Serious inquiry: Where are the former Service Industry/Waitstaff workers?
By - wunderlight
My SIL was given the option of come back or be unemployed. She had a first grader who was remote learning so the choice was made for her. Her and my brother made it work and after a year+ they are happy with their current situation. At least well enough that she won't just go back to another shit job with low wages just for a paycheck.
Oh yeah, childcare is horrendously expensive across the country.
Yup. Currently paying $1,650/mo for one kid.
My FIL owns a restaurant. He pays his Kitchen staff like 20+ an hour because that is the only way to keep people. Not only does the job suck but it's been much busier since Covid. It's like if you managed to stay open you're just slammed all the time because so many places are closed. So now instead of having a job where you had "rushes" at dinner and prime eating times, your entire shift is under rush like conditions. Then combine that with the general labor shortage. This makes the job just that much shittier.
I also think employers that were good to their employees before Covid are reaping rewards. Shitty employers tend to have a lot of turnover and just "paying more" doesn't make somewhere a good place to work.
Your FIL could probably get a CNN piece fawning over him for solving the labor shortage by, get this, not expecting the government to solve his problems and acting according to the most elementary rules of supply and demand.
This whole “they don’t wanna work” psyop has really shown how laughable it is that the owner class got their riches through any meritocracy. A fucking 16 year old could tell you how to staff a service job right now, but these fucking boomers don’t have two brain cells to rub together because of all the lead poisoning and drug abuse.
My husband was a cook of nearly 30 years.. Got out right before Covid and is now going into training to be a machinist and will be making almost twice as much as he was as a corporate chef.
Good for him! Machining is great!
Got couple of questions for machinists around there:
How much is paid per hour?
How hard it is to find a job in field?
And last question: is in posible to get straight to working after education in Europe in this field, or i need to take some courses in states?
Entry level machinists make ~18-24hr depending on the shop. (Not just button pushers.)
It’s fairly easy to get a job.
If your country is anything like it is here, it should be incredible easy to get a job after attending an accredited machining/CNC program.
My question for you is why are you asking these questions on a very niche subreddit for a small state in a country that isn’t even on your continent? No problem here, but just seems odd. Good luck on your machining journey. Can be a great career, but expect some pretty difficult people to deal with and a very high stress/pressure environment. Try to get in with a smaller shop so you can wear lots of hats and get more experiences in less time.
I want to live in US , in a small state with similar climate as mine, and somewhat close to sea and some small mountains
Well, N.H. *is* the place to come to if that is the appeal.. Also, we have good water in the north country.
Ah gotcha! Well if you do come, there are tons of small (and a few larger) machine shops and machining schools nearby that you could go to. Good luck!
And I may have misread your question regarding education. If you took courses in Europe and maybe got a little on the job experience, you should have no problem getting a job here. It’s not like some white collar office jobs that require a 4 year degree. If you can get the work done, can read prints and check your own parts before giving them to QC/QA, you’ll have no problem. The language barrier shouldn’t be an issue either since there are many machinists who’s first language is not English (although just from seeing you write, it seems like it may be or you’re more than proficient enough).
One thing you can do in the mean time is to start learning GD&T and print reading. As far as imperial vs metric goes, you’ll need to learn and get comfortable with both. Even many American companies and some ITAR/military prints use metric. Just multiply/divide by 25.4 and you’ll be fine.
You wouldn't happen to be from Poland or Ukraine, would you?
Tak panie wojtku
My Ukie wife likes it here as well since the weather is fairly similar.
And Maine is great if you want exactly that but with the freedom to puff the herb
You're not going to find an employer willing to sponsor a visa for machinist jobs. Your option is either having a spouse with permanent residency/citizenship in the US or the green card lottery. Otherwise, stop dreaming about it, sorry but it's the hard reality.
Source: Am immigrant
Can you breathe, take measurements and not crash a machine? You won't have to retake classes then more than likely.
I figure it's about 25 an hour here in NH for moderately experienced machinist.
Thanks for dead serious response
Hope you don't think it is sarcasm. I contract with a few machine shops in the area and have done a bit of it myself so I know a little bit about it.
The field is rather large and it is growing more after a bit of a downtrend in the 90s. Lots of cool industry up here in NH and there is some fairly good mobility.
Thank you, glad to know
You will love dealing with feet, inches, fractional inches, gauge, screw numbers, drill letters and number, temperature, weights as well as everything in metric. (It should all be metric as the world has decided)
And my favorite.... The machinests at my place do most work in "thou". Thousands of an inch.....any time I need to talk to them I make sure to say milli-inches
Ah, you know us. One of what?, three countries on the planet not metric
I was doing 70 hours a week, 6 days a week for Salary as a manager in a restaurant. I was making less than I'd have made working 40 hours at McDonald's and 30 Hours at Burger King for Minimum wage in my state.
The Stress gave me a fucking skunk streak of gray hair.
I was thrilled to be laid off. It was the first time in 20+ years I had a real vacation where I didn't have to worry about money.
I found a great job in Shipping making *more* an hour than I did as a manager with much better hours, in a company that feels like they actually half give a shit that I'm there.
Where did people go?
They realized, like I did, that these businesses were toxic and profiting off of our suffering. They found literally any other job and won't ever come back.
That’s awesome! Congrats on the new job. This whole couple years feels like what I’m calling a silent labor revolution. People aren’t doing huge walkouts or striking, for the most part, but hopefully these lecherous corporations that exploit people as a general policy are getting the message.
It's not even huge corporations doing it all the time. Being a faceless cog was preferable to some of the small, "we're family" businesses that abuse employees worse.
They all got better jobs. Nobody wants to work in a hot kitchen making $7.25 an hour where as target starts you at $15 and has AC.
Why would you?
ETA: I just read this whole thread and I think everyone (mostly) agrees here that food service is shitty and as soon as they could get out, they did.
