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Do u always have to work on Holidays as a chef

I am a 9th grader that is thinking about becoming a chef but the fact that i have to work on holidays and not being able to spend it with family scares me. #chef #cooking #food-service #christmas

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David’s Answer

Hello Tyler,

I am not a chef, but I have worked in the fast-food industry for a while. The only advice I may offer is that it depends on where you work. Places I have seen or worked at have either been completely closed or partially open (close early), but I have heard of some remaining open during the entire holiday. Some places offer a holiday pay incentive (extra pay) to work the holiday. This is a great question to ask any places you interview with, unless you start your own restaurant then you can work when you want!

Hope this helps and best of luck!


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Dan’s Answer

Hi Tyler!

As someone who works in the Hospitality industry, I count many Exec Chefs/Cooks in my close circle of friends and yes, the hours are many, and the Holidays are often spent working, but your craft is especially important during the Holidays! Imagine how it feels preparing a meal for a family getting together at your restaurant/hotel/resort and having the time of their lives, enjoying your food...There's no better feeling!\

You're still young and will get plenty of opportunities to spend time with family and friends, and those opportunities will never dry up, but yes, to answer your question, you may be working on Holidays, but the Positives outweigh the Negatives...Good luck my friend!

Dan recommends the following next steps:

Pick a career, when the time is right
Do everything you can to succeed in that career
Do every job in the kitchen so you understand how important each job is to the success of the kitchen
Find a mentor Chef that you can learn from and pick good habits from

This was very helpful and true thank you for the advice. Tyler P.

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Gloria’s Answer

HI Tyler,

I would say that most jobs have that challenge - the potential to work on what for you would be a special occasions. It is not just the holidays. You may miss a wedding, a birthday, a graduation. It happens all of the time. I would not advise you to avoid doing something such as being a chef just to avoid working on holidays. You should consider the benefit of working on holidays. Depending on where you work, you can earn more working on holidays. Also, you may get better exposure for you (and better jobs) by getting the exposure of your work happening while others are celebrating their own holidays.

Most importantly, you should do what you love and what you do well. The holidays will work themselves out.


thank you very much. Tyler P.

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Magdalin’s Answer

Holidays are the busiest times for Chefs. Working on major holidays sort of comes with the territory.
However, most of them earn prized overtime pay or bumped up gratuity for their hard work.
Few restaurant groups and hotels throw a big party after the holidays and they have a big dinner for their employees.
Once you start working the spirit of working through holidays will automatically set in.

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Stephanie Stephen’s Answer

It depends largely upon the restaurant you work at, as well as if you own it or not. As some I worked for would close on major holidays like Christmas, but other holidays they would remain open. The same applied to things when I became a restaurant manager. Usually holidays like the 4th of July, Labor Day and south most where. But it mostly depends on upper managers and what owners want.

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Kelli’s Answer

Hi Tyler!!

There are a lot of professions where you might need to work on a holiday, like healthcare workers, police/firefighters, emergency technicians, and other 24/7/365 (24hrs day / 7 days a week / 365 days a year) careers. As a ninth-grader, these holidays are very important for you to spend with your family, and it may always be that way for you.

Remember that you will be changing a lot in your teens and throughout your 20s. Some things will be very important to you today that will not be as important 10 years from now and some things you never thought of will take their place. Also, if/when you get married or have children, your priorities will change again. So, you will always be changing, but in your teens and 20s, I feel like the changes are more obvious.

Keep discovering what is important to you and also keep track of what makes you happy (like maybe being a chef) and why it makes you happy (you like creating foods that people enjoy). You will likely find other things that make you happy too that will not require you to work holidays and weekends!

thank you very much :) Tyler P.

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Kelly’s Answer

There are many instances you may have to work holidays when in a restaurant setting. Many are closed on the large holidays, but I would suggest looking into the schedule of a restaurant before applying if this is important to you. You will absolutely have to expect to work weekends. If cooking is a passion for you, it will be worth it. My family ends up celebrating holidays on different days/times to accommodate restaurant hours and it’s just fine with all of us.

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Todd’s Answer

In general workers in the hospitality industry always work during the Holidays. The basic rule is that when other people are out spending money...you are working. So Holidays, Saturdays, etc. These are days when you have to work because that's when restaurants/hotels/bars are the most busy. It's not the end of the world, it's just a specific schedule that you get used to over time. Hope this helps.

Thank you very much. Tyler P.