Ah the soul crushing industry of #hospitality! An industry only really understood by those who reach out to the various positions that demand us to run with 5 plates in hand or a full tray of pints for multiple tables. We break our bones in hospitality and for what? Complains, screaming children, clicking fingers, ridiculous “Food Intolerant requests”, minimum wage and of course the demeaning label of “A waitress”. As a college graduate of Hospitality, I understand the pressures of fighting through the hospitable ladder to run away from the vicious taunts that haunt our minds “You’re only a waitress”. As I fought my way further and further up the ladder I sat and looked at myself. What am I doing? I am wasting my years of youth to create an image for myself that I really would not care less about in my older years. It was from there my mind wandered in a different direction and I decided to choose my life over a career which I go into further detail in Why we chose Travel over our Careers! Then comes the big #question? How does a minimum wage waitress afford to travel the world like she does? Its answer is not difficult and it does not include constant around the clock work. Check out our #YouTube Channel for real time examples and up-to-date experiences with the following tips! 😊
#Spend to #Save.
Saving money is a cruel but vital aspect of travelling. Excited to be in a new, exotic place and bursting to make friends with your new colleagues, money that you need for your next destination can quickly go on a round of shots or up the strip on the regular “after work drinks” Although it may sound like I am agreeing with the usual mind frame of “lock yourself in the house you need that money”, I am saying quite the opposite. Spending to save means enjoying what is around you and taking that to your advantage. When you are at home and you go for drinks what do you do? You go to the pub. If you are stuck for cash what do you do? Invite everyone around to your house. That is what you do at home, but now you are abroad. What is wrong with grabbing a bottle of wine and hitting the beach for a few drinks after work? While saving for our next adventure, which is a very expensive one, I was paid a basic wage of €4 an hour yet we did not miss the parties that we wanted to go to or hid inside for the whole working season but we were smart with how we did it. Not every staff night out needs to burn a hole in your pocket, you just need to balance your spending to maximise your savings. If I can afford to travel to England, Ireland, Thailand, Bali and Australia on 6 months of saving on €4 an hour I am sure you can too.
#Talk About Your #Travels to Customers.
Tourists!! Yes, they will annoy the life out of you as you stagger to work, late and dying of a hangover but in work they are your best friend. Tourists are different to the customers we get at home. At home in your restaurant or bar we get the locals or the weekenders that are now breaking away from their hectic life in the office and it’s your job to meet their demands to make them happy. Let’s face it, a lot of them can be utterly horrible, however, you’re not with them anymore, you are surrounded by happy tourists that love nothing more to chat! They want to know so much about you and what your doing so tell them.
During the summer season as I spoke to tourists about my experiences and future travels abroad a meaningful relationship instantly grouped. Genuinely interested in what I was doing with my life, I was not shy to advise them around the island on where to go, what to do and about life on the island. Tourists appreciates this information and getting to know you a little more so they have someone to remember abroad and speak about when they get home, not to mention they also want to help you as much as they can on your future travels with a nice generous tip. As waitresses, we live for our tips and tourists understand that, with a nice tip in the pocket and a new passing friendship you can’t lose. TIP Be careful with how long you stay talking to one table, other people also need service, you can always come back to chat when you have a chance.
Enhance Your #Professional #Skills.
Serve to impress. The Hospitality industry is more than just picking up plates or delivering drinks, it’s a show. As you dance in an organised motion preparing drinks behind the bar or stride across the restaurant floor with 3,4 or even 5 plates in hand (Depending on the plate weight) You are not just a simple slave to the public but instead an artist. Take pride and passion in your work and you will be greatly awarded for your efforts with tips or new skills. Of course, we would all chose the tips over the new skills but when we consider the saying;
Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, you feed him for life.
Now let’s take this saying into the perceptive of Hospitality;
Receive a tip, buy a mojito. Learn how to make a mojito, drink it for life.
As floor staff or bar staff we can always learn more no matter how experienced you are. We all like to be treated now and again but cocktails are expensive to be enjoyed regularly. You’re a waitress or bar maid, use your skills to keep your life treats cheaper!! The more skilled we are the better our working performance is and the richer your life is, as a member of hospitality you have more benefits to travelling than you think such as, Waitress skills: Higher tips. Bar staff: Home-made cocktail nights. Accommodation staff: Free accommodation in a willing hostel. Think outside your section and be willing to improve further, you will be amazed with how a range of hospitable skills can result in your favour.
Sell, Sell, Sell and More #Sell!
As I was paid €4 an hour and tips only go so far, where did I make my money? A little friend you may know as Service Charge. For those who have never heard of a service charge, this is an additional cost of a specified percentage of the total cost onto the customer’s bill, the higher the bill the higher the service charge. The restaurant where I worked obtained a 7% service charge but only on bills where food was present. Of course, most people who attended our restaurant ate but a service charge is not a compulsory cost and can be removed when requested by customers or can affect your tips drastically. The purpose of service charge is to encourage staff to sell more drinks and food of a higher cost to customers to receive a higher payment. I personally do not agree with this as I feel it’s very cheeky method of the employer to avoid paying you a decent wage but it’s how this restaurant was ran so we had to work with it. Welcome to the employers of Hospitality.
Let Go of the “#High Life”
Come to accept the fact that you are a waitress. You will not be a waitress for life but right now you are and that’s ok. A lot of people focus on the high life jobs with the impressive title, skills that are out of this world and medium to high income, with these titles and responsibilities you can forget about your full-time lifestyle of travel. Deemed as a low-class job that is only use as a get by I understand continuing under this title is difficult but it’s worth it. This is where we have a choice, live the high life and remain a person of importance in one area or accept your position and be that position across the globe. If your lying on the beach on your day off do you really want staff ringing you to tell you they are sick and cannot come to work?
#Appreciate the #Little Things.
When people go abroad you can see them flocking to the excursions and paying for the most exotic tour they can afford but we never think of the free things in life? When you appreciate the little things in the world you will be amazed with what you can gain. Danny and I usually avoid tours as we like to roam about how we want to, taking our time to inhale the world as we move and appreciate what is around us instead of been pushed through like a herd of cattle, fighting to get to a picture position or rushing through to stay close enough to hear the information the tour guide must share with the group. Tours can be very good a lot of the time but we do like to avoid them for these reasons as well as their cost. Expensive and crammed, when your living off your minimum salary, excursions like this may be a tale to tell but when you lay on the beach at night watching a meteor shower, walk to another city over a mountain, watch the power of nature as waves crash into land, cycling the capital city of your destination (Taking where you are into consideration, some places it is best to keep off the road) or feed the ducks, fish or even crabs some bread is a more personal tale to tell. These simple pleasures are free or almost free but are experiences of the world that are widely ignored but ridiculously rewarding.