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Cutterbup's avatar

I don’t want to bake bread for my employer.

Asked by Cutterbup (71points) 1 month ago

I got hired to do pastry at a restaurant. The owners are European, and they got pretty excited when they found out my real expertise is in baking traditional sourdough bread. Now they want me to bake bread, too. They are talking about having a whole bread program, a new line of sales, basically, but entirely based on my skills. Their pastry program has been mostly based on pastries developed by a development team, and I’m sure the team was payed well for that. I supplement the program with my own skills and creativity, which I feel is what I was hired to do. They have just assumed they own my expertise on this, too, and I’m really uncomfortable with that.
How can I tell them I won’t bake bread for their establishment?

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10 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Why not work a deal to get a commission on the sales? Or, ask for a pay raise.

Jeruba's avatar

I wonder who told your employers what your specialty is.

Smashley's avatar

The problem, I think, is that they want your skills but don’t want to pay for them. A chef might be expected to bring their skills to the clout of a restaurant, but pay should be in line with their contribution. Give them a figure you would do it for, and let them say no if they aren’t really serious about what it takes to do what they want.

Zaku's avatar

When job description changes, you renegotiate. You need to re-take stock of what you are and aren’t willing to do for how much, and under what conditions you would want to bake bread, and under what conditions you will refuse and accept the chance they may let you go. But since they hired you before they found out you had that expertise, one would hope they’d be reasonable enough to continue to accept you just doing what you were hired for.

jca2's avatar

When you interviewed, did you tell them that you have expertise in baking bread?

I ask because I find (in the job I do) that often, when people interview, they sell themselves as having many skills and then when hired, they only want to do certain things. In a public employer (civil service), it’s easier to keep the job description narrow, under the civil service rules. If you do something above your job description, you can get paid for it after a grievance and hearing. With a private employer, you don’t have that leeway. You do have the choice to renegotiate or quit, but it’s not clear cut what the outcome would be as it is with civil service.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I don’t understand. Is it that you do not want to bake bread or that you won’t be paid for bringing your expertise to the task? Unfortunately for you, your talent has introduced the restaurant to the idea of developing a line of bread, and you must ask yourself, what is to prevent them from hiring someone else to bake both bread and pastries. Or perhaps they will hire a baker for the bread and leave you to the pastries. The restaurant is in the position of a man who buys a silver mine only to discover that it is laden with gold. It’s understandable that they are reluctant to ignore the gold.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I’m with @stan. I’m confused why you wouldn’t want a showcase for your expertise. If they are excited I would negotiate NOW to your benefit.

Cutterbup's avatar

I really like the “renegotiate” trend I am seeing. While I see the point about the silver mine, I am not, in fact, a hole in the ground. A traditional bread baker is hard to come by. If they wanted to hire someone else with my skill set, they’d be waiting a while. They were without a pastry person for quite some time. That’s just how the restaurant business is at this time. It’s a seller’s market, and at my level I can see myself as selling my skills. Plus, pastry is a lot to keep up with already. I am just one person.
They found out because I brought a loaf to a coworker, who paid me for it. I didn’t see this as a problem because, well, it was just my personal side project. The worst part is, it’s mostly the owners and management buying the bread, so it feels even more like they’ve subsidized a great quality product for themselves.

stanleybmanly's avatar

If the sales will be restricted to the owners and management, why not bake the bread independently of the restaurant and sell it to them for what you believe it is worth?

jca2's avatar

@Cutterbup: They want you to bake the bread to sell them (owners) or to bake the bread on work time for the restaurant to sell?

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