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How to Survive Working in a Restaurant

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Working in a restaurant can be one of the most stressful jobs you can have, and the pay doesn't always reflect the amount of effort that the job requires. However, there are certain strategies that you can employ to help you survive working in a restaurant. With the proper motivation, a heavy dose of patience and a hard work ethic, you can make the most out of working at a restaurant, achieving your monetary and personal goals without letting the stresses of the job overwhelm you.

Approach all customers with kindness and positive energy. For example, when they walk into the restaurant, greet them by smiling at them and learning their names. This will increase your tips and make customers appreciate you more.

Maintain a clean appearance, which will help you look professional. When serving or cooking food, it is easy to spill food on your clothes, but you want to make sure to wipe it off. Check to make sure that, before you approach a table or customer, you look clean. No one wants to be served food from someone who looks dirty.

Communicate with other workers to make sure that you're running the restaurant in a fluid and efficient way. This is especially important for cooks, who must cooperate with other cooks to get food out quickly and at the same time.

Exercise patience with needy or unsatisfied customers. Some customers may complain about food or service, but you should always listen to what they say in a calm way. By listening to their needs and trying to improve their restaurant experience, you can sometimes salvage a good tip.

Prioritize tasks when things become stressful. As a waiter, you will have to multitask, and you can do this by considering who arrived first, whose orders will take the longest to make and who is in a hurry. As a cook, you can consider what foods take longer to cook and which foods need to be sent out first. For example, you might make all of the appetizers for tables before starting on the entrees, which will help satisfy people temporarily until their main dishes are ready.


Keep in mind that working at a restaurant at first can be very stressful and overwhelming. After working for a few shifts, you will begin to be able to handle the heavy workload in a more efficient fashion.

Constantly think about what you can do to improve your work, which will ultimately lead to making better tips or getting a promotion.

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