Column by J1 Reporter Mariella Virgillito
When going out to a restaurant, it is evident which customers have once been an employee at a restaurant and customers who haven’t. From stacking plates, to tipping the proper amount, and even being empathic and patient to the way a restaurant runs makes it obvious to which customers understand the behind the scenes of a restaurant.
It is important that everyone experiences the challenges of working in the restaurant industry to apply the life lessons they might learn.
The work experience provides people with applicable skills including: communication, teamwork, efficiency, thinking under pressure and empathy for those in the same position.
Communication in the workplace is crucial. It is necessary to communicate with your customers, cooks, employers and coworkers. This trait is highly valued in all areas of life. Communication is a life skill that carries over to teamwork and understanding.
Work experience in a restaurant enhances the importance of teamwork. Servers might tag-team with their coworkers to give customers the best experience while dining. There are many ways for a person to learn the value of teamwork, however, working under pressure to please the people you are serving enhances the need for this skill.
Serving customers is extremely stressful. It is important to please the people who are paying you in a timely manner. Once you greet your table, you create a mental to-do list of things you must accomplish for that table and the rest of your section. While serving, you have no choice but to get everything done in a timely manner. It is easy to get flustered, but staying on task under pressure is a life lesson people use every day.
Working in a restaurant changes the way customers go out to dinner. Their own experiences allow them to put themselves in their servers shoes and feel more gratitude towards the work they do.
I realize serving food to people in a restaurant is not the most important job in the world, however it is a great way for teens, young adults, and all people to learn the values of communication, teamwork, efficiency, thinking under pressure and empathy.
The restaurant industry provides opportunities for life long lessons that everyone should acquire.