Saturday, August 17, 2013

Confessions of a Food Service Worker

So, I work in a restaurant. Obviously I'm not gonna say which one, but I work in an awesome burger-and-fries joint. Anyone reading this post who has worked in food service before will probably relate to a lot of these points. For anyone reading who has never worked in food service, this will be your insight into what it's like and the things that may go on while we're preparing your food!

Quick disclaimer!! I love my job, I love it so much and all the people I work with and for. This post is for humor purposes only, I don't want to offend anyone! I can assure you that wherever you go to eat all food safety laws are more than likely being followed and no food service worker would likely ever do anything to diminish the quality of the food you are receiving. Of course, I can only speak for myself!

1. It's hard to hear you sometimes! In my restaurant the register is fairly close to the fryers and grills we use to prepare your food. Fryers are loud. Personally, I don't have any problem being heard by customers(grew up on stage, what can I say?), but the customers have to speak up as well! If you mumble that you don't want tomatoes on your burger I might not hear it and you will have tomatoes on your burger and no one wins in this situation. Don't be shy about telling me what you want! It's your food, speak up and make sure you get what you want! It's my job to get you your food exactly as you asked for it, I don't want to have to lean over the register and ask "sorry, what? what did you say?" over and over again!

2. Yes, we talk about customers. If you are socially awkward, rude, attractive, unattractive, a good tipper, a bad tipper, or pretty much anything, we will probably talk about you to our co workers in the back kitchens. We know exactly where in the restaurant we can talk as loud as we want without being heard. If we are being professional, it won't affect how we treat you or how we make your food, but sometimes we need a good story to tell! And a story about a customer who spent 20 minutes trying to decide what they were going to eat while simultaneously telling me her life story and showing me pictures of her multiple cats and also trying to hire me into her pyramid scheme business is a good story!!

3. We like tips!
I'm not on a reduced salary, but I still don't make much money. Tips are a really important part of my income! I count on my tips to buy gas for my car! Even just a dollar or two will make us happy! And if we notice you tipping well we will more than likely pay extra attention to you and your food, making sure you're happy and your food is well made!

4. We can't just give you free food. In many many restaurants even the employees don't get free food. Even if we wanted to give you free food we probably wouldn't be able to. With how ordering works I have to input the food you want, then you have to pay for it. Only after you pay for it will the order be sent to the kitchen where it's made. If you don't pay for it then the order doesn't go to the kitchen and you don't get food. Even if there was a way for me to sneak people I know free food it would be a big risk to my job and honestly, giving you free food is so not worth me losing my job. Sorry.

5. We don't have any real power. I'm not a manager or owner. I just work at my restaurant (even though I say MY restaurant, that's just easier to say than "the restaurant that I work at"). It amazes me how often people will tell me to change rules or give me suggestions that I don't have any power over. I've had people tell me I picked a bad location for the restaurant (um, sorry? I guess I should have asked you where you wanted it before I even started working here). I've had people tell me to put different foods on the menu (ya, like I have that kind of power, please), I've even had people tell me to take certain foods off the menu (if you don't want it, don't order it)! Telling your cashier at a grocery store that the price of your gallon of milk is too high isn't going to change the price the next time you go in, so telling me that I should offer a different type of fry won't give me the power to make that happen. And in a few instances I will actually agree with whatever you want changed, if I could I would change that! Someone told me they wanted waffle cut fries once, I was like I KNOW RIGHT? Too bad though.

6. If you are attractive and we are single we might try to make your food extra delicious. To be honest, this might just be me. My life is a little sad like that.

7. Ask questions! If you don't know what something is on the menu go ahead and ask what it is. It's the employees job and responsibility to know what it is and to tell you. Don't be afraid to ask us to run down the menu for you. It's our job to show you what you are going to be eating, that's what we're getting paid for. People always act apologetic that I had to spend two minutes telling them everything that we serve, but I really don't mind it! Don't be shy!

8. Speak up when something is messy or wrong. If we forgot to put cheese on your burger just tell us and we will be more than happy to throw some queso on there for you (as long as you're not rude about it, then we will be less happy, but we'll still do it)! If the bathroom is out of paper towels we won't know unless we go in or someone tells us! It's not rude to tell an employee "hey, the bathroom is out of toilet paper by the way." But it is rude to say "Ew, your bathroom is nasty, go take care of that."

9. If you enjoyed your meal, tell us! Some of my favorite moments as a cook are when a customer takes the time to tell me personally that they enjoyed their meal. One of my favorite days at work was the day when a woman got a to go order and actually took the time to call the restaurant later and tell my manager that it was the best burger she had ever had! She remembered that it was the only girl working at the restaurant at the time that made it and told him to tell me good job! I was so happy and proud of myself that day! That kind of thing will improve a workers attitude and efficiency.
And yes, this happens every single time. Sorry.

10. If you are a rude customer we won't ruin your food, but we will think about it. Let me repeat that. I would NEVER purposefully ruin anyone's meal because they were rude to me, but I will most definitely fantasize about it. I will probably trash talk about you later and dream about giving you extra pickles when you asked for no pickles. But I won't actually act on it. Promise.

Well, there are my confessions of a food service worker. Hopefully you found it a little funny, more than a little accurate, and a little informative. Next time you go out to eat, be nice, speak up, tip, and say please and thank you!

Thanks for reading! Come back soon for more posts! Don't forget to follow me on Pinterest and feel free to comment below or email me at

No comments:

Post a Comment