I am working as a restaurant hostess, and I am making, on average, maybe $14/hour, often with really short shifts. This is not enough. I have some serving experience, I want to be a server, but I'm not sure how to best go about it. Working in a restaurant is a good fit for my lifestyle right now (low monthly expenses, need the flexibility) and I am happier in a job that has me running around than sitting at a desk. My original plan was to try to supplement my hostessing income with another part-time job, but finding a keeping and scheduling such a second/third job is not really working out right now. Should I stick it out at one restaurant, or just look elsewhere?
I am currently working as a hostess at two restaurants. I will no longer be working as a hostess at one of them due to mutual scheduling problems after the next couple of weeks. I am mostly bummed because the staff at that restaurant is awesome and I enjoyed working there, but I only worked there one or two shifts a week and they tip out everyone and their mother, so while I suppose I will miss the money, it wasn't much.
But, I have comfortably paid my bills this month thanks to a personal assistant job that only lasted a couple weeks (wasn't fired, the person just didn't end up needing me that much) and a freelance job. While I am hopeful that I will rustle up another freelance gig for next month, I'm getting more hours at work, and I do have some savings, I am sick of feeling so much stress about money. I really and truly am not making enough money at my main job despite working five shifts a week. I have been there for only a few months and I am not the most senior host, and I doubt that they would promote me directly to being a server without having me work as an expeditor. The expeditors get a larger share of the tip pool than the hosts, but their shifts are really short and the money would, at best, even out.
I am a good hostess, but I am also good at server stuff. When I'm not busy, I run drinks and food, drop checks, clear tables, etc. and the servers like me and appreciate my help. I have fine dining experience and I cringe when I see people serving without an open stance or reaching across or making other rookie server mistakes. I know the menu and I can sell the food enthusiastically. I have used a POS system, and when the server or bartenders are busy, sometimes they will log me into the POS system and I'll put in an order for them. (Probably against the rules). Blah blah blah. This shit isn't rocket science, but I feel like I'm beating my head against a wall. My managers are young and inexperienced, and I know that they feel pressure to be stern and stay on top of the staff. As a result, I have no idea if they think I'm doing a good job or not.
I do have some serving experience, but not in a restaurant, and not recently. I work hard, I'm a good-looking girl (that's supposed to help, right?), and I should have a great reference from the restaurant that I have to leave in the next few weeks. My availability isn't awesome for the next couple of weeks, but I am trying to have a plan of attack for my job hunt when I can start it up again and/or figure out how to approach my managers and ask for a promotion.
Restaurant industry mefites, how the hell do I get out of Hostess Limbo? Do I need to just suck it up and put in more time? Is restaurant hopping bad? This is in Los Angeles, and I am one of many out of work actors looking for a restaurant job. Not expecting it to be easy. Should I try chain restaurants? Or working as a cocktail waitress? I'm working at chef-driven, kind of hip restaurants right now and I enjoy working for people who really care about the food they serve, but I am, obviously, willing to look elsewhere. (Except for catering, because the money and the work is terrible. Only if I'm really desperate for money. Let's just not talk about cater waitering, please).
(Note: I did not make it through training at this job
because my lack of Japanese language skills and cultural knowledge were a big problem. Kind of a bummer, but it wasn't a good fit).