The act of balancing "profession" and "passion" can be dreadful when your profession starts to feel like it's limiting the time you can invest in your passion. For this reason, entrepreneurs of all ages are entering the food service industry as bartenders, servers, and even valet parking positions. Sure, they might pay much less than the salary you dreamed of in high school (back then, even $20k sounded like a lot LOL), but here's what makes restaurant jobs so reliable for entrepreneurs:
Standard office jobs can be strict on their overtime policies, and might only hire you if you can magically clear your entire day (9 to 5) just to come in and sit in the cubicle they assign you to. Your availability could make or break your potential to become employed, and their restricted hours can limit your potential earnings.
As an entrepreneur, you might only feel compelled to work during your small business' slow season. At restaurant jobs, seasonal employment is a helpful option with first-come-first-served overtime hours available. They usually adjust the number of hours you work each pay-period, based on the availability you provide. While you have more control over your schedule at restaurants, you can also change your availability and switch shifts at any moment without much resistance from management.
If you're not willing to commit to a full season of work and just need extra money for a project, milk the system! Restaurant jobs come a dime a dozen, and people quit without explanation regularly. Restaurant owners and managers are trained to deal with last-minute quitters and temporary employees. They'll figure it out, and you'll find another job when needed - because there's always somewhere to eat (and somewhere to apply) on every corner.
2. Budget-Friendly Start
The requirement to look impressive at work can be financially exhausting. The pressure to buy clothing that's within the company's dress code, choose hairstyles that don't distract your co-workers (whatever that means), and get yourself some office supplies (because why would they provide that for you, right?) can eat up your first paycheck before you even see it!
Most restaurants provide employees with company shirts and hats, to be worn with a pair of pants you already own, and call that a uniform. This works for entrepreneurs because when you're down to your last one-gallon of gas worth of cash, you'd probably rather spend your last dollar on lunch for the week than an office costume. Restaurant jobs offer entrepreneurs the chance to earn money based purely on sweat equity.
3. Networking Opportunities
It's easy to assume that all jobs could provide you with a concentrated crowd of people to use as a new market for your brand, but you better check the company policy first. Most jobs make it abundantly clear that any form of outside solicitation can be grounds for termination. Depending on how friendly your boss is, handing someone a business card might be a fireable offense.
Some restaurant employees are encouraged to use their outside connections to the company's advantage. That benefits you too because the more people buy, the more they might tip! You may be asked by a manager to post about the Taco Tuesday special on your social media accounts. Or let's say you're an emerging boutique owner, but you're also the amazing bartender who brings the fun wherever you go! In the service industry, you're trained to engage in casual conversations and express interest in the customer's needs. Turn those conversations into connections! By networking on and off the job, you'll help the restaurant bring in regular customers, and you'll help yourself by increasing the popularity of your brand.
There are many negative perceptions of the restaurant industry, but it works if you work it. During slow seasons, it's okay to let go of that societal pressure to write a new cover letter and sit through five rounds of interviews for a big-desk job that you know you won't commit to. Put on your best slip-resistant shoes, dark jeans, and go sling some food or dranks! You'll probably earn your first paycheck by the time Desk-Job Danny gets invited to his fourth round of interviews.