The Restaurant

The Restaurant
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Getting a Job in the Restaurant: Application Process

Most of this information is just general life knowledge, but some of it is geared toward the restaurant industry.  While many places have options for online applications it is still best to go in and fill out a paper copy. You should go to fill out your application and plan on filling it out at the restaurant.  It's a good idea to call ahead by a week or so to find out the manager's name and when he/she is usually there. The ideal time to go in and fill out an application is between 2-4pm. It's also best to go during the week, Monday-Thursday. If the manager is only available in the morning go around 11 because they are usually slower then.

You should bring a few things with you to the restaurant when you apply. You should bring pens and your resume (see earlier post). You should also bring a little notebook with your: list of references, employment dates, employer addresses, and their phone numbers. You can bring your phone but make sure it is on silent. Don't expect an on the spot interview but be prepared and dressed for one just in case.

When you fill out your application make sure you fill it out honestly.  This can come back to bite you if you lie on an application.  If it's about anything serious you can and will be fired if not worse. Make sure the prospective employer can read what you write. If they have to struggle it won't be worth their time. When filling it out use a blue or black ink pen. It's unfortunate that a lot of companies ask a lot of illegal questions, example: How old are you?, but if you need the job you might have to answer them. If you want, google questions that are illegal, but it may cost you the job if you don't answer them. I've never heard of anyone getting a lawyer and suing for this kind of thing, but it is an option.

When asked about salary requirements/wage desired, every situation is different. If you have no experience and are applying at McDonald's expect minimum wage. If you have a lot of experience but you're not sure write negotiable. If you have a criminal record and it asks you to explain the details simply write will discuss. Then, when you drop off your application discuss it immediately with the manager, if they have time. Do not write that you have stolen things and expect to be hired.

An application is a legal document that contains your social security number, address, name, and that information should be protected. NEVER give your application and resume to anyone other than a manager, because you want to ensure a manager gets it. You also want to keep it out of the hands of a sixteen year old clown or an identity thief.

Most managers review applications early in the week, Monday or Tuesday. Wait four or five days before calling them back. The same rules apply for calling them, Monday-Thursday 2-4pm.

A few more points to consider include who you apply with. What I mean is this, if you don't have a car and who ever it is driving you around comes in with you the manager will see this and assume you don't have reliable transportation, and as such you may not be a good canidate.
Another example is that as a young person if you mother is there making you fill the application out, or even worse still she is filling it out for you, don't expect to get a call back about an opening, no manager is going to want to baby you like this.
The final point to ponder is this: As a restaurant manager, there may be only one opening, but if you and your brother or you and your friend apply, while you may both be qualified, if there is only one opening I would be reluctant to hire either of you, for fear of having to deal with the other one calling all the time about their application or resentment between the two people.

Think about it.

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