My experience working in the resturant industry

Angie Twombly, Editor-in-Chief

I started working in a restaurant at the ripe age of 14. After only six months at a local fast-food place, I took a hosting position for a huge restaurant franchise.

This goes without saying, but I love my job, and I have it better than many people (at least from the stories I have heard on TikTok), but this does not mean there are no stories to tell.

Starting a job so young comes with a lot of disadvantages, mostly not being able to work certain hours. This caused a lot of my co-workers to look at me differently because I worked shorter shifts and from my understanding, they saw me as “not being able to do as much.”

Let me make this clear, I am a hard worker, always have been, and I take it very personally when I am looked down upon.

There came a point where I had a coworker shove me out of the way and preceded to boss me around as if she were not capable of doing anything herself.

I mean be real.

Aside from small instances, most of my coworkers have become some of my favorite people.

Some people, however, are not my favorite, and those are food delivery workers (UberEATS, Door dash, Grub hub).

The first bad experience I had with one was on a Friday night, one of the busiest nights of the week.

The worker came in and was told that it would take about ten minutes for his order to be ready. When this food was not ready, he became upset and began yelling at me for “not doing my job right,” and “making him wait so long.”

Then he screamed at me as he kicked the door open with the food in his hand.

In another instance, a delivery person told me I should be back in the kitchen helping so I could get her food out faster. When I told her how I was unable to do so, she called me a derogatory word and then walked off.

Food delivery, among other things, is not the only thing I have had to experience.

Being a restaurant, we also have a “take-out” option which in some ways is similar to food delivery except the customer comes in themselves.

They can choose to either call in the order, or place it online but either way, it means face-to-face interaction.

When taking phone orders many people either do not speak loud enough or don’t remember what they ordered by the time they get here.

In one case I had a woman call in an order, and as I always do, I read the order back multiple times. By the time they picked up their order, it was completely “wrong.”

Admittedly mistakes do happen, but not on a whole order, I am not that dumb.

My favorite takeout order experience is when a woman called complaining because a 25-cent sauce was missing from her order, and she wanted a refund. After putting her on hold with a manager and explaining to her that we cannot refund such a small amount she started complaining about more things that made no sense with her order.

Some people just go gold digging sometimes, and I really could not explain how many times this has happened.

It is just unbelievable.

Since I am a host, my main duty is to bring customers to a table and supply them with menus. As a bigger company, we do use iPads, and applications such as “Spot On,” to organize our tables, our waitlist, and our reservations.

Customers tend to get aggravated often when we explain why there are no available tables, or they get upset when we tell them there will be a wait.

Luckily, our system sends out text message reminders when tables are ready but that does not make anyone less impatient.

People tend to forget about the table or ignore the text message, so when we give away their table, they walk in screaming at us for not trying to find them or not instantly giving them a table. Now we do give a 15-minute waiting period past the time we send the reminder for them to show up, so given it is our job to do so, we try to be as reasonable as possible.

Often time managers must step in because customers do not understand how restaurant service works. Especially with reservations, you often hear “Well those tables are empty,” and “Why can’t you just move them?”

There are also often people who will lie about their party size, simply not include their very alive child, or add people to a table at the last minute. This makes my job as a host very irritating because servers tend to get very upset when they have to deal with things or people that are unexpected. This also means having to move every other table around because “the customer is always right.”

There are also particularly good days at my job as well. With so many people coming in I can meet people from around the world, see new styles, make conversation, and am often complimented a lot (like I need that ego boost).

Working in customer service has made me confident in talking to people, dressing out more often, and improving my social skills.

I even recently expanded my horizons and began working as a server assistant/ table busser, which means big tips, and learning to work at a faster pace which could help me in the future with other jobs.

Even through these bad experiences, I wouldn’t give up my job for anything, and at the end of the day, they make really good stories.