Working In A Hotel, Restaurant, Agency As A Chef
Becoming a chef is a great choice of career. However, you must be willing to start on a basic salary, even after finishing a college course. Entry-level jobs will provide you with the basics to build a long and successful career as a chef. Working in a hotel, restaurant, agency as a chef is a choice you need to make as a Chef.You also need to be willing to work evenings, weekends, bank holidays and even Christmas in a lot of places. You will be learning cooking techniques and skills that will help through a chef career and in home cooking.
Working In A Hotel As A Chef
Overview Of Working In A Hotel As A Chef
Hotels have a range of catering options. Generally, you will have a breakfast menu, restaurant menu, a bar menu there will also be function menus.
Hotels may also have smaller function rooms for buffet lunches, and large function rooms for weddings and Christmas dinners. Mainly hotels will have a lunch service and a dinner service, with the bar/room service menu open all day.
Pros Of Working In A Hotel As A Chef
One of the pros of many hotels is that they will have a staff house. This is a house that will be for staff at a reduced rent rate. And is a great way of meeting new friends in new areas. Living in a staff house means you can work in certain areas without the hassle of finding a place to live.
In hotels you will be learning broader styles of catering, from breakfast menus all the way through to Sunday lunch menus. You will also be able to get staff rates on using the gym, dining in hotel restaurants and even staying at sister hotels.
Hotels are very business minded, and you will have the means to learn about GPS, menu costs and how to achieve your target budget. Also being a great place for ongoing training.
Cons Of Working In A Hotel As A Chef
There are a lot more politics in hotels and there is also a lot more paperwork based on health and safety laws. You will be working mostly split shifts with possible early starts if working the breakfast shift – 6 am the start.
- You are salaried, and therefore may be expected to work extra hours unpaid
Working In A Restaurant As A Chef
Overview Of Working In A Restaurant As A Chef
Restaurants can vary in style and quality, serving many different types of food. There are a lot more straight shifts in restaurants, as they can be open the whole day. Due to this, the day can be broken up into 2 shifts. Whilst working in high-end restaurants, shifts can cover a whole day, with only a short lunch break.
Working In A Hotel, Restaurant, Agency As A Chef is a choice many chefs will need to make at points in their career
Pros Of Working In A Restaurant As A Chef
There are many different styles of restaurants and they will have good quality working conditions, it’s possible to work in any type of restaurant: Brasserie, British, vegetarian, European etc…
The best buzz is in restaurants. They are busier and more intense and the menus are more focused; usually, you don’t need to worry about conferences and functions, breakfast or room service menus.
Cons Of Working In A Restaurant As A Chef
There can be a high turnover of staff in some restaurants and there will be limited extra benefits if any.
Working In An Event Catering Company As A Chef
Overview Of Working In An Event Catering Company As A Chef
Event catering is the broad term for catering at events, which will include canapé receptions, private dinners and wedding dinners. There will be the main base location where the food is prepared before it is sent out to specific venues to be served.
Pros Of Working In An Event Catering Company As A Chef
Within event catering there will be more sociable hours – typically 7-3 with a couple of evenings at busy times and mostly weekends off. You may also have Christmas off at a lot of event caterers.
The working place is less stressful as there is less pressure on services, this makes for a more relaxed working environment, with all extra hours being worked paid for.
Cons Of Working In An Event Catering Company As A Chef
There is more emphasis on the prep and therefore you do not get the buzz of a restaurant service. You could be working in very small areas, on jobs with limited equipment, thus you will have to work with only what is available.
It is harder to find full-time jobs, as there is a low staff turnover due to the good hours etc… Mostly event caterers are based in cities and you will have to have good experience under your belt to gain a job.
Working In Gastro Pubs As A Chef
Working In A Hotel, Restaurant, Agency As A Chef
Overview Of Working In Gastro Pubs As A Chef
Pubs located in good areas, using good quality ingredients at affordable prices. These are not your average boozer and will have high food standards and high health and hygiene levels.
Pros Of Working In Gastro Pubs As A Chef
There are a lot fewer politics within gastro pubs and it is possible to gain a promotion quickly.
Cons Of Working In Gastro Pubs As A Chef
You could be working in compact kitchens with very little room, which can be irritating with chefs moving around in limited space on a busy service. Can also involve working a lot of extra hours when a chef leaves, due to having a small team.
