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How to get a job in a restaurant with no experience

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Written by Qbanlos   

How to get a job in a restaurant with no experience


So the first step is already complete. You decided that you'd like to work in a restaurant. Now you need to decide what restaurant specifically. It's helpful to choose a restaurant you've been to before. You like the food, you like the atmosphere, maybe you think the staff is cute. Whatever the reason, know that it’s hard work at times, holidays might be required and you might have a jerk of a boss. But ultimately what other job can you have that you can work for 5 hours and have $100-$300 cash in your pocket? Keep in mind the more fine dining the establishment, the higher the potential tips. But also this typically makes it harder to find a job at.


Step 1: Once you’ve decided on the 5-10 restaurants you’d like to work at, (trust me, it will take that many leads to get one you want, especially in this economy.) Decide on which day is best for you and for the restaurant to fill out an application. Typically Monday and the weekends aren’t the best to stop by to fill out an application for the management. Do not call the restaurant before you go there to see if they’re hiring. It looks lazy. Know the hours of operations of the restaurant. It really depends if this is a breakfast, lunch, dinner restaurant or dinner only. Best times to go are in the afternoon, after lunch service, before dinner service, typically after 1:30pm and before 5pm. If it’s a dinner only restaurant, management will usually be there after 12/1pm. If it looks closed, but the door is open, it usually is ok to go in, if not, they’ll tell you immediately. (Just state that you’d like to fill out an application to the first person you see.)


Step 2: Shower, shave [legs if applicable] and iron. Look presentable! People dress very casually these days, but at a potential interview, this is not the time. No sneakers, no shorts, no flip flops! Keep in mind this all depends on the type of restaurant you are applying for. If the staff is very casual, you can be casual. BUT STILL DRESS NICER THAN THEY ARE EVERYTIME YOU VISIT THE RESTAURANT. Even if you are just picking up an application to bring back later, you must look very presentable and believe me the staff talks and remembers what you look like. If they wear shorts and tee shirts, you wear nice jeans with no holes and a polo shirt. Sometimes a tie is a good thing. Good rule of thumb, if the staff wears ties, so should you. Women, a nice dress; nothing too sexy or over the top is always good.


Step 3: Bring pens, smile and be nice to everyone! Always bring a pen to fill out an application. It is always best to fill out an application then if possible and then ask to speak to a manager after word. Even if you just want to pick up an application to bring back later, it’s always best to be ready. I recall a time when I went just to pick up an application, only to have the owner at the front door ask me to fill it out the application then and there, and want to interview me immediately after ward. (His busser had quit the night before, and he hired me on the spot!) Also if you do have a resume, still fill out the whole application and do not write, “See Resume”. It looks lazy and sometimes it’s an HR thing and they have to have it on file.


Step 4: Some final notes… Be nice to everyone as they all talk about you when you leave. Judgement is harsh sometimes, so leave a good impression. Be prepared, (pens, black ink) and presentable, (nice ironed clothes). Ask to speak with the manager when you turn in the application. If not available, ask when is a good time to come back to follow up with him or her. Do follow up! Do not pester the manager, but show your enthusiasm and persistence. If you can’t speak to a manager just keep coming back until they speak with you. Space out your visits at least a 2-3 days apart. This will keep you in their minds, and not seem too pushy. Also, do not wait two weeks before coming back, looks like you’re not motivated. Also, do not call to follow up at this point. Until you speak with a manager in person, its best to keep going in person. If they do not like your application, they’ll come out and tell you after your second visit so not to waste anyone’s time usually. Or they’ll interview you then. How to interview? That’s another article…! Good luck.

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