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Old 05-04-2011, 11:16 AM
 
4 posts, read 10,127 times
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im moving to by in late summer of this year with somewhere around 3000 saved. ill be staying with a friend until i figure out where im working and what im making, but in an effort to not fly blindly into the situation, can anyone tell me what a realistic income for either waiting tables or bartending would be?

not at a diner, but in a 3-4 star restaraunt or possibly a nightclub of some respect.

responses from people employed within the industry would be appreciated.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:24 AM
 
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I'm not in the industry, but when I was interested in getting into it and researched it, I found that high-end NYC restaurants prefer you to not only have at least a couple years' worth of serving experiencing already under your belt, but it has to be NYC restaurant experience. Apparently these jobs are very sought after and these servers easly make 6 figures a year. Anyway, not to burst your bubble. Most people either start off as hostesses and barbacks (who don't get tips and usually make around minimum wage) before getting promoted to server and bartender positions.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:57 AM
 
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thanks for the reply.

i have 8 years of restaraunt exp, most of that being in fine dining. it does seem that many places prefer nyc exp, although i cant imagine it would be that different.

the job market just seems larger up there, as craigslist has 4 ads for waiters in west palm beach florida, and nyc has over a hundred.
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:02 PM
 
Location: East Village
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You'll have a tough time breaking in without NYC experience.

The money is really pretty good—I know servers and bartenders at Michelin-starred places who pull in $1k+ per week working only part-time, but they started at the bottom here in the city. A few full-timers I know make in the six figures. Just because you have fine dining experience somewhere else doesn't mean you can hack it here.

You are either going to have to temper your expectations to start or hope that you'll luck out and someone takes a chance on you.
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:05 PM
 
Location: East Village
755 posts, read 2,195,568 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kap121483 View Post
Anyway, not to burst your bubble. Most people either start off as hostesses and barbacks (who don't get tips and usually make around minimum wage) before getting promoted to server and bartender positions.
Just wanted to point out that this is partially untrue. Most restaurants are on a "points" tip system so that barbacks, backwaiters, baristas, hostesses, dishwashers, etc., do receive some percentage of tips. Obviously it's not as a high as a server, but it's still something. Most of the ones I know make around $10-11/hour.
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Old 05-05-2011, 02:41 PM
 
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im not heart-set on a michelin starred establishment, just something that pays the bills somewhat well. and since things are expensive. those bills may be high, you know?

it appears that everyone in the city is hiring now, does this drop off to the end of the summer? or are they pretty much always looking to replace someone?
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:38 PM
 
Location: NY,NY
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You are not getting it. Where in FL have you had experience?

You are giving too much weight to your experience. Its not going to count for much here. It just may get you into a low level front room position where you can begin to work your way up.

As a full waiter, the best you can hope for is full time at an average restaurant, and it may take quite some time to find the right fit, and to make enough to support yourself w/o a few roommates.

If you are very attractive and articulate, as well as lucky, maybe you might snag a bartender spot at one of the hot clubs, but that w/b a big leap! Happens though.

Anyway, that's the way I'd work it. When applying, go for the TOP restaurants, and make sure they understand you'll take ANY position offered!! If its going to be your profession then 'breaking in' s/b the goal. In NYC, these are positions where you can make from the mid five figures into the low six figures.

Your background might also qualify you for a concierge position, at an high end apartment building or hotel.

OH, and you are going to need more than three grand! A LOT more!
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