October 9

5 Reasons the Best Jobs For Students Are In Hospitality


Need Some Money While in School? Here Are a Few Reasons Why Hospitality Jobs Are the Best for Students.

School is back in session! And has been for a few weeks now. At this point, you’re probably getting a dose of how hard it is to focus on school and make ends meet.  

Most jobs are not flexible enough for students, and I get it. I wasn’t fortunate enough to have a sugar daddy, mommy, or a trust fund to keep me afloat during my college career. So, I got a job in the restaurant industry, and it changed my life

No matter where you are in your academic career, if you’re trying to find flexible jobs for students—then you’re in the right place. We’re breaking down the benefits of a hospitality job while in school.  

Entry-Level Hospitality Jobs For Students

If you’re new to the industry and looking for a job that compliments your academic schedule, here is a quick list of entry-level positions you could apply for on Poached. 

1. Busser
Bussers play a support role in the FOH and sometimes BOH. Some everyday busser tasks include: 

  • Turning tables 
  • Clear empty plates and glassware from guest’s tables 
  • Replenish server stations with clean napkins, dishware, and silverware
  • Maintain sanitation stations
  • Monitor and replenish bathroom supplies

2. Host
Hosts play an integral role in the FOH. They set the pace and balance between servers on the floor and traffic. Some everyday host tasks include:

  • Greet and seat guests
  • Balance server sections
  • Take reservations 
  • Relay information to servers 
  • Answer the phone and take messages

3. Dishwasher
Dishwashers make service happen. Without a constant rotation of dirty dishes and clean plates, the whole business would standstill. Some everyday dishwasher tasks: 

  • Organize dirty dishware to run through the dishwasher
  • Organize clean dishes to be sorted by bussers and other staff members
  • Follow safety guidelines to ensure clean and adequately sanitized dishware
  • Take out trash and keep the dish pit clean

4. Barback
Barback plays a supportive role in the bar, much like a busser. Some everyday barback tasks include: 

  • Replenishing liquor, wine, beer, and garnishes during service
  • Monitoring and replenishing wells with ice
  • Make fresh juice or garnishes 
  • Tap new kegs
  • Manage the bar dishwasher 

5. Expediter
Expediters are essential during busy service and liaise between the FOH and the BOH. Some everyday expediter tasks include: 

  • Organize and prioritize tickets for the kitchen staff as they come in
  • Ensure proper presentation, temperature, and completeness of dishes before calling for service
  • Add finishing touches to dishes like garnishes and side dishes
  • Maintain cleanliness and proper food handling 
  • Restock condiments and other essential items as needed

5 Reasons Hospitality Jobs Are the Best Jobs For Students

1. Flexible Schedules
Flexibility is the key reason hospitality jobs are fantastic for students. Since restaurant peak hours are afternoons and weekends, it’s pretty easy to make a restaurant job work when going to school and not miss out on prime hours or tips. 

Most employers are used to working with students, so they’re open to scheduling around your academic calendar. If scheduling issues do arise, it’s fairly common to swap shifts with co-workers. 

2. Free or Discounted Food
While it’s not always the case, you typically get a free or discounted meal for every shift if you work in the service industry. While your classmates live on Cup Noodles—you’ll get to indulge in a well-rounded menu while saving money on groceries.

If you’re over 21, sometimes you get free drinks too, although many employers are rethinking the shift drink since it can encourage unhealthy habits within the industry. Still, you might get a free soda or non-alcoholic beverage. 

3. Gain Essential Skills
While the hospitality industry offers the flexibility needed for most students—the work is not for the faint of heart. You will work long and hard hours. 

If you have it in you, you’ll come out of the industry with a solid work ethic and invaluable skills that will help in any career. You’ll learn everything there is about teamwork, time management, and working under pressure. Additionally, you’ll have to develop soft skills like effective listening and communication to be a valuable team member. 

Balancing a hospitality and academic career is another excellent opportunity to use your time management skills and learn about boundary setting. Finding a healthy way to unwind is helpful, especially during more hectic times, like when finals fall during the holiday season. 

4. Exposure to New Things
What better way to complement your academic career than exposing yourself to new cultures through food, drinks, and cooking techniques? Hospitality work will expose you to all kinds of knowledge you wouldn’t learn anywhere else—it’s an educational experience like no other. 

Plus, it’s always fun to become educated in food and beverages and share your knowledge with college friends or parents.

5. Crash Course in People 
One thing is sure about working in the hospitality industry— you will meet people from all walks of life, both as co-workers and customers. 

No matter where your college degree takes you, the type of people skills you gain in hospitality will help you succeed. Sure, you might gain a chip on your shoulder, but the people skills you learn in hospitality will allow you to lead with humility, patience, and empathy. 

When I was in school, working in the hospitality industry allowed me to gain financial independence and helped me have a smoother transition from teenager to young adult. I truly value the time I spent working in the industry, and I think it’s a fantastic job for students. 

If you’re in school and ready to find more flexible work—download the Poached app and look at who’s hiring near you today. 

Additionally, if you already have some experience in the industry but want even more flexibility, you can sign up for Poached Shifts to pick up work as it fits your schedule. Poached Shifts is our on-demand staffing service allowing you to work as a freelance hospitality professional. This is a great way to fill in if you’re short on cash or pick up extra hours during holiday weekends or between semesters when you have more availability.

About the author


Ashley McNally likes to cook, loves to bake, and is always dreaming of her next meal. With over 13 years of experience working in various roles within a restaurant — McNally has made a home in hospitality.