One of the reasons people enjoy working in the hospitality and service industry is because they expect to leave each shift with cash in hand.
In fact, that was one reason I got into the service industry when I was in high school. I loved that feeling of getting cash and having money in my wallet. It gives you a sense of security and freedom.
The problem with having money in your wallet is it’s readily available to be spent, which is also exactly what I did. As I grew older, I worked in bars and restaurants where I would make hundreds of dollars in tips a night and then spend hundreds of dollars the next day impulse buying whatever caught my eye.
Saving for the future is something that I am just now beginning to understand.
I attribute my bad saving habits directly to the service industry. I knew that if I needed a few hundred dollars, I would have it by the end of the week.
Saving money is not always on a young person’s mind.
There are some that think that money management skills should be taught to kids in high school. I tend to agree with this. If I would have learned the consequences of spending money and how it affects my life I think I would have been a little more careful in the early days of my career.
When I became the manager at some of the bigger restaurants, I had staff members who were just like me when I was young.
They too were young and loved to party. They were excellent servers or bartenders and would make hundreds of dollars in tips a night.
The problem was as soon as they were cut from the floor, had finished their side duties, and had checked out, they would walk next door or down the street to the nearest bar and blow all of their tips on partying.
Then they would come to me the next day or later in the week and beg me for double shifts or extra shifts saying,
“Please! Rent is coming up and I need to make enough money to pay my bills!”
To be fair, not all young adults are like this, but there are enough of them out there that it bothered me. As I’ve said before, not only was I a leader, but I grew to care for some of my employees like family.
Unfortunately, it may fall upon you to save your young employees from themselves and teach them some skills they should have learned at home or at school.
Some advice I should have followed.
When I was a young bartender, I met a guy who had “been around the block” a few times. He had been a bartender himself for years, working his way across The States. He had finally settled in Las Vegas.
He gave me a piece of advice then that to this day I still wish I had followed.
“Take my advice. Stop messing around and put $10,000 away. Put it in the bank. Leave it there. Don’t ever touch it. Just leave it there for security.”
I was in my 20’s then and probably responded with,
“Whatever, old man. What do you want to drink?”
I would have saved myself years of heartache if I had just taken his advice and put that money in the bank.
What should you do? Be proactive, help solve the problem. It only benefits your business more.
So what I’m saying is this: make it part of your orientation or training and take the time to talk to your employees about saving.
Kids don’t get told these things enough. They’re not taught life skills like money management in depth. They touch on it in school, but it seems it’s not enough in this day and age.
If you don’t see this as a problem, or think that it might not be any of your business, just keep an eye out for signs of trouble. Me personally, I never have had a problem asking an employee how they’re doing or if there was anything they needed to talk about.
I’ve even let some of my employees borrow money from my own pocket. They’ve never let me down, always paid me back, were always grateful for the favor, and have never forgotten my kindness.
Take my word for it, it pays to treat your employees well.
I’d like to hear what you think about this. Please comment below or contact me with thoughts.
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