Restaurants seem to be popular workplaces for Marian girls. There is bound to be a fellow student working at any restaurant. According to the February Network survey, 11.6 percent of Marian girls work at a restaurant.
The highest percentage are waitresses at 40 percent, with the second highest being hostesses at 25 percent and the least being bussers at 10 percent. From waiting tables to hostessing to even working in the kitchen, a restaurant can be a very versatile and rewarding place to work for a student.
Junior Natalie Plewa, who works at Harold’s Koffee House on North 30th street, works at the cash register and as a waitress. “I love working at a restaurant,” Plewa said, “and I get a discount on food, so that’s a bonus!” Discounted food, and of course tip money, are definitely a plus.
Freshman Caroline Drew works at B&G Tasty Foods on 78th and Dodge as a waitress as well. “I definitely enjoy working at a restaurant,” Drew said. “I’d say the best parts of working there are the people who I work with and the fun atmosphere and, of course, having a small, but consistent, steady income.”
Coworkers can make or break a work atmosphere. Luckily for Plewa, the people she works with add to the experience. “I only work with one other high schooler on Saturdays, but none on Sundays. Even though there aren’t a lot of young people, the people I work with are really cool. Everyone gets along really well, so it doesn’t matter how old or young you are,” Plewa said.
When working at a restaurant, interaction with the customers is key. “The best part about working at Harold’s is meeting all the regulars and getting to know them,” Plewa said. “Some of the people that go in there every week are awesome, and I love hearing their stories!”
Of course, as with all jobs, accidents are bound to happen. “Within my first week of working there, I broke two dishes and dumped an entire container of
pepper on the floor,” Plewa said.
Drew found her job at B&G’s in a more unique way than merely filling
out an application. “At a silent auction, my mom won an opportunity for a friend and I to ‘work’ there for free for a day as a fun experience, and afterward my boss offered me a job once I turned 14,” she said.
As for Plewa, her connections helped her obtain a job at Harold’s. “The restaurant I work in is family-owned, and I’ve known the family for a long time, so when they told my parents they had a position open, I applied right away,” she said.
High school jobs often get a bad rap, but these girls have proved that work doesn’t have to be so bad. “There isn’t really a [bad] part to my job; I love it so much,” Plewa said. “I work with some cool people, my bosses are great, and I love talking to everyone that comes in to eat.”