Working for a family restaurant can be an incredibly rewarding experience – especially if you’ve spent your career under the thumb of the big chains and need a fresh start.
But what are the benefits of making the switch?
Here are seven reasons to get you motivated:
National restaurant chains can feel like faceless entities, with locations managed by people who have no stake in the success of the business and little say in the way procedures and policies affect staff.
On the other hand, a family-run restaurant is likely to be stewarded by people who are committed to making sure the business succeeds, regardless of their position or paygrade.
We’re all individuals, but you won’t always get treated like one while working for a mainstream restaurant. Often, you’re nothing more than a number on a spreadsheet (as unpalatable as that might sound).
Bosses at family-run venues are usually a lot more interested in getting to know staff and making sure they’re happy in their roles, which is a big bonus.
If a family decides to open a restaurant, they usually understand the need to balance work and home life.
They should also understand the same applies to employees. So, rather than being forced into a rigid working structure, you’ll be able to fit your job around other commitments without fear of being given the boot.
Doing the same job day after day can get a little tiresome, but in a family run restaurant there will be a lot more flexibility in your role.
You could be waiting tables one night, handling commis chef duties the next, then working front of house to greet guests at the weekend.
Variety is the spice of life and it’s definitely a feature of working in this type of eatery.
Big chains expect to get through employees quickly, with the churn rate making job security hard to come by.
In a family restaurant, things should be much more stable. So, for long term employment with no nasty surprises, this is a good route to take.
You probably don’t want to spend your whole life on the bottom rung of the ladder in the restaurant industry, but with so much competition for jobs, making the climb can be very difficult.
Family restaurants don’t necessarily offer better career progression than the chains, but people who run independent restaurants are usually part of a wider community.
That means if you play your cards right, it’s much easier to get recommended elsewhere; you can therefore progress your career with the help of the bosses who have come to know and respect your work ethic.
Unless everyone is pulling their weight, a restaurant can struggle to deliver a consistent experience for diners (or fall apart at the seams entirely).
Family restaurants put the emphasis on working together to achieve a collective goal. So, rather than being ignored if you need help, or sidelined if you have a good idea, you will be listened to and assisted by the people around you in an organisation that’s run with passion.
If you feel like you’ve reached the end of the road working for restaurant chains, we hope at least one of the reasons above will tempt you to explore the delights of the independent restaurant industry. It’s one hell of a place to work!