Are you a Serverpreneur?
What skills do I have for entrepreneurship as a server?
A major hurdle servers and bartenders face as they consider leaving the industry or starting their own business, being a serverpreneur (taking advantage of working nights) is the skills question. Over many years, the consensus is that servers and bartenders are only good at sales and can only do sales jobs. This is not true, in the Internet Age many restaurant workers have talents they developed outside of the industry.
It starts with education
Many of those serving tables or tending bar are college educated. Competition for even entry-level jobs is tighter than ever and pay is down (disregard for elite schools, students are always in high demand). Students traditionally after college would spend time looking for full-time work and only looking for full-time work. This is no longer the case unfortunately; many of them also have bills to pay including massive amounts of student debt. Car payments, phone bills and the like add up preventing these now graduates from quitting their job.
Another theory I have is that this is from the highly competitive nature of these entry-level jobs and promise of opportunity. Sadly the amount of people that stay at their first job out of college over a year or two is very low. The promise of opportunity and the classic life of a college graduate is pretty dead. Many graduates find themselves struggling and overworked at these “Amazing Jobs” at companies of all sizes. It is not easy to be pushed into a situation and then realize that the 40 hour week you signed a contract for is actually at 60 hour week where you are taking calls and sending emails at all times and can count on putting hours in at least 1 or both of the weekend days.
ITS NOT FUN!
Back to reality
The upside to this education is many of these servers and bartenders are intelligent and talk as such. The downside is breaking the stigma of working in a restaurant. It is a tough stigma to beat, however it can be overcome. Someone overcomes the black eye of this industry and leaves it. They are leaving partly from education and partly from their skills, paramount being sales/hustling.
Hats off to those get jobs and the opportunity to leave the industry, you are amazing and deserve the position!
Now to the rest…
The rest of you not getting a job through work or other means, but have ideas and a desire to get you are now a serverpreneur. That’s right, you are a server and an entrepreneur.
What is a Serverpreneur?
A serverpreneur is part entrepreneur and part server/bartender. It is a server/bartender/cook/customer service rep/front desk agent (anyone) that is client facing on daily basis. These are the people that have to juggle the toughest work of, for the least amount of pay. You are the ones that really make people come back to a store, restaurant, hotel, theme park or city. CEO’s have a tough job, but how many end users come in contact with them on a daily basis? When was the last time you had the ability to chat with Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook or log a complaint about an iPad to Tim Cook in person? Probably didn’t happen and more than likely will not happen anytime soon.
Instead you will go to an Apple Store and speak with someone wearing jeans and sandals about the problem or login in to your Facebook account and find a way to send info about a “bug” or error the software has. Zuck’s and Tim Cook’s time of handling everything are long gone, yours is not.
You may not know it, but you are an entrepreneur as a server or a bartender. To make it in this business, one needs a brand (yourself), ability to sell, marketing, relationship building, communication, problem solving and time management. In the restaurant business you are always balancing time and determining what needs to be done and when it needs to be done.
You Still Have To Be a Server Serverpreneur
While balancing all of this, you still need to get orders, make drinks, greet tables, ring in orders and least fun of all, run food. Let’s face it, you wear many hats in this business on a daily basis. This business is about clawing and carving out your pay everyday.
Guess what an entrepreneur does on a daily basis?
WEAR MANY HATS!!
What do servers do every shift?
WEAR MANY HATS!!!!
What does this mean?
- Less drinks after work
- Not sleeping until 2 hours before shift
- Find out what your passion is
- Start a blog or service based site (tattoo designs, music lessons, art, )
- Network on social media, post about your interest
- Join Facebook groups (link to our group)
What skill the Serverpreneur has that many entrepreneurs do not!
You as a member of the restaurant industry have incredible experience in wearing many hats, being uncomfortable by work and coping with rejection. The rejection taking the form of bad tips, declined upselling opportunities and the classic exchange:
You: Hi I’m…
Guest: Water with lemon please.
It happens all too often in this line of work. The good thing about this all too common interaction is it gives you skin like leather. Having thick skin and being able to move on quickly from failure or a mistake is a major part of being an entrepreneur. Ironically, it is as well being a server. Dealing with all this negativity requires a certain attitude and disposition about life and the future. While, both things are difficult, the toughest situation is to deal with the pressure 24/7.
- Do you want to work weekends for the rest of your life?
- The next 10 years?
- Next weekend?
- If you can answer “Yes” to any of these, first go read our first blog on exiting the restaurant business: PERMANENTLY!
After reading that, head over to Four Hour Blog and read what a muse is.
Finally, get a notebook&pen or Evernote, every time inspiration hits jot it down and develop the idea.
When this is all done…
GET UNCOMFORTABLE AND BE A SERVERPRENEUR!!!!
Start the journey and make it happen!
Want a different path in the restaurant industry? Join our Facebook group!Spread the word with the whole staff!