So you’ve made the decision to get involved in the hospitality industry, knowing that you will be working harder and longer than ever, but you are determined to make this your career. First, let’s talk about expectations and how exactly to get started.

Your parents really want you to go to college to make them proud. While there, you’ll rack up close to six figures in debt for a degree that is going to offer you $10 an hour after you graduate. Proceed at your own risk….

In the foodservice and hospitality industries, you’re better off doing an apprenticeship working under a chef for free. “Working for free, are you crazy?” Think of it this way, you are going to go into debt either way, it might as well be while you’re in a professional kitchen learning hand-on rather than a classroom. If you do go this route, make sure it is for a chef that will actually teach you something. Work long hours, days, nights and weekends for weeks on end with no time off.  By doing so, you will be proving to the chef and to yourself that you have what it takes to make it. You’ll be strengthening your back and legs by standing for over twelve hours a day and you will become mentally tough. After about two years of being the “chef’s mule”, you will hopefully earn the right to work the fish or meat station (bringing in the $12hr you were hoping for).

Long story short, you will go into the field that chews up and spits out the weak. You need to be strong and determined to make it. People don’t go into the restaurant business to make money, they go into it to express themselves through food. They enter the industry to find out if they have what it takes to make it.