What is it about the foodservice industry that seems to drain the life out of its employees? With so many opportunities and outlets for career advancement and creative expression, its unfortunate that so many of our colleagues are either completely disenchanted or approaching burnout. What's even more surprising is that many of them are young, and barely a year or two into their careers.

What’s going on here? A failure to inspire, perhaps?

I have my own theory: I think that people suffer tremendously when they're unable to make the connection between what they love and how they get paid. I see it all the time; people who can't seem to integrate passion into their workplace. This translates into forced enthusiasm and disingenuous service. You won’t last long in this industry if you have to reach so deep to find that part of yourself that communicates joy.

I recently created a poll on Linkedin that asked people to vote on what matters most when sizing up a food server. The results were overwhelming.

It's all about Attitude.

Here’s an idea: Ask your staff (or your coworkers) to make a list of all their passions, pursuits, hobbies, interests, etc. and put that list up where everyone can see it. Now, challenge one another to find opportunities for these to be expressed within the restaurant. Whether its photography, web design, acting, music, social networking, videography, or writing, we have to find ways to infuse those passions into the workplace, or we risk losing the very thing that sustains and drives this industry.

Why: If you can't identify with your workplace, you are more than likely not going to be able to project the levels of enthusiasm that are necessary for success in this industry. You will be dragging yourself around like so many of the bored, lifeless, close-to-walking-out-on-their-shift employees that shuffle about our industry's dining rooms.

If this sounds flaky or too West Coast for you, spend a few minutes reading the workplace manifestos of Fortunes 100 Best Places To Work. They put an incredible amount of effort into nurturing their employee's sense of what? Yes. You guessed it: a connection between work and personal passion.

Now, imagine if FohBoh could be an online community where we all come for quick attitude adjustments. For some of us, it already is. We need to create a movement, people.

Michael Biesemeyer
Manager of Online Communities
FohBoh, Inc.

Views: 1

Tags: fohboh, foodservice, media, passion, restaurant, social, social media, social networking


You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Comment by Giuseppe De Carlo on June 10, 2011 at 8:42pm

This are things that I dont know and find hard to understand, hourly workers, which get paid mostly with tips  this is your biggest problem, govenament interfirance is your second problem,

1, There should be a minimum wage, in accordance with all minmum wages,not $2.50 or $7.00 per hour, it is what the general wotkers earns per week, hourly workers sounds like casual workers, they are intiteled to the hourly minimum plus sick and holyday pay.

2, tips are eatned, this will make a waiter work to the best of his/hers capacity, not compulsary tipping, to me this is extortion of the diners,  the price on the menu already includes service, tips must be earned by th exess service, (new subjecr) because of  this I have stated before, the governamemt should not interfere with public gifts to individuals, nor managment and propietors.

I have little respect for people who blow their own horns, I am exlent? I am a professional? I do a great job, etc, unless other people say that about anther individual, you are not good, you have a great imagination, and you always rant, I started as a waiter, and what upgraded me, was not me, it was the general public. Giuseppe 

Comment by Craig Pendleton on July 23, 2010 at 10:51pm
I find foodservice staff and management a mixed bag of abilities and commitment. Many are planning on just passing through. Those that are career minded are from a variety of backgrounds and levels of professionalism. There is no standardization of industry training or credentialing. Different from careers requiring a certification or license the variety is huge. What does this mean as far as satisfaction? Even the most well intended employees and managers can get burned out trying to succeed and exceed when surrounded by unqualified, uncommitted and incapable people.
I am not saying that most are in this category but only time sorts these individuals out. Much of my consulting involves teaching and facilitating communication and setting shared visions and goals. In the 40 years I've worked within the food and beverage industry the leaders I've seen with long term vision, the ability to build teams and to facilitate communication are few. Often times it is not due to lack of desire but due to understaffing - when a supervisor must make a decision to meet the immediate needs of a guest verses spending their limited time on staff development. It is a no-win situation if a company does not invest in the future with training and development of staff and when they are budgeting short-term. The acid test is asking employees what their purpose is as an employee. If not instilled daily as a vision the answers with be diverse and diffused.




Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


Kids LiveWell atwitter over Twitter party

In its continuing effort to promote more nutritious and flavorful children's menu options, the NRA will hold a Twitter party  -More

Starbucks could become top on-premise wine seller in U.S.

Starbucks is planning to slowly expand its evening sales of wine, beer and small plates to thousands of selected stores throu -More

The evolving nature of snacks

Snacks have shifted from an after-school treat to a meal alternative as meal times become more fragmented.  -More


Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Wahlburgers Announces Expansion Plans Including Franchise Agreement in Philadelphia

Wahlburgers has signed a franchise agreement with Hingham Associates, LLC that will bring five Wahlburgers to the metropolitan Philadelphia area over the next several years. The franchise group is actively looking at sites and is targeting a late 2014-early 2015 opening for its first restaurant.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. First Quarter 2014 Revenue Up 24.4%

Comparable restaurant sales increased 13.4% - Restaurant level operating margin was 25.9%, a decrease of 40 basis points

Jamba Juice Announces Grand Opening of New St. Louis, MO Location

Jamba Juice Company announced the brand’s continued expansion in the St. Louis market with the opening of a Jamba Juice® store at 11477 Olive Blvd. on April 16, 2014.

Expert in Real Estate Analytics Joins Luna Grill

Luna Grill, the San Diego-based Mediterranean restaurant chain, is welcoming retail real estate industry veteran Greg Thorburn to its leadership team. Thorburn has been brought on board to fill the newly created position of Vice-President of Real Estate.

Rita's Italian Ice Awards Area Development Agreement for Kansas

Rita's Italian Ice has awarded franchise and area development agreements for Kansas and the Kansas City area, which extends to the Missouri side of the city, to franchisees and local residents Jay Miller, Jeff Miller and Pat Reilly.


If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.


TED: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

TED: Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets - Jeremy Kasdin (2014)

Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" that allows a telescope to photograph planets from 50,000 kilometers away. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

TED: Norman Spack: How I help transgender teens become who they want to be - Norman Spack (2013)

Puberty is an awkward time for just about everybody, but for transgender teens it can be a nightmare, as they grow overnight into bodies they aren't comfortable with. In a heartfelt talk, endocrinologist Norman Spack tells a personal story of how he became one of the few doctors in the US to treat minors with hormone replacement therapy. By staving off the effects of puberty, Spack gives trans teens the time they need. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

TED: Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar - Jennifer Senior (2014)

The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service