Some Oddities That Come With a Restaurant Job
Waiting tables and tending bar are what put me through college, and I must say, the work is hard, but if I did not have these jobs, I am unsure of how I would have survived. I also can say that I learned valuable skills along with many meaningless ones as well during my time in the restaurant industry. Some useful skills that will be of assistance in my future career include customer service, time management and multitasking. I also learned a lot of meaningless skills that I will never again use in my life. Restaurant jobs are their own little niche and that is why one does need a certain amount of experience before beginning to wait tables.
One oddity of restaurants is the term “86.” If you have never worked in a restaurant, you have no idea what this term means other than the fact that it is a number. I can not tell you where it came from, or why the number 86 is used, but I do know that it means we have run out of something. For example, on a busy night, you might hear a cook yell, “86 green beans!” This means no more green beans.
Another thing I learned early on in my restaurant career was just what a ramekin is. Ramekins are those small dishes at restaurants that your sauces are served in. I have never met anyone who owns one of these dishes and when I was first asked to grab a ramekin, I did not know what one was.
Have you ever liked an intricately folded napkin sitting on your table at a restaurant? Chances are your server folded that very napkin for you to abruptly unfold and wipe your mouth with. In fact, that server probably folded about 100 of them that night. Over the years, I have learned an array of napkin folds. I suppose you could look at it as cloth origami, but to me it is yet another skill that I will never use again in my life.
Another crucial part of waiting tables and tending bar is properly using a double swing door. There is always a side for entering and another for exiting. It is imperative to never mess this up. If you do, chances are you will be plowed by someone using the door properly.
As earlier mentioned, I have learned invaluable skills from my time in the restaurant industry. I know proper etiquette, how to set a table and have a strong knowledge base when it comes to wine. All of these skills will be important in my future career in the business world. Working in the restaurant industry also fine tunes your customer service skills. And lastly, if you work in a very busy restaurant you learn time management skills and how to effectively multitask.
So, restaurant jobs are a great way to get through college. You will learn some valuable skills along with some pointless ones that you will never use again.