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6 ways to get a job in a restaurant

Working in a restaurant can be a rewarding experience that allows you to work face-to-face with customers. You’ll meet all kinds of people, earn a good paycheck in a short amount of time, and stay on your feet at all times.

If you’re hoping to break into the restaurant world, here are a few ways to increase your chances of getting a job.

  1. Emphasize your experience. Just because you’ve never worked in a restaurant before doesn’t mean you won’t be given serious consideration. If you’ve done any volunteer work, spent time in hospitality or customer service, those are the kind of experiences that will carry over to your restaurant job.
  2. Try hosting first. This is a great place to start your restaurant career. Here, you’ll be the first face diners see, and you’ll control the seating of the restaurant. You may also have duties like procuring silverware, napkins, and bussing. Starting out as a host allows the manager to see how well you work under pressure and whether you put a good face on the restaurant when it gets busy.
  3. Dress properly for the interview. Whether you’re going in for an interview or just inquiring about available positions, a suit and tie is a good idea. It shows that you take the manager’s time (and will take your job) seriously.
  4. Get some training. If you want to work in high-end bars or become a bartender, consider taking a bartending class. These courses are generally inexpensive and don’t take a lot of time to complete, but they can go a long way toward helping you get a bartender gig.
  5. Work during tourism season. If your city has a specific time of year when tourists flock to it, try applying a few months or weeks ahead of tourism season. That’s when managers are scrambling to fill their restaurants with enough servers, hosts, and bartenders to handle the rush. This can get you some good experience as you continue to apply to higher-skilled positions, and will give you a good idea of how the restaurant industry works.
  6. Get help from a temporary staffing agency. Yes, of course, Apprentice Personnel is in that business. But we know where the jobs are. Restaurants come to us to help them find the best candidates. We place thousands of job-seekers every year in new and established restaurants, bars and hotels.

It can be a little hard to get your foot in the door in a restaurant, but once you’ve been placed and join a staff, you can have a lot of fun while earning a good living.

About the Author

Lon Matejczyk

Lon is the former publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal and Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group.He has served in leadership roles at various newspapers in Iowa, Florida and Wisconsin. Lon received his Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and attended the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Earlier in his career, Lon spent several years as a sea captain and held a 100-ton Coast Guard license. Lon is a former rugby player, referee and administrator and now coaches under 13 year old kids. Lon has served on the boards of numerous community and business organizations including Colorado Springs Leadership Institute, Peak Venture Group, CS Quality of Life Indicators Business Index Committee, Junior Achievement and is a member of The Colorado Thirty Group.  Lon was given the “Making the Pikes Peak region a better place to live work and play” award by the CS Chamber of Commerce, was the VFW Post 1’s business citizen of the year.

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