Applying for a Job at a Restaurant: When To Bring Your Resume

Craft Based Learning
Photo by Les Roches

AS YOU ALL KNOW, there is a time and place for everything.  This includes when it’s time to start printing out those ol’ resumes and finding a new job.  Before you head out with guns a blazin’ and showing off that Go Get’em attitude, take a moment to think about what you’re applying for.

Are you applying for hostess? Waiter? Bartender?  Which restaurants are you going to go to?  Are they breakfast places, all you can eat buffets, or sports bar and grills?

It’s extremely important to know where you’re going to be applying.

Why, might you ask?  Because different restaurants, diners, and bars have different RUSH HOURS.  Now, what are rush hours? Rush hours are times where restaurants are at their busiest. For example, a 24-hour McDonald’s might get a rush at 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. because that’s around closing times for bars, or a breakfast place might be around 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

So…think about it.  All restaurants have certain times when they get bombarded by customers and don’t have the time for anything other than serving those hungry guests.  DO NOT just show up at a romantic dinner restaurant at 6 o’clock on a Saturday night hoping to hand your resume personally to a manager.  I can tell you now, it ain’t going to happen.  So, plan your route according to the time of the day. You don’t want to bring your resume in mid-rush.

When is the best time for me to hand in my resume?

Well, that can vary depending on where you’re applying.  It seems like between 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm are some of the best times.  It’s after the lunch rush and before the dinner rush for a lot of places.  Of course, some restaurants are closed at that time specifically for that reason, so be sure you’re going when they’re open.

Of course, it always depends on how busy the place is, too.  If you walk in a see a lot of people and the place is packed with customers, you’ll know it just may not be a good time.  You also have to take into consideration what day it is.  Weekends can be crazy if you’re at a busy restaurant, so maybe plan on going during the week.  Every day is different in the restaurant business and sometimes you never know when it will be busy or not.  I guess that’s the rough part about the food and service industry.

What else can I do to be sure that I don’t bring my resume in mid-rush?

Why not try calling the restaurants ahead of time and asking when the best time to bring your resume would be?  It’s a quick fix and I’m sure they’ll appreciate that you are doing your best to not disturb them during the busy hours.  Not to mention, they may ask you to come in right away if they are desperately looking for someone.  You never know what could happen so be prepared.   Know what position you’re applying for and which days and hours you’re available to work.

It’s okay, I’ll wait for the manager…

When applying, try not to pressure the manager into coming to see you.  If the hostess or another employee tells you the manager is busy and that you’ll have to come back, take that into consideration.  Although it’s good to have the never-giving-up attitude, you can show that in other ways other than taking up a table and waiting for the manager to come see you.  They are quite busy at times, having to deal with the restaurant on a whole, so if you catch them at a bad time, you don’t want to be the person who bothered him during a crisis at work.  You want to be the person who did it right.  Make sure you’re on their good side.

Show them you understand the restaurant business.

Never (and I do mean NEVER) bring in your resume during the busy hours.  You’ll leave a bad impression and your application may end up getting lost in the process.  When everything is crazy and out of control and the whole staff is focused on the diners, it’s easy to misplace things that don’t matter in that moment.  You want to stand out and be known that you know how the restaurant business works and know better than to come while it’s busy.  You need to show that.  Follow all this and you should have no problem with your first impression.

The Waitress Confessions

3 thoughts on “Applying for a Job at a Restaurant: When To Bring Your Resume

  1. Taylor February 9, 2013 / 11:31 am

    Thanks for this. This is REALLY important. I have a manager who if he picks up the phone during our busy time, and someone is on the other end applying for a position, he’ll get their name just to tell them they won’t get the job. The rationale is that if you’re going to disrespectfully call during peak times taking up his time, he doesn’t want to hire you on.

    I personally don’t eat dinner until a lot later (around 7:30/8:00) and the peak times at my work are 5:30-7:30. I had to correct myself to my restaurant’s time.

    • The Waitress Confessions February 9, 2013 / 3:16 pm

      Yes! It’s extremely important for people to know this. A lot of people don’t take it into consideration and then they wonder why they aren’t getting hired. A lot of times we have to shuffle our schedules around to accommodate the restaurant. It’s just something we have to do.

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