And I am happy for them!
Yeah, I wonder why people would think most of these workers were jist sitting arpund waitinf to go back to shitty jobs instead of finding something better. Usually it's hard to job hunt when you're busy working all the time but covid forced a lot of these people into time off and the aid didn't exactly show up instantly either. If they had bills to pay it only makes sense that they moved on.
Yah, I think it has something to do with how some people feel about lower wage workers and support staff. Like they don’t deserve it. And almost angry that they’re not falling in line?
It’s all sorts of confusing to me. I’m glad we are seeing a change and a sort of labor movement.
Maybe, but to steelman it, it’s hardly limited to food service. I’ve never seen anything like this - signing bonuses at convenience stores as high as $1,000, Home Depot taking walk-in interviews, hiring signs in like 7/10 businesses...people are right to wonder.
I wish I had this market when I was younger. Instead we begrudgingly took busboy jobs and were told, “Yeah life is hard, get used to it.” I also welcome a change, but I’m curious about the longer term implications for food service as a business model, it’s a miracle that it’s even a thing, relying half on undocumented labor much of the time just to exist at all.
I actually loved being a barista back when I did it, but even with the best tipped shift it maxed out at about $20 an hour after tax. It sure is fun if you have good managers though.
I mean I used to love being a barista and a bartender. But also I fucking hated it and I could never go back.
Bartending was a love/hate relationship.
I think people will be surprised how fast many of the former service workers go back to similar jobs in a few months.
It’s easy for them to quit right now.
My cousin worked at Wendy’s. Wife’s sister was a line cook at a 99
Both of them quit in the last 6- 8 weeks because between the stimulus for themselves and their kids I’m guessing each got at least 15k of not more which is about what my cousin made working part time and about 2/3rds of what my wife’s sister made
It gets better for them though. Because of COVID something called CAP had programs to pay your rent and utilities if you were affected by COVID and then they started a new program to cover up to 15 months of rent and electric.
Cousins whole electric bill - $1,700 got wiped out and his rent paid in full until November 1st.
Wife’s sister didn’t tell us how much they covered for her, but did say that she doesn’t have to worry about rent this winter and then says it will be time for her tax refund which is usually around 7k
What better jobs so you think these cooks, dishwashers, etc flocked to? I’m not Saying part of the workforce didn’t have degrees or skills to move into a different field , but people that are working in the service industry for extended period of time usually do so because they don’t have specialized skills or degrees to move on from the manual labor or entry type positions.
Shit, and I completely forgot about the $750 a month for the child tax credit my cousin is getting - sister in law has 4 kids so unless there is some sort of cap, she is prob getting $1000 a month direct deposited.
Why would they work? Rent is paid, utilities paid, they both qualified for snap before all this , but my cousin said that he gets almost $1,000 a month for food because it was increased.
Kids going back to school soon with a stocked fridge, rent paid in advance, cash being direct deposited and big tax refunds right around the corner.
Pretty good gig if you can get it, I guess. By the time it’s all over - add up all the stimulus money, the past and future rent paid, the utilities paid in full, the child tax credits and increase in other benefits like SNAP and my cousin who prob with his wife made 30k a year will prob end up with around 75k this year.
For a lot of these people it’s going to be an extended vacation until the programs dry up which won’t be for a while.
I’m not complaining. They worked hard for their money. Some time off to do fun shit and extra money to do some cool things with the kids will be good for them. They don’t have much to worry about for the rest of the year.
I only posted this because it seems the accepted narrative is all these service industry employees decided to go into tech, healthcare or some other high paying job sector. When did all those jobs get added or what happened to the people who used to have those jobs?
Maybe these 2 people I know are the only ones, but if you like math, grab a sheet of paper and do some.
Edit - I forgot to include the $600 per week in federal unemployment collected for a few months after the state locked down.
They qualified because they had children who were forced into remote learning.
Probably another 10k
Like I said, sweet gig if you can get it.
*cries in never got fired, never got benefits*
BTW the CAP program is federally funded. It’s targeted as a benefit for low-income people but really they should have done away with the feel-good aspect and given the money right to the landlords and utilities to pay for bad debt. That’s where it’s going anyway and they’d have saved some admin costs.
But overall, it’s a good thing. Utility debt would have ended up on your bill and landlords would have lost their buildings in droves, because lots of people would never catch up.
Ummmm, Target is not a high paying tech job. I’m saying why would they go back to terrible kitchens when they can work at Target, or Amazon for 2x what they were being paid before?
Exactly. Walmart in Seabrook has had a sign up all summer looking for overnight stock people, $19/hr. Air conditioned AND you don't have to deal with customers.
Most southern nh fast food jobs offer 15$ starting too.
The restaurant industry needs to shape up or go out of buisness
Recruiter here. In my experience, many of them have found higher paying jobs in manufacturing and logistics. Nobody wants to be a $12 / hour line cook or dishwasher when there's entry level manufacturing paying $18 - $20.
I run a company that is food service adjacent. Restaurants did what they had to do, I guess, when the pandemic started and let their staffs go. This sent the message loud and clear to their workers that they were not looking out for them. It was also incredibly short sighted because even when this all began we knew it would end someday, and now you don’t have anyone fully trained to work.
Several of the bars and restaurants that are thriving right now include a brewery that pivoted hard into home delivery and retrained their bar and wait staff to handle orders and distribution. And a cafe in Nashua whose owner just straight up kept her staff intact, kept paying them and went into hard bakery and food prep training exercises that they could do at home so that when things reopened they’d be even better. This last example did involve the owner going into the red pretty far which I know not everyone can do, but she has more than made it back now. When Nashua reopened she was ready to rock and roll while other places were trying to get and train staff.
