3 Takeaways From Working in a Restaurant

Working in a restaurant is a lot harder than it seems. Before working in the industry, I never truly appreciated how difficult and challenging the job can be. When people go out to eat, there’s almost an automatic expectation that everything will come out correctly and in a short amount of time. While this expectation is fair, it creates a ton of pressure on service workers, especially when the restaurant becomes busy during its rush. Nevertheless, working in a restaurant for a little over two years has taught me some valuable lessons and given me some good insight as well as a new perspective on the industry. 

  1. Teamwork is Everything

While most jobs require a team effort to be successful, restaurants take teamwork to a whole new level since they have to act fast and depend on each person every time. Essentially, the teamwork never stops. For example, cooks have to constantly make food at the server’s request, servers must rely on hosts to seat their tables correctly, hosts need servers to help clean tables, and dishwashers need servers to leave dishes so they can give clean dishes to cooks. If one part of this intricate machine fails, the whole restaurant essentially starts shutting down. I’ve come to learn that teamwork is vital and trusting co-workers is key to successful shifts. Additionally, along with teamwork is communication. From working in a restaurant, I have learned to become more succinct when communicating with others since the environment is so fast paced. 

  1. Patience 

Patience is something I’ve come to value after working in a restaurant. Often when a problem arises, guests do not give you a chance to fix the issue at hand or simply do not understand that the problem is something you can’t control. This has made me greatly thankful for those who are patient when the pressure is high. When people react in kindness and understanding rather than anger and annoyance it makes me more motivated to fix the problem as best I can. Reacting in this way also encourages basic human respect and treats workers as equals rather than something inferior. 

  1. Always Try to Tip Anyone 

Before working in a restaurant, I only thought it was expected to tip servers. However, I’ve come to learn that it’s important to try to tip anyone who does a service for you. While it’s not so much a common social expectation, the tip line on receipts and tip jars are not there just for no reason. Even though baristas, fast food, and to-go orders may not provide full-service like a server does, it doesn’t mean they aren’t not doing anything important in an effort to please you. Additionally, tips don’t always have to be 20%. While it would be greatly appreciated, any tip is better than no tip is what I have come to learn.