The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Short stays for pay-Restaurant jobs allow flexible schedules for students

Ryan Herrera puts on his apron as he gets ready for his shift at TGI Fridays. The former TCC student works as a server but is in training for a management position at his restaurant. Herrera, like many students, works in a job that has high turnovers because of student employees.  Photo by Sara Pintilie/The Collegian
Ryan Herrera puts on his apron as he gets ready for his shift at TGI Friday’s. The former TCC student works as a server but is in training for a management position at his restaurant. Herrera, like many students, works in a job that has high turnovers because of student employees. Photo by Sara Pintilie/The Collegian

By Sara Pintilie/entertainment editor

(Part Final in a four-part series on the turnover in jobs frequently held by students.)

Ryan Herrera puts on his apron as he gets ready for his shift at TGI Friday's. The former TCC student works as a server but is in training for a management position at his restaurant. Herrera, like many students, works in a job that has high turnovers because of student employees.  Photo by Sara Pintilie/The Collegian
Ryan Herrera puts on his apron as he gets ready for his shift at TGI Friday’s. The former TCC student works as a server but is in training for a management position at his restaurant. Herrera, like many students, works in a job that has high turnovers because of student employees. Photo by Sara Pintilie/The Collegian

The food industry, with its variable shifts and amount of workers, is a sufficient place for students to work.

“Most college students are servers,” Tara Dusenbury, a distance-learning student, said. “Students can go to school in the mornings then work at night.”

Dusenbury worked for On the Border as a server for about a year and a half.

“It’s a chance to meet new people,” Ryan Herrera, former TCC student, said.

“And it is way better money.”

Herrera works at TGI Friday’s in Terminal B in DFW Airport as a server moving up to manager.

Since most restaurants and fast food places have shifts later in the day, many students find these places a good fit for working and going to school.

“My shift always started at either 3 or 4 in the afternoon,” Dusenbury said. “So it was perfect for school in the morning.”

Also managers in the food industry are aware of the number of students who work part time.

“My managers were pretty respectful of my schedule,” Stacie Bottom, NE student, said. 

Herrera counting his tips as he walks back to the car. He likes his job at TGI Friday's but doesn't recommend it for a college student.  Photo by Sara Pintilie/The Collegian
Herrera counting his tips as he walks back to the car. He likes his job at TGI Friday’s but doesn’t recommend it for a college student. Photo by Sara Pintilie/The Collegian

Bottom worked at Subway in the late ’90s.

“They planned my shifts around me, and I planned my school around them,” she said.

Morgan Frith, a SE student, says her current employers at Ventana Grille, where she is currently the headwaiter, are also pretty flexible.

“They don’t schedule me on days that I have class,” she said.

Most of the employees at Friday’s are students, Herrera said.

Though managers seem open toward students working for their restaurants, some managers do not factor in the student’s school schedule.

“One of the reasons I left Subway was my new manager,” Bottom said. “She would schedule me on days I had night classes. She didn’t get the point.”

Bottom’s manager would ask her to skip class, “I replied, ‘I skip three and I fail,’ This wasn’t my career,” she said.

One of the pitfalls that comes with working in the food industry is long shifts.

“My hours are longer because I work in the airport,” Herrera said.

Also the unreliable amount of hours can hinder a working student.

A server can have 35 hours one week and about 12 the next.

“The thing I disliked most about my job was people don’t realize that your tips are basically my pay,” Dusenbury said. “There were times I worked so hard and would only get $3 on a $40 bill.”

Herrera agrees.

“I don’t like depending on other people for your money,” he said. “Great service doesn’t always get great tips.”

Nevertheless, the food industry is an easy way for students to maintain a job and continue to go to school.

“I left [On the Border] because I thought I could find a better job that had a steady paycheck,” Dusenbury said. “It was difficult with school though because you have homework, but then you have work at night. You have to make sure your homework was done after your classes.”

The food industry might not be the pathway for a fruitful career, but for a student, the bountiful jobs and shifts available at various hours and on weekends, make these jobs a match with school.

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