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>> 23 Lessons U Get From Working @a Restaurant <<

Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:43 pm

AUG. 1, 2013
By CHELSEA FAGAN

1. If you don’t have a thick skin and complete abandonment of political correctness, don’t go near the kitchen. You will immediately learn there that what you consider to be off-limits is just the baseline of someone else’s sense of humor.

2. Bad tippers are the worst kinds of people, and are often terrible in many other ways than just being cheap.

3. Correction, the worst people are those who don’t tip or tip very badly, and accompany their financial insult with a snarky note left on the receipt.

4. The pain of a bad seating chart is a real one, and not a single customer will care or understand that you got slammed while someone else is totally dead.

5. The difference between the people who have never worked in food service, and the people who have, is always clearly visible. And a lot of time it has to do with the basic degree of respect they give to the people who are serving them.

6. Make back-of-house’s life easy, they will make yours easy. Working is always about scratching someone’s back so they’ll scratch yours, and you’d better not break that chain.

7. The only people you’re going to be able to hang out with — and often date — are by default going to be other people in the industry. So you better like the people you work with it, because no one else is going to be coming out with you at 1 AM.

8. There is absolutely zero shame in eating the plate that gets sent back barely-touched because someone either misunderstood what they were ordering or is incredibly fussy about their perfectly-good food. People who will judge you over shit like that are people who don’t know the joys of a pristine plate of onion rings coming back to you when you are starving.

9. The most important friend you will make is the one who will cover for you while you eat, crouched next to some appliance in the kitchen. True friendship is about taking the fall so someone can eat.

10. There are a lot of people who are going to look down on you for working a restaurant, and treat you with massive disrespect, and you just have to get over it and remind yourself to never be like that in your own life.

11. If you are good to your server, your experience will be about a thousand times better, and you might even get free stuff if you’re lucky.

12. There is nothing better than a chef who is currently trying out new stuff and has tons of excess food for everyone to try. The best friend anyone can have is a good chef.

13. Line cooks are some of the hardest-working, most humble and honest people in the working world. And many of them happen to be felons. And when you see them get off a 14-hour shift and still manage to make jokes with you at the end of it, you realize that every judgment we make about the guy with neck tattoos is completely off base.

14. If you’re a female waitress/hostess/bartender, some of the more drunk male customers will take it upon themselves to also designate you “professional receiver of gross comments and inappropriate touches.”

15. A good manager is the one who will shut shit like that down, because they would rather lose the money from that customer than have someone who mistreats their staff.

16. Even the best establishment can be run into the ground by a petty, spiteful manager.

17. There is no worse an experience on this planet than working a busy brunch shift when you are brutally hungover.

18. If you don’t make friends with the bartender from the get-go, your life is going to be difficult. And you quickly learn that this also applies to the places you don’t work at — treat your bartender well, reap the rewards.

19. The calm before the storm (also known as the rush) is one of the most precious, fleeting moments in life. And as soon as you see that first customer looking at the specials board just a little too long, you know that it’s already over.

20. Never be the person who comes in just as the kitchen’s closing and orders something really complicated. Just don’t be that person.

21. In the best restaurants, you’ll become like a little family, and live through several very important moments together (especially because you don’t get days off for normal, human things such as holidays or birthdays).

22. There will be one item on the menu that you fall in love with so much that you actually start having dreams about it, and go through withdrawal when you don’t have it for a long enough stretch of time. You can actually get that way over, say, a cream of crab soup. It’s like heroin.

23. Going back to a place you used to work and seeing all the old group — and getting to eat and drink all your favorites again — is one of the best feelings you can have.

Re: >> 23 Lessons U Get From Working @a Restaurant <<

Mon Dec 16, 2013 3:21 pm

Good one and although I have never been in the food industry I have been "in" the food industry environment many times over the last two years talking with the chef or line cooks and I've learned a lot. I have a new found respect for the good folks that prepare and serve me at a restaurant. There has not been one time that I have been back in the kitchen/prep area that every single person looks like they are run ragged, busy busy busy and just hard at it. Most of the time, there is absolutely no chit chat, they hand me their knives and then run back to work, there is just no time for idle banter. I go in, grab the knives, get a few smiles and "thanks" and then I get out of their way asap.

I spent 45 days at sea once without seeing land, I was never as busy as these folks are and I was busy.

Re: >> 23 Lessons U Get From Working @a Restaurant <<

Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:33 pm

PETE <> Welcome to my last 24 years of overtime... days, nights, weekends, & holidays.

Re: >> 23 Lessons U Get From Working @a Restaurant <<

Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:32 pm

17. There is no worse an experience on this planet than working a busy brunch shift when you are brutally hungover.

Doing this and not complaining the entire time is called being an adult. or so i tell my young cooks.

Re: >> 23 Lessons U Get From Working @a Restaurant <<

Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:28 pm

BBC <> I prefer seasoned, but adult makes the point just as well. :P

Re: >> 23 Lessons U Get From Working @a Restaurant <<

Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:45 pm

I think this little blog is your typical prima donna conceited server wanting attention. The reality is servers don't do squat. Servers get big tips, we in the kitchen do all the work. Our service industry compared to Europe is a joke.

If you want to make good money serving tables in say France...you have to be experienced and good at it. In America you don't have to be good at serving to make good money, you somehow expect tips. If my food takes a long time to get to my table and is prepared in a mediocre fashion why do I tip?

Do I reward the server for endorsing lackluster food? This PC liberal entititlement attitude toward tips makes me a bit unhinged.

Number 17 is funny...once again prima donna BS...If you want me to feel sorry for you because you got loaded to excess and have to work brunch the next morning that's yer damn fault.

Number 20...so what if a customer complicates an order a bit. It's the service industry. As a server it is your job to kiss client booty. If you don't like it tough...It's your job to patronize the customer.

#16 shows lack of respect...If the evening gets tough this prima donna is blaming the manager...Sometimes managers don't mean what they say. when the ship is sinking the manager will yell "Get that goddamn ductape and plug the hole you scallywag"

It's just a matter of fact food service managers can be overtly hostile when the pressure is on. They often don't mean it. Just because they don't apologize doesn't mean they don't have feelings. The next day it is often like nothing ever happens.

These annoyances we face in the food industry are part of the job.

Re: >> 23 Lessons U Get From Working @a Restaurant <<

Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:33 pm

My brother and I took our wives out to eat Saturday night. The food was great but the service REALLY sucked. All I could think about after paying the bill was think "I wish I could take this tip to the kitchen and give it to the guys in the back!" I hated to think that it went to the server. I can only hope, but doubt, that they have some kind of tip sharing policy there.

Re: >> 23 Lessons U Get From Working @a Restaurant <<

Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:51 pm

JEFF <> Keep hoping. Very very rare, the whole house pools. If you wanna tip the kitchen, ask to speak with a Kitchen Manager/Chef (if there is one) or the GM, and explain you would like to tip the kitchen. You can usually find someone, typically a dishwasher, out back behind the place to relay a message, as well.

Re: >> 23 Lessons U Get From Working @a Restaurant <<

Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:17 pm

Thanks Mel, I'll find a way to get it to the kitchen next for sure!

Re: >> 23 Lessons U Get From Working @a Restaurant <<

Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:22 pm

I knew it was only time until somebody used the term 'scalliwag' on this forum.
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