I want to work reasonable hours

15 October 2002 by
I want to work reasonable hours


In August I qualified as a chef at Le Cordon Bleu school in London. I had a catering business for five years and did some work experience for a few months at Claridge's and the Connaught.

I have a family and I tried, but soon realised that I couldn't manage the hours of restaurant work. I would like to work in a pastry environment, such as a patisserie or boulangerie shop from Monday to Friday, or alternatively work on projects for event caterers to get more experience.

What the expert says

Chris Sheppardson, managing director, Chess partnership

I understand the dilemma of balancing work and life in this demanding industry. The best plan would be to identify businesses that would allow you to work more reasonable hours or perhaps on a flexi-time basis. I am not convinced that event caterers or a pastry/boulangerie shop would allow you to do this. I think you should look at a couple of different areas. The first would be contract catering. Most contract caterers provide services on a Monday to Friday and nine-to-five basis. There are some very sophisticated catering contracts for banks, insurance companies and blue-chip companies. Generally, working conditions are better and hours are more flexible than hotels or restaurants. Another area you could try is pastry or bakery companies running central production operations supplying hotels, restaurants and shops. Some of these companies should, in my opinion, be able to offer you a working environment that better suits your needs. A final area is teaching. One of the cookery schools may be interested in employing you. This may be the case if your skills are in the pastry area, which is quite specialised.
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