Working For National Agency Companies As A Chef
Working In A Hotel, Restaurant, Agency As A Chef
Overview Of Working As An Agency / Relief Chef
These are quality agencies with rosette standard chefs who work all over the country, in every kind of place.
Pros Of Working As An Agency / Relief Chef
Chefs will be travelling and working all over the UK and will have every working hour paid for and at a higher rate than the full-time staff and many chefs work freelance as their own company.
All travel and living costs will be paid for and you will be able to work when you want to.
Long – term jobs are common, you could be working from one week or in a place for an on-going period. This type of work is a great way for saving money.
Cons Of Working As An Agency / Relief Chef
This is a more seasonal job so work can be slow at the start of the year. Generally, you will not receive any holiday pay or be entitled to sick pay, and it can also be a challenge being away from your friends and family.
– Chef Salary – How Do I Get The Highest Salary Possible?
There are many establishments chefs can work in they will include Restaurants, hotels, event caterers, casinos, cruise ships, national chef agencies. Learn more on how to get the best chef salary for your chef level and to progress your career.
Key steps to achieve the best possible salary within a chef’s job role
The key point here is to be PREPARED. Write a concise easy to read CV for a great first impression and be fully prepared for an interview, this can be achieved by practising your interview technique and having answers well rehearsed for interview questions.
Working Trial Tips
Working trials are used as a way for head chefs to see the job candidates skills in action. The key here is to be PREPARED, practice your signature dishes over and over again until you have them well rehearsed.
Key points to remember on a working trial:
- Work clean
- Be well presented, clean quality chef whites and high-quality knives.
- Show off your skills
Essential CV Tips
When you are sending out your CV you will not always receive a response so your CV needs to be concise and easy to read to give the best chance of a successful first impression. Your CV needs to be well prepared and well thought out in order to almost guarantee you getting an interview.
Many people do not submit a winning CV, and this can be extremely demotivating. Here I have listed two common CV mistakes we all make and the solution to rectify the problems.
The same CV for every job application
Job seekers can be extremely lazy when it comes to writing their CV if you use the same CV for every Job application and the CV is not a winning CV then you are highly likely to fail all the applications, as the one CV has been used for many different jobs.
The applicant for the job has built the CV around themselves
Too many of us create a CV around ourselves, the correct method is to create a CV around the job we are applying for.
Here are the two simple solutions to these common mistakes
One CV for each Job application
Firstly, do not send the same CV to every job you apply for, Each CV you write must be custom-fit around the description of the job advertised by the employer. Also, a new CV needs to be written for every job so that you cover the employer’s requirements detailed in the job roles description.
Then design your CV to match the jobs requirements
Identify the keywords and phrases from the job description and build them into your CV
When you are reading a job advert look out for the keywords being used to describe the candidate’s skills and experience needed.
For instance, if the keywords “customer focused“ and “excellent craft skills” are used in the job advert make sure you use and clearly state in your CV that you are “customer focused” and have “excellent craft skills”. It is a good idea to use a highlighter pen to highlight the keywords and phrases as you identify them.
Seven Sample Interview Questions and what response the interview panel are looking for
To get ahead of the field we need to practice interview questions that an interview panel may ask you during an interview, preparation is the key here and here are 7 interview questions you may be asked. With a description of what the panel are looking for in your answers.
Can you tell me about yourself?
This can seem like a simple question but many people fail to prepare for it, this is a big mistake. When answering this question don’t give your complete employment or personal history.
Give a concise compelling pitch consisting of 2-3 specific accomplishments or experiences that you most want the interview panel to know about you.
Finish this question given a reason as to why your previous experience has positioned you for this specific job role.
How did you hear about the position?
This is a perfect opportunity to stand out and show your passion and enthusiasm for the company. If you heard about the job through a professional contact name drop the person, then explain why you were so excited about the job. No matter where you found the job listing explain what caught your attention about the role.
What do you know about the company?
Read the about page of the company to have an understanding of the company but anybody can do this. So the interviewer is looking to see whether you care about the company. That you understand the mission goals, use keyword phrases from the company’s website in your answer. Make your response personal. Say “I’m personally drawn to this mission because…..” and share two personal examples.
