I work for a small local business. My responsibility comes in planning and creating different foods for our menu as well as making them for the customers during lunch and dinner. We all share responsibility in ordering items and keeping cleanliness. I also train younger staff and keep control of everything.
Most average days start in the morning between 8-9 and end around 23-24. I sometimes get an evening off or get to come later at like 12. Around two shorter shifts a week maximum, sometimes none. Every morning I start by going through what has to be prepared and plan my day. Some items need more time or need to freeze so they have to be prepared first. Also in the morning I try to get everything done for lunch first then focus on what is needed for dinner when I have time. Generally the list of tasks is quite daunting and you need to work hard and fast to try to get everything done. There is seldomly time to sit down and eat and never time for a coffee break. Once customers start coming I have to stop preparations and instead focus on making their foods, whenever time is left over I continue with smaller tasks as possible.
Once lunch is over I continue to get everything done for dinner and grab a quick bite of something to eat, generally standing up. I also do a quick cleaning since working in a clean environment is very important in this job. Dinner is the same as lunch but generally more busy and I only focus on making the food for customers. Once dinner is over I go over our lists to see what needs to be done for the next day and clean the kitchen with the rest of the team. We plan the next day together and go over everything in case there is anything special. Cleaning and packing takes about two hours in total but we start the cleaning as soon as possible so we are generally done arond 23:30.
I love making good food. Whenever I get to make something that I am proud of it makes me feel happy. I also enjoy some of the adrenaline that comes with the stress and success within the job. This job is all about providing enjoyment for others and whenever I get immeadiate feedback it makes it all worth it. I also love food in general.
The hours and the pressure is harsh, sometimes I feel like a slave for the owner. Most finer restaurants don't pay per hour instead you get a monthly salary which, when you count it, is not much for the hours that you do. Sometimes the work environment, especially in finer restaurants is also quite tough. You need to work hard and under harsh conditions.
Time is important, you need to work a lot and be open and humble. You will learn a lot from others and you should surround yourself with people that know things that you do not.
Honestly I kinda knew what I was getting myself into. When I started I was extremely driven and worked a lot for free to get where I wanted and gave a lot of myself. Now as a more experienced worked I've noticed that there needs to be more in life than just work, this however is a slight dilemma. The better food you want to make the more hours you generally have to work. Making bad food instead would not bring me any joy.