Food Service

Everyone should work in food service at some point in their lives. I believe this will increase empathy levels for service workers across the board.

My first job was at my parents’ restaurant in Florida. I cleaned tables, ran the register, and hosted.

I continued to work there through high school and in the summer when I came home from college until they sold it and moved North. I also worked at a vegetarian restaurant in college.

Three things I learned:

🥗 Relationships Matter: Regulars are a hoot. A smile and some fun banter go a long way. Sometimes you’re the only bright spot in their day (especially with some retirees in FL) so treat everyone well.

🍔 Attitude Matters: Customers can be difficult – you can be pleasant and firm at the same time. Bosses can be difficult. Take it in stride and keep doing your best (Sorry, dad…) 😅.

🍲 Humility Matters: Serving & Cleaning up after people can be humbling, exhausting and frustrating. I’ve worked through many a rush and been completely spent at the end only to be shortchanged on tips with customers I thought I treated well. To this day I am never one to stiff waitstaff on a tip. The job is hard.

I may never work in food service again, but I carry these lessons wherever I go.