I work in the food industry and the company I’ve been working for for a little under a year furloughed or got rid of a ton of staff and now they are scrambling to hire and train workers with big signing bonuses, can’t meet demand and are losing business. I keep thinking the same thing- people are always going to need food and you’re always going to need trained employees- so short sighted!!
Which cafe in Nashua? I’d love to go there
I’m leery of doxxing myself or any person or business on here. But it’s a very popular spot on Main St. known for its Greek pastries.
I love that place!!!
Menu looks good. I will ask others if they'd like to get lunch there today.
Their spanakopita is out of this world.
I was a chef and went the stay at home dad route during the first 10 months of the pandemic. Then when I felt the need to get the hell out of the house and off unemployment in December 2020, I snaged a job as an equipment operator. I run excavators in the summer and fall, and run a snowcat in the winter and spring. Making twice what I was in the kitchen, I have more quality time with my family and I'm much happier with everyday life now. Best thing I ever did for my family was leave that shit industry.
Fantastic. Congrats! Also, driving a snowcat sounds fun.
Thanks, honestly it is amazing. I have been a ski bum my enitre life, thats why I cooked. I got to ski all day before work. Now I get to operate a $500k machine in the national forest all night, catch unbelievable sunrises and then go ski the snow I worked all night. It is the closest thing to flying the millennium falcon I think I will ever get, especially the nights I have my pooch riding shotgun!
ngl sounds awesome
I left the industry because it was shit and other places are desperate for workers so why go back to the hell hole that is food service when i can get better pay and working conditions? A lot of my friends who were also food industry and retail have followed suit. It’s so funny how all the older people told us to get real jobs and careers and we did and now they are losing their shit lmao.
That's because their whole shtick has been treating people in the service industry like garbage to make up for their inadequacy and miserable existences.
They're pissed their punching bag walked away.
Bingo. I love how others are commenting maybe we just recoiled into the shadows and are living off one income, the income of a SO I guess. Like we're all stupid piece of shit vagabonds that can't hold a regular job.
Fuck off already. By and large the bar and restaurant industry are staffed with people with college degrees, they chose to work in the bar and restaurant industry because once upon a time it was fun and lucrative.
It's definitely no longer fun and the money isn't as good as it used to be. This isn't all that hard to understand.
Anyone who claims you're a worthless bum for being a cook is probably also someone who's never had to work 60 hours a week including most holidays just to make rent barely with 3 roommates.
It seems like the real answer to where all the workers went is they retired because they didn't want to die of covid. Then the underpaid service industry workers moved into the holes they left behind.
Among people I know, many worked in the industry for a couple of years after getting degrees, either full time until they got another job or part time before kids to help pay loans, have extra money, whatever, and it seemed like there was always a fresh supply of new grads and students
Looks to me like class of 2020 didn’t show up because they couldn’t and class of 2021 didn’t show up because they didn’t have to.
Idk why they're even complaining? What is this getting in the way of if you're not a business owner?
Went to an IHOP with my grandfather. Clearly understaffed. Bitched about a 10 min wait to be seated because there were clearly empty tables. Bitched about the wait for food. Etc. Seeing a lot of complaints in a local FB group. Why is this restaurant closed early, why is this one drive thru only, etc, etc… because no one wants to work these shitty jobs. Then like OP mentioned, the comments start complaining about lazy people and unemployment. They can’t fathom why people might not want to work these jobs and deal with, well, people like them.
The best part about old people complaining about unemployment is that the unemployment rate has only gone up .3%. People are still employed just not at jobs that aren’t worth working
Also we've drastically cut back on immigration over the last 12 years. When I left food service about 17 years ago, wages were stagnant because immigrant labor created a surplus. That no longer exists. The people complaining about shitty service and not wanting to pay higher bills to support higher wages are the same people who hate immigration. Isn't it ironic?
Every placed is understaffed so it takes longer to get the "Haves" their overpriced steaks and martinis. And then when its inevitably a shitty experience they get pissy and have no one to really be shitty/spoiled to because the ones that are left might just walk out mid-shift. So they come onto social websites to cry about how unfair it is.
Pay fair wages and stop treating us like shit. Then we'll talk.
But…Who will Karen terrorize at IHOP after church!?
For the people I know, they couldn’t make enough at the restaurants they used to work at due to reduced hours and seats and went to other industries. Just anecdotal but there you go.
This is what I expect. The restrictions and noticeable worries over COVID went on for a full year. People couldn’t just sit on their asses, they had to find work and probably found more comfort in predictable pay and hours.
We had to send them to a farm upstate, where they can live out the rest of their lives running around in a big field together with other service industry workers. No, we can't go visit the farm this weekend, maybe some other time.
But seriously, my assumption was people getting tossed out of their service worker jobs, like the restaurant industry, made them re-think their careers while out on unemployment. I'm assuming they all re-entered the workforce in some other field that isn't going to get blasted the next time there's a covid spike. Changing jobs is scary, especially when you're paycheck to paycheck, but maybe this gave enough people enough leeway to escape.
"gave people enough leeway" is a very polite way to say "tossed them out with nothing but welfare checks"
Take my poor person's gold, aka my upvote, for the "farm upstate" comment.
Not my main job anymore, but I had waitressed on weekends & holiday since I moved up here full time about 5 years ago. Been in the biz my whole life up to about a year & a half ago.
The main reason I stopped in Spring of 2020 was I could not risk my 96 year old grandmother, the deal breaker was a customer thinking they were being funny by telling me they hoped I did not serve a side of my Kung-Flu with their wine. (I'm half Chinese) There were several comments like this in general from customers at work and when they saw me out- like at the gas station. This was on top of the fact that I have never dealt with customers as rude, demanding, and generally awfully as I have here. (& I was a cocktail waitress at a Strip Club and worked in Vegas for a while on Fremont.) And I would like to say the most nasty ones were tourist, sometimes they are, but I'm not really in a tourist area. (Lake Winni is a few towns away & a 20+ min drive) It's the locals who are the worst; most demanding, condescending, cheap, & bad tippers. I will say they are a small minority as generally the majority are good "normal" customers. But get 2 or 3 of the bad ones on a shift and they really stick out in your memory when you are counting your tips up at end of shift on a Friday nite. I will also point out that the breakfast shifts & "church" folk are the worse for these bad behaviours. The only places I have worked where it was almost as bad was in Orlando/Disney & Lake Tahoe.
