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Old 01-01-2014, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
543 posts, read 961,481 times
Reputation: 450

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Hi,
My son and his wife are thinking of moving here in the next few months. He has been working as a server in a top rated (James Beard awarded) restaurant for 12 years in the midwest. He's wondering how difficult it would be to find a similar situation here.

I used to wait tables as well (fine dining in other cities), but found it extremely challenging when I moved here (13 years ago). I'm no longer in that industry so I'm looking for recent info to give him a more accurate picture.

His wife had Chamber of Commerce experience... tourism and Corporate meeting arrangements, etc. Anyone know anything about finding work in that or related field?

Thanks... As his Mom, of course, I'd like to have him move closer... We'll see.
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Old 01-01-2014, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
9,590 posts, read 9,269,230 times
Reputation: 9174
You have to know that there is no way to answer that definitively for you, or your son. People get jobs in restaurants in Portland every day. People don't. Mostly someone they know helped the ones who are successful. If you can't help him, and he or you doesn't have local contacts in the industry... ... nothing has changed in 13 years.
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Old 01-01-2014, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
543 posts, read 961,481 times
Reputation: 450
Thanks for replying, but are you in that service industry? I was looking for some info from folks who were currently in the restaurant biz. and I was wondering about their experiences.

Yes, I know some people get jobs and some don't and that there is SOME turnover... but when I was looking, I can remember over 100 applicants for one cocktail server job, or when I went to one of the top restaurants downtown and was laughingly told that the next guy in line to retire would be in 4 years and to check back then. (My resume and years of experience qualified me for that type of position)..

Where my son lives, a person basically just has to walk into a restaurant with a reasonable amount of experience and be able to land a job.

I just wondered about the amount of competition now in the fine dining arena, in particular.

Last edited by gypsydoc; 01-01-2014 at 06:39 PM.. Reason: clarification
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
9,590 posts, read 9,269,230 times
Reputation: 9174
I was trying to be helpful. I've been here five years, the forum isn't crawling with fine dining servers. I'm not in the industry but I like to eat well. I probably know more servers on a first name basis than there are posting regularly on this forum. I'm not saying that that would change anything. Your question is still quite unanswerable. Your son either knows people or he doesn't. That is what counts. There isn't any job sector where things are easier now than once ago. If your experience was that it was hard to get serving jobs... what makes you think it is any different now?

H
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:48 PM
 
19,976 posts, read 26,106,335 times
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She might think it's different now because the Great Recession is somewhat over and there aren't 500 applications for every restaurant job out there anymore. Things actually do change, particularly in the restaurant business.

To the OP: sorry, I'm not in the business anymore, but those I know who work in fine dining have expressed that the job market isn't as gruesome as it was in 2008-10. Good luck to your son.

Last edited by Metlakatla; 01-01-2014 at 08:16 PM..
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
543 posts, read 961,481 times
Reputation: 450
Metlakatla, thanks for your post. Your answer helped. I was just looking for an overview of what experiences folks might have had recently of getting work in a fine dining scenario. Glad to know the gruesomeness is abated somewhat.

Leisesturm, Glad you like to eat out ( so do I) and that you know servers on a first name basis... That really wasn't what I was asking, unless you've had conversations with those servers about their experience in landing their job.

I do appreciate your efforts to help and am not disagreeing with the "knowing people" benefit. It works everywhere... even here. That's why I asked.
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:19 PM
 
Location: the Beaver State
6,468 posts, read 11,011,181 times
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I'd encourage him to not limit himself to "fine dining." There are plenty of high quality places that would probably be similar income after including tips that might need servers. For instance Laurelhurst Meat Market.
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:49 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
543 posts, read 961,481 times
Reputation: 450
Quote:
Originally Posted by hamellr View Post
I'd encourage him to not limit himself to "fine dining." There are plenty of high quality places that would probably be similar income after including tips that might need servers. For instance Laurelhurst Meat Market.
Thanks... I'll pass it on.
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Old 01-04-2014, 03:25 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
20,520 posts, read 24,793,801 times
Reputation: 37831
I think that the high priced restaurants don't do a lot of hiring because the people with those jobs don't quit and move on very often. They don't have high employee turn-over.

I get to interview a lot of people moving into the Bend area and several of them have new jobs in restaurants, but it is always part time and always the very low end.

I have one tenant who is a high end sushi chef and has been with his job for 8 years and he doesn't make much. The restaurants don't have to pay good wages because the are 500 people standing in line to take that job if the current employee quits. The server jobs where the tips are really good, those people don't quit that job; they hang onto it with all their might because they know they can't do as well elsewhere.

Having a job already lined up is better, or at least do some research and try to get some interviews before moving to get an idea of how difficult it will be.
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Old 01-04-2014, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
543 posts, read 961,481 times
Reputation: 450
Thanks so much for your insight. I think the high competition here is because servers make minimum wage PLUS tips. I most other states, servers make 1/2 minimum wage PLUS tips and their wage basically gets eaten up in taxes... When I worked in a state like that, the checks were void all the time. There was no $$ on them.

So... servers who get jobs here. .. yes they do hang on. We shall see what my son wants to do, but I feel like it is still quite competitive, even for an experienced server. Thanks again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
I think that the high priced restaurants don't do a lot of hiring because the people with those jobs don't quit and move on very often. They don't have high employee turn-over.

I get to interview a lot of people moving into the Bend area and several of them have new jobs in restaurants, but it is always part time and always the very low end.

I have one tenant who is a high end sushi chef and has been with his job for 8 years and he doesn't make much. The restaurants don't have to pay good wages because the are 500 people standing in line to take that job if the current employee quits. The server jobs where the tips are really good, those people don't quit that job; they hang onto it with all their might because they know they can't do as well elsewhere.

Having a job already lined up is better, or at least do some research and try to get some interviews before moving to get an idea of how difficult it will be.
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