4. Why do you want this job?
You need to answer this question with passion, be passionate about why you want the job. And identify a couple of key factors as to why the position will suit you.
5. Why should we hire you?
This question is great to sell yourself and your skills to the interview panel. Be prepared with a well-crafted answer to this question which answers three things:
1. You can do the job and deliver first class results;
2. You will fit in with the team and culture extremely well;
3. You will be the best applicant for the job.
What are your greatest strengths?
Firstly when answering this question you need to be accurate, relevant and specific. Choose your relevant strengths to the job, be specific with your answer and give an example of when you have demonstrated this strength within a professional environment.
What do you consider to be your weaknesses?
This question is so the interviewer can gauge your self-awareness and honesty. You should give a weakness, something that you struggle with and then turn this into a positive. For example, you may not be the best communicator in the world but you have recently volunteered to help at a local charity helping and communicating with disadvantaged people.
To Achieve The Highest Salary Expectation You Will Need To Have A First Class Interview.
For a first class interview we need to have a system to follow, each of the key areas I have identified, are all crucial for an interview. Once you have a formula you can use it for every interview that you attend. The formula I have used many times is broken down into three different sections.
- Interview Technique
- Responding to the interview questions.
Practice your interview technique
When I am preparing for my pre-interview I will concentrate on developing my interview technique. The key areas I will be focusing on will be as follows:
• Develop a positive first impression
• Presentation skills
• Effective communication
• Body language and correct posture
• Final questions for the interview panel
• Develop a positive final impression
Do your company research well and practice answering interview questions with role plays.
How Do I Pitch My Salary Expectation To The Interview Panel?
Of course, everybody wants to have the highest salary possible, you need to pitch your salary in a well thought out way. For instance, if you are going for a chef de partie job with a salary expectation range of £18000 – £22000 it is important to pitch yourself well.
When you do pitch your salary make sure you can back up your expectation with the skills needed.
If you go in at £18000 the panel may think you are low in confidence and do not have the skills required, it’s good to go in at a higher range of £21500 and say you are willing to show how good you are at the job before you reach the £22000 salary.
But make sure you can back up this higher salary with the relevant experience for the job.
Average Uk salaries for chefs
Salaries will depend on location and quality of the establishment.
Commis chef salary £15000 – £21000 Average = £17000
Chef de partie chef salary £19000 – £23000 Average = £20500
Pastry chef salary £21000 – £29000 Average = £25000
Sous chef salary £23000 – £29000 Average = £23500
Head chef salary £21000 – £32000 Average = £ 25500
Executive chef salary £25000 – £38000 Average = £35000
– How To Ask For A Pay Rise
As A Professional Chef
How to ask for a pay rise. You feel you have been working diligently at your job and that you have been in your position long enough to deserve a pay rise. But how do you go about asking for that extra money? How to ask for a pay rise is a key skill to have. Make sure you know how to get along with your co-workers.
No matter who you are, asking for a pay rise is a stressful process that involves a lot of preparation and self-examination. Below are some tips to alleviate some of the stress that comes from asking for a pay raise.
How To Ask For A Pay Rise
Above all else, this is the most important aspect (that’s why it’s number one on the list!). If you do not believe that you should receive a rise, then chances are no one else will believe you should receive a rise either.
Before meeting with your supervisor, make a list of your accomplishments. Have you set clear objectives and achieved them? Writing down your ideas will help you stay organised and may also provide you with a confidence you didn’t have before.
Have a Firm Number, but Be Prepared to Be Flexible
It is a good idea to present your supervisor with a fixed number. You might then want to explain how you arrived at that number and why you feel it is a fair wage. But don’t be inflexible. Your supervisor might try to negotiate with you, and you should be prepared for this. Do not be afraid to explain why you think you deserve this amount of money. Remember—above all, value yourself.
How much does your job pay on average? You need to know this before asking for a raise. You need to research what the competitive salaries are for your position, and do not be afraid to present these figures to your supervisor. Statistics can often be very convincing. If for nothing else, they give you outside support along with quantitative data to help you get that pay raise.
Don’t Worry about Your Peers
What your peer earns is irrelevant. It is about your performance and little else. How competent are you in your position? Do you feel you bring real value to your company? That is where your focus should be, and not on what the person sitting next to you makes.