I miss the industry, as I'm always fond of regulars- especially the older folks who's spouses have died or kids are not local and just want someone to chat with, I like the "rhythm" of a ball to wall busy shift, & even miss the sexual harassments, but I don't think I will go back to waitressing. It's not worth the hassle, low moral, and bad feet. And from what I have seen 1st hand when we go out to eat, or even pick up take away, it's not getting any better. (Saw a really nasty episode at the 99 in Concord 2 weeks ago. The manager had to threaten to call the cops to get the lady & her kids to leave. Another last nite as the Tilton Dinner involving a whole family.)
Yup left the kitchens during the pandemic. It was just too much, it fucking broke me. As the chef, I was the only one in the kitchen trying to do a to-go program because ownership laid everyone else off. Then it was constantly opening or closing when we were allowed guests again, constantly switching our business model to try and capture as many guests as safely was allowed. It was impossible to schedule anyone at that point because every other day someone was exposed. I understood that the business needed to survive, but it started to really affect me, because I felt truly in the middle of a shit situation. I had owners pressuring me to keep things open and make as much money as possible by any means necessary, and then I had my team that I felt I was jeopardizing by bringing into work. And if I wasnt jeopardizing them by bringing them in, then I was doing it by taking money away from them. So it always came back on me, and I sacrificed myself for everyone else's benefit.
It's neither here nor there where you stand politically, but the restaurant industry was absolutely raw dog'd during this. 0 support, 0 guidance, except that if someone was exposed they are out for two weeks.
I know of a bunch of my cooks that got laid off took that time and the unemployment to learn new skills. It's pretty remarkable how good you can make a resume look talking about kitchen skills. With a little work and vocabulary, I can sound like quite the candidate. Some I know took some coding boot camps and started their way into that industry. Some left for the trades. Essentially most found better jobs. I know some that used to work 2-3 jobs, just always going from job A to B to C and back around the next day. They never had the time to create a resume, go to multiple job interviews, or try to work on new skills. Being laid off was in some ways was a great thing for these specific people, because it really allowed them to find something better.
Like I said it just broke me. I love cooking, and I love being artistic, and I really wanted to open a restaurant in NH. But honestly I'm totally cool with it for now. I used to take pride in working 60-70 hrs a week for no pay. And now I just find it sad. Im working for my parents company now, and I wish I had joined their company from the get go. It's pretty amazing having nights and weekends off. My health is better than it's ever been, and my mental health is better than its ever been, oh ya and im getting paid more than ive ever been.
If you've never been in the industry, you'll never know what its like. It can be an adrenaline fueled chaotically great time. But more often than not it is a ton of work, that never ends, and ever second counts. You are putting on a show every night, and it's curtains up once you unlock the door. I don't think your average person just has any sort of reference for that. There's such a focus on "the biggest plate of food for the smallest amount of money." And I especially feel that is true in NH. It feels like a lack of appreciation for the work and time and effort on any given dish. Why should I kill myself to make something that I am proud of if you are just gonna ask me for fucking chicken tenders. I think that's why there's a big lack in the culinary scene in NH, the market doesn't give a fuck. They want applebees and 99 and budlight. But that's my personal opinion.
So ya I'm glad to be out of the industry. I could totally see myself building out a little food truck or food trailer in the future, and do weekend stuff for all the breweries around or farmers markets and such. That way it's just me, it's just for fun, and it's just about the food.
>They want applebees and 99 and budlight.
I loved this part
>Why should I kill myself to make something that I am proud of if you are just gonna ask me for fucking chicken tenders. I think that's why there's a big lack in the culinary scene in NH, the market doesn't give a fuck. They want applebees and 99 and budlight. But that's my personal opinion.
YES. This. People in NH seem to be the steak and potatoes and fried seafood type. Put something new and exciting in front of them and it's over man. "What is this shit?" "Can I just get something normal?" Blah blah blah. Fuuuuuuuuuck. My husband is the head chef at a restaurant here in NH and he gets beyond frustrated when working on the menu and at the lack of options and the blandness that is tolerated in this state. He's got 2 degrees in culinary arts and has been working in kitchens for half his life. Thankfully the restaurant he works at, the regulars expect the menu to change and for there to be a spin on "regular food", so he can get away with some playing around with ideas, but still.
The population is old. The state is hemorrhaging young'ins. Old folks don't like change, dagnabit. /s
Truth! I also live in a tourist area, so we get old people from other states too, which makes it harder. They come for the seafood and steaks and if anything else is available, it's not getting ordered.
I’m interested in this 👀👀 if you can drop a clue
I'll PM you!
> I think that's why there's a big lack in the culinary scene in NH, the market doesn't give a fuck. They want applebees and 99 and budlight.
LOL, agree with this sentiment 1000%. It's always in the back of my brain when I see posts asking for the best (insert cuisine) restaurant in (insert area/city) in NH.
I am about to leave the industry for almost identical reasons. Also, no one realizes that line cooks had the highest mortality rate among any profession during the pandemic; most people assume its health care workers.
Also keep in mind a lot of adults attending college from out of state primarily worked for restaurants and retail while in school who aren’t really coming back
And probably a few from out of the country, too. I have a friend who owns a seafood place on the Cape, and the work visas have been a nightmare to get for the last several years thanks largely to you know who.
