9 Exhausting Life Lessons You Only Learn From Working In The Restaurant Industry

1. Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked

Most positions in a restaurant have you standing up, constantly moving for 10 to 16 hours a day. It makes it a little hard to listen to your friend complain about their “tiring day at the office” after you spent 12 hours waiting on 300 unruly children, grumpy elderlies, and generally ungrateful customers who apparently don’t know how to figure out what a 20% tip looks like.

2. Showers Are A Gift From God

Have you ever taken off your clothes after a long shift and thought something died in the ceiling above you? Yeah, that’s you. Showers are hands down the best part of any restaurant professionals day… except when you worked sautee all day and the water hits your burns in a way that makes you want to rip your arms off. Other than that, it’s like being licked by unicorns. Appreciate them.

3. Everyone’s A Critic

No matter how courteous you are, no matter how precise your cooking is, people will ALWAYS find something to complain about. Don’t take it personally; they just want to hear themselves talk. Ya know, the customers aren’t actually always right.

“Cook this a little more.”

“No, this is cooked too much. I won’t pay for it.”

“You charged me an extra dollar here. You’re not going to make me pay for that are you?” *leaves 8% tip*

4. Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness

Cleaning throughout the day means you don’t have to clean up a pile of garbage, rags, fallen food and splattered sauce stains the size of Mount Olympus at the end of the night. Wiping up right after a spill, and just generally picking up after yourself, alleviates a giant weight off your shoulders when it comes time to close up shop.

5. Don’t Take Everything So Seriously

Managers will reprimand you, customers will degrade you and cooks will ignore you but don’t take it too seriously. You’ll learn to let what someone says bounce off your thick skin and hit them right back. You wanna learn how to develop some nice comebacks? Work in a kitchen.

6. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Run for other server’s food, cover for someone while they try to sneak a couple bites in, or ask the cooks if you want someone to drink. You’ll be rewarded for it when it comes time that you need a hand.

7. Tip Well And Often

The best tippers are the people that actually work or have worked in the food industry. They know that servers rely solely on their tips and even when they receive less than par service, they will still throw you a bone. 20% is the minimum.

8. Lead By Example

Who knows? Maybe someday you’ll find yourself sitting in your managers office, leading your own crew. And that’s exactly what you have to do, lead, not just deligate. A good leader never asks anyone to do something that they wouldn’t do.

9. Friends Til The End

Working in a restaurant brings you into the world of awful working hours. Sometimes you might not get out until 2AM, and if you do get out early you’re too tired to do anything. That’s why forming friendships, and possibly even romantic relationships, with others that work in your restaurant, or other restaurants, will be some of the best you’ll ever have. They’ll be just as tired as you when you go out to have a drink after a rough day. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog