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What does a chef and head chef's schedule look like?

i was wondering how the day to- day schedule for chef and head cook looks like do you work long hours and do you get a breaks? l've always been curious what they do.

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Teresa’s Answer

It depends on the restaurant. When we owned a small bistro in Emeryville, CA, we had a head chef and two assistants. The head chef would work from 10 am to 2 pm, then come back and work dinner from 4 pm to 9 pm. The assistants would do the prep in the morning (make salads, salad dressings, cut vegetables, etc.) and come in two hours ahead of the head chef. But not all restaurants are open for lunch and dinner. So it depends.
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Paul’s Answer

Jaleel,
There is a "schedule" and then there is the schedule that happens when you get to work. I say this because, as a chef, I have a plan of what I'm going to accomplish that day and then I get in and see if anything is going to change that. Staff calling out, surprise catering pop ups, delivery truck issues, health department inspections, and many more things can influence how your day goes. Some weeks I work 50 hours, some weeks I work 70-80 hours. It's also influenced by what sector of the business you are in. When I worked in restaurants, 50-60 hours weeks were normal. I worked at sports venues for several years and on off weeks it could be 40 hours and game weeks (depending on what sport we are talking about) could be 100-hour weeks easily. This isn't meant to scare you, it's being honest. It also depends on how much you enjoy the job, 40 hours a week can feel like a prison sentence, whereas 60 hours weeks could be fun, if the job is enjoyable. Start times for work could 4:30 am or 2 pm in the afternoon and will affect when you finish.
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Sean’s Answer

When I started a long time ago Chefs were expected to work extremely long hours. Usually 6 days a week . In todays
world things have gotten much better. Depending on the type of business I think 50 hours would be average. Of course if you do banquets or large private functions you will or should work longer weeks. You should get at least a weeks vacation your first year and go up from there, The more benefits you receive usually comes with more responsibilities which is more hours... It's not a job it's a lifestyle!
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