final edition: job seekers guide to the fast food industry


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  • 1. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A JOB SEEKERS SHOPPING GUIDE TO WORKING IN THE PHOENIX-METRO FAST FOOD INDUSTRY

2. DO I NEED A FOOD HANDLERS CARD? Food Service Worker Cards are required for any person who handles, prepares, serves, sells or Gives away food for human consumption, including those whose duties are restricted to busing or washing dishes. The rule does not apply to workers in facilities that handle food or beverages exclusively in a closed package or container. New workers must obtain their licenses within 30 days. Cards are obtained by coming in to one of our offices. You have the choice of taking a written test after reviewing a study booklet of food safety information, in one of our offices (click here for testing schedules, locations, and maps) or by using an approved on-line testing web site (click here for a listing of approved web sites). If you chose an on-line testing center the bar-coded certificate and the appropriate fee must be presented to our regional offices in order to obtain your FSW card. Cards must be renewed every three years by re-testing. This includes older cards issued prior to 1997. The fee to take the test is $10.00 per attempt. When the test is passed, the fee for the card is $5.00. An original of the card must be kept at the workplace. Those who wish to retain a copy for their own records or for multiple job locations may obtain duplicates of their license for $3.00. We accept cash and credit cards at our four testing offices. Food Service Worker cards are valid for a period of three years. ===================================================================== WHERE CAN I GET A FOOD HANDLERS CARD? Testing Sites & Hours of Operation. All offices are open Monday - Friday, excluding holidays HOURS: 9:00AM - 11:30AM & 1:00PM - 4:30PM CENTRAL REGIONAL OFFICE 1645 E. Roosevelt St. Phoenix, AZ 85006 (SE corner of 16th St. & Roosevelt St.) EASTERN REGIONAL OFFICE 1255 W. Baseline Rd. Bldg C, Suite #270, Mesa, AZ 85202 (SW corner of Baseline Rd. & Alma School Rd. SW building of office complex) NORTHERN REGIONAL OFFICE 15023 N. 75th St. Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (75th St./Butherus in Scottsdale Airpark) WESTERN REGIONAL OFFICE 16140 N. Arrowhead Fountain Center Dr. Suite #105, Peoria, AZ 85382 (SW corner of 83rd Ave. & Bell Rd.) =================================================================== 3. WHAT DO I NEED TO GET A FOOD HANDLERS CARD? You must bring Proof of Legal Status/ID to take the test or the class or get the card. Testing is conducted on a walk-in basis at our four locations. Allow enough time to complete the test. Last exam will be given out at 11:15 am and 4:15 pm; all exams are picked up at 11:30 am and 4:30 pm. No testing is done on holidays. Effective September 1, 2010 exam is conveniently available ONLINE. For further information, please call (602) 506-2960. FEES & ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The card fees are as follows: Food Service Worker test $10.00 per attempt required prior to taking the test Food Service Worker referral to class $10.00 Food Service Worker card $5.00 Food Service Manager card $5.00 Duplicate copies with original are $3.00 each. Please have exact change. Cash and credit cards accepted. No bills larger than $20.00 will be accepted. CHECKS ARE NOT ACCEPTED. ======================================================================== IS THERE A STUDY GUIDE? You can pick up a study guide at any location and/or download it from: ENGLISH: SPANISH: ================================================= ARE THERE ANY JOBS? With the recovery of the economy here in the metro area and as people are able to enjoy an occasional meal out, segments of the Food Industry has boomed into a cascade of new restaurants opening over the past six months. As new places are opening and needing staff, established venues are scrambling around to locate good applicants and/or to hold on to the staff they have. This means that the normal downturn for the hot AZ Summer does not necessary come into play. This is a good time to be looking. But, this does not mean that it is easy or a done deal as the job market isnt that tight right now. In this book you will find 1000s of available jobs that are they need to fill. They will run a wide range through the industry and even though the jobs posted will change with time, the mechanics on how to find them, how to apply for them and the insider INTEL wont. So, if you are reading this book 6 months or a year from now, the actual jobs posted will be long gone but; the book will guide you to the newest generation of jobs, careers and opportunities. In fact, if you are reading this right now, follow the links to see what is new. ================================================= DO I NEED