Waited tables and bartended mostly full time 2019-2020. Got unemployment from when Covid closed things down until mid may 2020 (maybe 6-8 weeks?). Upon my return, I worked my ass off, understaffed with rude customers. The money was good to start, but then people stopped tipping better, etc due to the pandemic. I always prided myself on trying to go really hard to be that good server that people talk about, but it became exhausting.
I had several side hustles going that I was able to put more thought into while being on unemployment (side hustles closed down as well during that time). I was able to turn two of the side hustles into what is now my full time job. I work for me now, and so do two other people that I was able to hire.
Many service industry people have just found better work that is either more fulfilling to them, or pays better. One word I would never use to describe the folks I've worked with in the service industry is lazy. They work their asses off, they hustle. They're not chilling doing nothing.
Right! As a former service person, 'lazy' isn't a term I would use to describe the waitstaff. Thank you.
They moved to higher paying jobs with health insurance and paid time off
^ So much this.
Not me personally but my bosses son who never wanted anything to do with the company is now working for us after leaving the restaurant industry after 10+ years. Poor management and lack of listening to the employees needs is why he left a very popular brewery/restaurant in southern NH that he ran the kitchen in.
I read an article in the Laconia paper a month ago. It explored lakes region restaurants that are extremely short staffed and the problem they have had keeping workers.
One reason for lack of the seasonal workers is finding and being able to afford the rent. Most towns are running at a high occupancy rate and what is available is unaffordable.
Another reason I read is that some people left restaurant work completely because they got tired of being yelled at by customers.
I have 2 friends who used to love the tourist season here because of the tips, but they have both decided to do other odd jobs because it is less stressful
Rent keeps coming up. I didn’t initially link the 2 issues but it makes complete sense.
Not only unaffordable but near impossible to find a place at any price in some areas of the state.
I’m not savvy within Reddit to do a cross post, but in the sub called Late Stage Capitalism there’s a video taken in Crested Butte. It shows that the real estate has all been bought up by the wealthy. No one who works a service industry job can afford to live within a commutable distance. This clearly is just one of the many reasons folks are not going back to working at restaurants. Thank you for your post, this discussion really enlightened me as to how badly people were treated both by customers & owners ~ shameful to say the least.
I think your last one might be the answer for a chunk of it. Child care has a massive shortage too (not that it was great before), so for a lot of households, they just have to suck it up with one income.
Childcare pays absolute shit wages. They can barely get anyone, nevermind someone with a good education.
Agreed. I applied to a child care place a few years ago (just before the pandemic). I just wanted a job I would enjoy that would give me some fun money. I have a bachelor's in psychology and they wanted to pay 11 dollars an hour and keep me part time so they don't have to pay benefits. And they charge out the wazoo for specialized, fancy, "educational" child care. This was in Montana though, not NH. But still... WTH?
You perceive a larger percentage of service workers as having children than has been my experience.
It may not be the biggest reason, but it is A reason. I know a few folks in that boat right now. Either they can’t find childcare, or it would be so expensive all their income would go to it. So they’re stuck relying on the others in the households income.
I went from slinging pizzas to being the Operations Manager of an outpatient clinic. Thank you, medical staff shortage.
Bet you could still sling a good pizza, though. Congrats on the desk job!
Honestly, I miss it every day
Many of boomers I know took Covid as their reason to finally retire. 3 (with a fourth on the way) of the people I work with did that, all replaced with former food service industry people who were tired of that industry. I also know about 25 other boomers who retired this year, and I'm a millennial, so it's not like I know a ton of boomers. My guess is all the former food service people took better jobs, now that they were actually available.
You say you don’t want a general “they don’t want to work” but that’s kinda the case. I didn’t want to work for a shitty company paying a buck or two over minimum wage that expected me to bend over backwards for the promise of a 50c raise that was always a “few months away” or for a big corporation that doesn’t care about my mental health and overworked me. So I now have a job making around 17/hr still in customer service but with a company that understands my worth with my experience
Nobody wants to (or should) bend over backwards for shitty pay. But you ARE working so its not that you are 'lazy'. You are still working and for a better company. I hope you continue to be valued there or move on over to the next better company. I job hopped a LOT. Back when it wasn't cool. But each time I made sure to get more pay and a little more respect. Good luck!
Every server I've talked to in the past year says that while customers have often been obnoxious, the pandemic has turned many of us into raging self-entitled assholes who make their lives miserable - combine that with fear of getting sick (you get close to a ton of people when you're in the service industry) and no wonder so many have said Fuck It.
Part of the problem is us - we expect restaurant food to be so cheap that supporting enough well-paid staff is almost impossible for a business. If we want good service we need to pay a lot more - not in tips but in basic cost.
It's a few things, which is why it confuses so many people
Each of these are their own reason, but not mutually exclusive:
- These were mostly crap jobs and they were treated like crap. When they were fired they realized how crappy the jobs were and found new work
- They had a year to learn new skills, and are now using them
- They have children and remote learning so they have to stay at home with their kids.
- Remote work has exploded. You no longer need to live in a certain area to get a good job. This helps more rural states like New Hampshire that don't have the big companies of say Massachusetts or New York or California.
And I also realize having family and friends in the restaurant business that margins aren't that great. So even if a company wanted to pay a larger amount of money they may not be able to. I believe payroll counts for 30-40% of most restaurants budge.t
In case it hasn’t been mentioned, Sununu ended the $300 extra in federal unemployment $$ in NH (as in most Republican governed states) back on May 23rd, well before the program was scheduled to end on Sept. 6th. This also ended anyone’s ability to collect state benefits who was unemployed for a COVID related reason.
12 of the last 15 people I hired at the manufacturing facility I work at have been former restaurant workers. The most common reason I get for why they left was they wanted benefits, and were completely sick of dealing with all the entitled jerk customers and I don’t blame them one bit. There are so damn many jobs out there in almost any career you could want. Why would anyone want to work in the restaurant industry right now?
You all told and showed us that you don't think it's a real job and told and showed us we don't deserve any respect or benefits or anything really, so we all got different, "real" jobs. Treated us like shit for too long and now you're sad about the consequences. Get fucked. I have zero sympathy.
The amount of brilliant, college educated people in the bar and restaurant industry is astounding. You guys took all the money and fun out of it. Why should we go back and be treated like pee-ons when we have options?
This is my answer too.
Also have zero sympathy.
If you are at a restaurant that is short staffed, please don't be a dick and be patient. Leave a decent tip too, those who are working are slammed and overworked due to the shortage of staff.
35 years in the business and I was injured on the job just before covid. workmans compensation fucked me over hardcore and the place I worked took Huge amounts of government money and still laid off many. I choose not to work for an industry that will not have my back after my years of sacrifice.
there is not a labor shortage there is a wage shortage.
>there is not a labor shortage there is a wage shortage
>and a shortage of respect.
I live in a tourist area with a lot of service workers. There is a huge lack of child care issue right now (for example, my area only has 1 facility and they're struggling to hire more daycare teachers to keep up with the demand)....so many are unable to return to work because there are no options for childcare if you don't have a family member/friend who is available to watch your kid.
Some folks have also had to move out of the area because there are pretty much no rentals available.
I understand NH relies on a lot of people from other countries seasonal work. No one seems to talk about that. Many college age kids over seas come here in the summer. They filled a lot of jobs like maids in hotels, but that job got easier relatively speaking from food service and is being filled more with restaurants. It is a contributing problem.
I don’t know about elsewhere in the state, but in northern NH that’s not the case..locals fill the service industry jobs here.
My evidence is purely anecdotal to take it for what it is, but I’ve heard from a few people who have chosen that last item you listed, to ditch a shit job and make do with less.
I imagine with the constant threat of remote learning, families need to have one person able to stay home with the kids on the drop of a dime - might be easier just to not work.
Not easier, the value proposition on a job doesn't make sense.
I left the industry, I work in content writing now. Even prior to the pandemic I had never been so belittled by people as I was here. I worked in NH for 7 months and had never been treated so poorly and terribly, even after working for 7 years in Boston. I was all set not going back. NH people have a weird sense of entitlement when they go out that I've never seen anywhere else.
Did you have a background in writing?
A year or two! I have an English degree, which might explain how I ended up in the service industry.
I ask because I'm in school for an English degree ATM and I'm itchy to get out of customer service if possible. If you have time could I PM you a few questions about how you got started?
Paralegal is a great job for an English major too. Pays well and can be very interesting.
Do you need a bachelor's for it?
No and lots of places are hiring right now. You do need excellent writing and research skills. There are paralegal courses too.
I notice the entitlement too. From traveling to different parts of the country, I’ve noticed some people in NH can be oddly sensitive and quick to anger. There’s a lot of “it’s the principle of the thing” type of people.
“People in NH” might be more accurate than saying “NH people” considering more than half the customers are visitors. People on vacation do tend to act more entitled, so I can see this being the (unfortunate) case.
I didn't work in a touristy location, it was definitely locals. It was a bistro/"fine dining" place that absolutely fell short on the promise, with entrees very undeserving of their $30+ price tag that was nothing more than a microwaved plate of food.
Wait so your restaurant was serving overpriced garbage food to locals and their unhappy reactions were evidence of them being “entitled”? I’m confused now.
Eta: In any case, I’m glad you’ve found a job that makes you happier! Serving is an emotionally draining job and I’m always glad when people can get away from it.
The quality of the place is a good reason to decide not to eat there. It’s never a good reason to abuse the servers.
The waitress didn't cook it.
Or price it.
That never stops surprising me. There's a significant percentage of people think there's some sort of magic to positions. Its like doctor=genius, manual labor=idiot, artist=charity case, service worker=slave.
Makes no sense in my head
Well then that’s probably why you had unhappy customers. I waitressed here for 25 years, along with my mother, in a busy restaurant with great food, and the majority of customers were lovely.
Sad about entitled NH - Congrats on the content writing!
They got new jobs.
Good. This makes me happy.
We took the year to find better jobs and better opportunities. Before the pandemic I was doing food delivery 60 hours a week, now I make $50 an hour working from my computer.
I expect a lot of this is happening. Employers who were against WFH had to face a reality and accept it, and now there's no longer the same geographical restrictions on employment for white collar workers.
It's also worth mentioning that a lot of people died. I dont know NH's numbers, but on a national level, line cooks staff have had some of the highest mortality rates during COVID.
Oh man, I didn’t know this. Makes sense.
This needs to talked about more.
Yeah, so like this is an example of what I saw. Most job risk went up by 22%, but for cooks it went up by 60%. It's devastating, and the repercussions are sprawling
They moved into construction or other higher paying realms.
I got a different job during the pandemic and have no desire to go back.
Logistics/Transport industry grew massively during Covid. Those jobs pay better, have work from home options (sometimes) and also offer benefits such as insurance and paid time off. A lot of people left the industry to get full time jobs and aren't coming back.
I spent years in the service industry. Those jobs can be so intense and you're not well respected/paid for all the shit you have to deal with.
Worked in NH service for 4 years. Almost every employer overworked and underpaid me so I moved and am doing much better now. The job market in the NH food and service industry is brutal. No respect for the younger guys from the older guys and just constant tension at every job I held in the region. Moved to a different state and my life is much better now. Really unfortunate as I LOVE NH but I'll never live there to work again.
