6 ways working in a restaurant makes you a better human
Working in a restaurant isn’t just a way to make money—it also teaches you lessons you can use anywhere. Restaurant work is like a boot camp for interpersonal skills. And once you’ve worked a busy evening shift, other challenging life experiences can seem like a breeze in comparison. Here are six ways working in a restaurant makes you better at life.
You meet the highest expectations
“Good enough” is not good enough in this job. If you fall behind on your orders or make mistakes, customers will complain, your coworkers will have to cover for you, and your manager will demand improvement. You don’t get in the habit of slacking off, and you learn to confront problems with 100 percent effort. This commitment to getting things done on time and correctly serves you well in any project you tackle, not just at work.
You notice every detail
Before you worked at a restaurant, you might not have cared if you had brown mustard or Dijon mustard on a sandwich. But when a customer states a preference, you learn to spot the difference between similar options and make sure she gets the exact item she requested. You’re prepared to zero in on any detail that might be important to your current challenge, including the details that wouldn’t have mattered to you personally.
You juggle tasks without even thinking about it
You’re required to keep track of many orders at once, and to field questions and requests from customers too. It’s not a problem for you to work on multiple assignments simultaneously, even on tight deadlines. You’re used to it.
You build rapport with people right away
In some jobs, you can gradually develop relationships with coworkers as you interact with them every day for many months straight. In a restaurant, you don’t have that luxury. Co-workers come and go, and which people are on your shift can change at the last minute. And while you probably have some regular customers who keep coming back, you also serve a lot of people who have just walked through the door for the first time. You know how to introduce yourself in a friendly tone and to make a great first impression in seconds.
You stay cool no matter what
Customers may blame you if they don’t like their meal, but you know to stay calm and handle the situation pleasantly. Your self-control is a great advantage whenever someone lobs accusations or criticisms at you. You can respond politely without losing your temper, and you’re a pro at de-escalating arguments.
You can work with a demanding boss
Customers aren’t the only demanding people you encounter in a restaurant job; your manager gives you strict instructions and may be hot-headed if he feels you’re disappointing him. You know how to advocate for yourself in an assertive but tactful way, and that’s a skill you can apply in any workplace with a difficult boss.
When you work in a restaurant, you learn about a lot more than serving food. The life lessons you pick up there actually make you a better human.