The Compass Blog

Dig in to Food & Beverage Jobs

Kathi Noaker

Have you ever considered a job in Food and Beverage? Here are 5 reasons you might want to consider a F&B job:

  1. More daytime hours for fun – Most F&B jobs, whether at the Front of the House: Hostess, Busser, Waitstaff, Restaurant Manager, Bartender, Barista – or Back of the House: Chef, Sous Chef, Line Cook, Baker, Prep Cook, Dishwasher, you’ll generally work either a breakfast/lunch shift or a lunch/dinner shift. This gives you either your mornings or your afternoons off to explore the amazing places you’re living. Some employers will schedule you an early shift before your days off, and then a late shift after, so you have padded weekend time, too!
  2. Fast-paced, multi-tasking environment – If keeping on the move and multi-tasking gives you a buzz, F&B jobs are all about that, whether you’re front or back of the house. Restaurants in tourist destinations are often really busy, so from the time breakfast opens till dinner closes, you’ll be turning tables in the front or serving up food in the back. Everything happens fast, which keeps things exciting, engaging, and interesting to say the least.
  3. Camaraderie – In all my experiences working F&B jobs – and I’ve done both front and back of the house – one of the things I loved the most was the camaraderie with my coworkers. It was always a lot of fun because you get in that high paced energy and it feeds on itself. There’s always lots of joking around and you have each others’ backs because it’s a full-on team sport. And when you plate up or serve that perfect meal, and the guests are happy, that’s just a great feeling. What a simple pleasure to bring joy to others, right? And you get to do it in your work. Even better!
  4. Learn new skills – Never worked in a restaurant but want to give it a try? Get a job as a busser in the dining room or a dishwasher or prep cook in the kitchen. Pay attention, follow the lead of your more experienced teammates, and as the season progresses, and workforce attrition happens, you’ll likely have the opportunity to move up the ladder. That’s one of the great things about seasonal jobs – they give you the opportunity to learn new skills, and take on new positions, often in just one season. I have friends who started as a dishwasher and are now chefs, and ones who started as servers and became Food & Beverage Managers. It’s all possible!
  5. Last, but certainly not least: yep, the money – One word: tips. If you work as a bartender or server, the tips can be plentiful. At some places VERY plentiful. Busy restaurants mean lots of table turns and lots of bar customers. High-end restaurants mean bigger ticket prices. This all leads to the potential for healthy tip pools. Of course, you’ll want to tip your bussers and back of the house teammates generously because without them cleaning your tables, making delicious meals and washing the dishes, your guests wouldn’t be very happy or prone to tip as much, but there’s usually plenty to go around. And that way, it’s a win/win for everyone – just as it should be.  

“If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.” 

–  Anthony Bourdain, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook

Featured Employers

Check out these employers with great F&B opportunities for the summer season ahead. Click on each to learn more about their company, their unique location, and their available positions. 

“To anyone who is scared of taking that leap out of their comfort zone to apply for a job somewhere new, I get it. I was there. I promise you will find new parts of yourself you never thought were inside of you, friends that will keep you laughing all year long, and a magical place that you can’t help but think about every day. So leap! Apply for the job! Buy the crazy long bus ticket! Live with strangers! Explore a new place! The only thing you’ll regret is not doing so sooner.” 

Read Paige’s story about her summers spent waiting tables on Mackinac Island