I'm in school to be a nurse using my GI Bill. I was a cook in a restaurant/bar/music venue and when covid hit I focused on that. when where i used to work opened back up I never got a call back about work. nothing, nada, not a damn thing. this is after 10 years of working there and the current manager being there for almost 5 years, who i considered a good friend, is now on her way to own the place by next spring. I'm not going back to a place that hasnt shown me loyalty, or any consideration to contact me at all when i can focus on bettering myself
Sorry. Loyalty isn’t a thing. When jobs were scarce, I had a boss cackle “where else will they go?” When he did shitty things. I hope he has no-one working for him now. Hoping you have/get a much better situation!
I live in the Mount Washington Valley, and have had tons of tourists ask me why places are closed and why is everyone being so lazy. Get back to work! Your ruining my vacation! they say. However, like these tourists never recognize the folks that live here, they have also failed to recognize that the staff at restaurants, theme parks, and other seasonal attractions have primarily been J1 Visa holders. Everyone in town is back to work. Hell, I've been putting customers on our spring masonry list since July!
So, in short, without a seasonal work force to pay minimum wage we now have a labor shortage
Well, for me - I left the state. I was a resident of the Lakes Region for my entire life but the damn housing prices in the state are ridiculous. I'm not even suggesting I needed a "living wage" but apartments are just too expensive in the area - especially if you don't want to live among heroin addicts (broadly speaking). So I picked up and moved - the apartment my sister and BIL are renting? Well, I get 200 more square feet for my apartment, a pool, gym membership, etc. for the same $1000. \*\*Plus\*\* I make more. Idk how any of you make it down there in the lower counties, the increase in housing alone (bubble or not) is ridiculous.
When I worked in kitchens, you saw a lot of people do it because it was what they knew - especially in the Lakes Region. When you consider a lot of the "culinary tastes" of the area were mostly "American Fare"/"Homestyle Cooking" (read: Sysco food reheated for the nightly elderly) you can understand why the food and wages were so cheap. That being said, I feel as though NH had a glut of restaurants that were rather low-quality and really made no effort to actually sell the experience of going out for a meal. There will always be greasy spoons, but how many pizza places and Homestyle Cooking joints do you need in town?
Going out to eat like most people did pre-pandemic (especially the elderly) was truly out of touch. No one should be getting most of their meals at a restaurant for $9/day. What I saw going back to the region was that the businesses who sold mid-tier foods did well - so like the places who make red-flannel hash in-house but nothing overly fancy. NH needs to innovate and focus on the experience and actual quality of going out to eat instead of being just a mess hall for the elderly. *Looking at you Soda Shoppe and Country Cook'n Restaurants*.
I just hired two gas fitting apprentices that where working in the food industry a few months ago. I pay them 3x what the we're making and they seem like they are going to excel in the trade.
Do you know of any places hiring HVAC apprentices? I finish school in the spring with an EPA and I’m working on my osha 10 as of now
Just about all the companies I know. Where are you located?
Seacoast, but I’m looking to move to Manchester/ Nashua area soon
I'm in the lakes region, so I can't speak for manch area. Before you move you should call companies out there and find someone hiring. Side note: don't break the bank on a fancy multimeter, spend good money on quality refer gauges instead. Good luck!
Idk about all of Nh but I work remote and we hired a bunch of people that used to work in service industry last spring thinking it would be a gap full job for them... but then the business boomed and they stayed as permanent employees. There’s a lot of that kind of opportunity available now and companies hiring nationally instead of locally.
I believe one reason is because our Governor refuses to increase minimum wage, and with less people dining out, waitstaff aren’t making enough money. Also, My DIL is a server, and said she is the ONLY server vaccinated. They do not limit patrons, and she is terrified of a breakthrough case because she got covid before the vaccines and had long haul covid.
We found other jobs. Here's my story. Pre pandemic i was a cook. I had been one for 18 years and I was complacent where i was. I had decent pay, okay insurance and 2 weeks of paid vacation but i had long passed the point where I needed more from a job. Then the pandemic happened. We all stopped working for three months. Though scary, i thought of it as a well deserved break (the unemployment was very nice). I got married and spent plenty of time with my wife in said time. Then my restaurant wanted me back. I reluctantly returned to work. It wasn't bad at first but it quickly got very annoying. Shitty customers, terrible orders, the hours weren't anywhere near as plentiful, insurance was going to be taken away if it remained slow, everyone but me removed their masks in the back often and covid scares were my biggest issues. I was done. I applied to the post office, waited for the very long hiring and vetting process to finish and haven't looked back since.
I’ve gotta tell you that 9 of the 10 still working those jobs are taking a beating and still kicking ass. Been on the road for two months and I’ve seen a lot of understaffed people. The folks still going to work those tables usually deserve medals.
NH customers need to start appreciating those who are showing up for these jobs for sure. I see people giving the overworked person shit because they had to wait a few extra minutes.
I have worked or helped out in the industry off and on for many years. My last job was in the industry and I was only working it because we needed money. I ended up leaving that job months before the lock down because my body decided that walking, standing, and lifting was for losers. Now I stay home with our daughter because it's cheaper than day care and thankfully, the new owner of the restaurant my husband works at actually pays him well so I can stay home with our daughter and not exacerbate my physical issues.
Most people we know that worked in the industry either finished their education and took other jobs, started using their degrees in their field, or started their own businesses. Why go back for shit pay and customer abuse when they can follow their passion?
The Daily did an interesting episode on this at the beginning of August. Worth a listen if you have 30 min:
We lost a third of our staff to other Covid proof jobs, CNAs and car sales mostly. I did notice a lot of our kitchen staff only work one job now, which is great for them. We now have to pay them a living wage, 15 here in Manch, where before it was closer to 10 and they all worked at least part-time somewhere else. We did lose a couple host/takeout to doordash driving, more consistent hours.
