If you want to choose the right place to work for you, it’s important that you change the way you think and act about the process.
We will get into this in more detail later in the book but Scott’s friend and Author Susie Ross gives a great overview of how important it is to choose the right place to work for you.
This article is taken from the 118 page ebook. Authors Louie Keen and Scott Young…
PART ONE: GET THE JOB
Employers check backgrounds & references to make sure you’re right for them.
We tend to think of this hiring process as a one-way street but we’re so wrong.
Recently, I had a letter from a server who had just moved to a new city and taken on a job with a steak house for who she wished she had investigated further before agreeing to work. She brought to my attention that servers don’t always know what to look for when applying for a job, nor do they know what questions to ask. Therefore, people often don’t choose the right place to work for their particular personality, style, goals etc.
First Things First: Case The Joint!
Yes! Go and eat at the place you want to work. At the very least, sit at the bar and have a cup of coffee or other beverage. Most importantly, listen to what’s going on with staff and management. Listen to what’s being said between the staff because you can tell a lot from their conversations.
How does management interact with staff?
Is there positive interaction and on-going training points?
Pick your career destination according to what you want to sell.
That means looking at the pricing, the atmosphere and, most importantly, the food and drinks because if you don’t like these things, you won’t be happy working there!
Is it good food that you know you like and can sell?
Are the drinks visually enticing? Is there a wide range of options?
You might be able to sell ice to an Eskimo, but people will know if you’re insincere about the food you’re suggesting.
Second: Ask Questions!
As a Potential Employee,
Interview Your Employer.
As service professionals, we need to be clear about what we expect and need to be great employees because we want to increase our chances of being successful.
Ask how long the training period is.
Ask if there are established sales tools to help staff and the company succeed because if there isn’t, you may want to look elsewhere.
These are questions for all restaurant people, not just servers and bartenders.
If someone hires you without talking to you and asking questions, that should be your first indication that you might not be in a supportive environment.
Expect that the manager interviewing you will appreciate your questions and is able to answer them. Expect to be interviewed and a resume to be given for their perusal and references to be checked.
If you want to choose the right place to work for you, certainly you need to look your best.
I know you’ve read this before, but it bears repeating: Dress For Success!
Dress As a Professional Looking For a Career And Have Your Resume Ready.
Again, expect a positive response to your appearance and appropriate attention to you as a potential employee.
DO NOT call and ask if a restaurant is hiring, because that shows a lack of motivation to just get dressed and go in person.
And when you do show up in person, dressed for success, be considerate of restaurants’ peak hours.
Usually a good time to go is between 2-4pm.
When we look at the restaurant business as our career choice, those questions will come easier.
It isn’t a throw-away job. It does pay your bills, after all or it will if you choose the right place to work.
Restaurants aren’t a place where you can just while away your days; it can be the most awful place to be if you’re unhappy in your environment.
You have to serve the public; oftentimes they have their own gripes with the world!
You can create bad days for yourself on a perpetual basis! At least you’ll be consistent, right?
Of course, you knew this had to turn to training issues, right? Well, it did! (More Continued below)
Choose The Right Place To Work Continued…
PART TWO: THE TRAINING LESSON
Shortly after receiving that letter, my husband and I went out to dinner at a restaurant that has a reputation for great food. The environment is quite nice and yet, the prices are reasonable.
Our server clearly didn’t have any training before being put to work in front of us, the hungry public.
I had questions about the menu items; he had the same reply,
“I haven’t actually tried that dish, but it’s very popular!”
I heard him repeat that mantra to the other two tables in his station
– more than once per table.
You might be thinking that this is a standard way to let people know that what they choose is good because others have liked it. Not necessarily so!
A friend and colleague of mine, who is a trainer at a well-established restaurant in town, has a response to that canned phrase:
“That just means a lot of other people might have bad taste – and thank you for subjecting me to it!”
Aside from not knowing the menu, he had no common sense and courtesy about service.
I was still eating, utensil was moving from plate to mouth, when he took my husband’s empty plate and asked me if I was finished…I don’t really have to finish this thought, do I?
At the risk of seeming over-sensitive, this kid had pushed two very big pet peeve buttons with me. Three, if you count the fact that he couldn’t suggestive sell because he didn’t know the menu.
However, I couldn’t blame him. He went looking for a job and got one.
Did He Choose The Right Place To Work?
No. But why? They didn’t give him the proper tools to do his job.
It really is the restaurant’s fault for not hiring and training properly.
The last big button that was pushed happened when we left.
I gave my card to a manager and told her that while the food was great and our server was nice and charming, he really needed help – he needed to be trained!
(I was genuinely kind during this brief and painful conversation – really!)
She asked in what station we had sat. I could only look at her in amazement.
She realized what she had asked me and re-phrased it to ask who our server was.
Again, my baffled look reminded her that I didn’t work in her restaurant.
Finally, she asked in what general area in the dining room and, upon telling her, she nodded knowingly and said, “That’s Eric; he’s new!”
I think I was supposed to say, with an equally knowing smile and wink,
“Ohhhh…of course! It’s perfectly ok that you let your new guy practice on me, a paying customer!”
No one gave me my script, just like they didn’t give poor Eric his.
Has this ever happened to you?
Have you ever been the server in that position?
People go out to eat and be served and they pay for it.
To have someone practice and make mistakes on them is usually not ok.
It was clear to me that Eric didn’t even have the luxury of even basic “shadow” training.
Servers, hosts, bus people, bartenders, waitresses, security staff, bouncers etc. etc.
Most Importantly, You Must Interview Your Potential Employers!!!
Your job satisfaction and wages depend on it. You won’t choose the right place to work for you if you don’t make the effort to ask some important questions.
Learn the menu; it’s painful and awkward to be in Eric’s shoes, as most of us know from our own experiences in a new place.
If you’re not challenged to learn the menu and give great service, look somewhere else.
A restaurant management team that has no self-respect to train you and make sure you make them look good, most likely won’t care about you as an individual.
Best of luck out there!
Excellence Is An Act Won By Training And Habituation.
We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence,
but rather we have those because we have acted rightly.
We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence Then, Is Not An Act, But A Habit.
Susie Ross Author of:
A Waiter’s Training Without The Stuffed Shirt – Printable Open Book Test
Servers Employee Handbook Template – Customize & Print For Your Staff
Hosts Employee Handbook Template
Bus Person Employee Handbook Template
Contact Susie At: https://www.linkedin.com/in/susie-ross-03a84410
Please Comment Below:
How Do You Choose The Right Place To Work?
Thank you for adding your wisdom to the discussion.