I wrote this a while ago and only shared it with my Facebook friends. Unlike my other posts on food, travels and progress at Le Cordon Bleu, this post is more about my general overview about the F&B industry. What I’m sharing are some very raw feelings and I hope you guys understand my point of view after reading this article my friend shared with me.
I quit my job at TBWA Hong Kong to pursue my Patisserie Diploma at Le Cordon Bleu but I realized I had a few months left in Hong Kong and after taking two weeks off to catch up on some much-needed sleep (agency people will understand), I was (1) bored (2) wanted to do something that would help me get a head start in understanding the F&B industry.
I started sending out my resume to different places without expecting any of them to get back to me. I always thought I was such a troublesome case. What would you do if you receive a resume from a girl whose past working experiences were all in marketing, PR and advertising? Yet she’s asking you for a job in your restaurant even though you know she’s going to leave your restaurant in two months- right after you finish training her. Chances are, you won’t hire her. Yet, Angelina Hong Kong hired me.
I was ecstatic when I heard back from them but I knew there were a few obstacles I would have to face. I knew I had to tell my parents and my friends. The first person whom I told was my mom. I thought she would be against it but to my surprise, she was very encouraging of it and said she thinks it would be a great experience for me.
After that, came my friends. Most of them accepted it and understood why but some gave me the look. It was that moment that I realized people expected more from me. Because I studied in an international school since first grade, because my parents invested so much into my education and because my parents paid full tuition to send me to USC.
After I was given the opportunity at Angelina, I realized exactly what the person in the article realized. It’s a different skill set. While I used to think about branding and how to target different audiences, these people were thinking about how to pacify angry customers who are pissed about things beyond their control. “Why don’t you guys have air conditioning for your outdoor seats?” “Why don’t you have heaters? It’s freezing out here!” The same people also have to look at the sales of each types of pastries and decide how many to defrost for the day, how many bottles of drinks to order, how many staff are needed for the day, how to allocate all the tables when there is a line of angry and impatient customers waiting at the entrance.
I’m very grateful for the people who accepted my decisions. I’m also grateful towards those who looked down on the decisions I made because it gives me an even bigger motivation to prove that I’m not wasting time. I’m also very grateful to the team at Angelina who spent time to train someone they know would be leaving them shortly.
During these past three months, I finally got a glimpse of how a restaurant operates, dealt with some angry customers (most of them were very, very nice to me), and of course, how to finally hold a tray 😂.
I guess what’s most important is don’t underestimate others. There’s no job too glamorous and there’s no job too demeaning.