Getting a job in food service is a great way to earn extra cash. Many employers are willing to accommodate your schedule, allowing you to work around school or family obligations with ease. Often viewed as nothing more than a source of income, working in food service can teach you some valuable life lessons.
About as people-oriented as a job can get, food service is all about making the customer happy — and this is always a team effort. From clearly explaining menu items to putting orders in accurately and preparing food to customer specifications, communication is key. Some customers aren’t as much of a pleasure as others, so you’ll also quickly learn the art of patience.
Four Ways Food Service Teaches Patience and Communication
Selling Menu Items
If you’re a server, you’ll likely be required to recommend menu items to your tables. Even when it’s not mandated, patrons frequently rely on servers for advice on what to order. Effectively conveying the ingredients in the dish, the way it’s prepared and how it tastes can make all the difference in a customer’s dining experience.
Getting Orders Right
From a hungry customer’s standpoint, nothing is more irritating than not getting your order exactly as specified. If you’re a server, you must communicate with customers from the start —asking if they have any food allergies, what they want on their burger, etc. You’re then responsible for sharing this information with the kitchen and making sure your notes are understood. If you’re working in the kitchen, you need to be on the same page with servers on all orders, to be certain food is prepared according to customer requests.
Satisfying Difficult Customers
Most patrons are fun and friendly, but encountering those who are cranky, indecisive and demanding from time-to-time is inevitable. Patience is a virtue when faced with customers who insist on ordering off-menu or change their order five times. The ability to remain calm and go with the flow leads to happier customers and a lower stress level for you.
Working as Part of a Team
Food service is all about teamwork. It doesn’t matter if you’re a host, server, busser, dishwasher or cook, you won’t last if you can’t communicate. To keep customers happy, you’ll constantly need to both pass information along and absorb it, so everyone can do their jobs. Sharing knowledge — and fast — is the only way to keep the flow of the restaurant running smoothly.
Looking for a flexible job that fits your lifestyle?
Contact LGC Hospitality. We offer a huge selection of front of house and back of house positions in 25+ cities nationwide.