Tourism in Melbourne is seeing a constant growth year upon year, and with still claiming the joint status of the world’s most liveable city, it’s not difficult to see why. Melbourne is a city for indulging, and one of the main factors behind that is the restaurant and hospitality industry. Some of the best food (and coffee) in the world exists in Melbs’ so if you’re a bit of a foodie, there’s no better place to be right now.
One of Melbourne’s top and most famous laneways is prospering and year after year more tourists visit. Hardware Lane is where all travellers and tourists are advised to visit with a whole array of restaurants, bars and a quirky European setting to go with. The lane has been expanding as of late and more recently in 2016 a whole bunch of new restaurants opened up towards Lonsdale Street side. This is attracting more locals too, and right now Hardware Lane is growing. However, it isn’t just the customers who are flocking here, Hardware Lane isn’t shy of eager workers either, from all corners of the globe, it’s a place where people want to work.
Hardware Lane goes a little deeper than your typical restaurant environment. There are old faces, new faces and returning faces to the lane. The strip provides a casual romantic and vibrant setting, attracting all nationalities, all foods, and all events. What more is that the workers on Hardware Lane are no passengers, they are working for further travels, a visa or savings. Working on Hardware Lane makes you more employable, because it isn’t just the working part you’re dealing with. Mix in the popularity, the cuisine, the culture, the workers and the thriving businesses, Hardware Lane is more of an institution.
You’ll learn how to deal with things quickly
Working on Hardware Lane can happen all of a sudden, when it becomes busy there is no warning. All of a sudden you’ll be hit with dozens of customers. The rush of it is exciting as one minute you’re waiting then boom you’re running around like a madman.
Making drinks like you’re in competition
When you get slammed, you get slammed on Hardware Lane. For any barman or barista there is no time to moan, drinks come thick and fast. Forget wiping down the bar you’ll be churning out one drink after another. Get ready!
Juggling and serving becomes an art
Waiters and runners won’t ever need to hit the gym, working on the lane gives them all the cardio sessions they need. All you’ll see is them buzzing about like a bunch of angry bees carrying platters, entrees, mains, bottles, plates – you name it.
Being a chef got a little crazier
You won’t have time to take your time, the chefs in the kitchens of Hardware Lane’s most popular restaurants have to be good and fast. Prepping for meals sometimes starts days before so hours are long. If it’s in the middle of service, you’d think Gordon Ramsey was in there at times!
The way the lane is set up, customers present themselves first before just taking a seat. You’ll have to greet the customers first, then clarify what type of deal they’ve been given. Working on Hardware Lane will improve your communication skills.
Jack of all trades
Some of the guys working Hardware Lane are chefs, waiters, hosts and managers. Multi tasking is key for Hardware Lane, everyone helps out.
Due to the popularity of the lane many different nationalities of tourists and workers embrace the place. The universal language is English, but you’ll be speaking to so many different nationalities if you’re a curious one you’ll no doubt pick up a word or two.
A mini travel colony
Working on Hardware Lane you’re surrounded by foreign travellers who’ve travelled to get there in the first place. Many probably have ambitions to save money and keep travelling. It’s like a mini travel colony, and when you go out it’ll be like you’ve all just met in a hostel.
Unfortunately it isn’t all good working on Hardware Lane for some restaurants. Competition is fierce and although tourism is slightly increasing Year upon year there sometimes isn’t enough business for everybody. Some just need to give up, and for others you’ll probably feel sorry.
Eager to work
And Max’s Restaurant take the lead! When one restaurant gets the first batch of customers, you sense the rest of the restaurants panicking. Hearts are beating a little faster and working on Hardware Lane then becomes a rat race. You don’t want to be the restaurant with no customers; you’ll feel everyone is watching.
Dealing with the hosts
The unique part of working on Hardware Lane is that the hosts determine how much business is done. It’s one of the hardest jobs on the lane no doubt to constantly represent and sell the restaurant you are working for. In this kind of job you either have it or you don’t. Still, the hosts have a freedom to work, the voice and the ego. They are about people and about sales. You won’t be dealing with a miserable stuttering chef, you’ll be dealing with the guy who is on top of his game.
Rivalries are character building
In any small environment there can be rivalries that build up, but essentially it’s all just lack of communication. Still, people have their own ego and will mumble behind your back, others will just come right out with it. That is life working on Hardware Lane.
Learning that Aussies are very weather sensitive
As soon as it rains it pours on Hardware Lane, and when it does you won’t see anyone in sight. It’s almost everyone has just magically disappeared into thin air, no one wants to get wet.
You’ll actually become a genuinely decent food critic
You’ve got so many dishes in one restaurant and so many different cuisines down the lane, you’re bound to pick up a bit of expertise on food. You learn the ingredients, the flavour and the style. You might even become a bit creative and make up a delicious pizza above!