Author Topic: What other careers are out there for a restaurant skill set?  (Read 3952 times)

Offline rebelliousrose

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I'm done. I love the industry, and I love food, and people and wine and the way the days always are different, but I ran out of challenges a couple of restaurants ago. You can only go so high, and eventually your learning curve flattens and you are just in it for the money.

But I have no idea where to take my skills. I know food, wine, special events and planning, design, writing, copyediting, sales, training (patience of a Buddha and nerves of steel), cat herding, management, budgeting, opening restaurants, closing restaurants, and everything that can be done between restaurant walls except owning one and being a chef. (Cook yes, chef, no.)

But what else is out there that speaks to this skill set? Mama got to eat, so I'd like to not be that person selling pencils by the side of the Paces Ferry exit.

I thought of photographic food styling tonight, I've explored the idea of food writing, and I am SO open to any and all suggestions. There isn't much I can't turn my hand to.

Thanks for anything anyone may be able to propose.

Offline AndyBoy

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Re: What other careers are out there for a restaurant skill set?
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2010, 03:08:10 PM »
design, writing, copyediting, sales, training (patience of a Buddha and nerves of steel), cat herding, management, budgeting,

Those are great skills for a graphic or web designer / art director. Especially "cat herding", there are lots of cats in my business that need herding.

Offline terry

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Re: What other careers are out there for a restaurant skill set?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2010, 03:39:57 PM »
Most sales positions require a level head and the ability to deal with other people. So, basically any sales position should be good. Whether it is cars, furniture, manufacturing and so on. If you can handle table number five's attitude and general behavior, you can cold call.

That is how I originally got out. However, I got sucked right back in.
technical writer, webmaster and P/T chef at a restaurant OTP

Offline foodgrrl

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Re: What other careers are out there for a restaurant skill set?
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2010, 02:14:42 PM »

I noticed the GRA website has a "Now Hiring" area > http://www.discuss-gra.com/Board2/index.php?board=59.0 < with a few alternatives to working in a restaurant.


Offline Northside Chip

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Re: What other careers are out there for a restaurant skill set?
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2010, 09:14:56 AM »
My wife and I are both ex-restaurant persons. I was at in charge of a small place back in the 80's in East Cobb and went on to work on computers. I was still younger then so it was not a huge jump to change careers. My wife on the other hand went to CIA in New York, worked at Brennan's in Huston and then came out here and worked at Pano's and Paul's in Atlanta (she left 10 yrs ago or so). In her 30's she decided to make the change due to (pick your poison)...

1) Horrible hours - we hardly ever saw each other unless I went to the restaurant to eat
2) Physical condition - Being on your feet 12+ hours a day is brutal
3) Friends and Family - No holidays with family and friends and on top of that what normal person is able to go out mid-week which are the typical times you get time off in the biz
4) etc...

I recommended to her that she try out a temp agency. The second place she was placed was a telecom company and she has been there 10 years now. People from the restaurant industry typically have a stronger work ethic than most so just the willingness alone works to one's advantage. She has been promoted countless times and is now a project manager.

Now, these were in times of lower economic strife so I do not know if it can still work but it worked well for her. On a side note, the call I received from her on her first day at her first job post restaurant gig...

Wife - Hey, I am at lunch
Me - Congrats, how do you like it so far?
Wife - I am confused
Me - Confused about what?
Wife - Well, I have an hour for lunch...
Me - What's confusing about that?
Wife - Well, what am I supposed to do?
Me - Um.... Eat lunch?

In all her 15+ years she had never been told to leave for an hour and come back.... It threw her for a loop to be leaving on time, being told to not work for an hour mid-day, being told not to clock out even though her shift had ended, etc. Back in the restaurants, you clock out at 11 PM and were expected to clean up on your personal time and not get paid but not finish till 1 or 2 AM, lunch break and/or dinner break was a step back for 30 seconds and shove something that can't be served to a customer down your throat and get back to work, and her hours were 6-8 hours paid per day for 10-16 hours work.

Not sure what kind of background you come from but if you are like most I know, you can handle just about anything that comes your way. I know a number of people who have gone into consulting for restaurants but not sure if that is still too close to what you have been doing...

Best advice I can give (from personal experience) is to figure out what you enjoy and then find a way to make money at it... Sounds so simple when I say it that way. If you enjoy food styling, start to get to know photographers and get your name out there with the ones who click the shutters... If you enjoy cat herding, open up a kitty day care... For me, the hard part in the equation was finding what I like oddly enough :P

NC

Offline Miss Fortune

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Re: What other careers are out there for a restaurant skill set?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2010, 12:43:45 AM »
Teach Culinary, or teach Culinary Management on-line.  You have many qualifications needed for teaching.  In a ground school, you get decent pay, weekends and holidays to yourself, great benefits, and a regular schedule.  On-line, you can teach anywhere in the country, and never leave your home office or change out of your pajamas.  Try Le Cordon Bleu, Art Institutes, Johnson and Wales, and such. Talk to their HR folks.  Good Luck!

Offline rebelliousrose

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Re: What other careers are out there for a restaurant skill set?
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2010, 11:37:51 AM »
Foodgrrl, Northside Chip, Miss Fortune, thank you all.

Part of the worst of this is going on the interviews; for 20 years I have just walked into a place and announced that I might deign to work there, and now I go on interviews for jobs I really like, and the interview goes what seems to be very well (at least to me) and then I never hear from them again. It's incredibly dispiriting and horribly depressing. I took another waiting job out of desperation (a girl has to eat) and it's a place I would never have chosen, and I am not terribly happy. It's taking a lot out of me just to get through the day.

I appreciate all suggestions; one question about the temp agency thing- do you just walk in to one waving a resume, or do you submit a resume first?

Miss Fortune- I have more qualifications than you know; I've taught college. I will be looking into that, and thank you.

 

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