Hard Work and Many Sacrifices

Working in the restaurant industry is no doubt hard work that comes with long hours and many sacrifices. People have different reasons for working in the restaurant. Some will purely do it for the money and become a server, but for me, I do it because I love it.

There is nothing wrong to purely earning money because we all know everyone has different life situations and if the restaurant industry provides you with that comfort, then by all means do what you have to do. If you are not a server, then often times you are receiving less than what the servers can make in a week with their tips. I have been in that situation.

Regardless, I continue to work in the restaurant industry because it’s my life long passion. I understand what is involved and have prepared myself both physically and mentally. A word of advice, if you are in a serious relationship, it is important that your spouse understands the work involved and you both are willing to make sacrifices. For myself, I am grateful that my wife is in the same industry and we understand what it takes.

About five years ago, my wife decided to return to school to earn her culinary management diploma. At the time I was managing a Japanese restaurant where I worked about 70-75 hours per week. Likewise my wife held four different part-time jobs while attending school. She was a cook at the school’s restaurant, a prep cook at a steakhouse and a co-op student/prep cook at one of the city’s top restaurants. As for the fourth job, she became a bartender for the restaurant I managed. None of her jobs conflicted because they were set days.

During that period, we only saw each other no more than 20 hours per week. It was tough but we were used it. We did everything we had to do to excel further in our careers.

Today, we both hold one job each and we see each other 30-35 hours per week. I am at work everyday at 5AM and finish at 5PM while she begins at 3PM and finishes at 3AM. We see each other more, but not much more. There was even a time that I worked seven days a week for six months straight, no days off. My wife came to the restaurant to see me whenever she could. There was no anger, no disappointment but we shared a mutual feeling that someday we would have our own place and work together.

Some call us workaholics, others say its commitment. We already know the way we work is crazy. One can choose a different lifestyle. However, we enjoy what we do because we wouldn’t still be doing the same thing we do. There are hundreds of jobs available that will pay us thousands of dollars more, but money doesn’t always bring happiness. For us, it’s the learning experience and the love for food.

Photograph by paulaloe

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4 Responses to “Hard Work and Many Sacrifices”

  1. Sherxr Says:

    *Applause* Good Chef Attitude! That’s the type of chefs we love to have in this world. But unfortunately there are not many!

  2. Joy Says:

    Wow, I admire you and your wife’s passion and dedication. It takes a different kind of person to do what you two do. Like you said, it’s hard to be in a serious relationship and be focused and motivated in your career if your partner does not understand it. But bravo to you. Best of luck!

  3. TheRestaurantBlogger Says:

    Hi Joy, I will tell you off the bat, it’s not easy to make it work. Sometimes it is like a rollercoaster ride. The key to our relationship is
    the willingness to make an effort. Although we have conflicting schedules, we always try to have one day a week off to spend time
    together.

  4. TheRestaurantBlogger Says:

    Sherxr, I think having a great attitude is a must have for the job you want to do. Finding any type of restaurant staff with great working attitude is always a challenge.

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