Why Restaurants Are The Worst Place To Work
First off, I feel sorry for anyone who works in the restaurant industry. I did it for eleven years and I will never return to it. There are personal and professional reasons why I am choosing to change careers, but the bottom line is that working in the restaurant industry sucks.
I was a General Manager at my last job for almost five years. Of those five years, my restaurant only struggled for nine months. That was enough to get me fired. It didn't matter that I was with the company for almost eight years. It didn't matter that I was considered the "go-to" GM in the area. All that mattered were the nine months we struggled. My boss fired me and replaced me with someone he is rumored to have had a past sexual relationship with. This is the restaurant business.
Managers are pressured for results. It is one of the most stressful jobs you can have. The stress is then passed on to the hourly employee. Cook times are never fast enough. Speed of service is never fast enough. Sales are never high enough. It doesn't matter what the metric is, there is always stress to raise it. Servers are given a million things to sell, and still are criticized after the shift if we don't hit our goals. Grill and prep cooks must hit a food cost goal, so God forbid they mess up an order. If someone working at Wal-Mart drops a bag of Doritos on the floor does it matter? Drop food on the floor in a restaurant and you could be documented.
Let's talk about servers in particular for a minute. In some states, servers only get paid $2.13/hr. Think about that for those of you that think it is OK to tip $1 per person eating. It is not OK! If you get great service you tip 15-20% and no less. If you can't afford that, then don't go out to eat. Yelling at your server is never OK. It's a brash human behavior. Would you yell at your doctor or dentist that way? People make mistakes, and servers make a lot because they have a lot of things to remember throughout an entire shift. God bless servers. They put up with the most crap from the company they work for and the customer.
As for customers, the restaurant industry has the worst. They want their food fast, and they don't want to wait for anything. I dare someone to go to Wal-Mart, wait in line for twenty minutes, and demand a discount. Sounds outrageous, right? It's par for the course in the restaurant industry. Buy a video game that sucks. Take it back to Wal-Mart? Nope, you bought it so it's yours. Eat a whole steak at a steakhouse, complain to the manager that it was terrible, and you won't have to pay for it. The double standards are unbelievable. If the manager doesn't give the discount to the angry customer, they call the corporate office and receive money that way. Next time your favorite restaurant raises their prices, think of this. It's the customer's fault. For those customers that have a thirty minute lunch break and go to a sit-down restaurant, you are all idiots. Nobody is going to rush your food ahead of someone who was there before you so you can make it back to work in time. Pack your lunch.
A lot of restaurants get regular customers that think they are entitled to free food and extra service than other customers. These people need to get a life. I had a gentleman who would bang his spoon on his coffee cup if it was empty until a server filled it. Finally, the server got sick of this guy, told him off, and he never returned. Was I mad at the server? Nope. Would I have been in trouble from my boss if they knew about it? Yep. That's the restaurant industry.
There are a ton of great people who work in restaurants who are treated like crap by their employer or the customer. I feel sorry for these people. I used to be one of them. I treated people like crap because crap rolls downhill. I have nothing but the highest respect for anyone who goes to work every day to a restaurant, because it is the most stressful and unrewarding job on the market.
The above is the author's opinion, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of any restaurant company or employee.
- Why It Sucks to Work at a Restaurant
Learn from an eleven year veteran why working in restaurants can be one of the most stressful and unrewarding jobs you can have. The author covers everything from bad customers to corporate politics.