A Look at Restaurant Career Mobility

This post brought to you by National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation . The content and opinions expressed below are that of upstartHR.

This post continues our overarching discussion of the importance of restaurant careers and the opportunities available within the industry. Today the focus will be on the mobility of those employed within the field. Here are a couple key statistics from the infographic below:

  • 9 in 10 restaurant workers 35 or older have moved to higher-paying jobs in the industry after their first job.
  • Even newbies enjoy the restaurant industry's upward mobility: 71% of employees 18-24 land a more lucrative gig in the business after their first job.
  • The abundance of restaurants in nearly every community presents opportunities and experience to land other positions.

When people take a job, whether in a restaurant or elsewhere, the hope is that there will be future job growth and/or opportunities further down the line. If I was recruiting to fill positions for a restaurant, I’d want to highlight those future opportunities as a key selling point to get someone to come work for my employer.

These statistics, as seen in the graphic below, do just that. Not only is there a wide variety of positions avaiable with varying degrees of responsibility and complexity, but there is also an opportunity to grow and advance through the ranks over time (whether with the same employer or with another).

One of the long-standing norms for workplace compensation is “if you can’t get a big raise at your current employer, just change jobs.” The incredible variety and availability of positions in the restaurant industry is well-suited to allow job seekers the opportunity to grow and develop their careers while staying within a single industry.

Check out the graphic below, titled “Restaurants: The Launchpad to Career Growth.”


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