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TSR Blog

Where are the Career Waiters?

Paul Fielding - Sunday, May 06, 2012

Student, part time waiter. Studying via correspondence, casual waiter. Just moved back to Melbourne, not sure what I want, gap-year waiter.
A recruitment drive in hospitality highlights many points- skills shortage, the apparent extinction of the cover letter, but above all, the general lack of career waiters in Melbourne, and presumably Australia.

Reading about French restaurant service, and its many positions within the Front of House Brigade, it fills me with pride to know that somewhere in the world, a career in service is something that is taught, and a path to aspire to.

Whilst happy with the potential of a few brilliant candidates, most seeking work in hospitality service hadn't even considered a career in the industry. Staff training and development, an above average salary, job security, and a polished work environment we're not high on the list of a potential hire waiter Melbourne. Having Wednesdays and Fridays off to cope with study were.

In general discussion, the front of house staffing director of a prestigious Melbourne Caterer broke it down in black and white- we Australians simply don't put enough focus on proper restaurant and dining service. The basics are not standardised, conditions are often unnecessarily poor, and different operators teach many habits, good and bad. The duties performed and the overall experience created by the front of house team are severely underrated.

Without a seamless team, no food reaches the diner. It doesn't matter how good the food is.

A professional waiter is well paid, articulate, well fed, well respected by their employer, challenged in their work environment, and meets new and interesting people on a daily basis. It's an attractive role, where no two days are ever the same. Although no longer surprised by the shortage of such professionals, it does disappoint.

Until the culture of changes, the inconsistency in skills and personnel will continue.

So how do we change the perception? How do we coax the years out of skilled waiters and hospitality workers in general? To do our part, we'd ultimately like to develop a team of 25+ full time professionals, and offer waiter training or advice to any other service providers wanting it. One waiter at a time for now...

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