James Payne Winter 2018 Blog

by James Payne, March 16, 2018

During this winter term, I have been on my internship at Cooper’s Hawk, Winery and Restaurants. I have always loved their food…and wine, so working for this company has been a goal of mine. I was able to work the sauté station and help out during other banquet events while I was there. During the beginning, like starting any new job, it was hard. Learning different recipes, techniques that this particular restaurant does and working with a totally new staff. After about two weeks, I felt more comfortable with the menu and my fellow co-workers. Once I began to work nights, the busier shifts, I was able to feel firsthand how busy this restaurant can get.

Like every restaurant, weekdays are typically slower than the weekends. Mondays-Thursdays for lunch, we average about 50-100 covers and 150-250 for dinner. However, Fridays-Sundays for lunch we average about 75-150 covers for lunch and 300-700 covers for dinner.

I don’t know exactly how many seats the restaurant has, but if I have to guess, anywhere between 300-400 including the bar. We average about 1.5 turnovers on the weekend. Sometimes even two turnovers. When people eat at the restaurant, it’s either a date night, or a huge group of people. While the restaurant is open to the public, we also offer a wine club membership. We make our own wine and bottle them right here in Chicago. This wine club membership gives you a bottle of wine each month and invitations to Cooper’s Hawk parties only for members.

While I have enjoyed my time at Cooper’s Hawk, I am continuing my education at Kendall by completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Restaurant Management starting in April. I am excited to learn more about the industry and can’t wait to meet the Hospitality instructors now that I have finished my Culinary Arts degree.

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