enough :)
 
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Joined Dec 23, 2004
I've been thinking about this thread for a bit since yesterday.  I can totally understand why you would consider staying on.  You must be really proud of what you accomplished there, between turning a faltering business around and garnering acclaim for the food.  But I tend to come down on the side of sticking to your guns and leaving on your schedule.  Six weeks is more than fair, they can't legitimately claim otherwise.  If you're financially secure and don't need the extra income then enjoy getting started on your first year out of the kitchen in two decades.
 
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Joined Apr 5, 2007
If you do agree to help them out, make sure it is on your terms. If there is a way to do this that is worth it to you, put that on the table. If they go for it, great. If not, not your problem.

I was in a similar position twice now. My second go round I agreed to assist with continuity, but at an hourly rate substantially higher than what my salary had been. They called me twice, and in fairness, when they needed it.
 

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