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Old 01-21-2009, 06:00 PM
 
12 posts, read 43,426 times
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Default A question for any waiters or waitresses out there.

Hi, my name is Colin. I haven't posted yet but I've been looking through this forum for awhile now to get information on my move to NYC.

Here is my situation. I'm moving with a friend in June 2009. We'll either be subletting an apartment for a month or going up a few weeks prior to look for apartments and jobs. We've both applied to CUNY in this order: Baruch, Hunter, CCNY, and Brooklyn College. We're both pretty confident that we'll get in due to high grades and test scores.

I know what to expect when I move through research and visiting: high rent, loneliness at first, long commutes, etc. New York is very different than where we come from, Wichita KS. (Laugh if you must But it is exactly for that reason that we are coming. I've know about the differences in culture and will try very hard to assimilate and drop any habits I have that peg me as Midwestern.

We'll have about $10,000 for the move which will cover broker fees, security deposits, credit checks, first and last months rent, physically moving, a couple months rent as incentive for a landlord, etc. Figuring for a $1000 studio. (Is it plausible to find a studio for that price with a 30 minute or so commute to Manhattan and school?) And I know we can save money by not using a broker, not needed last months rent, etc.

My question is this: how is the waiting tables industry? We are both waiters and I want to hear from anyone on this forum that is a server. What are your hours like? (I know that the hours are long for waiters in NY) Where do you work? Have you noticed a drop in tips or business since the financial mess has started? How do you get along? Has the job market suffered terribly? How much do you make?

If the last question is too personal feel free not to answer, but I just want to know that with some hard work whether or not we can make it being waiters.

We have some connections (he has some friends that were waiters in New York that are fairly confident they can get him a job) and I can transfer to an Outback Steakhouse, which is where I work here. I know that it's a chain-restaurant which is looked down upon by New Yorkers, but at least it's an easy job that I'm likely to get being a transfer.

Thank you so much for your help!

Colin
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Pelham Parkway,The Bronx
6,368 posts, read 10,272,940 times
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I am not a waiter or waitress but I have a lot of friends who are or were at some point. They always did very well and managed to live comfortably.

Whether the 1,000 for a studio is realistic depends on which college you actually wind up at... whether it is in Manhattan or Brooklyn... big difference.
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:32 PM
 
Location: New York, New York
4,828 posts, read 3,895,655 times
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I work in the kitchen of a major hotel! Waiters can make good money but times are tough right now! I would suggest keeping your options open, and take any job you can get! You should probably look at either Queens or the Bronx for your studio, you tend to get more for your money. Queens tends to be safer but there are some gd places in the bronx! 10 thousand is not going to get very far try to save as much as you can brokers fee on average are about 12% your years rent!On a 1000 a month studio that would be $1440 plus first and last $3440 just to get the keys! Save all you can!
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:32 PM
 
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The restaurant business in NYC is currently taking a pounding: Newsvine - NYC restaurants hit by economic downturn
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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Never fear transferring within a restaurant chain to NYC, since it is never looked down upon by a New Yorker to have a source of income from the start. That's always a good plan, to have some money coming in the door and savings when starting out in a new city, especially one as expensive as NYC. While the gourmands and the hipster set might not be beating a path to the door of a chain establishment, one cannot argue with a successful concept that brings people in the door, and provides jobs for college students.

Unfortunately, I'm out of luck with Outback, since the menu is not the most hospitable to vegetarians, but to each their own. LOL

Best of luck in making the transition.
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:35 AM
 
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Thank you bmwguy, I was actually a vegetarian for awhile while I still worked at Outback.

Keep them coming waiters!
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
7,527 posts, read 12,703,725 times
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I'm not a waiter, but I would still like to offer some advice.

Keep working at Outback. In a year or so, when the economy picks up hopefully you can try to get a job at a nicer place, where you can get better tips. If you stay there for a year or so, it will also show that you are stable, and this will also help you get a job as well.

Your being smart and planning ahead. It's refreshing to see someone on here who's doing that for a change. Good luck.
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:23 PM
 
12 posts, read 43,426 times
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Thank you NooYowker. I agree that having a stable job is a good thing when I first get there, no matter where it is.


Are there really no waiters out there? I was really wanting to know if tips in particular were taking a beating. Thank you Viralmd for that article, but I also want to hear first hand.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:24 AM
 
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Hello Colin. I've been a waiter in this town for the past 20 years or so. I've worked everywhere from a place actually called the "Pizza Joint" to Tavern on the Green. The only areas with regular restaurant traffic right now are the theatre district for dinner, and Wall Street for lunch, and neither are NOWHERE near what they were even last year. For regular cash consider caterwaitering, working private parties in homes and clubs. You won't make as much as you would with good shifts at a high end restaurant, but, the high ends aren't hiring, and even if you got in you'd be competing for shifts and good stations with people that have been there for a while. You can even do it part time while you're looking for a regular gig, or even after. The money is decent and the work fairly regular if you stay on top of it. I work for several agencies. Some of them take forever to pay and are always trying to steal 15 minutes to a half hour from you. Mod cut: no advertising; no recommendations from members with less than 10 posts, per TOS Best of Luck!

Last edited by Viralmd; 03-19-2009 at 06:02 AM.. Reason: TOS violation
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:11 AM
 
12 posts, read 43,426 times
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well thanks heywaiter. is the situation that dire? i thought it wasn't...
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