So You Want To Be A Waiter

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Tag Archives: restaurant news

6th largest group of employees in the US

Yes, that would be “waiters and waitresses”. Here are the top 6:

Occupation Employment Percent of U.S. Employment Mean Wage
  Hourly Annual
Retail salespersons 4,426,280 3.27 $9.86 $20,510
Cashiers 3,545,610 2.62 8.49 17,660
Office clerks, general 2,906,600 2.15 12.17 25,320
Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food 2,708,840 2.00 7.90 16,430
Registered nurses 2,542,760 1.88 30.03 62,450
Waiters and waitresses 2,371,750 1.75 8.01 16,660


This is taken from The Bureau of labor Statistics:

The National Restaurant Association predicts this:

Restaurants to add 1.3 million jobs

The National Restaurant Association’s 2010 Restaurant Industry Forecast projects that restaurants will employ 14 million people by 2010, 1.3 million more than today. Read our 2010 Forecast to learn more about the fastest-growing occupations and the states with the strongest job growth over the next decade.

Keep in mind that this is all restaurant workers. The restaurant industry employs around 5,000,000 people, not including management.

Food for thought.

Mother Nature hammers the restaurant sector

A look at industry same-store sales

by Mike Dempsey

And speaking of O’Charley’s

Jeffrey Warne, recently named CEO of Nashville-based O’Charley’s Inc. and The Tennessean, the Nashville newspaper, did a Q&A with him in today’s Sunday edition.

Here is just one question, as answered by Warne:

How has the company controlled margins?

If you go back to 2008, we made the tough decision to reduce support staff. We eliminated some positions and through attrition we did significantly reduce the staff by about 20 percent. We also set up in 2008 a labor model that would predict when guests are in the building.

Using eight years of historical data, we mapped when guests were in our restaurants in 15-minute increments. The labor model was very effective at controlling labor costs. When we matched our labor as best as we could to when (guests) were in the building, our guest satisfaction scores took off, as well.

It is an informative series of questions and answers with a “numbers guy” and you can read the entire interview here:

But you might want to hurry, as this article could be archived pretty quickly and might not be available for long.

Taco Bell founder dies

From Restaurant News Breaking News:

RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. (Jan. 18, 2010) Glen W. Bell Jr., founder of Taco Bell, the world’s largest fast-food Mexican chain, passed away at his home Sunday after a long illness. He was 86.

Bell first began selling tacos in 1951, when he wanted to expand the menus at his Bell’s Drive-In hamburger stands. Those first tacos, made with ground beef, chopped lettuce, shredded cheese and chili sauce and served in crispy shells, would ultimately become his signature product years later at Taco Bell, which now boasts 5,600 U.S. locations.

“The entire Taco Bell family of franchisees and employees are deeply saddened by the loss of the founder of Taco Bell,” said Greg Creed, president and chief concept officer of Taco Bell, now a division of Yum! Brands Inc. “Glen Bell was a visionary and innovator in the restaurant industry, as well as a dedicated family man. His innovative business acumen started out of humble beginnings and created one of the nation’s largest restaurant chains in Taco Bell.”

Read the rest of the article here:

Ed. note: I hear that co-founder Miguel Taco is doing well.

Famed Nashville institution Zola shuts down

Sadly, this was the last week of serving Nashville some of the most adventurous food on the planet from husband and wife team Ernie and Deb Paquette. Deb, the pioneering chef and Ernie, the grease of front-of-the-house and an outdoors dude who has a career in the outdoor industry as a guide and advisor, have called it quits and have decided to go island. Both have felt the call of the ocean for a while now, as both grew up in seaside communities.

While the economy might have been a little of a factor, it was more the fact that the kids are grown and they wanted to move to warmer and more tropical climes. It’s nice when a restauranteur can quit on their own terms and the Paquettes are taking full advantage.

Nashville is going to miss the absolute fierceness of Deb’s culinary vision. Often combining disparate ingredients and culinary cultures, she has influenced countless chefs and has trained and worked alongside many of them.

Here’s an article that will give you a sense of the Paquettes’ importance in Nashville dining culture:

Here’s another:–or_perhaps_au_revoir_-.php

I’m really happy for them. I actually interviewed for a job there once and Deb told me that they had someone leaving and that I might be someone who could fill the shoes. Unfortunately, that person ended up staying. When you have a small restaurant and a small staff, you can’t just shoehorn someone into the schedule the way you can in larger restaurants. I was disappointed but also assured that she thought that I might have the stuff to represent her on the dining floor.

Thank you Ernie and Deb. Nashville is going to miss you so much.

More positive financial news for restaurants in 2010

From Nation’s Restaurant News:

Restaurant industry sees signs of light

by Sarah Lockyer

NEW YORK (Jan. 6, 2010) Two recent surveys forecast a slightly sunnier picture for the year ahead among both consumers and franchise business leaders, providing a glimpse of clearer skies for the restaurant industry.

Last week, a key consumer barometer, The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, showed its second straight gain in two months, with the consumer outlook for the months ahead reaching a two-year high.

The Conference Board, a New York-based research group, said the index rose in December to 52.9, from 50.6 in November. The index is based on a survey of 5,000 U.S. households, and readings above 90 indicate a stable economy and above 100 indicate economic growth. Tracking consumer confidence is key for many restaurant operators, as consumer sentiment is tied so closely to consumer spending, which drives the engine of the restaurant industry.

Read the rest of the article here:

Famed NYC restaurant Tavern on the Green auctions its contents

Tavern on the Green prepares for auction By Elissa  Elan


And speaking of the term waiter and Hooters Girls

From the “Hair Balls” section of The Houston Press:

Man Wants To Lick Hooters (In The Courtroom)

By Paul Knight
Fri., Jan. 9 2009 @ 3:44PM
Nikolai Grushevski, a man from Corpus Christi, has filed a lawsuit because Hooters wouldn’t let him work as a waiter, which we guess would be called a Hooters Boy.

“Hooters tries to circumvent the law by referring to its waiters as ‘Hooters Girls.’ Hooters is wrong,” claims the lawsuit, filed yesterday in federal court in Corpus. “Just as Southwest Airlines attempted nearly three decades ago with stewardesses, the waiter’s position addressed herein is being limited to females by an employer ‘…who merely wishes to exploit female sexuality as a marketing tool to attract customers and insure profitability.'”

Read the rest of the article here:

Restaurant operators somewhat optimistic according to NRN

From Nation’s Restaurant News:

“Restaurant operators’ outlook improves

by Paul Frumpkin

WASHINGTON (Nov. 30, 2009) While customer traffic remained sluggish during the month of October, restaurateurs tended to be more hopeful about their prospects for the future, according to the latest monthly operator survey from the National Restaurant Association.

The NRA’s Restaurant Performance Index, or RPI, posted its first gain in three months, registering 98.0 for the month, an increase of 0.5 percent over its September level of 97.5. Based on a 100-point scale, the RPI is a monthly composite that tracks the health and outlook of the U.S. foodservice industry by monitoring sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures.

Despite the uptick, though, the index remained below the 100 mark Ñ which reflects contraction of key industry indicators — for the 24th consecutive month”.

Read the rest of the article here:


Experts cautiously optimistic about the “restaurant industry’s fortune” in 2010