Moving from the Restaurant to the Real World – Skills that Transfer
For many of us, the food industry is our maiden voyage into employment – we jump into the workforce amid pots and pans and plastic menus. We tend bar, we balance trays of drinks on one hand, and we learn more about condiments than we ever thought possible.
We do this for the paycheck – no one wants to work for free, not even if it comes with all-you-can-eat French fries. But, as we bus and host and flip burgers, we’re also perfecting skills that transfer from work life to home life. These skills include:
Not everyone who works in a restaurant works in the kitchen, but if you do, you’re gaining useful (and delicious) experience. Everyone can benefit from learning to cook – feasting on home-cooked meals is better for your waistline and your checkbook. Added bonus: it’s also great for your dating profile!
Time-management is a necessity of the restaurant industry – when you’re dealing with hungry people, you need to be punctual. Outside of your job, this skill is vital, as well. People who are able to manage their time are more organized, more efficient, and more successful than those perpetually flying by the seat of their pants.
Just like in other people-centric industries, the customer is always right in the restaurant biz. This is true no matter what they say - their soup is too cold, their soda is too flat, their sushi is undercooked. When you work in an industry that involves customers, you must grow adept at customer service. This helps you develop patience, tact, and compromise…traits that take you far in all aspects of life.
No matter how easy your job is, problems arise. In restaurants, they can rear their heads at any time. You might find yourself short-staffed, you might be overwhelmed by a large group of diners, or you may run out of your most popular dish. As these problems come up, you must fix them – your job depends on it. Learn how to be a problem-solver at work and you’ll learn how to be one at home, too.
From drink orders to appetizers to carrying out the main dish, the restaurant business is made for multi-tasking folks. In fact, it’s a rare moment when you’re not doing multiple things at once. Honing this skill is an excellent way to be productive in all aspects of life. Whether you’re juggling school work or kids, there will always be more than one ball up in the air. Learn to multi-task and you’ll keep them from dropping.
Working in a restaurant brings home a paycheck, but it’s beneficial to your home life, as well. Many skills transcend the industry, not only making you a better employee, but a better person, too.
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