Base Your Argument on Achievement, Not Effort
You may be the hardest working person in your company, but without the achievements, you may not stand out the way you would like. When asking for a pay rise, make sure you present to your supervisor a record of your achievements. Show him or her a list of objectives that you have taken on since you began working at the company. Show your supervisor how you accomplished those objectives—let this be the strongest indicator of how hard you work.
How To Ask For A Pay Rise Role-play
Rehearse what you are going to say and consider several possible reactions that your supervisor may have. What if my supervisor tells me no, that he or she does not believe I deserve a pay raise? How will I respond? What if my supervisor tells me that she will get back to me? What do I say then? No matter what, you should keep your cool and always keep in mind how valuable you are. You earned this pay rise! Always keep that in the centre of your thinking.
Timing Is Everything
Make sure that you pick a time when your supervisor is available and open to discussing a pay rise with you. Chances are your supervisor is very busy, and a conversation about a pay raise is not exactly light or informal. So be sure to approach your supervisor during a suitable time.
Reach out to her and ask if she has a moment to discuss an important issue with you. Do not just walk into her office and began talking about your pay rise.
Asking for a pay rise is a stressful situation, no matter who you are. But by being prepared, you can reduce some of those anxieties and, if everything goes well, you might even get that pay rise you are asking for.
– How to Get Along with Your Work
Colleague And Co-Workers
Getting along with Work Colleagues can be difficult at times, but getting along at work is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You will need to be able to get along with a difficult work colleague at times. Professional kitchens can be a difficult place at times. The more experience you have at the top commis chef jobs the easier it will be to work. In turn, your colleagues will respect the basic skills you have, which helps form the kitchen brigade.
Here Are Some Tips To Help You Maintain Friendly Relations In Your Workplace
Listen To Your Work Colleague Carefully
This sounds obvious—of course, I listen to other people when they speak to me! But too often when we think we are paying attention to what someone is saying to us we are actually distracted. Make sure that you stay engaged with your coworker whenever he or she is talking to you. If you need to finish completing something, let him or she knows, and then give that person your full attention.
Take an Interest
This goes along with listening. If you don’t listen actively to what someone is saying to you then you won’t be able to take an interest in that person’s life. Don’t hesitate to check in with people, to ask how they are doing with their work. Just let them know that you care. A few words can have a huge impact.
Understand When You Should Back Off
Work can be a stressful atmosphere. Keeping this in mind will help you maintain friendly relations with your coworkers. If you see that your Work Colleague is preoccupied with a phone call or another issue, wait to speak with them. And always avoid interfering with a Work Colleagues free time. If there is someone who likes to spend her lunch eating and reading a book, you might not want to strike up a conversation with her at that moment. Respect that different people have different boundaries and ways of operating in social situations.
Be Concise In Communication
Whenever you are communicating with a work colleague, aim for concision. Be direct but polite, clear but kind. Always think about whom you are speaking with. If you are sending an email, imagine how the person might react to your tone and word choice.
Even if you are having a bad day, try to remain positive at work. Your job can be a stressful atmosphere already, and you don’t necessarily want to introduce more stress. Try to remain optimistic about new challenges and tasks.
Be Solution Oriented
I have a tendency to apologise often. But one day one of my coworkers said to me, instead of saying sorry, try to find a solution. In time, I have come to see this as valuable advice. Instead of apologising or complaining (something else I do too much of), try to find a way to fix the problem first.
Admit When You Are Wrong
This may be the most difficult item on this list. Who wants to admit when he or she is wrong? But doing so will show your coworkers that you are honest and humble. And don’t ever blame someone else for an error. That type of finger pointing will lead only to a negative and hostile atmosphere. Believe it or not, you often appear stronger and more professional if you admit your errors.
Your Word Is All You Have
If you tell someone that you are going to do something, you should do it. Simple, right? But we have all let ourselves and others down. It seems that this is just part of being human. Still, you should work hard to follow through on your commitments. And if you fail to do this, do not be afraid to admit your mistake. This will go over far better than trying to cover up your error or—the worst!—blaming someone else.
