Quitting your chef job
The food and hospitality industry is close knit and you’re bound to meet people you’ve worked with at one place somewhere else in the future. That’s why quitting your chef job in the right way can massively benefit your future career.
Here’s a quitting your chef job – do’s & don’ts (in no particular order) that we’ve compiled that will help you regardless of whether you’re quitting to take up a great new chef job somewhere else, or feel that you’re just not able to work for your current employer any longer.
Quitting your chef job – do’s:
- Give notice. Generally two weeks is considered adequate for a subordinate position. Executive Chef or other highly responsible positions require more. You’re a professional, so no notice should not an option (unless of exceptional circumstances).
- Tell your manager face to face that you are giving notice. You may have to submit a formal letter as part of the process but resigning in this manner will earn you more respect. Avoid sending emails and absolutely no text messages!
- Thank your employers for the opportunity and trust given to you during your tenure.
- During the period before you leave do your best work.
- If you can, ask your employer to discuss your performance with you when you leave. This kind of feedback is very valuable. Even if you feel that some of the considerations are incorrect, you will get a sense of how your performance is perceived. This will also provide you with an opportunity to cautiously correct any false assumptions.
- Don’t lose touch. As you move on in your career you will be happy to be able to contact old colleagues for any number of reasons, including references. Take email addresses and phone numbers when you go and connect with them on LinkedIn.
- Say goodbye not only to your direct colleagues, but also to those who provided you with support services. Your paths will undoubtedly cross in the future.
- If you’re leaving for a supervisory position, leave staff behind to guarantee continuity in the old kitchen. There is no firm rule on whom to bring and whom to leave, but it is inconsiderate to raid a kitchen or dining room which has paid your salary for the past year or more!
- Train your successor. If you know in advance that you will be leaving, you don’t need to share this, but you should focus on leaving a competent person in the second position.
- Tell your employer if you will be asking them to give references, If you feel that your employer incorrectly assesses your abilities or if there are serious personal issues between you, identify others within the group who will be willing to provide references.
- Invite your employers and supervisors to visit you at the new location. Some of what you have become and learned you owe to them. This is small payback. Do not just say, “I hope you will visit me” when you leave, but call or send them a written invitation once you are up and running.
- Let your purveyors know where you will be going, but make sure your employer knows of your departure before your wine merchants. Understand that once the word is out that the entire community will know before you have a chance to tell your boss.
- Tell your supervisors that you are going to leave before you inform your subordinates
Quitting your chef job – don’ts
- Never leave or quit when you are under immediate stress. Always sleep on your decision. Never quit in rage. Wait until you can give your resignation calmly.
- Avoid high drama. Your departure is another business event for your employer, not your moment in the limelight.
- Don’t use your departure to make a point. If it isn’t working, it isn’t working, but your professionalism is worth more than the satisfaction of a short rant. Remember that your employer will remember it long after the friction between the two of you has worn off.
- Don’t poison the well. Remember that the place you work is the source of income for a number of people. Don’t make it harder for them by lobbying against your boss.
- If you leave on bad terms, don’t return to the restaurant as a guest or to visit the kitchen. Wait a while and then attempt to repair the bridges. This is a lot easier than it sounds, and most people are glad they did it afterwards.
- Don’t try to get even. Whatever “it” was, move on, leave it behind. You have a future, and the past shouldn’t get in the way.
- Don’t barter jobs. Decide before accepting a new job that this is the one you want.
- Don’t take things with you that belong to the restaurant. This goes beyond the inventory. The recipe books are theirs, not yours, at least those recipes you created while you worked there, and the guest book is absolutely off limits.
- Don’t trash talk your boss!