The New York restaurant world is a weird place to be. The money flows freely, but through odd and mutated channels. The pay grade runs from chefs barely making rent ($12 an hour) to the average income of the managers ($40K to $60K), to executive chefs ($85K to $125K) to the wild pay range of bartenders and servers ($100 to $10K a night at Per Se).
Keep in mind that working in the restaurant industry means that anytime people are out having fun eating and drinking, that’s when you’re at work, and when they’re at the office, you get to go out to your private city. The job of a chef may sound glamorous, except it’s devoid of all the riches associated with the mighty tip pool, leaving you with only a humble restaurant salary in an occupation regularly rated as the 2nd most stressful job in America (behind “surgeon”) and shifts that usually run 3-3.
The trade-off, of course, is that the food scene is social and tight-knit, and restaurant jobs are universal and everywhere. So, if you’re looking into getting into the business of bussing plates and making $70 mac and cheese, visit these five websites and see what glorious jobs you can find. Oh, and table five just projectile vomited… can you take care of that?
One of the industry’s favorites for finding interesting new positions all around the nation. The site’s most useful feature is that it shows all kinds of job openings beyond the traditional “chef” or “server” (but those are abundant as well). If you have the right kind of experience you can find such interesting job titles as Farm Intern (on an actual farm!) or Brewing Supervisor for Crazy Mountain Brewing Co. This is a great site for people trying to find more unconventional niches in the food and drink industry, but keep in mind people across the country will be gunning for that same quirky job.
A great site for scanning through the front and back of house at high-class restaurants looking for some quality employees to put on the line. The special trick about this website, however, is that you can only start applying to jobs once you have a written recommendation from someone you have worked with.
This site, which is primarily a New York restaurant news feed, also contains a jobs section which is pretty similar to EatDrinkJobs, in that a lot of the more upscale restaurants will trawl the website for servers and cooks who are more experienced, and who like to keep tabs on the industry. The jobs here range from bussers all the way up to executive chefs, and without any filter for location on a basic search, you may find yourself thinking over that sweet bartender gig in Montauk for the summer.
Restaurant group websites
Restaurant groups (aka Patina, BR Guest, Thomas Keller, etc.) offer a lot of the restaurant standards; servers, chefs, and etc. This is a great way to get started in a respected restaurant group and work your way up.
The best advice I can give here is don’t overthink it. Craigslist has just about every restaurant job that pops up online in New York, with almost no filter to keep out jobs you could be working right at this very moment.