The floor area of a restaurant is usually commensurate to the number of customers that the restaurant can serve and which in turn influences the number of available jobs in restaurants. The more popular or accessible a restaurant is, the more customers are needed to be served and more things that need to be done in as little amount of time as possible and so more people have to be assigned to do specific tasks. The most basic and important jobs in restaurants are those who are involved in cooking and the preparation of food since that is what a restaurant is for.
The Difference between Chefs and Cooks
Chefs or cooks come foremost in importance in a restaurant since the eventual judgment of a restaurant will be based on the taste of the meal. Aside from cooking, chefs/cooks plan the daily operations in the kitchen, plan the menu, and are also sometimes responsible for the supervision of other kitchen staff and even training them in the art of cooking. Chefs and cooks mainly differ only in certification.
The pastry chef or baker has a job similar to the chef or cook but focuses more on cooking and preparing breads, pastries, deserts, and other side dishes or snacks.
Depending on the setup or size of a given restaurant, there could be the position of kitchen manager who takes on all of the managerial and administrative responsibilities in the kitchen. This position is, most of the time, given to the head chef or cook.
Kitchen Helper Jobs
Kitchen helpers or aides can have various duties and depending on the size of the restaurant or the amount of work that needs doing, these duties could be assigned to specific personnel or some can be assigned to do these various tasks. They could be expected to perform as a dishwasher, bus person, and waiter/waitress or even assist in cooking. These are the entry level jobs for those who aspire to be chefs or cooks.
Jobs in restaurants that are not directly involved in the preparation of food include the general manager and/or assistant manager, who are responsible, from opening to closing time for overall operation of a restaurant. They could also substitute for the duties of other staff in case of any absences.
In some of the busiest restaurants they also have guest relations officers or hosts/hostess who greet and seat patrons as they enter the restaurant. These are usually entry level jobs in restaurants for those who want to be waiters/waitresses or bartenders and sometimes substitute at these positions and sometimes can also be a bus person.
Bartenders take up positions behind a bar, if a restaurant has one, where they serve mostly beverages and liquor. Recently, courses are offered in schools teaching the craft of bartending including juggling tricks. In some places bartenders are now required to have certification and to enforce regulations on liquor.
Waiters/waitresses are attendants who take and serve your orders and other requests from the restaurant. Sometimes they double as bartenders, bus persons, or guest relations officers. In some places waiters/waitresses need to be certified to serve alcoholic drinks and enforce regulations on liquor.
The bus person is mainly the one responsible for cleaning up the tables after the patrons have finished eating. At times they can do double duty as host/hostess, waiter/waitress, bartender, dishwasher, or even assist the cook. As with the guest relation officer, the bus person is the entry level job before becoming the waiter/waitress or bartender.
Job outlook for restaurant careers is expected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations in the period 2008 to 2018 as the number of food serving establishments is expected to decline. Despite this, new employment in restaurant opportunities will come. Although years of experience are an important part of qualifying for a restaurant job, applicants with degrees in restaurant or hospitality management or equivalent have an advantage when applying. Salaries for jobs in restaurants range from $23,000.00 for entry level personnel to $48,000.00 for restaurant managers.
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