Contacting a business/Inquiring about work

It’s been a long time since I had to look for a job and I’m kind of out of the loop on how to go about it.

My current employer, of almost nineteen years will be closing this cafe business at the end of the year. It’s a leased space in the public library. Whoever the library gets to operate a cafe may or may not want the current employees, and the same may be said about us to the new employer.

But I’m going to look around here in my city. In particular there is a new “boutique” hotel downtown that is trying, I hear, to build a fine dining experience locally. They are already open though and I don’t know if they would be interested in me.

I have tons of baking and catering experience, in both commercial and hospital settings. I like to brag about being part of the team that did the catering when the First Lady, Laura Bush, attended the library’s grand reopening after the remodeling, in 2002.

But I don’t know if there is a best, or most accepted, way of making contact, or application to work. Should it be online? What kind of resume is best? Should I just go downtown and ask?(Properly dressed of course!)

Can Dopers give me some advice?

I’d stop by in person to speak to a manager to see if they’re looking for people. Obviously go at a non-peak time. I’d dress either nicely (fancier than jeans and t-shirt, less formal than a jacket and skirt) or in my work clothes (to subtly emphasize my experience). Use paragraphs two through four as a basis for your talking points. Before the visit, expand on paragraph three to include how your experience will enhance the restaurant’s reputation. If you think you’ll be nervous talking to the manager, write down your talking points and rehearse them until they’re “automatic.”

Should the manager be interested, she or he will tell you the next step, whether getting him or her a resume or, more likely, applying for the job online or on paper. You’re lucky; you don’t need a new job right now. She or he may not have one for you right now, but may in the next 3 months.

Good luck!

Thank you for that advice, especially about the next three months. As I said, this hotel is very new, this will be their first holiday season coming up, I hadn’t thought of that.

This is all great advice and sounds to me like a good plan. I’m usually against the “dress nice and knock on doors” approach of yesteryear, but I have no idea how the culinary working world is and the above sounds like a good plan.

Good luck from my side as well!

Visit the place as a guest and study the menu. Determine what foods that you have expertise in creating would be a good fit for the type of experience they are providing, and use that as a talking point. Be prepared to show exactly what you bring to the table.

Well, what I have done is write up a sort of cover letter, introducing myself, and speaking about my work history and experiences. In a city magazine there was an article about the hotel, and the name of the food and beverage director was in it, so I addressed this letter to him

I printed it off and dropped in at the hotel Turns out that guy is not there anymore, but I spoke to a guy who appeared to be in charge at the restaurant. I gave him the letter, explaining why I had addressed it the way I did, and he took it and said he’d get it to HR. So that’s where things stand now.

If anyone else stopping in has other advice I would still appreciate it. There will be other places to check out. There’s another large non chain hotel not too far from where I live. I’ve eaten there at a breakfast once, and at a catered dinner. The food was what I’d call adequate, but not impressive. One could tell the pies were out of a freezer box. And I spoke to someone who ate at a dinner catered there, the did not like it. Maybe I could see if anything is needed there.

Call me snobbish, I don’t want to work in a grocery store bakery, where everything is frozen, boxed, mixes, or premade.