How can I find a part-time bartending or food-serving job, with no prior restaurant experience?
With no prior experience — will I get turned away from all the places where I inquire? Do I need to take a bartending course first? Where could I do that? How do I discover job openings at reputable places?
Here’s some further background:
I live in the Washington, DC metro area, and I have a 40 hr/wk job as a research assistant for a federal agency.
However, this year I’m applying to business school, and I need cash to fill out applications, buy GMAT books, visit potential schools, etc.
My budget is tight, due to a relatively low salary and various health expenses. I have some savings to draw on, but I want to use as little of my savings as possible.
If I could make a few hundred dollars, or a thousand or two dollars, from part-time weekend work in the next year, that would really help my finances. I thought it would be fun to work in a restaurant, since I work in an office all week and could use more inter-personal contact.
Thanks in advance!
You could always get your foot in the door by applying and working at someplace like Starbucks first. They typically don’t require as much experience as sit down restaurants, but the pay will be significantly less. However, after gaining a bit of experience for your resume, you could then apply to a few restaurants and would have a better shot at securing a job.
Also, many restaurants hire servers and bartenders from within, so you could start out as a host or busser and then work your way up in that restaurant. And at many fine dining restaurants the hosts and bussers receive a percentage of the server’s tips, allowing you to make a relatively descent amount of money without the stress of serving or bartending.
Hope this helps!
Something you probably already know is that the cycles of the economy come and go, wax and wane, bull and bear. Something you may not know is that a bartending job may be one of the best ways to recession proof your income. I’ve been behind the wood for over a dozen years now and have worked through all cycles of the economy and here is the weird part. When the economy isn’t doing well, bar business can actually go up.
The only evidence I have for this is anecdotal but its true. When the economy suffers people spend more time in bars. I am not sure why this is true. Even with all the doom and gloom in the news lately (today is 24 Feb 2008) I still don’t see how a recession directly effects most people. Maybe that’s why I failed high school economics. The way I see it people have their salaries and regardless of the economy their salaries stay the same. But still bar business goes up as the state of the economy goes down. Molson Coors Brewing Co opened the year 2008 at about $50. Their stock started to slowly fall and made it down to about $46. As talk of this recession heated up their stock price rose past their year high to almost $54. I am no economist and this very well could be coincidental but I find it interesting.
I realize that for some people the state of the economy can directly effect their income. This holds true mostly for small business owners and people in the ever growing pay-for-performance work force. Business does slow down for most small businesses and pay-for-performance workers (usually salespeople) do have a tougher time closing the deal during a recession. But there is good news. Why not take a part-time job as a bartender?
I have known more than a few small business owners and salespeople who have bartended part-time to earn extra income. One friend owned a Subway franchise and a bartending job while he was just starting out gave him a tremendous boost. One student of mine owned a carpet cleaning service and worked at a bartending job 3 nights a week. He nearly made as much bartending as he did with his business. Another student was a NYC Corrections Officer and had a bartending job 2 nights a week at a local dive bar. Through word of mouth and a great personality he packed the place on Wednesdays and Thursdays. He was making close to $700 a week in just 2 nights.
These are all great examples of how anyone can recession proof their income. If you are part of the pay-for-performance workforce and would like to try to stabilize your income a bartending job may be just what you need. When your day job slows down your bartending job will pick up. This is a great way to mitigate your risk and stabilize your income.
Even if you aren’t in the pay-for-performance workforce, a bartending job may be exactly what you need. A recession often means that companies aren’t hiring as much so take a bartending job to hold you over until the storm passes. I have used this strategy myself. I was in a corporate Food and Beverage Director job that I knew I had to leave and didn’t want to wait until I found something better. I got a bartending job 4 nights a week and quit. Having the days off made it easy to look for another job and my income didn’t suffer at all because I was bartending at night.
A bartending job truly can be the remedy you are looking for if the recession has hit you in the wallet. Even if you have never bartended before finding a great bartending job is easy if you have the right plan. To sign up for my free “Get a Bartending Job” Newsletter visit my website at http://www.getabartendingjob.com
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