The Big Bang Theory and Retail & Hospitality as a Career


As many folks who read this blog or follow me on most Social networks know, I have had a lifelong career in recruitment, particularly recruitment for the Retail and Hospitality industries in Canada.

During that rather lengthy (ahem!) time, both industries have battled perception problems from potential employees.  The perceptions are that the pay is low, the work is undemanding, the work in not interesting, that the ability to advance is small, the hours are too long, etc. etc.

I have stood on thousands of soap boxes throughout my career talking about Retail as a Career.  Canada’s largest Retail organization, Retail Council of Canada has worked tirelessly to try and convince quality candidates that the Retail industry can become lucrative, engrossing, and even a great place to earn a living and raise a family.

Still, so many folks see Retail and Hospitality as being typified by an overworked individual trying to get a customer’s size 10 shoes into a size 8 at 8:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

So, if these industries are just something to do when you can’t find something why, on Fortune Magazine’s Top 100 Companies to work for, are there so many hotels, restaurants, and retailers???  Here is the current list Fortune’s Best 100 Employers.  I have always found Fortune’s list to be accurate and authentic because it’s geared towards informing job seekers which companies to consider.  Unlike so many others, you can’t buy yourself onto the list.

Just a small rant today.  Why the Cheesecake Factory reference?  Firstly, as a Canadian, I thought The Cheese Cake Factory was just a fictional place where Penny worked.  Throughout all of the 9 seasons of The Big Bang Theory, the fact that Penny ‘only’ worked for The Cheese Cake Factory was always a point of derision to not only Sheldon but all of the other scientists, including her now-husband Leonard.  Why? The Cheese Cake Factory provided Penny with steady employment for many years and is featured in the top 100 employers at number 98.  OK, not near the top, but still……within Fortune’s Top 100.  Here’s a quote from their top Recruitment professional:  “In all positions, both in our restaurants and corporate support center, we look for those special people who aspire to achieve and inspire excellence in those around them.” – Claire Prager, vice president of talent selection’

The Big Bang Theory

Over the course of my career I have seen individuals that I have placed at a Store Manager level now serve as Vice President, Store Operations or even President.  I have know individuals that started unpacking boxes who are now serving as Director of Logistics and Distribution.  Why do Canadians still view these industries as something to do till you get someplace else?  Maybe Penny could have been the Regional Director for The Cheese Cake Factory, but she never gave a career there a thought.  Pity.

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