Food & Drink Magazine

Kyle Branche Posted a Blog Post

By Waiterstoday @Waiters_Today
Kyle Branche posted a blog post

Minimum Experience Required

Most all of us who have both dedicated and/or slaved in this industry that doesn’t take care of their own, have ran head on into help wanted ads on Craig’s List or wherever else one seeks work in the field when looking for either full-time, part-time, fill-in or even on-call work to fill up more of our weekly schedule with enough steady shifting to get by, that ask for the same lame level of experience ad after ad.What is it with owners and management who seek the least instead of the most? When was the last time you saw a help wanted ad for a waiter or bartender position that asked for a minimum of five, eight, or even ten years of previous experience? Do they even know or consider what’s out there that they could have ?  Isn’t it better for any expected demographic of clientele frequenting an establishment that a collective of different experience levels be hired FOH for the floor and the bar ? Does journeyman years and knowledge not equate to a wider engaging with customers, that one would think to be of expanded benefit to the house ?Let’s get serious here, this is front of house, owners and managers need the best and the brightest with the most knowledge and experience that can be brought to the table, at the same wage for Christ’s sake! They’d be getting it for free! These positions are your bread and butter, locating the cream of the crop is easy, if not a necessity. You just have to ask for it in help wanted. Otherwise, people with 10, 15 and 20 or more years of experience are going to perceive these ads asking for just 1 year of experience as narrow and not really being success-driven for the long term.Or is this their way of simply playing it safe where they feel more sense of control, influence and intimidation over the youth, while avoiding moments of being intimidated themselves by a person with master experience that may possess more know-how about any given situation, eliminating the illusion of challenge or confrontation altogether, that they prefer not to hire ? Their way or the highway, right or wrong ?Are they afraid to exercise that demon in their ad that states along with all of their other hype lines of expectation like “Career-Driven”, “Exciting Opportunity”, “Shift Leader”, “Energetic and Enthusiastic”, “Exceptional Candidate”, “Highly Motivated”, “Team-Oriented”, “Strong Personal Commitment”, “Addiction to Quality”, “Passion for Service” and “Upbeat”, that’s followed by the rare mention of Pay – DOE (Depending on Experience), of which they’re barely asking for any.After decades of witnessing this lack of respect and professionalism from above, the business in general still wonders why progress and longevity haven’t grown within hospitality overall. It makes you curious as to when the head and the ass are actually going to become wired together as one and operate the way it should.That is, of course, unless the NRA pushes covert propaganda suggesting to their restaurant owner members (some 80,000) that they offer nothing to the staff except the bare minimum required by law. This practice coming from operators who are starving for success!  Minimizing over maximizing?  Is there something wrong here? And working for chain corporate is like a prison of missing logic, a noose around the neck.And god forbid you are stuck with that insulting joke of an under the norm minimum wage of $2.13 an hour. The decision makers in these states like Colorado, Arizona and Florida that legislate this lack of human decency into law will hopefully at some point in time, through their own guilt and shame eating them alive, while enjoying a six-figure income career, will need to enter a home for the criminally insane.You couldn’t breed negativity, disdain and theft at any level any more than this continued conduct of business sabotage. Instead of win-win, they proudly choose lose-lose. Capitalism today is now of the bad practice that it even eats when it’s not hungry. In fact, more like an eating machine, basically translating into America’s new delusional symbol of strength – Corporatocracy! The owner or CEO drives their expensive car to the restaurant without a clue as to what that’s saying to his struggling staff, or has a private party on his yacht that you find out about but weren’t invited, all the while he’s getting blowjobs from hookers below deck. Squeezing the bottom so more rises to the top is the wrong message to be sending, while expecting optimum results in the establishment for that continued fun cash flow. Imagine the amount the owner is not gaining in revenue, and completely unaware of, that could be there, if everyone were taken care of ?In this case, compression on the back end doesn’t equal expansion on the front end.Having the skills for success is no problem. All of us in the industry want to provide that with our work, along with continued training to improve upon what we already know. What's always missing in the equation from the NRA and the hospitality industry in general is the stability, security, health insurance and other long term benefits that make it a "career of success" for hires, not just for the owners. By the way, the only time I use the word Restaurateur is when someone deserves the title!Otherwise, without these provisions, F & B is going to continue to have the endless revolving door of staff that it deserves . . . in all areas. We represent 10% of the workforce in the entire country, and it still fails to improve in the areas most needed to get what they want from us. They cause their own problems and blame someone else for it while they keep their blinders on, mainly out of ignorance.And to top that off, when you have decades served in the industry and are looking for work in whatever capacity, you start facing age discrimination, which is rampant and what I recently faced once again in an interview that I was more qualified for than anyone. This is part of the snobbery of the new bartender and mixologist generation that one has to deal with. They didn’t even do their diligence on me after they asked me to come in for the interview, of which I’m all over the Web.And myself at the age of 53 who started out in this work as a kid, I'm a 5-tool player - Youth, Image, Experience, Knowledge, and Published in the industry magazines 75 times over a 9-year period, including feature cover stories. It’s like nothing matters, with too much knowledge and tenure to the craft becoming an intimidation in place of a house benefit.Therefore, we as restaurant workers have no real, true allegiance to any establishment we work in. Long-term stability and benefits for us means long-term business and prosperity for them. Bar and Restaurant establishments can neverthink in the short-term, it's not even an option for survival, so what is it they don't get about strength and longevity?It may be the Egos in Suits not wanting to admit who has the real power. Similar to Hollywood, where the execs and studio heads never want the writers to know or believe that they have the ultimate power, so they deliberately keep them down and always struggling with little to no job security, even the ones who made it big.We as the FOH and BOH floor staff have the power to thrive their business to great success or drive them right into the hole. It's their choice. But as it currently still stands now for the far majority, everyone loses instead of everyone winning.On a positive note, independent restaurants up in the Napa Valley area of Northern California and another in Fairfax, Virginia offers quarterly profit shares to its long-term staff. In Restaurant Briefing, the latter shared this:“When the quarterly sales quota is exceeded at Peking Restaurant, every person on staff gets a share of profits, including part-time workers who receive a percentage based on the hours they worked. Owner Vincent Chu started the program because he wanted to give his people raises but couldn’t afford to. By allowing employees to share in whatever profits the restaurant makes-profits that they help earn-Vincent is able to reward them with added compensation. He posts weekly sales figures so the employees can keep tabs on their progress. Quarterly shares range from $400 to $800 per employee”.Impact: “This profit-sharing system encourages my staff to work as a team and, as a consequence, the operation really runs smoothly. Not only have sales increased, but our turnover has been cut in half,” says Vincent.In October of last year, Robert Plotkin wrote a nicely detailed piece in twelve small parts together as one, titled “The Profitable Side of Morale”.  Check it online.Saru Jayaraman of ROC (Restaurant Opportunities Centers United) has a new book of expose out titled “Behind The Kitchen Door”. She is a very passionate force in the growing movement for improvement. Check their website and Facebook page.This is all a good place to start. True Motivation = True Dedication. But it’s up to us as the people in these positions to spread the new culinary gospel of what should be, getting the word out individually and collectively for a more deserved secure future. The more it gets out there and becomes the avalanche of thinking mainstream, the better our shot of making it feel like a real career, instead of just an existence.We are not alone anymore . . . and we’re certainly not fooled anymore.See More

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