I worked at lui Luis on DW hwy for 2 years up until November of 2019. I got out juuuust in time, I have several friends that were still waiting tables when covid hit. Most of them have moved on because it's not only a dangerous job now cause of covid but for a long time it was taking a serious pay cut because of the restrictions. Luis was a good place to work but honestly the restaurants in NH in general are just lower in quality than MA and people don't tip as well. I would imagine anyone living on the border that wanted to stay in food service works south of the border.
I know at Hampton, they've been having trouble filling shifts because the students from Europe didn't come over this summer due to COVID
Service industry workers aren’t nearly paid enough to keep a job during a time where the conditions got worse. Most now are looking for alternative jobs.
Was out of work as a server/bartender for 3 months because of covid and as soon as I got back I knew it wasn't going to work. Now I've got a comfy sales gig and am much happier.
In summers past there used to be a lot of temporary foreign workers. But COVID and limits on visas put a swift end to that
Since the manufacturing sector of NH was basically left up and running during covid many people have moved into it. Or have thought about moving into it. I've been in injection molding for almost 20yrs and precovid job applicants were low now we have a much higher rate of people coming through the doors. Or at least it seems that way.
Some of them died from Covid. Some of them are permanently disabled from long Covid. You remember how they were on the front lines, behind all the retired Boomers for a vaccine dose? Turns out you expended some of your Human Resources. Speaking of Boomers, this deadly plague must’ve been the final straw for millions of them to finally fucking retire already and let some new blood take the reins. That means labor participation falls, and someone in a shit job moved up the ladder.
2020 was also a new record for deaths of despair, in a state that is second only to WV for those deaths nationwide. There’s another thousand or so people that should rightfully be working those jobs if our society wasn’t such a degenerate shithole that actively wishes those people would just hurry up and die already. God forbid we tried to help them get back on their feet with a social safety net. Plus, thousands more are incarcerated for a medical issue, where they are forced into penal slavery instead of wage slavery.
A lot of those jobs, especially the seasonal tourist ones, were filled by immigrants. Those visas have been MIA for over a year.
Some of them left the state. But not as many as you think. Contrary to popular belief, there aren’t that many places considerably cheaper than NH in the US, and moving is fucking expensive. Childcare is still completely FUBAR and women are still out of the workforce because of it. There are more single parents that are minimum wage earners than teenagers.
Add up all these small to moderate crumbles in this failed state we call America and you have yourself a full blown economic crisis. Good going, conservatives, you played yourself. 40 years of austerity and look at us now. Lower life expectancy than Cuba. Highest Covid death toll in the world. China is eating our lunch. Learn Mandarin, kids. This country’s going to Balkanize by 2030. There is no future where America remains united much longer.
I moved to Maine because they pay livable wages there
Here's a point I almost never see mentioned.
Hundreds of thousands of people in our country alone are fucking dead. Many more have permanent side effects. The dead can't work.
There is virtually no appreciation when it comes to serving. Most places start you off at a base pay of $3.27 (which is min. wage for servers) plus your tips. Now comes along the self righteous customer who feels that they deserve king/queen entitlement treatment while treating you like garbage. Just to find an excuse to leave that measly 10%, or 20% (if you're good) so you can "be grateful". F- that. 25+ years is long enough.
People forget "tips" actually means something..
T - to
Anyone in this business that has been in it for years knows this is where the word "TIPS" comes from.
if thats really what tips stands for then you should tip the start of the experience, not the end
You would think, now wouldn't you..
i'd prefer it this way. sit down at a restaurant, pay a bribe, get faster service. dont pay it, fine, you can sit there and wait. that seems way more fair. wait staff have more to lose so they'd hold up their end of the bargain. it would be much more fair
We already get the short end of the stick. So in this case it would make it more of a win/win
i mean my ideal is just pay 15/hr and no tips
And this right here ladies and gents, is why people don't want to work in the restaurant business anymore...
You make that starting out at Mc. Donald's and they offer benefits too...
ok or whatever is fair, i dont run a restaurant
My grandmother worked 40 years as a waitress..then the pandemic hit. Now she makes 3 times as much in half the hours...how does she do it?.... Onlyfans
Good thing they aren’t changing their business model after all.
It’s really wonderful that you help out your grandma with her work!!
I haven't noticed anything different food-wise. Service has been the same everywhere I've been
I've only noticed that the few staff that is left is busting their butt - empty sections or limited service. Recently had a restaurant where I've had reservations cancel on me because they couldn't staff the shift. Recently saw a post from a small retailer that said they would be open only the hours they could staff. I'm not bitching, just some of the reasons I am curious and posted this question.
I manage a busy food and beverage dept, and we have been able to maintain a large staff this season. We try to make it a fun place to work and pay people better than they would be paid at other local food establishments. However, they are almost all college aged and they are all going back to school in september and I am going to be screwed, probably just putting in the open to close hours myself. I'm lucky to have my best friend as my assistant, and we are in it together, but we are definitely dreading the fall season.
It's a fun industry but it's real hard work and it's hot as hell in a kitchen all summer. I have a bachelor's degree and plenty of management experience, so I don't really know how much longer I can keep up with the crazy schedule and stress that comes with managing a busy food and beverage operation. Especially when I see my friends working air conditioned office jobs and making considerably more money.
I wish I could send all of this to a retail clerk I spoke with last week. She believes all retail people are sitting home collecting unemployment.
She also thinks working a retail job will pay rent in the Seacoast area of New Hampshire.
Stopped for dinner in Wolfeboro this evening. It was challenging to find food as 3/4 of the restaurants were either closed, had capacity limits, or reduced hours. This was due to lack of staff, not Covid.
A resort town during summer and no restaurants. It felt bizarre and I hope it doesn’t last.
Restaurant goes are absolutely horrible people and don't tip. If you don't get good tips and or only get 7.50/hr why bother? Full time 7.50 will get you absolutely nothing in this state. Its hard enough to afford rent at ft15/hr. People want to work for a liveable wage.
Working for AMAZON?