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Restaurant Job Seekers Express Frustration Over 'Prove Yourself' Hiring Practices

Restaurant job seekers express dismay over post-interview requirements to 'prove themselves' before promised promotions.
Cover Image Source: Unsplash | Photo by
Cover Image Source: Unsplash | Photo by

After applying for a management role in a restaurant, one applicant found themselves in a perplexing situation post-interview. The applicant, who remains unnamed, shared their experience on Reddit, raising concerns about the hiring process.

In a series of interactions with the restaurant's management, the applicant was initially thrilled to receive a call just two hours after their interview, offering them a position. However, their excitement turned to confusion when the manager revealed they would need to prove themselves as head server for a few weeks before being considered for the management role.

"I thought it was for a management role," the applicant stated, expressing their surprise at the unexpected requirement. The manager explained that previous experiences led them to adopt this approach as a precautionary measure against potential hiring mishaps. Despite assurances of being first in line for promotion, the applicant remained skeptical about the fairness of the situation.

Reddit | u/Lacia195
Reddit | @u/Lacia195

"I don't really want to risk it," the applicant confessed, highlighting their apprehension about potentially losing the desired management position. Faced with uncertainty, the applicant expressed their concerns to the manager via text message. In response to the applicant's concerns, the manager reassured them by offering an alternative opportunity—a trial shift for a junior manager position at a new restaurant location. The applicant agreed to the offer, but with a condition: they would only proceed if guaranteed the junior manager role on successful completion of the trial shift.

Unsplash | Photo by Tim Gouw
Unsplash | Photo by Tim Gouw

@u/Conscious_Travel769 revealed their disappointment after applying for an HR assistant/assistant manager role, only to be informed during the interview that they would start as a cashier and barista, with promotion contingent on performance. They expressed their disillusionment, stating, "I didn't bother answering back." @u/Jannieph0be echoed similar sentiments, suggesting that the promised timeframe to prove oneself is often elusive, remarking, "Restaurants are notorious for this."

@u/RedRosValkyrie shared a similar experience of being promised advancement after working in various roles in a restaurant for weeks without clarity on when they would assume their intended position. They ultimately quit and found a more rewarding opportunity elsewhere.

User @u/fartwisely offered practical advice, advising applicants to obtain written confirmation of the offer, role, and timeline to ensure transparency and good faith. @u/HappySummerBreeze denounced the practice as a scam, emphasizing the existence of probationary periods for assessing suitability. These reactions highlight widespread frustration and skepticism regarding restaurant hiring practices, underscoring the need for clearer communication and fair treatment of applicants. 

Reddit | u/Lacia195
Reddit | @u/Lacia195

@u/Otherwise-Lock-2884 shared insights, suggesting, "Some Japanese motor companies make their management people first work in a factory for a few months before starting in the office so that they have an idea of what actually goes on on the ground." They acknowledged the possibility of a bait-and-switch tactic, advising, "If you want to try your luck, I would ask for pay matching your qualifications from the beginning, as well as the guarantee of a promotion in writing. If they are unwilling to provide either of those, it's probably a bait and switch."

@u/Mojojojo3030 suggested, "It sounds like they just had you do a day without pay, lol. Promoting you is out of the question. These are dishonest people. It is a bait and switch." They advised considering action if unpaid, stating, "This isn't totally clear from the post, maybe you were paid? If not, you should charge them for it or report them to your labor board."