What do I do if I want to move to a better location for work in the restaurant industry?
For many people the restaurant industry allows to always be a few days away from finding work…anywhere on the planet. This can be both a blessing and a curse as it some think it is easy to pick up and move without any job prospects or leads on where to look. It is true that finding work can be easy ANYWHERE, restaurants are always hiring. However,
sometimes good, consistent work can be hard to find. This is also before red tape.
Some states and cities have red tape of “work cards” before you can even be considered for a restaurant job. The work cards are usually easy to obtain, but require time and money! It used to be a hassle, now both cards can be obtained online.
What are “Work Cards”? Why Do I need Them After A Move To Work?
Work cards are ways cities, states and counties make more money by charging you
money for a permit to handle food, serve alcohol, work with children, be a casino dealer and many other jobs. Please read the following example from Las Vegas, NV.
Thinking of Moving to Las Vegas?
Be aware if you ever plan on moving to Las Vegas and working in that city. While it can be a great life working in the city, do not even consider looking for work in that city until you get your Health Card and TAM (alcohol awareness) Card. Getting both of these cards costs about $70. These cards can only be picked up in person! That is pretty rough, but it used to be worse. At one point, getting each card took a day and involved a hepatitis shot!
Other states have similar systems of needing to be certified. Most can be done online. Be sure to have them done before you get to the new city/state. It will make life much easier and make one less thing to be done when you arrive. Moving is enough stress, forget about having all the proper “work cards” and permits…be smart and have them in advance (in most states delivery of certificates is online).
I have my cards/certificates! Now What?
Well now it is time to leave your current city being and get prepared to hit the ground running in a new place. Extra points if you already know someone or have visited the place before. It will still be difficult, but always easier if you know people or a little about the city. Living in a city and visiting a city are two different things, unless you previously stayed with someone in the city (extra points for that as well). Acclimating to a new city or state can be difficult with or without a job.
Looking for a job can only make it worse. BUT, thankfully for you, the Internet age has great resources (besides Craigslist) to look for work. Chasing ads from Craigslist is a modern day cattle call. Once a place we worked put an ad on Craigslist for 1 position, in 4 days (one was a Sunday) the place took 150 applications. Of those 150 applications about 20 people were qualified for the job! About 6 got second interviews. Avoid Craigslist, instead go to places that are not “hiring”. A great resource is Yelp!, yes Yelp!
Why Yelp? Isn’t It For Restaurant Reviews?
Yes it is!
Yelp is for restaurant reviews, but it also breaks restaurant down by neighborhoods and price points in addition to finding out what is popular.
How Do I know Which Restaurants are Popular?
Easy: By the amount of reviews it has!
What am I looking for in a Restaurant When I move?
There are a few things to look for:
- Amount of Reviews
Price: What is the price point? Do you work at high price points or more moderate ones? Not everyone can handle the high price points and the same is true of lower price points. Each individual personality is suited for a different price level. Do not ever forget that.
Cuisine: Is there a cuisine you prefer? Some servers only like to work in steakhouses, while others prefer Italian or Classic French. Know what cuisine you prefer and find a restaurant in that style.
Location: Is there a part of the city you prefer to work in? Working on the Las Vegas Strip isn’t for everyone. Trust us, some people make an incredible living working at restaurants off The Strip that cater to those that work on The Strip. Is there a certain part of the new area you want to work over others? In the Dallas-Fort Worth area there is a huge difference between working in Downtown or Uptown Dallas to working in Downtown Fort Worth.
Ratings: This one is simple, not much of an explanation is needed: Are you looking for a popular restaurant that might not have the best reviews, a hidden gem or the top rated restaurant in a city? That is up to you.
Amount of Reviews: Its hard to say if a place is incredible with only two five-star reviews. However, that four-star restaurant with 40 reviews is probably a little more consistent. We do not put a lot of value in the ratings, it is always good to read the bad ones, part for comedy and part to find out what is going wrong!
The Deal Breaker
Website: This is a deal breaker in our opinion. A restaurant without an accurate and updated website is well, Chinese food delivery or a taco stand. Not the type of place anyone that is new to a city wants to work. Most people looking for restaurants these days are doing so on smartphones. A website that isn’t active and up to date is like using a phone book. Please avoid this place until you are more familiar with the area.
Thanks for the Help! What’s Next After I Move to Work?
Now that you have cut out the majority of restaurants from the hundreds or thousands in your new city, its time to go by them and fill out the applications, or for the conservative type drop by during service hours and see what the crowd looks like; might as well since you are looking for work and not working those peak hours. Find out if the place is right for you before you apply and save your time. Time is money, especially after a move.
What To Do Now that I have A Job?
Hopefully you have a place to live or can move off the couch of where you are staying!
Want a different path in the restaurant industry? Join our Facebook group!Spread the word with the whole staff!