What to say if you want a restaurant job…

I was just sitting in a nearby pizza joint and listened to a 17-year old high school student ask for a job. She approached the register (next to my table) and asked if there were any openings. She was told there weren’t, but that the owner could speak with her and get her contact info.

When the owner came out, her pitch went something like this: “Here’s my name and number. Please hire me when you have an opening. I really need the money. I live only five minutes from here and I really need to make some money!”

He thanked her and let her know he’d keep her contact info. She walked out the door, probably thinking: “He’ll call me. He knows I will work hard because I need the money.” But the owner was probably thinking: “She is in this for her, not for my business. No way I’m calling her.”

Now let me clarify that I’m not giving her a hard time. In fact, I readily admit that her pitch was a lot better than mine would have been at the same age. But just as I recently wrote about advice I’d give a 22-year old me who was close to graduating college, this post would apply to advice I’d give a 17-year old me who was trying to find a part-time job at a restaurant (or anywhere, for that matter). Read these two quotes and think about who you would hire…

“Give me a job because I need money!”

“Give me a job because I am a hard worker and I will work my tail off for you to make sure your customers are happy and your business thrives.”

Remember, when you are trying to convince somebody to hire you (or buy your product, or do anything for you, for that matter), it’s not about YOU. It’s all about THEM. Focus on what you can do for them, not on what you need. It won’t get you every job. But I can guarantee it will give you a better chance.


If you like this post, you might like this video. You also might like our book, “Restaurant Owners Uncorked,” which features 20 independent restaurant owners sharing their thoughts and wisdom on a wide range of topics, including how they find the right people for their teams.