The Next Move
Hello everyone! I have a bit of a decision to make. I am currently the lead line cook at the restaurant for which i work. It is a reputable restaurant here in Boston and I have learned many things including some of the managerial side (opening/closing responsibilities, ordering, staff management, etc.). That being said, I recently put in my one month notice with the intentions of moving on to a higher caliber restaurant (Michelin quality in a town with no guide) and starting from the bottom again to learn what I can from a kitchen of this level. I am well aware of the increased hours and decreased pay that I am in for, and I am ready for it. However, my Chef and GM have offered me a raise and Jr. Sous title if I were to remain with them through the end of the year. The idea being that I could help them get through the busy season and they would have some wages cleared as soon as January comes and business slows way down. At which point, I would focus on the move to the different restaurant.
My question is this: Do those of you with staffing and hiring experience feel as though having the title on my resume would give a significant boost when being looked at by the elite kitchens? It wouldn't change my desire to start in at the bottom and work my way up again, but if it helps my resume get bumped to the top or gives me even a slight increase in starting pay, it might be worth the 4 months of time that I would be putting off the transition. I have some other thoughts and concerns, but this is probably the most significant one to me. Thanks in advance for any advice!
I'm not a chef or cooking professional, so my opinion might be less than helpful, but I'm replying so I can see the other replies, as I'm very interested in the professoinal responses. Best of luck. I'm cheering for you.
Go with what you feel ready for and what you most want to learn from. Having a title does open some doors in larger scale restaurants i.e. corporate/hotels, etc but this industry is all about contacts. Michelin caliber in Boston is thin so probably Menton, Clio, maybe L'espelier?
Also you said they asked you to stay to the end of the year. Would staying the 4 months hinder the opportunity at this other place?
What tkern said and also January is when a lot of restaurants slow down and are looking to cut staff hours, put a freeze on hiring and/or lay people off.
Yeah, I know the pickins are slim..I considered a move to Chicago, but my living situation is pretty perfect for someone about to take on long hours/low pay (i.e. rent is cheap and the location is good). So, I figured I might as well take as much out of Boston as i can before moving on. My short list includes the restaurants you mentioned as well as No. 9 Park, Craigie on Main, and O Ya (I'm really more interested in just a stage at O Ya because it would be interesting to see it given that I have zero Japanese experience).
Originally Posted by tkern
And as for the 4 months, Lumo said it best. Job market in January is nothing like the job market in September/October. But I am pretty confident in my resume, and my chef and GM are both offering glowing recommendations to wherever I apply. Also, while they slow down in January, I'm not sure these restaurants are affected quite as much as more touristy restaurants or those that rely on their location as a main draw.
Thanks again, and looking forward to hearing more!
Is your job at the new place lock already? If so then I would just go with it. If not I would stay where you are and take advantage of the raise to sock away as much money as possible so when you decide to make the move you can really focus on getting that great job and not have to take something out of desperation if things don't work out right away. Also, the four months might give you the chance to find a job that is a lock just by contacting some people and lining some stuff up.
I have bitten myself in the ass on one occasion by being too hasty when leaving a job without another lined up, of course I have also done the same by sticking around somewhere I felt as if I had outgrown.
Just my 2cents for what its worth
Skip Craigie, Tony's too much of a dick. No. 9 has always been good but nothing really exciting. O Ya could be interesting. Tim is a bit dickish as well but its doing things very rare in Boston.
At any rate none of these places are going anywhere so you have time to consider. Figure out what kind of food do you enjoy at heart. If its crisp and beautiful plates, and great flavors then a place like No,9, O Ya, Menton, etc. If its more down to earth simple great cooking then Coppa, Ten Tables, Toro etc. If its just dirty feasting deliciousness then a place like Sweet Cheeks
If you don't have anything set already, stick around at the current job and try to set up some stages at all of the places you are interested in.
Please excuse my ignorance...what is a "stage" in this context?
Working for free to gain experience and network.
As far as the job......... Just my opinion, Leaving behind good relationships with past employers will pay in spades later in your career. You'd be doing the current mangement a favor, getting a title and more scratch.
You may have to call on a favor some day. Karma is a good thing.