Top 5 Recession-Proof Restaurant Jobs
By Angela Rose, Hcareers.com
Jobs, jobs and more jobs — the nation’s employment situation is shaping up to be one of the hottest topics of the 2012 election. Both parties claim that their plan will protect — and create — the most American jobs. However, some economists are predicting further job losses in the future no matter who wins. The problem is the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ the economy will tumble off on January 1 should Congress fail to come to a budget agreement by the end of this year. That move — or, rather, lack thereof — could plunge us into another recession — and recession often means layoffs.
The Great Recession resulted in 7.9 million lost jobs. Fortunately, only 454,000 were in the leisure and hospitality supersector that includes restaurant employees. Historically, restaurant jobs are among the safest during a recession. While some people eat out less when times are tough, others continue to favor convenience over cost. That said, restaurant professionals performing essential functions will find themselves in the most recession-proof careers. For example, consider the following five positions:
It takes training, skill and personality to fill the role of bartender successfully. This means other restaurant staff members cannot easily absorb the position should layoffs occur. Not only do bartenders earn some of the best tips, they also enjoy a recession-proof position.
2. Wait Staff
If a customer is dissatisfied with the service received at a restaurant, it’s less likely he will return. The wait staff has the most contact with customers, and as a result, their work contributes greatly to each visitor’s satisfaction. Having adequate staff scheduled for each shift is essential—leaving less room for recession-prompted layoffs within this role.
It may be one of the lowliest roles on the restaurant ladder, but many culinary-minded individuals get their foot in the door with a dishwashing job. It’s definitely an essential one. Not only is clean tableware and glassware required for diners, but the kitchen goes through a lot of pots and pans. Restaurant owners understand they cannot eliminate this position—it would create a delay in the kitchen, which results in dissatisfactory service.
4. Prep Chef
Friendly wait staff, prompt service and delicious food are three of the biggest essentials to an enjoyable restaurant experience. Lay off your prep chefs and ask your sous chefs to cover and you slow down service as well as potentially affect the quality of the dishes they prepare. Diners do not often look upon slow service or a faltering menu kindly.
5. General Manager
The restaurant general manager is ultimately responsible for overseeing everything that goes on within the establishment, both front and back of the house. He’s the keeper of the inventory, the marshal of the troops, and the protector of the bottom line. While assistant managers are nice to have, worst-case scenario, the general manager can ultimately absorb the duties of their positions.
If you’re searching for a job in the restaurant industry, a recession should leave you with little to fear—particularly if you’re interested in any of the positions mentioned above. The leisure and hospitality supersector has steadily added jobs throughout the economic recovery, and experts predict it will continue to do so in the future.
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About the Author
Angela Rose researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues for Hcareers.com.