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Job Summary

As a Sous Chef, I'm essentially responsible for all kitchen operations. Food prep, food quality, food presentation, etc are a top priority, but kitchen staff training, morale, scheduling, kitchen maintenance, and cleaning all fall within my remit and are equally important.

It's far less common for me to be hands-on with the food and more common for me to be managing and overseeing my team.

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Eric's Career Path

The path I took is really a story of starting from the bottom and working my way up. I finished high school but decided college wasn't for me. So, as a high school junior, I started working in a steak restaurant as a dishwasher. Within two years, I switched from dishwasher to table busser to food runner to server. I then worked as a server for about three years before stepping back into the kitchen as a cook.

I was a cook for all of six months before being asked to step up into the sous chef position, and so here I am.

I've worked hard to prove my value over the years. There's nothing about this restaurant I don't know. From the ingredients in each dish to the maintenance of each of our ovens to the personal stories of each of my coworkers. I love my job.

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Hard Skills

  • Cooking

  • Management

  • Maintenance

  • Inventory Management

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Soft Skills

  • Customer Service

  • Delegation

  • Discipline

  • Flexibility

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Work/Life Balance

Listen, if you're looking for a typical 9a-5p job this is definitely not the career for you. I usually work 12p-9p five days per week. I don't mind the schedule, and in fact, I prefer it.

PTO is pretty standard. I get two paid weeks off for vacation each year and another week of paid sick time.

If I could change anything to improve work/life balance, it would be to NOT work on holidays. I typically work on holidays because they're busier days than average. We're closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I'm talking about New Year's Eve, Valentines, 4th of July.

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Pay

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national estimate (US) for Chefs and Head Cooks is $45,950 annually (median). National wage estimates by percentile:

  • $25,020

    10th Percentile

  • $33,950

    25th Percentile

  • $61,870

    75th Percentile

  • $78,570

    90th Percentile

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