Starting Out In NYC

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Comments (4)

Tom in Elizabeth, New Jersey

44 months ago

Ok here's the deal. I'm currently unemployed and have made the decision to try to break into the NYC restaurant scene. I fear I face an uphill battle here for a few reasons. First and foremost, I have no experience in restaurants whatsoever. Upon viewing ads on Craigslist for example, I've noticed a real trend of these Manhattan restaurants requiring 2 years or more of not only FOH experience, but NYC experience at that. Now what I don't understand is how someone is expected to break into this business in New York City. It's well-known that waiting tables is a job with a definite shelf-life, so with such a revolving door, and in an industry that allegedly has one of the highest turnover rates anyway, why does it seem so hard at a glance to break in? Granted, I haven't yet made the push to do this in any formal way; I've only been perusing ads, but I've come across a fair share of these with an outright tone to the effect of "don't bother without 2 yrs NYC exp."

I am absolutely determined to do this, and while I'm not going to allow this to discourage me, I feel this whole thing should be approached with having had done some research so I can optimize my job search and minimize the potential for rejection and wasted time on open calls.

I'd like to hear from any NYC waitstaff on this subject, especially if you've broken into this industry since the economy tanked. I'd also like to hear from men, as I've noticed a bit of gender-bias in the industry with ads specifically asking for waitresses, or subtly doing so by asking for headshots.

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Jj in Houston, Texas

43 months ago

Tom in Elizabeth, New Jersey said: Ok here's the deal. I'm currently unemployed and have made the decision to try to break into the NYC restaurant scene. I fear I face an uphill battle here for a few reasons. First and foremost, I have no experience in restaurants whatsoever. Upon viewing ads on Craigslist for example, I've noticed a real trend of these Manhattan restaurants requiring 2 years or more of not only FOH experience, but NYC experience at that. Now what I don't understand is how someone is expected to break into this business in New York City. It's well-known that waiting tables is a job with a definite shelf-life, so with such a revolving door, and in an industry that allegedly has one of the highest turnover rates anyway, why does it seem so hard at a glance to break in? Granted, I haven't yet made the push to do this in any formal way; I've only been perusing ads, but I've come across a fair share of these with an outright tone to the effect of "don't bother without 2 yrs NYC exp."

I am absolutely determined to do this, and while I'm not going to allow this to discourage me, I feel this whole thing should be approached with having had done some research so I can optimize my job search and minimize the potential for rejection and wasted time on open calls.

I'd like to hear from any NYC waitstaff on this subject, especially if you've broken into this industry since the economy tanked. I'd also like to hear from men, as I've noticed a bit of gender-bias in the industry with ads specifically asking for waitresses, or subtly doing so by asking for headshots.

Start out as a busser and work your way up.

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Alexandra Gorbatsevich in Minsk, Belarus

43 months ago

I would like to apply for employment at your compony as a participant of the 2011 summer “Work and travel” programm sponsored by Startravel:
startravel.by
I will have all necessary documents (passport, DS-2019 form and J-1 Visa) for legal employment in the USA 2011. Also I will apply for a Social Security number as soon I arrive in the USA. I would greatly appreciate any relevant information about job opportunities at your company.
Thank you for your time and consideration))))
Sincerely,
Alexandra Gorbatsevich

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Kate in Rosedale, New York

41 months ago

My advice is not to rely on craigslist or any other online site to find restaurant jobs. Many NYC restaurants require at least 2 years. However, not all do. I suggest that you apply to restaurants in person, even if you're not sure they're hiring. Apply everywhere. Show them your smile, dress appropriately and communicate that you're confident and a hard worker. It may take a while, but if you try that approach I'm sure someone will hire you. Also, like the other commenter said, you might want to consider starting in another position in the restaurant and working your way up.

Best wishes.

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