Searching for a job this summer? Look no further than your neighborhood restaurant

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, June 26, 2012

(ARA) – Summer is the busiest season of the year for restaurants, with hungry consumers looking to beat the cooking heat opting to dine out instead. As a result, restaurants from coast to coast are looking to hire hundreds of thousands of additional employees to support the influx of local customers and travelers and tourists throughout the warmer months.

The National Restaurant Association projects that the restaurant industry will add 450,000 jobs over the course of summer 2012 – the largest increase in summer jobs since 1993. And those 450,000 positions are spread far and wide – from New York to California and beyond. The states projected to add the most eating and drinking place jobs during this summer season are New York, California, Massachusetts, Texas and New Jersey. Typically, available jobs range from full-time managerial requiring previous hospitality industry experience, to part-time entry-level with no experience required. Many restaurants post “now hiring” signs in their windows, but job seekers should also keep an eye out for listings in local papers and online job boards.

From servers and cashiers to chefs and managers, the restaurant industry offers a wide array of opportunities, making it a great place to start a job search this summer, whether you’re looking for a part-time job to supplement your income or begin a career in foodservice. In fact, many employees who now enjoy long-term, rewarding careers in the restaurant industry got their foot in the door with a summer job. That’s because, regardless of position, one thing all jobs in the restaurant industry have in common is opportunity for advancement. The industry is full of people who have gone from the dish room to the boardroom and beyond. In fact, eight in 10 restaurant owners started at entry level, and nearly nine in 10 restaurant employees say restaurants provide the opportunity to start at the bottom and move up to management.

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Even if personal career goals don’t call for a long-term stay in the restaurant industry, the professional development and management skills learned help millions of Americans succeed in their careers no matter which industry they end up choosing – one-third of Americans got their first job experience in a restaurant. It’s actually quite a challenge to find someone who can’t share a story about working in a restaurant, as half of all Americans have worked in the restaurant industry at some point in their lives.

While the summer months provide a boost in employment, restaurants are also a major source for job creation year round. In 2012 alone, industry job growth will outpace overall job growth for the 13th straight year and reach nearly 13 million individuals, almost 10 percent of the U.S. workforce. And with summer job opportunities at a record high, the industry shows no signs of slowing down, making the restaurant industry a great place for a rewarding employment opportunity this summer.