When you’re just starting to think about what kind of career you want, it’s natural to look at the people around you and wonder where they work. For example, if you’re in a restaurant, you’ll probably notice that some of your customers have an air of authority. Maybe they direct the waitstaff or hand out menus to diners. These people might be professional servers — or they might just be guests enjoying themselves so much they want to help out with the serving. Either way, their ease, and confidence can make being around them a little intimidating!

Yes, It’s Important to Get Experience

However, there are other lessons you can learn from these individuals: namely, how to get into purchasing. You may feel like this isn’t something that concerns you at the moment — after all, college is still ahead of you (right?). But if you’re serious about getting into purchasing, you must start now.

You’re probably reading this because you’re thinking about a career in restaurant purchasing. But if you don’t have the experience necessary to land an entry-level position — or even apply for one — how are you going to get there?

Work In the Restaurant Business

One of the most important first steps is to get involved with your local hospitality industry. And being a server is just one way to do that. If this doesn’t feel like something you’d be interested in, no problem! There are other jobs within the restaurant industry where your knowledge and expertise can prove invaluable. 

Here are two must-try careers:

Bartender: From creating seasonal martinis to teaching guests how best to enjoy their wine, bartenders are the experts when it comes to what goes into making a drink great. And if you want to get even more involved, you can also become a certified mixologist.

Chef: Part of learning how to get into restaurant purchasing understands where your food comes from and who’s responsible for putting it on the plate. Working as an apprentice, kitchen helper, or sous chef will not only give you hands-on experience but also teach you about everything from sanitation practices to menu design (plus how to make sure there’s enough pizza in stock).

As any expert in purchasing will tell you: your knowledge is worth its weight in gold here. That means getting started now — while still in high school — will not only help you figure out what kind of education to pursue but also your dreams.

Get A Business Degree

Even if you’re unsure about where your dreams might take you or whether or not restaurant purchasing is the job for you, there’s no better way to help determine this than getting a business degree. This will give you the skills and knowledge you need to succeed at any job or even start your own business. And there are a variety of degrees that will help you do this, including an associate’s in business, bachelor’s in business, or even a master’s degree.

But the best way to get into purchasing is first to get started with a specialized degree.

Restaurant Management: This degree will help you understand your local restaurant market and give you the skills and knowledge necessary for running a business. If you’re already in the hospitality industry, this could make a great addition to your resume.

And if not, this can still be an excellent way to get started. Just by starting to think about what it takes to run (and profit from) a restaurant, you’ll gain valuable insight into how restaurants work — which is exactly what makes getting into purchasing so exciting!