Everybody’s been to a restaurant. It’s part of this country’s culture. Restaurants are on every corner and in every mall. Fast food, fast casual, sit-down, and fine dining restaurants surround us. And it may be surprising, but those restaurants don’t run themselves. Every restaurant has a crew of workers – servers, hosts, cooks, bussers, and dishwashers. Without these people, no restaurant could function properly.
Now think about how many restaurants there are near where you live. A lot, right? Well most of those restaurants need workers. And working in the food service industry is a great way to spend your summer and make some money.
Most jobs make less than minimum wage, but are supplemented with tips. Which is something to think about when you are selecting where you want to work. Bear in mind that the food industry often requires you to work your way up the ladder. You may start as a dishwasher before you become a cook or spend some time as a busser before you make it to a server position. The same works with restaurants. You may have to put some time in at a fast casual restaurant before you can get a job at a fine dining establishment. And as you work your way up the ladder, the pay gets better too. The more formal the restaurant, the better the pay and the better the tips.
So what’s the job for you?
Server – Serving jobs have on the job training. Depending on what restaurant you work at and the complexity of the menu, you may be able to land one without any experience. Your job is taking orders, checking on customers, delivering food, and acting as a cashier. Servers make the most money because they are also making tips. They also make the smallest hourly wage, expect $2 to $8 an hour.
Host – Hosts greet people when they arrive at the restaurant. Their main job is to seat people at tables and supply them with menus. It’s a fun job, and very guest service oriented. Plan on making a base wage up to $10 an hour.
Cook – Cooks prepare the food. It can be a stressful job when it’s busy. Cooking is lots of fun. It’s hands-on and a very good skill to have in life. Depending on the restaurant, you can make anywhere from $8 to $30 an hour.
Busser – When people are finished with their plates, bowls, glasses, and silverware, bussers stealthily come in clean off the dirty dishes, wipe down the table, lay out silverware for the next customers and then disappear. Plan on $6 to $8 an hour for this one.
Dishwasher – Dishwashers are vital to a good restaurant. No one wants to get a dirty knife or unclean plate. It’s gross. A good dishwasher ensures that everything is spotless before it is brought out to a table. Expect to make minimum wage to $10.
Remember that with these jobs, you may get free food and you definitely will make lots of friends. If you’ve always like restaurants, you could also try to get a job doing the same thing in a tropical resort in Tahiti or Alaska. It’s worth a try. You’ll be a sweet location, making the same money, but will also have an unforgettable experience.
The food industry is great. It’s a good industry to get started in and when you reach the high-end fine dining, you can really make some loot.