Seeking wisdom from the world!

Discussion in 'New User Introductions' started by valhallabusboy, Apr 1, 2019.

  1. valhallabusboy

    valhallabusboy

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Exp:
    Self taught home body with big dreams.
    Grab a drink and get comfy friends! I'm here to divulge my innermost secrets with the anonymous internet in hopes that someone out there may be able to give me some good advice.

    I love to cook, just like everyone reading this post. It is my passion and has been my love since childhood when I would force people to let me prepare nearly inedible meals to bring a smile to my 6 year old face. However, I lack formal training or experience working in any commercial kitchen as i'm sure many of you have.

    I never really thought that there was any way I could make my passion a true career so I pursued other avenues. I spent a few college semesters studying business with several other minor jobs. But today I am active duty for the Army National Guard. I work as a Weapons of Mass Destruction specialist for a reactionary team that deals with chemical weapons and radiation. The absolute opposite of my dream, seeing as these are things you absolutely don't want to eat.

    So herein lies my conundrum. I have a business plan developing for a catering business that I want to kick off some years in the future, but I have no idea what i'm doing. In addition to my lack of formal experience, i'm afraid that I won't have the opportunity to gain that experience. There are no colleges or establishments in my area that offer any real courses, and I can't really make a commitment to anyone for a meaningful internship due to my work requiring me to travel and be completely available for long periods of time.

    So what say you, experts? Am I doomed to flounder my way through this problem? Or is there light at the end of the tunnel?
     
  2. sgsvirgil

    sgsvirgil

    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    457
    Exp:
    Retired Owner/Operator
    Are you doomed? Probably not. However, when you are finished with the military, then you will have all the time you need to see if a life in the food industry is right for you. But, you should also understand that a passion for cooking, while is a start, is never enough. A career in the food industry is a hard life. 60 to 80 hour weeks are typical for pay that is often no better than minimum wage. Benefits are rare until you reach some sort of management level, which is typically a 10 year track. Some, however, have achieved that sooner. This is a life that leaves no time for a social life, friends or a family. To that extent, this profession has one of the highest divorce rates out there along with an astonishing substance abuse rate.

    When you are done with the military, get a job in a kitchen. Try it out for 6 months to a year. At the end of that time, if you are still interested in a career in the food industry, you can work to move up in the kitchen or you can go to culinary school. But, the first lesson is to see first hand that cooking professionally is nothing like cooking for friends and family. Many jump right in without learning that lesson and find out that this is not the life for them.

    Good luck. :)
     
  3. foodpump

    foodpump

    Messages:
    5,120
    Likes Received:
    655
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    What sgsvirgil says.... once you’re out, get a job in a kitchen—any kitchen. After 6-9 mths find a different kitchen, and so on.

    As sgsvirgil says, pay and benefits suck— suck pond water actually. But bear in mind that cooking and running a business— even if it is food based, are two completely different things. If/when you work in kitchens you will see the roles the owner plays, and what the Chef plays. Very rarely is an owner an actual Chef on the line, and if this is the case, that Chef has one or more partners that play sales, accounting, and h.r. roles.

    Don’t even think about culinary school until you’ve done at least a year in the kitchen. Don’t think about starting a business until you’ve read several busin ess plans and have a general idea of what kind of financing you need, what sales you could realistically generate, and what typical rents/leases are like.

    That being said, dream harder! Those of us that have actually made it could not have done it if we weren’t dreamers.
     
  4. valhallabusboy

    valhallabusboy

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Exp:
    Self taught home body with big dreams.
    I really appreciate everyone's input! Thank you for your thoughts!
     
  5. valhallabusboy

    valhallabusboy

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Exp:
    Self taught home body with big dreams.
    I get what you mean with the work hours and substance abuse.