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Author Topic: Pros and cons of working in the Restaurant industry  (Read 173 times)

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Offline stamina888

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Pros and cons of working in the Restaurant industry
« on: November 04, 2022, 11:52:04 AM »
There are upsides.  Cooking is fun and there's a feeling of accomplishment when you're good at it.  It's hands-on, you move around a lot.  Interactions with coworkers are often pleasant.   Free/discounted food is a nice little perk.

It's accessible. College/certifications aren't necessary.  The turnover rate in restaurants is relatively high so it's relatively easier to get a restaurant job, or change to another one if you're unhappy where you are.

It's not too hard to advance, but there is a limited ceiling.  You can become one of the best employees just by having good work ethic, being proactive and having attention to detail.  And with a relatively high turnover rate, you could be promoted.  The pay varies a lot depending on the restaurant and location, but many line cooks start at $10-15 an hour, but can get $20-25 an hour if you get promoted and/or find the right place.  But beyond that, pay doesn't go up much, compared to other fields where you could make $40+ an hour later into your career.  And the majority of restaurant jobs don't offer benefits.

You can get a 9-5 by being a prep cook, but most other cooks work nights and weekends.  This means you'll miss out on social events, hobby/meetup groups, concerts, etc.  You'll miss some family gatherings.  And it's harder to spend time with friends who work 9-to-5's.  And if you have kids, you have to go to work right as they get out of school; you only see them briefly in the morning and briefly at night.

This means the primary social event for people in the restaurant industry are bars/clubs that stay open until 2-3 AM.  You can definitely have a social circle with other people in the industry who go out late, and they can introduce you to their mutual friends.  But working a Mon-Fri 9-5 still allows you to go out on Fri/Sat night; the time slots you gain in this industry are late Wed/Thurs nights, but do you really need to go out 3-4 days a week anyway?  And as you get older or reach a certain point in your life, going out drinking isn't as important to you.

If cooking is your passion, that's great.  But for many people, cooking is something they enjoy, but as a career, it's moreso shorter to mid term.  If you're in that latter category, make sure you're learning new skills so that you can transfer into a different industry.  I unfortunately see many people fall into the trap of going out and drinking (because there's not much else to do with that schedule) and then never really build progress.

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