EXPERIENCE? THE ANSWER IS YES AND THE ANSWER IS NO. This is a complicated answer to a complicated question. The real answer will vary with every employer that you meet. Lets simplify the process for you. If I am applying to be the next Iron Chef, I will need experience, a blog, and a recipe portfolio to get a real interview. If I am looking at general food service industry 4. employment, then it is more tied to having basic skills, your motivation for wanting the job and your acquired knowledge of the company (their history, their menus and the way they do business). ================================================= WHO IS THIS GUIDE FOR? We try to focus at the lower end of this market because if you are already the next Iron Chef you do not need our helpyou have paid the dues or have great talent that stands by itself. This guide is for the person who has been cooking in one form or another for all their life and has decided to turn what they like to doNOwhat they love to do into a career. This guide will assist you to get a foot-in-the-door and start your own journey to being your own version of the next Iron Chef. WHAT ARE BASIC SKILLS? For most entry level openings in this industry, you DO NOT need to have professional experience. In fact, everyone reading this guide is more or less over qualified for these positions. WHATZ? How can you be over qualified and have never worked in a professional kitchen? The answer is easy. The question was do you have experience? Did they say professional experience? No! Do not read more into the question than what was asked. Here is the guide to experience: A. Did you grow up in a rich family with cooks, butlers and maids? B. Is it then fair to say that you have been cooking, assembling or preparing food for yourself or others for most of your life? C. FOR STAY-AT-HOME PARENTS: Dont you prepare meals for your family at least several times per day not to include special diets or threats? Dont you make multi-person meals? Dont you plan out your meals before you start cooking? Dont you keep control of the food in the pantry and go to the store (inventory and purchasing budgeting also on tight budgets) when you need to restock? D. When you cook for your family do they ever throw the food back at you? If not then that is the best sign that the food is good. Do people complement your cooking or ask for a recipe? E. Do you enjoy the art of creating a great meal from nothing? Do you enjoy cooking? Have you ever dreamed of being the Iron Chef? If you have answered yes to more than one of these questions, then, you are over qualified for most entry level jobs in this industry. If you answered yes to #E then, you are a great fit for what the employers are seeking. What we want to do is teach you how to frame the answer to Do you have experience? 5. Here is a cool introduction that you can use or abuse as an answer to this question: You knowI have been cooking all my life and people say that I am very good. I have been thinkingwhy couldnt I take what I like to do {pause for effect} What I love to do and turn it into a careerthat is why I came down here today to introduce myselfI know that I have a lot to learn but, I am willing to start anywheredo anything that you need me to do because that is how I am going to make this career real! ========================================== RESUME OR NOT? Once you start working in this industry you will know that no one (entry level) gets hired based upon a resume. This is an industry where no one wants to see a resume. They want to see you. They want to look you in the eye and to see what your motivation is. So, if you want to work in this industry, dont waste the time doing a resume. What would be good for you to create is a master application (cheat sheet) with the names, address and phone numbers to the places that you have worked. You will need this to fill out the application. It is critical that you have this information so that the employer can quickly, easily verify your previous experience. The easier you make it for them to verify the quicker you can start! ================================================= HOW DO I APPLY? This will vary based upon the company, its size and policies. Here are some universal truths: A. Small companies put much value on face-to-face communications and put even more value upon a person who was interested enough to present themselves in person. The correct time is 2-4PM on any day M-f. This time block is in the industry the down time between finishing lunch and the start of dinner prep. This is a time slot when they are free to have a conversation with you as to why they should hire you. B. Large companies by nature, require to fill out an online application (even here no resume needed) to apply for openings. Please remember that hundreds of people do the same application as you did every day. There may be 500+ applications done for every opening posted o