WanaBe a ChefWorking fast food for restaurant experience

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WebFoodPros.com: WanaBe a Chef: Working fast food for restaurant experience
By Junior (Junior) on Tuesday, June 26, 2001 - 04:07 pm: Edit

people who want to work in restaurants can gain experience by working in fast food part time. not only will you get paid,but you will get the kitchen experience.plus ther are plenty of restaurants willing to train line cooks. get the best job and all the grief you can handle.if you can work 80hrs. a week conistently for a year then you have what it takes to work in the industry.there are plenty of ways to work this. you be the best judge.work fulltime at your day job,work nights and weekends in restaurants.

By Rc_fleming (Rc_fleming) on Wednesday, June 27, 2001 - 09:03 pm: Edit

Do "real" restaurants take fast food experience seriously?

By Panini (Panini) on Wednesday, June 27, 2001 - 10:42 pm: Edit

Thats a good question. It will depend on the hirer. I believe if the chef has worked his way up through the ranks, then he will appreciate the experience. A hoity toity fresh out of school might not.
The best experience of my life was the breakfast grill at a thruway diner. MAN!!! full house every night starting a 2am till 9am. maybe 50 counter seats and maybe 30 tables. 15 yrs old,lied about my age, $70. a shift. 1969. HEAVEN.
ps no tickets or chits!!!

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Wednesday, June 27, 2001 - 11:13 pm: Edit

Not really, but any experience is better then no experience. Get the best job you can and don't worry about the pay for now!!! Move after you learn everything you can about that job, and can get more $$$ doing the same job somewhere else.

By Debord (Debord) on Thursday, June 28, 2001 - 08:08 am: Edit

It's the experience that shows. Experience in the speed in which you work, can you multi task, can you do something percisely as told? That experience shines through.

There might be alot of culinary graduates out there you think your competing with....but with-out the three skills I mentioned above their worthless. We can teach a kid how to cook if he has those 3 abilities. All the cooking knowledge in the world won't make-up for these basic manitory abilities.

By George (George) on Thursday, June 28, 2001 - 10:22 am: Edit

I also think there is a big difference in the definition of the terms, Fast Food vs Real Restaurant.

Is fast food just the chain burger joints or is it the denny's and i'hops?

Is a "real" reataurant a Denny's, Olive Garden, Local Bar/Reataurant or something listed in Zaggets?

It all depends on your perspective.

By Junior (Junior) on Thursday, June 28, 2001 - 10:24 am: Edit

you're correct,debord. i'm trying to hone those three skills you mentioned. actually i've been in and out of the hospitality biz most of my working life. extra money for bills ect. money isn't an issue for me in a full time culinary career starting out,since i don't make that much money at my day job. besides most of my family has been in food service. two uncles-butchers,grandmmother-restaurant mngr. grandfather-armycook in the 1930's. me-hotel,fast food,hotel kitchen,wife-hotel. we like it.people are great once you are accepted. restaurant biz has saved my butt on a number of occasions.....junior

By Junior (Junior) on Thursday, June 28, 2001 - 10:37 am: Edit

continued.... i saw your asst.resume` and i'm amazed at that. i ain't got nothin' to worry about. besides you think this gal may have been in jail? 9 yr.gap? anyway it is always a gamble...junior. for debord,thanks.

By Junior (Junior) on Thursday, June 28, 2001 - 10:50 am: Edit

george,my perspactive,fst-food is anything with a drive-thru. "restaurant" conjures up the image of waitstaff,host/hostess,skillets,guysor gals with paper hats. then you could ask,"what about your purveyors". is your favorite restaurant serving institutional fare? you're right,there is room for different perspectives...junior

By Ghb (Ghb) on Thursday, June 28, 2001 - 12:38 pm: Edit

When I was trying to decide if this was the business for me, I went to a restaurant that I really admired (a small, chef-owned place) and, thanks to a friend on the waitstaff, got the chef to take me on as a "volunteer" on Saturdays. No money, but a really valuable education. She taught me basic knife skills, etc., and I spent those days stemming spinach and doing whatever menial jobs she needed, all the while asking questions and getting a feel for what the job demanded. After a few months, the baker quit and I got the job.

It was a really good way to step into the business, since I got to test the waters before I quit my other job, and by putting the time for free I showed her that I was serious about learning.

By George (George) on Thursday, June 28, 2001 - 09:13 pm: Edit

Jr- I'd start by trying to getting into the best restaurant in your area and look to get a prep job slicin and dicin (or even dish washing). These days with your family experience you should be able to get into a restaurant by explaining your history and desire. Keep working down the food chain until you get a job, I'll bet the place you get into doesn't have a drive through.

Like Ghb said:
"After a few months, the baker quit and I got the job." when you are an interested, productive employee that shows up on time you get promoted fast.


By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Thursday, June 28, 2001 - 10:44 pm: Edit

I think if you are smart you can pick your experience wisely. When I was a teen, I got a job washing dishes in a pretty nice Italian place. I quickly realized that the preppers were just guys who hung out long enough to get out of the dishroom. I tried to pick jobs wisely that added to my education. Sometime I had a few jobs- one that was a learning experience, the other for the money. For beginning cooks, the coffee shops of the world actually pay a decent wage if you are fast. Its worth the time and patience to wait for the right job to come along as long as where you are at is O.K. I tried to take the attitude that I was getting paid to show up to school. Living on minimum wage for a long time sucks, but then again I don't have to pay off a student loan.

By Junior (Junior) on Thursday, June 28, 2001 - 11:20 pm: Edit

rodger that,fellas.

By Junior (Junior) on Thursday, June 28, 2001 - 11:42 pm: Edit

currently i am working on knife skills in may spare time.classic cuts,that sort of thing.right now i have a handle on knife maintenance and sharpening. working with the onion right now...junior

By Rc_fleming (Rc_fleming) on Friday, June 29, 2001 - 02:23 am: Edit

phew, I was kind of worried that I would have to haul my butt to the expensive restauraunts after school, just to build up a resume. Seems more important to develop speed, multitasking, and precise repition FIRST. Sounds like a hut o' pancakes is the perfect training ground.

Panini, DeBrod, and the rest of y'all are great. I am sure glad I found this site and had a chance to read the great advice here so I didn't dive in totally blind.



By Panini (Panini) on Friday, June 29, 2001 - 07:28 pm: Edit

Hey Junior,
One day you mentioned "like a Texas storm". Are you near Dallas? Your always welcome to visit or participate! El Centro has a great Culinary School. You can even earn credit. I really suggest that you take the 2-day Food Safety Course, and get a food handlers permit. You learn so much.
ps If your not in Texas, we have copies of the course cirriculum that I will gladly sent you just to read. Ya know, you might have already done this.

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