Lookin' Good at 58

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Two Things That Have Changed Since the 70's in the Restaurant Industry

Back when I started in 1979 two big differences have taken place.

The first one is back then there were full time waiting and bar tending jobs available. It was viewed as a full time job and not part time like it is now. I worked in a hotel for 44 hours a week as a bartender. Now there are hardly any hotels that have a dining room anymore, and if they do have one, because of the choices of where people can eat they usually are not that busy. Casual fine dining spots back then were not on the top of any one's mind as a place to eat because there were not that many around.

At best nowadays all a hotel or motel will offer is a continental breakfast where you help yourself and there is one attendant there to make sure the coffee stays hot and the croissants are replenished. In fact due to a lot of cut backs with regards to business expenses a motel will often situate itself beside a restaurant chain store so their guests can eat there.

Part time is big today because to survive people need two jobs. Work during the day at one and wait on tables at night. All the work out there is part time.

The second one is when I started there were hardly any women bar tending or waiting on tables. It might seem unbelievable to think of now but back then it was all male waiters and bartenders. Usually Europeans bringing their craft over here. Not a lot of Canadians worked fine dining either. I cannot remember in fact working with many of my country men.

Now you see more women than men working waiting on tables or behind the bar. Why is that? I think one reason is the Europeans all retired and no one followed up behind them. There was no one who wanted to do fine dining. Thus as I mentioned in my last post that fine dining is on it's way out. Not that no one likes fine dining but the difficulty is finding good staff to perform the job tasks.

With the casual fine dining restaurants taking over the helm it is more about systems than knowledge. This is so people with hardly any waiting or bar tending experience with some training can do the job. McDonalds is a bad example but their employees say, "would you like fries with that" as part of their training. The individuality is lost where it used to be abundant.

However I digress from my second change. Women have a much nicer personality. They are earning a good income that may be a good second income or primary income in the family. Men back when I started were a lot more confident than they are now. Their role used to be clearly defined in the household. Now not so much.

I could go on but those are just two of the things I see that has changed over the years. Part time as opposed to full time and more women have taken the lead working in the industry.

My next post will be on why everyone seems to be single who work in restaurants.

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