Let’s face it – working in a restaurant isn’t always (or even ever) glamorous. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t build character and skills that will help you later on in your life. In fact, it’s our humble opinion that everyone should work in a restaurant at least once in their life. Here are 9 ways working in a restaurant prepares you for life.
You learn how to deal with mean people
People aren’t always the nicest, and, unfortunately, when you work at a restaurant you get to see the worst in humanity. You also have to deal with them–there’s no option of looking the other way when you have a customer ranting to you because their steak is too well done. Working in a restaurant equips you with the grace and patience you need to deal with people who aren’t on their best behavior.
Mistakes happen and you get over them
You’re never going to get through a restaurant shift without making some type of mistake, whether it’s mixing up Coke with Diet Coke, dropping a stack of dishes or doing something else that, honestly, you’ve probably already forgotten about. Restaurants move fast, so you learn to fix your mistakes quickly and move on without stewing over it.
On top of the physical multitasking, you also get really good at mentally storing a lot of information.
Working in a restaurant gives you mad multitasking skills. Taking a phone order while checking out a customer while training the new cashier? Check, check and check. On top of the physical multitasking, you also get really good at mentally storing a lot of information.
In a matter of a few minutes, you could be refilling water, taking an order, directing someone to the bathroom, cleaning up a spilled soda and making sure to talk to the chef about a customer’s dietary restrictions. You’ll find yourself walking around with a running checklist in your head that will never fully go away.
You’ll always leave good tips
Nothing makes you a better tipper when you dine out than having worked in a restaurant, even if you aren’t on the wait staff. You know first-hand how demanding the job is, and you don’t take it out on your waiter when your meal is a little overcooked, or it takes an extra five minutes for him to take your order. You get it, and you appreciate him.
You know how important it is to be on time for a job.
Punctuality gets ingrained
You know how important it is to be on time for a job because you’ve had enough experience as the one who gets stuck working an extra hour because the guy working the next shift slept in. This one is going to become a pet peeve, for the record.
Efficiency is everything
It is going to drive you CRAZY to see people walking to and from places empty handed. Is it really so hard to grab that empty glass from the coffee table since you’re going into the kitchen anyway?? You never walk around the restaurant empty-handed or without a specific purpose.
You know from working in a kitchen that nothing happens without a good team.
Teamwork makes the dream work
Cliche, yes, but you know from working in a kitchen that nothing happens without a good team. Whether you’re washing dishes, preparing food, waiting tables or greeting guests as a host or hostess, you are an important part of the whole dining experience for your guests. If one person falls out of line, doesn’t show up or messes up big time, everyone else has to pick up the slack.
The opposite is true too–when everyone’s working together and in a rhythm, it’s magical. You’ll try to recreate the team experience in every future job you have, and you’ll feel lost (and annoyed) when other people just don’t get it.
From the restaurant owner to the head chef to that annoying guy at table 9, you engage with a lot of different types of people every single day that you work at a restaurant. Working at a restaurant helps you quickly figure people out so you can engage with them in a meaningful way. This is going to come in handy with every single job you have after you leave the restaurant industry.
Working at a restaurant helps you quickly figure people out so you can engage with them in a meaningful way.
Everything has its place in a restaurant kitchen, and things don’t go well when anything is out of place. You’re going to be organized (possibly to a fault) after working in a restaurant, and you might freak out when your roommate keeps leaving pans on the stove instead of in the pantry, where they CLEARLY belong.
Working in a restaurant isn’t easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding. You’ll learn major life skills by working in a restaurant that can’t be taught anywhere else. These will help you when you decide to leave the industry, and they’ll definitely be a bonus if you decide to make a career out of working in a restaurant.
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