written by
Cody Sullivan

What are Chefs Looking for in Their Job and Workplace?

college chefs chef job Chefs 4 min read
Owner Kevin Gadus speaks on what we value at College Chefs

If you have just stepped out of a culinary school and you’re serious about cooking, you'll obviously want to start your profession off on the right foot. No one ever said being a chef was going to be a cake walk. To become a successful chef, you'll need to have organizational skills, creativity, the ability to accept feedback, and a desire to excel. Apart from these basic skills, you'll also need to be able to handle a fast paced work environment and still deliver your best, especially in a traditional restaurant job. Creativity and attention to detail are of utmost importance for all in becoming successful chefs. There are some basic core values every chef needs to have in order to make it in the business.

Serving people a meal that they will relish and would want to come back for is definitely a rewarding part of a cooking career. But what else are talented chefs looking for in a job? What do you really need to excel at your workplace? College Chefs has successfully created a team of talented chefs who have the freedom to innovate and come up with cool food items. We are taking one step at a time to revolutionize the food service industry and we are extremely proud of our team who are on a stride to success along with us. Part of our growth has been because of the team we have, and we believe we have unlocked a key to understanding what these talented chefs are really looking for in a job?

1. Freedom to experiment and create

Cooking is a blend of science and creativity. While chefs can be taught the required skills and techniques, the passion for cooking can't be taught. They are always on a constant pursuit of creating something new and exciting. If they are given the required freedom to deliver their best and satisfy their clients, they are going to fall in love with their job all over again. Encourage new ideas and experiment with food. From taste, to flavor, to the presentation, creativity in the food that's being served will enhance the overall cooking and dining experience.

2. Encourage teamwork

At College Chefs we do our best to provide our chefs with a team-like culture. Our chapters span coast to coast and vary in size across the board. Whether at a smaller chapter with a 1 man crew, or a larger chapter with a kitchen crew of 5+, we want to make sure our staff is always there to provide the chefs with the tools they need to be successful. Our chefs and management bounce ideas off each other constantly and work together in improving service. We aim to create a positive work environment, where criticisms are converted into positivity and a drive to do better the next time.

Photographer: Edgar Castrejon | Source: Unsplash

3. Chefs Work-life balance

Whether you are hiring for a chef or a receptionist, work-life balance is crucial at any workplace. In terms of chefs in the restaurant industry, they are often asked to work long hours without reasonable breaks, which that can lead to impacting productivity negatively. They are looking for great work-life balance in their job and that's vital to provide.

4. The right kitchen and cooking equipment

Chefs use a wide variety of kitchen and cooking equipment. From step-in coolers to grinders, it is imperative to provide the chefs with the right set of equipment as they desire to do best at their jobs. This will not just help in productivity but also creativity in food preparation. They are looking for the support of their management in supplying them with the best of kitchen tools and equipment to help them deliver the best at their job.

Chefs working together
Photographer: Ali Yahya | Source: Unsplash

5. Providing financial stability

Many chefs, right after your culinary school, may not start off with well-paying restaurant job. Chefs start off their career in the food industry for the love of cooking and not necessarily for instant financial stability. Soon it becomes a necessity though. Based on your experience and skill set, chefs can somewhat define their own financial ask. As restauranteurs, you need to meet the industry standards to be able to attract the right set of chefs with the skills you need in your kitchen.

6. Stable shifts

Professional kitchens have longer shifts, especially for chefs, and they require a more organized work environment. However worn out they are, great chefs often will deliver their best even at the end of their shift. As a restauranteur, if you are running a successful kitchen, it is imperative to give them reasonable breaks and stability in shifts. Reasonably stable shifts often attract talented chefs.

Ultimately, it's all about what gives you satisfaction in your job as a chef. Creativity? Stability? Money? It is really an individual question you must ask yourself in order to define your culinary career path. As you get started with your career in the food industry, there are going to be more challenges coming your way. Make the most of them, learn from every workplace, and excel at what you enjoy doing the best - cooking.

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