Tuesday, October 4, 2011
20 Years Ago
A few months later I ended up working with a cruise line and the rest is history.
But today we are pretty much in the same predicament economy wise but with an added twist. We are in a global economy unlike the early 90's so what happens in China it begins to affect us right here in Canada. If Greece defaults we catch the flu.
Yesterday's post I told you of a bad table I had. But it doesn't happen often. The majority are quite fair and generous with their tip.
As far as I can tell in all my time working in this industry there has never been job security or a guaranteed minimum you can make. In fact the least I made was $50 a month salary while I was on the ship but that is where I also made the most money.
Nowadays a lot of cruise lines want to pay the servers more and have a no tipping policy so no matter how hard you work you can only make so much. That is not good.
So even the cruise ships may not be as good as they used to be.
So where am I going with this? I guess what I am saying is if I had to do it all over again knowing what I know now I may have taken something else up as a career.
Not that I regret having done anything I have in the past. I saw a lot of neat places and worked with fabulous people. I just wouldn't want to do it all over again. I wasn't most of the time rolling in the dough when travelling all around.
If you are planning on being a bartender or waiter do it while you put yourself through university or a trade. Get out by the time you are 30.
The times where you could make big money as a waiter are over. You may think where you are you are making good money now but I can bet people like you including myself were making as much back in the 80's.
People tipped more , spent more , had more disposable income and better yet your dollar went a lot further.
The only thing that is good about the business is why I have stayed in it all this time and that is cash. I wouldn't be able to handle getting paid every two weeks.
But here is the catch. I could if I did something else and made a $100,000 a year with benefits. But back when I went to work after high school and started bartending the cash was better than what some professionals were making. Why go to university?
Obviously knowing what I know now and what I tell my kids is get a university education. Be smart.
The restaurant industry is sinking. It not what it used to be. It is all part time for servers and bartenders and if it is full time there is probably a lot of down time in there to make up that forty hours.
I have to say to someone starting out dive in and enjoy it but don't be lured by the cash you walk home with on a good night. It will probably be the same cash you walk home with when you are married , have a mortage and gas is thirty cents more expensive than it is now.
Radio talk show host of "The Hospitality Industry News Network" and author of "You Only Live Once" about his early years traveling around and working on ships and foreign countries Steven blogs about his thoughts on the restaurant industry as he sees it today.
Check out his web site at www.stevennicolle.com for more information.