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How much notice should a chef give when quitting?

chef having a conversation
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Question:

In your column on giving two weeks’ notice, you mention that while two weeks is expected, people in management often give more notice. What do you recommend for a chef? I am getting itchy.

– Chef

Answer:

While two weeks’ notice for resignation is customary in the restaurant industry and others, there is no agreed upon standard for management that I know of. I think the golden rule applies here: If you were in the challenging position of having to replace yourself, how much of a head start would you reasonably expect? While a line-level person may be replaced with some schedule adjustments or an immediate hire, a senior person may take considerably longer.

My advice is to approach your leadership with an end date in mind at least four weeks ahead of time, but approach your resignation as a conversation. Unless you need to get out of a bad situation as quickly as possible, see if you can work collaboratively with leadership to transition out and leave things in a good place. Our industry is a small one, and reputation is everything.

Ben Fileccia, senior vice president of the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association, agrees: “Two weeks’ notice seems to be the standard in most industries, including the hospitality industry. If you are able to offer more time, that is always preferred, but by no means required. The most important point is that you make the transition as seamless as possible and maintain a professional relationship with the organization you are leaving. Less than two weeks is both inconsiderate and very unprofessional.”

I think many people look at the beginning of the year as a time for new opportunities and adjustments. Good luck on your journey! As always, consult with your attorney for guidance for your specific situation.

More on giving notice here.

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