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OCCUPATION: WAITER

For The Times

Name: Eduardo M. Cruz Company: The Catch Restaurant, Anaheim Thumbs up: “Being a full-time college student, I don’t have much time apart from studying and attending classes to devote to a part-time job that would pay less per hour than this job. There aren’t too many jobs that have the money-earning potential as does this one. The amount of money I earn for the few hours I put in and the flexibility to work around my school schedule are definite benefits. Also, this restaurant has a good supporting cast, from top management to the bus boys, that makes it an enjoyable work environment.” Thumbs down: “Although this job has its advantages, it also has its drawbacks, like when I approach a table and the guests do not even acknowledge my presence. I feel this is extremely rude because what they are trying to say by that action is that I’m not worthy of being recognized. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen often.” Next step: “I’m working toward my master’s degree in physical therapy, which I hope to receive within the next three years. Then, it’s time for a career change.” Advice: “Anyone can take a food order and receive a tip, but your attitude, personality and professionalism determine whether you get a meager tip or an excellent one. Sometimes the stress of the job can be overwhelming, but you have to remember to be smooth and cool like drawn butter on a sheet of ice.” Salary range: In Orange County, food servers at most restaurants earn between $8 and $18 per hour, including tips. Hours: Full- and part-time positions available, depending on the restaurant’s hours of operation. Most waiters and waitresses work part time, about 27 hours per week. Educational and training requirements: Strong customer service skills, ability to speak English and to follow oral and written instructions, willingness to meet employer grooming standards and ability to work under pressure and stand for prolonged periods. Also, communications skills and ability to write legibly and perform basic math computations are desired. Size of work force: Very large. In Orange County, 21,360 to 25,860 or about 2% of the work force, work as food servers. Expected demand: Finding experienced and inexperienced applicants who meet employers’ hiring standards is fairly easy. Large turnover rate because there are many college students who work as food servers while attending school. Job description: Waiters and waitresses take food and beverage orders from patrons at tables, serve them and make out the check. Duties may include setting tables and taking payment. Advancement: Promotional opportunities include managerial, training, inventory control and office work. For more information: Call or visit the job service window at any office of the state Employment Development Department. In Orange County, the offices are at 900 E. Pacifico Ave., Anaheim, (714) 978-7421; 233 E. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 680-7800; and 1001 S. Grand Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 558-4294.


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