Why using Chez Dine is good for the culture of your restaurant.

The restaurant industry is a transient business. Rarely do people stay in places for years at a time as they do with other lines of work. A lot of the old-school mentality is justified by providing an opportunity for education, but not necessarily monetarily. Unfortunately, restaurants are just not set up in a way for cooks to make a competitive living, or at least not one that reflects the hours. We can address the tipping imbalance and sometimes our countries under value of food and it’s cook who provides it; but here is a problem we can solve now.

A chef will see that their duty is to provide you with educational opportunity. You are welcome to come in early to learn how to butcher a pig or make pasta, but you’re not necessarily required to do so. Someone may mention that this is “how it is” or “I did that when I was your age” but no chef worth their merit has ever told me I had come in early. In fact they care about your health, they sweat with you and clean every crevice along the way(or at least teach you how to).

Typically my fellow cooks who don’t come in early are equally respected, as long as they can keep it together during service. It seems to me it has always been a personal choice to work for free.

I’ve taken every opportunity I can to stage on days off, come in early, stay late and go to the farm. Eventually it can break you down, but your respect and loyalty to your chef who works harder than you outweighs your daily wage. After all, you are learning every day. A lot of the time cooks work their way through restaurants instead of going to school. For me, this is the attitude I always have had and it has helped me remain grateful.

The pressing question that that did nag me after years of work was this: When and how can I make a living while still remaining loyal to my chef and team? Something cooks who work among great chefs take very seriously.

This is where pop-ups and in home dining come in. It gives cooks a chance to create on their day(s) off and make a secondary income. I can’t speak for all chefs but if you are organized and diligent enough to create and execute your own menu, using the techniques and business savvy you have studied from your chef, they will support your endeavor-  my mentors have.

By supporting your cooks to create this encourages a culture of inclusion and respect, because at the end of the day we all need to pay our rent. By providing your cook with the opportunities that provide them with monetary value it bonds a stronger relationship of trust and answers that question that cooks are asking themselves more and more as they grow older in the industry.

Restaurants listed through Chez Dine can provide their cooks unlimited free listings for their events.
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  • Dana Miele