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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    310

    Red face Sometimes I wonder.......restaurants....ugh.

    When I went to trade school, I chose commercial refrigeration as my specialty. After graduating, I was all set up to start at a larger commercial refrigeration company. A couple of days before starting, someone called me and offered me $7 more an hour to work on chain restaurants. 7 bucks is 7 bucks so I took the higher offer. That was 8 years ago, and as I am about to start with yet another company I wonder if I will ever be able to get out of restaurant hell......Sometimes I think I should not have taken the better money years ago.

    Just venting and thinking out loud here. The work is good and satisfying, but boy sometimes I get tired of working on anything and everything in restaurants.
    A friend of mine I went to school with just started market work and I must say that I am a little jealous.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SE Texas
    Posts
    450
    After doing residential, small commercial A/C, heating and refrigeration installation and service for 28 years, I decided to pursue another path. The service part wasn't so bad, but doing residential installations had finally taken its toll on me. Around these parts, 99.9% of residential installations involve attic work. My knees and shoulders had taken enough abuse. Being a relatively old fart, I wasn't sure anyone would hire me, but I got lucky and got a job working for a fast-food restaurant chain. The pay was a lot better than I was making before and they genuinely seemed to appreciate that I was older and, even though I had no prior restaurant experience (other than refrigeration and air conditioning), they gave me a shot. Long story short, it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. The hours were very long (open 24 hours a day) and the kitchen equipment was covered in grease. I lasted 7 months before the 14 hour days and working every third weekend finally caught up to me. The only good thing, besides the paychecks, was I crammed a lot of experience into a relatively short time.

    Now, I work for a public school district servicing five kitchens. The pay is better than I was making doing fast-food and I don't work overtime or weekends. It's a dream job come true and I consider myself very lucky.
    With your chrome heart shining in the sun, long may you run.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    6,966
    the HVAC side does the same with being residential vs commercial guys jump into the bigger tonnages after 2-5 yrs doing homes and never look back.did you ever look into the hourly rates out there for commercial refer guys you might have to take a cut to get into it...restaurants have different demands/mental pressures when serving people food and the money seems better as you see...
    "when in doubt...jump it out" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1qEZHhJubY

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    310

    Frown That does sound nice

    The school system job really does sound nice, and given the disappearing benefits and pensions, it sounds even nicer to get into a school system.

    What gets me is that trying to go into controls or something different within the HVAC field, they expect you to take about a 50% pay cut. A friend of mine went on what looked to be a promising interview. He drove an hour there, had to take a written test, didn't have experience on chillers - so they wanted to make him an apprentice - a drop from $25 to $13. WHat an insult for someone who has been swinging the refrigeration wrench for 9 years. If it was me, I would have had some choice East Coast words for that hiring manager.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Winter Haven, FL
    Posts
    4,380
    The upside to restaurant work is that there is not much of a difference in seasons. The equipment will break in the middle of winter aswell as the summer. You get a steady paycheck, and always have work to do.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    florida
    Posts
    5,514
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Harper View Post
    The upside to restaurant work is that there is not much of a difference in seasons. The equipment will break in the middle of winter aswell as the summer. You get a steady paycheck, and always have work to do.

    Same thing with Markets.
    I love the smell of phosgene first thing in the morning:

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  7. #7
    I am 37 and in school for HVAC at the local CC. I have heard al lot of different things about pay in this field and since I am planning on getting into it I was wondering what I should expect as fair pay and then after a few years exp what would be considered fair?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    florida
    Posts
    5,514
    Quote Originally Posted by blttlb View Post
    I am 37 and in school for HVAC at the local CC. I have heard al lot of different things about pay in this field and since I am planning on getting into it I was wondering what I should expect as fair pay and then after a few years exp what would be considered fair?
    A lot depends on you location and what you know.
    I love the smell of phosgene first thing in the morning:

    To apply for professional membership click here


    Educational forums are open.

    If you would like to submit a link or an article or other related info to the EF. click here

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Boise, ID
    Posts
    4,326
    I've worked both; restaurants and markets, and each are disgusting. The best, IMHO, are Industrial, Colleges, and large commercial such as office buildings.
    If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what will never be. (Thomas Jefferson 1816)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pa
    Posts
    758
    You need to keep in mind that a guy servicing residential equipment for 20 yrs means nothing if you want to get into refrigeration, chillers, controls and so on. You have to learn from the beginning to a certain degree so all those yes in the small world do t really carry into the other worlds.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Chicagoland Area
    Posts
    4,681
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Harper View Post
    The upside to restaurant work is that there is not much of a difference in seasons. The equipment will break in the middle of winter aswell as the summer. You get a steady paycheck, and always have work to do.
    and you get fed.

    I've been working in restaurants since I started in this business. I used to hate it. The filth, the boneheads that page you at 2 in the morning because the ice machine is broke and they want service in the morning, the boneheads that don't want to pay OT and when you show up in the morning the WIC is 80 degrees and full of rotten chicken and then ask"Do you think it's ok to serve?" The roaches and rodents, etc. Doesn't bother me anymore. It's now entertaining to say the least. I get up, go to work, go home and I'm happy. It bought me a home, a couple vehicles and a boat. All that for playing in rotten food.
    Officially, Down for the count

    YOU HAVE TO GET OFF YOUR ASS TO GET ON YOUR FEET

    I know enough to know, I don't know enough
    Liberalism-Ideas so good they mandate them

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SE Texas
    Posts
    450
    Quote Originally Posted by HvAckid82 View Post
    You need to keep in mind that a guy servicing residential equipment for 20 yrs means nothing if you want to get into refrigeration, chillers, controls and so on. You have to learn from the beginning to a certain degree so all those yes in the small world do t really carry into the other worlds.
    So true. When I originally applied at the school district, the first question they asked me was how much chiller experience I had. All those years in residential and small commercial did nothing for me when it came to chillers and controls. Needless to say, I didn't get the job.

    Fortunately for me, the kitchen job opened up a short time later. Since I already had my application on file, all I had to do was switch it over to the kitchen job. And, believe it or not, even with only 7 months of kitchen experience, they hired me because of it. When I interviewed, I told my soon-to-be boss that the 7 months of experience in fast food, coupled with working all those hours, I felt like I had been doing it for years. Fast food exposed me to a lot of different types of kitchen equipment in a relatively short time.

    One of the side benefits working where I work is I get to hang out with the chiller guys whenever I can, so I'm picking up some great knowledge and experience. So, when it's all said and done, I'll have experience in residential A/C & heating, small commercial A/C & refrigeration, commercial kitchen equipment and chillers/controls. If there is a down side, I probably won't be looking to work for another employer since, because of my age, I'm running out of productive years.
    With your chrome heart shining in the sun, long may you run.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    1,036
    Quote Originally Posted by SandShark View Post
    So true. When I originally applied at the school district, the first question they asked me was how much chiller experience I had. All those years in residential and small commercial did nothing for me when it came to chillers and controls. Needless to say, I didn't get the job.
    Someone told me long ago that when you start doing HVAC as a career start in commercial, then you can do residential with ease, but not the other way around.

    I started in commercial, then to maintenance, then to refrigeration and cooking equipment. Never done residential full time, some side stuff, and im glad i never did.
    You can't kiss death without it kissing you back. Death is a passionate kisser.


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