Common Job Issues & Challenges
There are many issues that chefs face in a resort or hotel kitchen and you will find that it is quite different working for a resort than for a restaurant.
One of the main differences is that at a resort or hotel, the head chef is not the only one in charge of the kitchen, but you have a kitchen manager to answer to as well as a food and beverage supervisor. Most of the time, they handle the finances, stock, and deal with all the technicalities of running a kitchen, but this can be irritating for some chefs who feel like they need to be given the freedom to express themselves as they see fit. Working for a resort means that you have to work as part of a team and be excellent communicators, whether it is with the servers and kitchen staff, or with management.
What is Expected of a Resort Chef
Resorts and hotels often have the same restaurants and expect the dining experiences to mirror each other no matter what branch of the hotel you are visiting. Thus, the chefs in a resort kitchen are often limited by certain types of food and are often told just how to prepare the food so that there is uniformity amongst the brands around the world.
Chefs that work in a resort environment are not only expected to follow the rules as far as cooking is concerned, but also need to present the food in just the right way according to what that particular restaurant does at all its locations.
Expectations also exist in the way the kitchen at a resort is run. Contrary to restaurants or private resorts and lodges, a hotel chain or large resort group will operate completely differently with the head chef only being a small cog in the wheel. There are many other managers and supervisors that are in charge and who the chefs report to.
The main thing that a chef working in a resort has to do is ensure that the set menu is delivered to the guests in the perfect way it was intended and the way that the guests expect when they dine at a particular resort or hotel.
Another thing to keep in mind is that at a resort or hotel, the dining room is open for breakfast as well as lunch and dinner, and often a chef will work longer hours than normal. Some resorts have a different team of breakfast chefs who prepare the set breakfast menu or organize the buffet.
Aside from preparing food for the hotel guests, you will also be responsible for preparing the food for the hotel staff which can be a huge group of people, and this will generally be every day.
Did You Know? Approximately 100,000 people in the U.S are employed as chefs in resorts and hotels.
Challenges of Being a Resort Chef
So, now that we have seen the difference between working at a resort and a restaurant, we can see the challenges that resort chefs face. Firstly, the pay is not that great, with some chefs earning an hourly wage. This all depends on the type of chef you are and whether you are working seasonally or full time. One thing that many chefs complain about is the monotony of the work. It is the same menu, prepared the same way with very little opportunity to be creative and express yourself as an artist. You can of course approach management with ideas and get these taken to the managers of the hotel, who will then have to present them to a board to determine whether your restaurant or the entire chain of hotel restaurants can include this new menu item. They have to look at budget, as it will require training all the chefs in all the kitchens how to make your item, and changing and printing out new menus for all the hotels across the globe. It is not impossible, but can take a long time and be frustrating.
Another negative aspect of working at a resort is that you will often work long hours including weekends. There is also a large amount of pressure working in a resort kitchen turning hundreds of tables a day.
Another issue that chefs face working for a resort is the high turnover of staff. As the positions are predominantly seasonal, you have to constantly train new kitchen staff and get them up to speed effectively. It is your job as the chef to inspire and guide, but this can be hard.
- Chefs might have an issue with the long hours and high pressure.
- Chefs generally don’t get to make final menu decisions.
- Chefs must deal with high staff turnover.