5 Lessons I Learned While Working in Food Service

When I turned sixteen, my parents started nagging me to get a job., I snagged a position as a waitress at a pizza restaurant in my hometown and w.  While I was excited to finally be making my own money, I soon realized that working in the food service industry is not always sunshine and rainbows. 

However my years of experience can now be condensed into five valuable lessons I have learned from working in a  However, at almost nineteen, I’ve come up with five invaluable lessons I learned after working in a restaurant for two years; even if I got had to get a few ketchup stains on myself along the way.

Lesson #1: You’ll build up a thicker skin.

A few months after stepping into the workforce, an angry customer called the restaurant raging about the fact that he hadn’t received extra dressing with his salad.  Long story short, this customer eventually made me cry.  At the time, his explosive tone and vulgar comments were a bit scarring, but it made me realize that you can’t please everybody.  It also made me realize that if you love ranch dressing so much, maybe you should keep it in your own refrigerator.

Lesson #2: You’ll learn how to multitask like a boss.

When the phone is ringing off the hook, you have one hundred pizza boxes to fold, and customers are walking in all at once, it can be easy to get overwhelmed.  However, in almost no time at all, I developed a system that worked for me, and gave me some pretty awesome multitasking skills that I still use to this day.  For example, I can draft a ten-page paper while belting out my favorite Disney lyrics and eating Easy Mac.  Impressive, right?

Lesson #3: You’ll make real friends.

Even though we all live in different states now, I met two of my greatest friends at work.  One of the best parts of making friends with your coworkers is that you’re frequently surrounded by people who understand “the struggle.”  Whether your party of six left nothing but straw wrappers and a few dirty plates on the table, or you spilled balsamic vinaigrette all over your shirt, you’ll always have somebody to lean on.  More importantly, you’ll always have somebody to split fettuccini alfredo with you when you’re trying to watch your weight!.  

Lesson #4: You’ll learn the value of teamwork.

If you’ve ever worked in food service, you know weekends can get a bit hectic.  It’s these crazy nights that encourage everybody to work together.  You gain some pretty sweet communication skills when you work in a restaurant.  It’s crucial to communicate clearly with the customer, the cooks, the delivery drivers, and even the other waitresses to ensure a seamless experience for everyone.  After it’s all over, you appreciate your coworkers more than you did before, and almost can’t wait to do it all over again… After a hot shower, a good night’s sleep and a week recuperation, that is.

Lesson #5: You’ll learn how to truly respect other people.

Finally, the most important lesson I’ve learned from working in food service is how to empathize with others.  Before I was a waitress, I never really understood how much work goes into providing a customer with the best possible experience. But, the past two years have taught me just how difficult it can be.  So next time you go into a busy restaurant, be kind to your waitress; it will probably make them happier than a $100 tip ever could. 

(P.S. it’s a rumor- waitresses won’t actually spit in your food, but be nice anyway.)