Help! Becoming a fine dining restaurant waiter.?

I am currently working as a backwater| server's assistant for a very upscale, fine dining restaurant located inside a hotel here in Boston. It’s really good. Very success- driven and very detailed. Money is just okay, in part because, they tend to over staff to provide the optimal dining experience for our guests. So here's the problem.

I used to work as a waiter and back waiter before for one of the VIP restaurant inside the TD Garden (our smaller version of the Madison Square Garden in NYC), I was a server there, and then moved over to PF Chang's, also working as a full-time server and part-time Barback. After a while I decided to leave Pf Chang's as awesome as it was, because I wanted more of the fine dining environment.

I applied and got hired at the upscale restaurant I am currently working for, and now I’m not happy for two reasons: the money is just “okay”, and I am just being generous. It’s a pool house and the average check for a couple that does a three to four course meal plus drinks is $500. But then the tips go to the 10 servers, 7 back waiters, 4 food runners and the Maitre’D. So even on a busy Saturday I only manage to walk out with 100 bucks, again, being generous here!

But I decided to leave all that aside, until I just learned of a rule that apparently we’ve had but I was not told when I interviewed my first time, even though I clearly stated when I first got hired my plan was to start as a back waiter and move up until I become a server. The GM has a rule where “ NO BACKWAITER OR FOOD RUNNER CAN BECOME A SERVER- YOU WOULD HAVE TO LEAVE, SERVER SOMEWHERE ELSE AND COME BACK” It just seem kind of lame to me that I am putting all this work into nothing. No offense to those who’d like to back wait for the rest of their lives, but I am a people’s person, I love serving and I take pride in it. I hope one day of becoming a manager, and getting stuck as a back waiter until I grow white hair is not in my plans. I have too many ambitions.

My question is,

How can I address another upscale restaurant into hiring me as a server, without first having to become a back waiter for them first. What are some of the things they’re looking for? How should I tailor my cover letter in order to convince them I am the one!

Please let me know, as this is a very serious matter to me at the moment. I can’t pay for college on a back waiter salary/tips and it’s honestly quiet frustrating.

2 Answers

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  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hello, I've been serving for a while, everything from fine dining to local bars.

    To be 100% honest, I've only had maybe 1 job call my references out of the million places I've worked. Just put you were a waitress! If you know wine, cocktails, and fine dining etiquette, they will never know.

    If you don't want to lie, then make sure you go to the resturant, look extremely nice and professional, and say you were looking for a serving position. If they offer to start you as a server assistant than say NO.

    You may get turned down a few times, but so what? Be clear that you don't want any other position except serving. I was a hostess for 3 years, was put in a similar situation, because every place wanted me to host, made promises of moving me to a waitress, but never did.

    Eventually I got a serving job at a small bar, and worked my way up.

    Check craigslist, monster, snagajob, etc. for resturants hiring servers in your area! They are usually desperate and short staffed so they make exceptions.

    Also, try going to a cooperate fine-dining, they usually are easier to get hired at. Landrys isn't bad. They own McCormick and Schmitz, chart house, Morton's steakhouse, etc.

    Also, i know you don't really care, but I've found fine dining to be absolutely stupid. You tip out tons of money, wait around for hours to get sat, tip out crazy amounts of money to support staff, and get hired for just about anything.

    Out of every place I worked, I made the most at a high end sports bar. The drinks were all $10+(even rail), the food averaged between $12-$35, and people were usually out in 30 mins or less. I used to walk out with anywhere from $80-$200 Monday-Wednesday and $200-$600 on weekends. It was fun, easy, and laid back.

    I know from experience that fine dining is every waitresses ultimate goals, but its really not all its cracked up to be. Good luck!! And remember this is not a career, just a job to help you till you finish your degree. =)

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Fine Dining Waiter

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