Summer is Approaching! Tips for Finding a Job in Food Service

restaurant food service jobsWith summer approaching, not only will there be plenty of jobseekers searching for seasonal jobs, but restaurants will have an abundance of open positions to fill.  Food and beverage service establishments continue to be one of the sectors adding the most jobs so far in 2016.  In April alone, the food service industry added 366,000 jobs.  But finding a job in food service can be difficult if you are unfamiliar with the restaurant industry.  Here are some tips for finding a job in food service:

1)  Create a professional-looking resume

While a resume isn’t always a requirement when trying to find a restaurant food service job, it will make you stand out from other candidates and appear more serious about the job.  Be sure to emphasize in your resume any relevant education or experience.  Obviously, if you have already worked in the food service industry highlight that experience, but if not you can refer to any other experience where you had to deliver customer service, or developed other important skills such as organization, hand-eye coordination or attention to detail.

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2)  Make sure your appearance is clean and polished

Whether you are going for an interview or simply dropping off at application at a restaurant, dress professionally just in case management sees you or you land an on-the-spot interview.  In the food service industry, presentation is everything, and most restaurant jobs require you to have your clothing crisp and unwrinkled.  You won’t get very far finding a food service job with a sloppy, unkempt appearance.

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3)  Be polite and pleasant

Along with presentation, personality is a key factor for success in restaurant food service jobs.  Finding a job in food service will be much easier if management can see that you are able to be friendly and polite with customers.  Make sure you smile, shake hands with anyone you meet at the restaurant, and act courteous.

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4)  Do your homework

Like with any potential job, you want to research the company website, and any recent news about the company.  With restaurant food service jobs, it is important you study the menu as well, and get an idea of what food and drink specials they are known for.  Having this knowledge is essential to be able to upsell items to customers.

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5)  Start with a hosting position

While you are likely to make the most money in a bartending or serving job, if you have no experience you may have better luck finding a job in food service if you are willing to start out in a hosting position.  You will greet customers, and along the way will learn a lot about different aspects of jobs in the restaurant food service industry.

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6)  Show up at the right time

Since most restaurants are busiest during early afternoon and evening, you have a better chance of being noticed and finding a job if you show up during their slower hours, usually between 2 and 4 pm.  The staff won’t be as distracted, and will probably have more time to talk to you.

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7)  Don’t forget to follow up

Restaurants have many people coming in looking for jobs and dropping off applications.  You have a better chance of landing a job in food service if you are persistent and show that you have a strong desire to work at that restaurant.  Once you are able to get an interview, get a timeline of when you can expect to hear back from them, and follow up if that timeline has passed and you haven’t heard anything.   Also, send thank you notes or e-mails to whoever you interview with for the restaurant job.

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Jessica Cody

Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.

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