The Restaurant

The Restaurant
Formal Dining

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Fired, Terminated, Laid-Off: Not good

The hospitality industry is like many others in that it is loaded with liars, thieves, and other low lives. I am not saying that all are this way, and it is not fair to generalize, but when the majority of the staff are making minimum wage and can't afford to feed their family it really is no surprise when food starts disappearing. Needless to say, if you are stealing you will eventually get caught and get fired - as you should. If you assault someone while at work or throw a burrito across the front line, again expect termination paperwork in your near future. Unfortunately, the argument that only the minimum wage employees are the thieves is not really valid either. Managers in our industry are commonly promoted when a shift manager happens to be at work when the area manager comes in to fire the general manager. I've seen managers "borrow" money from the safe to buy drugs and sell them during the shift and then "repay" the petty cash and pocket the rest. There is very little accountability for a lot of managers out there. A lot of these problems are because it is such a hustle to get out of work. Area managers are responsible for ten or more restaurants covering a span of miles or states even and are expected to keep the general managers in check? The general managers are working 50, 60, 70+ hours a week and if they see an opportunity to get out of work they jump at it. They show up late, leave early, etc. The point of this introduction is to illustrate the fact that hospitality industry has a high turn over for a couple reasons, but it basically boils down to a bad work environment. Good employees leave because the bad ones are allowed (almost encouraged) to carry on with their behavior. Bad managers run good employees off when they feel threatened. The saying that "people don't quit jobs, they quit managers" is true. Everything rolls down from the top. Bad area managers lead to bad general managers which in turn allows for a bad staff. So, what happens as a GREAT manager when you find yourself muscled out of a job because of a bad boss? You might find yourself in this situation if you are taking the time to read blogs about being a restaurant manager. Good managers try to improve situations and don't feed the fire of workplace drama. Here's what I suggest you do: - Get references from your employer while you are still employed and while you are still on good terms. After assisting heavily with the closing of a location I asked my area manager for a letter of recommendation that explained that I was performing additional duties and explained that I saw it as an accomplishment. I wasn't even looking for a job at the time. Get good references when you can before it is too late. - Keep in contact with former bosses. It doesn't hurt to check in occasionally. Use networking sites like LinkedIn if you are so inclined. It's good to avoid burning bridges. - Keep in contact with former employees. In the restaurant world you see a lot of different people coming and going. While you may have a cook working for you now to put himself through college, who knows where he will be in a few years once he is graduated. - Keep your resume up to date and relevant. Don't list the six months of construction work you did while you were between jobs as relevant work experience. If you struggle with writing a resume or knowing how to present one, you can get all kinds of help online from various websites or contact me (zwetschgen1@gmail.com) and I am willing to help you! If the writing is on the wall and you already know you are not going to keep this job long term, the best time to find a job is when you have a job. Start the job search today. Craigslist.org, Indeed.com, ZipRecruiter.com, Monster.com , SnagAJob.com, and the list goes on and on! Once you've been terminated - assuming it wasn't for drugs or a legitimate offense - file for unemployment or you may forfeit your benefits if you wait too long. As a great manager you may think you will bounce right back, but as you already know things don't always go according to plan. You need to be prepared to be searching for a job for the long haul. I know you came from a decent position and just made a bad choice or got a new manager that just didn't like you, but don't be too proud to take a couple lower paying gigs to get by until your big break. Take some time and look into selling some junk, picking up a side hustle, or even blogging! There's lots of options out there. Keep your chin up and work through it. Keep busy, keep improving your skill set. Don't stop working at improving yourself and providing value. Set a schedule, maybe something like this: 8: Wake up and prepare for the day, shower, shave, breakfast, etc. 9: Check e-mails for interview requests, scan the websites, check the local paper, get in contact with your network. Keep track of the places you applied. 12: Lunch! 1: Do something productive you've been putting off because of work - cleaning, etc. 2: Check for late posted job openings between 2-4 p.m. as this is when many restaurants slow down. It wouldn't hurt to start driving around and inquiring in person at various locations. 5: Dinner! 6: Relax, movie, workout, etc. Obviously this will change when you get an interview or something similar! That's the important thing. You might have a late night side gig playing drums in your band or you may end up working through the morning at a side construction job doing manual labor, how ever it works out keeping a schedule and being productive is essential if you don't want to sleep half the day away and then bum the rest of the day sitting on the sofa!

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