Finding your first head chef position.

1
0
Joined Jul 28, 2020
Like many I dream of owning my own restaurant however simply do not have the finical backing to do so. So the next best thing become a head chef of a business, possible build a name.
Original from Australia I have spent much of career working aboard, such places include The Ledbury, UK and Maaemo, Norway. Some highly distinguished restaurants.
Working my way up to the sous chef position, however now I want more.
How do I land my first Head Chef position ? I can managed food cost, design menus, working every section of a kitchen and manage a team very well. Without trying to sound arrogant my skills my be more refined than many who have held a head chef position for years.
Due to Covid-19 , the job market has never been more competitive , but I am asking how do I stand out?
How do I find a business willing to put me to the head chef position , without the years of experience as a head chef, which many business require?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated ?
 
69
12
Joined Dec 29, 2019
Like many I dream of owning my own restaurant however simply do not have the finical backing to do so. So the next best thing become a head chef of a business, possible build a name.
Original from Australia I have spent much of career working aboard, such places include The Ledbury, UK and Maaemo, Norway. Some highly distinguished restaurants.
Working my way up to the sous chef position, however now I want more.
How do I land my first Head Chef position ? I can managed food cost, design menus, working every section of a kitchen and manage a team very well. Without trying to sound arrogant my skills my be more refined than many who have held a head chef position for years.
Due to Covid-19 , the job market has never been more competitive , but I am asking how do I stand out?
How do I find a business willing to put me to the head chef position , without the years of experience as a head chef, which many business require?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated ?
I bought my first restaurant for $1.
The landlord had an empty 60 seater and wanted someone to open it.
They read about me in the papers and asked me to run it,

My first business was a pastry shop, I had no money but I had ability and 15 yrs experience, someone I had worked with put the money up and we went into business.
If you're good enough people will do that.

manage food cost, design menus, working every section of a kitchen and manage a team very well.
So can every other chef out there,
can you get people to line up outside the door?
 
99
33
Joined Mar 8, 2015
Like many I dream of owning my own restaurant however simply do not have the finical backing to do so. So the next best thing become a head chef of a business, possible build a name.
Original from Australia I have spent much of career working aboard, such places include The Ledbury, UK and Maaemo, Norway. Some highly distinguished restaurants.
Working my way up to the sous chef position, however now I want more.
How do I land my first Head Chef position ? I can managed food cost, design menus, working every section of a kitchen and manage a team very well. Without trying to sound arrogant my skills my be more refined than many who have held a head chef position for years.
Due to Covid-19 , the job market has never been more competitive , but I am asking how do I stand out?
How do I find a business willing to put me to the head chef position , without the years of experience as a head chef, which many business require?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated ?
financial aspect doesn't need to stand in your way. You have industry skills that allow you to put in sweat equity for your share of the business. Depending on the partner you find, they will have other skill sets. Be sure to have an outstanding resume, letters of reference, great credit score, business plan, and once you find someone willing to take a chance on you, a written contract. Nowadays, you don't even need a brick n mortar, start with a ghost kitchen, food truck, be creative and have the hard work ethics that will bring you success.
 
438
195
Joined Oct 1, 2006
I've been in your shoes! Going on an interview and I'm the only applicant that doesn't have white hair! LOL

To try and add to both great answers above, do a pop-up, investors dinner. Limit the tickets and SHOW what you can do. You do have front of house, bar, and wine pairing skills, right? Display your attention to detail.

I've had 100% success getting hired when I say "I'll work for free so you can see who I am". (2 days Max, only!) Is there a "Restaurant group" in your area? Approach them and ask for a chance to prove how you can benefit their "group" of restaurants. No business person wants to let talent go elsewhere, if they believe you can be successful for them.

My first head chef position came from the younger brother of Country Club owner that had me move to another state to work for him for a second time. Three jobs from one family might mean they liked how I made money for them!

Have you approached previous restaurant owners for their leads on a head chef job? If you are actually good, in their opinion, they might have something in mind.

Lastly, when talking to prospective financial backers, shape the conversation around how hiring you will benefit them, not you! They will not be as interested in hearing your goals, dreams and aspirations, as they would hearing you say "I'll never serve a meal that doesn't make you money".

Good Luck!
 
5,404
858
Joined Oct 10, 2005
How do you land your first head chef position?
-go to as many job interviews as possible
-apply at your local head hunter, a.k.a. recruitment agency
-network, network, network.

If you really look at successful fine dining places, a lot of them are partnerships. You cook well and love to cook, but without alcohol it’s almost impossible to pay your bills, cover your rent, and you also can’t run both the f.o.h. And b.o.h. by yourself. Many great partnerships were started while both partners are working for another employer, or met while working for an employer.

If you approach someone with your ideas and rely on this person to back you, you will never be a true partner. If you approach a bank, they will want to see your track record—specifically what kinds of food and labour costs you can mantain, what kind of stamina you have, and how flexible you are. Which means you need to be a head chef for a while.

Hope this helps
 
69
12
Joined Dec 29, 2019
How do you land your first head chef position?
-go to as many job interviews as possible
-apply at your local head hunter, a.k.a. recruitment agency
-network, network, network.

If you really look at successful fine dining places, a lot of them are partnerships. You cook well and love to cook, but without alcohol it’s almost impossible to pay your bills, cover your rent, and you also can’t run both the f.o.h. And b.o.h. by yourself. Many great partnerships were started while both partners are working for another employer, or met while working for an employer.

If you approach someone with your ideas and rely on this person to back you, you will never be a true partner. If you approach a bank, they will want to see your track record—specifically what kinds of food and labour costs you can mantain, what kind of stamina you have, and how flexible you are. Which means you need to be a head chef for a while.

Hope this helps
Its illegal for a bank to loan money to startups, they aren't allowed to be venture capitalists, the examiner would shut them down. They'd love to lend you your own money, if you have property they can attach or have sufficient deposits on account.
It used to be possible to get loans through the federal land bank, issued and managed by banks in the SBA program. It was abused and had 90+% failure rate, it might be shut down now.

We started out with an SBA loan, after that we got the equipment venders to finance anything we needed (without asking them to finance us), we'd tell them to invoice us, most invoices are 30 days net but they're happy to get it when they can.
 
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