So you’ve finally done all that must be done to get your restaurant opened. You’ve gotten the loans, bought the location and the concept, managed to get all of your equipment for a great price (from us, no doubt), and you’re ready to be the amazing chef you’ve always wanted to be. Well, you should be quite proud of yourself. You’ve come a long way and you should be happy with your progress thus far. Of course, now the real work begins: the process of actually cooking for and serving customers. Restaurants are very busy places, and often times they are incredibly busy for the chef, that dream job you’ve always wanted. Here is a breakdown of the very busy chef and how his or her day might go.
-Your mornings begin typically around 8 or 9am. You’ll go into the kitchen and check your inventory and wait for any deliveries that might need to arrive. You’ll also begin chopping vegetables and making sauces. You’re also going to check on various pieces of equipment, particularly those that take a while to warm up. The chef is also responsible for delegating responsibilities in the kitchen when other staff members arrive.
-By about 11 or 12, lunch time has arrived, and you’ll begin serving customers that have arrived for their lunchtime meals. Depending on the number of staff you have, you might spend all of your time in the kitchen. If you also own the restaurant, you may have other areas in the restaurant to keep an eye on, such as customer complaints. If all you want to do is cook, this is where you’d hire a good restaurant manager who can work with customers in a polite and respectful manner.
-After the lunch rush is over, there are other matters to attend to. Some chefs must handle administrative duties or paper work, so that means delegating responsibilities to your staff to get the kitchen cleaned up and prepare for the dinner rush. Some of those administrative duties include dealing with any staff issues or ordering more inventory if needed.
-Dinner time has arrived. And when I say dinner, I’m including the early birds who fly in around 4pm. Before it hits, the chef may communicate with his staff once again about responsibilities in the kitchen. If he’s the sole owner, he may have to talk to the front-of-house staff as well (and if you don’t want to do that, hire a restaurant manager). The dinner rush is obvious; you’ll be sweating a lot from the combination of hot burners and pressure. The rush will have its lulls and peaks, but no matter what, it’ll be busy pretty much the whole time. This is where your money is made, of course.
-The dinner rush could end at any point in the night. For some, it’s around 10:30 or 11pm. Some places keep their kitchens open later, so the rush could last longer. Once it’s over, then it’s time to go over closing responsibilities. This could include anything from final paper work, storing food that can be served the next day, or even preparing food for the morning. It just depends on how you, noble chef, run your own kitchen.
The day for a chef is long but rewarding. I’ve been lucky enough to know a few people who work in restaurants as cooks and have hopes of becoming chefs running their own places. It’s busy and stressful, but they wouldn’t trade it for anything.
One Fat Frog • 2416 Sand Lake Road • Orlando, FL 32809 • 407-480-3409