Transforming from businessman to busboy - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Transforming from businessman to busboy

By Layron Livingston - bio - email

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - From businessman to busboy, a transformation is happening inside the kitchen at your favorite restaurant. More and more professionals are applying and filling food service positions. It seems that waiting tables and wading the economic storm go hand in hand.

"[It is] fast paced." said Mark Magee. "It's harder than I thought it would be."

He's only three weeks into his job.

"When you have a section of 4, or 5 tables, even if you have three tables, filled up with people, it's a multi-tasking nightmare," said Magee.

He said he definitely has a newfound respect for those who fill your orders. Magee was laid off back in December.

"[I] sold natural stone to home builders and to contractors," said Magee. "There's no doubt, it was the economy. [It] just kind of dried up. There was really nothing or anybody to sell to."

Now, he's pulling a double shift, working as a full time waiter.

"He was selling stone work, now he's selling fabulous food, and he's good at it," exclaimed Amy Masey with Cotton Patch Restaurants. "It's very enticing to people looking for part time work. Three months, six months, or hopefully make it a career."

Masey said over the past few of months, applications from "non-traditional" job seekers have increased.

"Most of the time your servers are college students [or] high school kids," said Masey. "We've just been fortunate that there are professionals out there that are coming into the industry as well, waiting tables, and doing a great job."

She said that many of them are from sales and commission-based jobs, like Magee.

"We'd hate to lose him, but we understand that he's going to have to move on with his career," said Masey.

"Made more there, but the potential never know," said Magee.

"He gets to keep his tips. Yeah, that's a huge plus," said Masey. 

Now, here is the bad news: According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, national food service jobs have declined by nearly 1 percent from last year. The good news is that here in Texas, food service jobs have been on the rise at a rate of 3.2 percent.

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