I make more than $5,500 a month using an app to pick up restaurant shifts. Here’s how I use it to make the most money.

I make more than ,500 a month using an app to pick up restaurant shifts. Here’s how I use it to make the most money.
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Kai Cowan has been using the FrontHouz app since 2023.

  • Kai Cowan uses FrontHouz, a staffing platform, to balance gig work with family responsibilities.
  • The flexible scheduling allows Cowan to waitress and bartend while pursuing her passion for dance.
  • Cowan’s earnings from using FrontHouz regularly average more than $5,500 monthly.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Kai Cowan, a 24-year-old gig worker in Atlanta. It’s been edited for length and clarity.

I’m a waitress, hostess, and bartender in Atlanta. I pursued a degree in dance for one year but dropped out to gain experience. I then spent a few years working in retail and hospitality until the restaurant I worked at shut down due to COVID-19.

In September 2020, my dance career picked up, and I’m now balancing my work with caring for my aunt, who recently became disabled. To manage my responsibilities, I pick up shifts through FrontHouz, a staffing platform for hospitality workers that allows for flexible scheduling.

This balance has been crucial for me to continue working while being there for my family.

I first discovered FrontHouz when I met the founder

I met the CEO of FrontHouz, Starr Douglas, in February 2023. I worked at a restaurant that often had slow days and was unhappy with my schedule. This meeting was a turning point for me.

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I ordered at a bar downtown and couldn’t resist telling the bartender to take his time and that I also bartended up the street. Starr overheard me ordering and told me about FrontHouz. I took her card and kept in communication with her.

I decided to sign up for FrontHouz and applied online, which was a straightforward process. After submitting my application, there was a waiting period while my account was reviewed and approved. There was no fee to apply, which made the decision to join even easier.

On an average week, I put in between 20 and 30 hours

FrontHouz allows me to work for employers who may have never had the time to look through my résumé. When a restaurant has a call-off or just needs extra help, they put it in a request on FrontHouz. I’m often requested due to my high rating on the platform, but gigs are listed for workers to pick up on a first-come, first-served basis.

The “pre-shift training” feature teaches me the specifics of each establishment before I start a shift. It provides a 360-degree view of each establishment and its menus, cocktails, seating charts, weekly specials, and more.

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My shifts mainly involve serving or bartending, though I occasionally take on busser or hostess roles. The variety is one of the things I love about this platform — I get to work in different settings like upscale event centers, bars, and fine dining restaurants. I also appreciate having control of my own schedule and being able to develop a network with the people I meet on the shifts.

One challenge is that shifts can sometimes be scarce as local restaurants continue to join the platform, and the platform isn’t available nationwide yet.

I average more than $5,500 a month

It’s been rewarding financially as well. FrontHouz doesn’t take a cut from my pay and instead charges restaurants to use the app.

Since I’ve been using the app more regularly for the past six months, my earnings break down to an average of more than $5,500 a month. I work around 22 shifts a month.

The flexible schedule has allowed me to care for my aunt while simultaneously pursuing dancing, acting, modeling, and social media management.

Here’s my best advice for making the most money

It’s essential to have a professional profile that details all your previous experience to attract higher-end venues. If you can travel, expanding your job search radius by X miles or more could also significantly increase the number of available gigs.

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Checking the FrontHouz app at specific times, like each morning or before a dinner rush, is a strategic move. This is often when new shifts are posted, giving you the advantage of being among the first to apply.

Promptness in picking up shifts is crucial; if you find a suitable shift, it’s wise to secure it quickly to avoid missing out on the opportunity. Restaurant shifts are usually posted a week in advance, but it’s not uncommon for a last-minute shift to pop up for the same night.

Consider dedicating specific days or nights to FrontHouz shifts, particularly when restaurants are busier, like special event nights or popular weekly specials (think: Taco Tuesday or Sunday brunch). This approach not only increases your chances of consistent work but also aligns your availability with potentially higher-earning shifts.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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