In the midst of a hectic shift spent running back and forth between a crowded dining room and a noisy kitchen, a career in the restaurant business might not seem so glamorous. But despite the rush, challenges, and low starting salaries for bussers and servers, restaurant work brings plenty of advantages.
For starters, salaries in this business tend to go up. Sprinkle in some serious cash from tips, and the sky could be the limit. Secondly, restaurant work is extremely social. In this business, it's possible to make promising connections with people in almost every walk of life.
But of all the benefits of working in a restaurant, one outshines the rest: The work experience transfers to other jobs very well. Here are some of the lessons of the kitchen and dining room that can help employees thrive later in any business, from healthcare to tech to marketing and sales.
The Valuable Lessons of a Restaurant Job
Here are some of the most important takeaways from working in the restaurant biz:
1. You learn how to handle stress and yelling: Sometimes a workplace is smooth, peachy, and professional…but sometimes it isn't. And sometimes the only way to get a message across in a busy restaurant is to shout it. Both the shouter and the recipient need to learn that shouts aren't personal — they're just part of doing business in a noisy and time-critical environment. It's no joke that restaurant work can toughen you up and teach you how to stay cool in the face of blistering criticism.
2. You learn the value of customers' opinions: In a restaurant, the customer is king. If a steak is undercooked or a salad is wilted, smart chefs and restaurant owners don't stand in the dining room and argue with the customer about it. They simply apologize and correct the problem. Witnessing this process can teach an employee how to deal with customer complaints, a skill which can carry over into any future sales, marketing, service delivery, or contract-oriented position.
3. You learn the value of teamwork: There's a limit to how far personal pride and rigid independence can take a person in the restaurant business. Sooner or later, all busy servers get bogged down and need help. And if you're comfortable asking for help and lending a hand when needed, your ability to work in a team will serve you well wherever your career may take you.
4. You learn how to prioritize: Restaurant work always involves ten tasks that need to be completed immediately. Each task is just as important as the last, and all of them were supposed to be finished five minutes ago. But cool-headed and successful employees — from servers to chefs to hosts to managers — find ways to prioritize these tasks while in motion. And this "on-the-go" mental organization can ingrain a sense of prioritization and efficiency into employees.
Where Will Your Restaurant Job Lead in the Future?
You might start your career in the restaurant business, but that doesn't mean that's where you'll end up. Wherever life takes you after this, the time you spend in the kitchen or dining room will stay with you and help you thrive. In the meantime, visit MyPerfectResume and build a resume with these tips in mind!