If you’re a student in search of a job that will let you start earning an income quickly, chances are you’ve considered applying at a local restaurant. After all, establishments in the hospitality industry frequently hire younger workers and there are always positions opening up. When it comes to student-friendly jobs in the restaurant industry, two jobs in particular provide the opportunity for students to make a decent living in a sociable environment – bartending and waitressing. If you’re having trouble deciding which would be right for you, here’s a categorised comparison you can use to make a more informed decision.
At most restaurants, the server staff is much larger than the bartending staff, and in many restaurants, there are only 1-4 bartenders on the schedule at any given time. This means that you’re almost always going to find more openings in the server position than in the bartending position. For this reason, if you were to try to find temping jobs in London from StaffHeroes.co.uk or any other major job search site, you’d notice that bartender openings are generally much less common than waitress openings.
Ease of Getting Hired
The fact that there are less bartending jobs available makes the position more competitive, so you’ll have to have a better CV or interview than a lot of other candidates if you want to get hired. Furthermore, the skills involved in bartending are more complicated than those needed to be a waitress, as you’ll need to learn how to mix and handle an entire catalog of special drinks. Although waitresses will also need to memorise the menu and carry large trays, the degree of difficulty and expertise required to perform the job is still significantly higher for bartenders.
The average income of a waitress and a bartender can be very similar, but bartenders can make much more per shift if they’re working at a busy bar. However, if the bar is only busy on weekends or the bartender has to share tips with other bartenders, then they may wind up making less than the waitresses. Bartenders usually earn the most during the weekends, but on weekdays waitresses can earn more. Ultimately, bartending offers a higher maximum income, but waitressing provides more steady and stable earnings throughout the week at most restaurants.
As a waitress, you’ll be responsible for more tasks than a bartender, but the level of responsibility is greater at the bar because alcohol is involved. Of course, the temptation to drink after work can become problematic for some students if it interferes with sleep and study time, so that’s certainly a factor to consider if you’re prone to drinking. Waitressing also carries a great deal of responsibility financially and in relation to the safety of restaurant patrons, as servers have to carry their own bank and deliver hot food to the table without spilling it on someone.
It Depends on Your Location and Personality
In the end, your decision should be based on the job openings available to you, your experience, and your personality type. Students who aren’t confident in their ability to resist peer pressure should avoid bartending positions because being in the centre of so much drinking fun can be quite tempting. On the other hand, if you’re prepared to take drink mixing classes and believe you have what it takes to get hired as a bartender, that may be the best option in terms of earning the highest possible income as a student working in the food industry.
Consider Other Restaurant Positions
In closing, if you’re unable to land a waitressing or bartending job, you may want to consider filling another entry-level role in the restaurant (i.e. – kitchen assistant or dishwasher) just to get your foot in the door before advancing to your desired position.