Keep Social Media and Work Separate
If you can (and I know you can) refrain from posting details about your work online. Social media is a better forum for your personal life than in your professional life. A good rule might be, “If my boss saw this, would there be negative consequences?” If so, then you might want to remove whatever you posted.
Getting along with your peers in any environment can sometimes be difficult. But in the workplace, maintaining friendly relations is critical to maintaining a positive and healthy atmosphere.
Think for a minute about how much time you spend at work—certainly, you want to get along with people you see this often. It may take work, but in time, you can learn to get along with almost anyone. And as a result, your work life and your home life will benefit.
– The Chef De Partie Refresher
This chef de partie refresher guide is for any chefs out there who have taken a break from the industry and need a refresher for the options out there and their knowledge.
So you have been a chef de partie and worked your way up to this position with a lot of hard work. You then decide to take a break from the kitchen due to travelling, maternity, college courses or just needed a break. Many chefs decide to do this at some point in their careers and then get back into the kitchen further in their lives
So you have to know decided after a break to get back into a chef de partie role and need a quick guide. It just so happens this chef de partie refresher guide is exactly what you have been looking for!!!
Firstly, unless you are moving a level up in terms of quality of food and are sticking to the standards you have trained in. You will not need to start off as a commis chef again, you are a chef de partie so stick to it.
I have found after having breaks getting back into the role can be daunting. I always feel nervous after taking breaks, although by brushing up on my knowledge and skills. What I had learnt soon came back to me with a little practice. And as soon as the whites are on and in the kitchen its game on!
Here is a link to my chef de partie kitchen positions and responsibilities to refresh your knowledge.
What Is The Best Way Of Getting A Job?
As part of the chef de partie refresher guide, I have added information on how to and the best ways of getting back into the career.
I have found that the best way to get a new position as a chef de partie is by using chef agencies. There are a lot of agencies out there for chefs to use, some are fantastic with good money and contacts in the industry. Others are NOT! The trick is to choose a good agency and know what you are looking for. And it takes all the hassle out of finding good jobs yourself. Nowadays many places use agencies to find quality staff.
Should I Do Relief Or Fulltime Work To Start?
Joining a chef agency will give you a head start when looking for your next job. A relief chef works on a casual basis, however, many agency jobs are similar to working a full-time job at the busy times of the year.
Relief Chef Jobs With An Agency
Pros of Relief Chef Work When Getting Back In The Industry
The biggest advantage of working as a relief chef is that you get a good look around at what is out there. Many agencies cover the big cities with individual agencies usual sticking to one city. There are also agencies that cover the whole of the UK that will provide paid for accommodation and travel expenses.
Consider this: You have taken a relief chef job in a gastro pub in London. However, you do not click with the other chefs and it is a real pain to work there. This does happen, the pros of relief work is that you can call the agency to explain the situation and they will get you into something else more suited to your personality. Once you find a kitchen where you click with the staff, very often a full-time job will be available or when it becomes available you will be on the radar. This way you can have a good look around and not commit to a job that after a month becomes a real pain.
Cons Of Relief Chef Work
It can be quiet at points in the year, generally January, February and November can be quiet. Often there is still work out there, such as breakfast chef cover.
Full-Time-Chef Jobs With An Agency
When looking for your next full-time job joining a good chef agency is advised. The good agencies out there have contacts throughout the industry to find the best-suited jobs for chefs that they are looking for.
The agency does all the hard work for you. They will find the jobs, set up the interviews, although it’s up to you to be prepared for the chef interviews. It’s advised to practice your interview skills before the interview.
If you want to progress your career into a head chef position then taking a fulltime job will be the way to do it. Explain this to the agency that you are looking for promotions and they will find the best places for promotion, generally hotels with good in-house training.
Applying For Work With An Agency
Applying with a chef agency is similar to a job interview. Once you have a good agency that you like the feel of its time to apply. Make sure you are prepared for the interview and practice with role plays and interview questions.
Conclusion – Chef De Partie Refresher
After you have taken a break from the industry getting back into the kitchen can be very daunting. It is advised to refresh your skills and knowledge and practice your interview skills. And is highly recommended to join a good agency that specialises in working with chefs. This way you will not be wasting your time and you will get paid the best rates. Also, don’t just take the first opportunity that comes up if it doesn’t feel right.