Why is it assumed that FOH and BOH employees have a low IQ?


Joined Oct 12, 2009
/img/vbsmilies/smilies/chef.gifFor  many years I have been asked why a person of my intelligence ever got in the cooking profession. And I always told them, when I was 18 years old and looking for a job and living in the north, the warmest place to work was in a hotel kitchen or a foundry and I chose the kitchen. Although  8 years later I learned to repair televisions it was still too cold until I moved to Florida 5 years later.  The kitchen has never been on top of the list for high school graduates, more than likely the bottom 10 or 20% because back then we had on-job training and before minimum wage laws. Now we have college graduates and graduates of culinary schools wondering why everyone else is so stupid. Well you have to look at the intelect pool you have to choose from, for the most part FOH and BOH don't have a high school diploma or training of anything else. Many have a smoking, drinking or drug problem and most are divorced or in an unhappy relationship. This is not a 9 to 5 business. We have to work most holidays and very seldom stay on the job long enough to get a 2 week  vacation. So, it is not a family oriented profession. But for  those of us who love it we wouldn't be happy doing anything else. By the way, I repaired TVs, VCRs and Video cameras for 20 years, my wife was happy but I wasn't./img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif
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Joined May 5, 2010
Many people who are employed in our industry should not be. 

When someone says they are waiting tables, people assume they are out of work in their field and just do this  "to get by until a real job comes along."

Working in the restaurant business whether it be BOH or FOH IS a noble profession, and unfortunately it is not accepted by society as such.
Joined Aug 21, 2009
I think the stereotype of the floozy waittress and the cigarette hanging from his mouth beer-swilling cook is still in alot of people's minds and when they come across seemingly intelligent, "normal" people it throws them off.  When I worked at the cafe I was asked what I was doing there if I had a university degree as I could have been making more money doing what I went to school for.  After I got over the intial shock of that I told them the truth... I took alot of years off to raise my children as that was more important to me and during that time I did alot of thinking as to what I wanted to do when the kids were old enough for me to be comfortable working and cooking was always in my mind.  The only reply I got out of them was "oh, good for you".   The person who asked me that was not on my top ten list of customers I liked to see.. they were always condescending and arrogant whenever they came in. 

Our business does attract all sorts of people and unfortunately some of them are a little on the sketchy side.  I don't care whether a person is a college or culinary grad or not.. what I care about is their professionalism and their performance on the job.  If they have a drug, drinking or smoking problem, that's their business and as long as it doesn't affect their ability to come in to work, on time and sober it's their life. 
Joined Oct 10, 2005
True, there are a lot of places that have eejits, druggies, and slackers, but I hate those places an stay far, far away from them.

From what I figure,

1) There are no qualifications or standards for a "Waiter" or "Waitress".  In Europe there is, and it comes with a 2 yr apprenticeship.  There are standards for the trade "Cook" in Canada, but the standards are quite low--althopugh I have to say in the last 9 mths the province of B.C. has really made an effort and now demands an actual hands on cooking demonstation as well as written requirements for the "Red Seal".

2) Because of a lack of standards/poor standards, there is no set payscale.

3) Many places typically hire students who don't really care much about teh trade, but only want to get their degree/diploma and get a "real" job.

4) Competition is very tight in the food business.  Wherever an owner can shave a dime, they will.  Management (salaried) will work their hinies off, and non managment will ge their hours cut whenever possible.  This does nothing to attract good people....
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