When you walk into a trendy new bar, you might expect to see inexperienced servers and a hip, youthful atmosphere. But when you walk into Barcelona’s Entrepanez Diaz, you can be sure your more mature tastes will be catered to.
That’s the vision owner, Kim Diaz, had in mind when he was creating the bar. Along with creating an old-school 1950s atmosphere, Diaz decided to strictly hire older waiters. “I was looking for waiters who are over 50 because I knew they’d be fantastic and because society has unjustly pushed them out of the job market,” Diaz told The Guardian. “These guys have 20 or 30 years of experience, a lifetime. Here the waiter’s profession is in decline but the people I’ve employed see it as a vocation.”
Indeed, it’s a tough world out there for older job seekers who can sometimes face age discrimination, especially in the service industry. Rafael, one of the waiters at Etrepanez Diaz, says he was surprised to get the job, especially after just a two-minute interview. “After four and half years without work it was unbelievable. Totally unexpected, when you’re over 50, to get a glimpse of a little bit of light. No one wants people who are 53 years old,” he told The Guardian.
According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics survey, just under two-thirds of workers say they have experienced or witnessed ageism at work. And more than half of those surveyed say that they feel age discrimination begins once workers enter their 50s.
Rafael says he believes jobs often go to younger candidates who require lower pay, thanks to the perks of living with parents and having fewer financial obligations. But he’s optimistic that things are getting better for older workers, thanks to his new job.
Last year, the unemployment rate for workers over 55 dropped 0.6 percent to 3.9 percent, according to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics.
“it makes sense to employ people of my age,” Rafael said. “We’re making a comeback, we’re not going to complain. We’re here to work, to get along with people, get paid and do a good job. And clients notice this, the experience we have and the good service they get.”