New hospitality handbook

In our continuing efforts to find and share industry info, we introduce excerpts from a new hospitality handbook,
“The Waiter’s Tips”  by James Poling, a 30-year veteran of the hospitality and cruise industry.

ThePROS – Professional Restaurant Operations Specialists

Here’s the initial installment of excerpts.

Although a decline of restaurant businesses occurred from 2009 to 2010, approximately 5,200 less restaurants is the estimate, many were the smaller, family businesses that could not hold out over the slowdown of the economy.  However, many chain restaurants have closed some of these doors, too.  They just haven’t closed all of the doors in their restaurant chain.

With these closings, new restaurants have opened.  The business might run on tight strings at times, BUT the new restaurant businesses are enticing to many people.  Perhaps it is the romantic side of the business that leads people to think they can operate a restaurant business themselves.  Perhaps it is that pack of index cards with grandma’s recipes.  It is hard to operate a restaurant business.

There are still well over half a million restaurants that exist in the U.S. and that represents an income opportunity for you if things get economically tight.  You might just be looking to change vocations.  It is very good for the economy. The money generated in the restaurant business helps contribute to the purchasing power in many homes.

In 2011, the restaurant industry is poised to generate over $600 billion in sales.  This is all according to the statistics from The National Restaurant Association.

Even though there are less employees currently working in this industry, at 12.8 million, (down an estimated 200,000 employees from a few years ago), that still leaves a lot of employment opportunity.  It’s one business we should not take lightly.  Everyone has to eat AND they can eat at their favorite restaurant more often if they have someone like you there.  Someone, who cares about great customer service.

Another plus is that the restaurant industry is estimating that they will add over one million more jobs in the next decade.  If you are looking for a career, this might be the one for you.


Jim Poling and his wife Patricia have each been in the hospitality industry for over 30 years. Experience has included beginning as waiter and waitress in Columbus, Ohio where they met, fell in love, and married. After several years the couple added on experience in the pizza industry with Domino’s, fast food experience with A&W Restaurants where Jim experienced his first level of multiple unit management on the east coast. After eight years with A&W an ownership opportunity was now available in the form of a bed & breakfast in the Allegheny Mountains of Virgini. The area was beautiful, but after five years of leasing and a willingness to buy they could not agree on a price with the owner. Leaving Virginia for Michigan Jim was hired by a contract service company as an executive chef for a hospital in south Detroit before being lured away to a another contract service company where he was hired as a general manager for Ford operations at the Ford Rouge Plant being responsible six Ford plant food operations.  It was with this company that Jim received additional training at the Culinary Institute of America where he would arrange training classes for his region.  After several years Jim was lured to away to General Motors to take care of the executives and board of directors who visited the GM Design Center in Warren, Michigan.

Along with the operations of restaurants and many food service opportunities Jim and Patti owned and operated several retail units with everything from candy and nuts, to a tea room, to a company featuring only Michigan made products.

Finally a move to Florida with a son at the University of Miami and the dream of being in the sun capital. All along the number one priority has been to assure guest satisfaction through great customer service. Patti became the Employee of the Year for her service as a concierge at a local resort.  She knows everybody it seems. We could not have had so many guests returning week after week, month after month, year after year.  Returning guests are what make success. We do care.

If it’s on the menu…the Menu Shoppe has it covered.

America’s leading source for restaurant menu covers
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