You see the sign, "Now Hiring," and you've seen your bank account, yet you don't apply. Why? It's a restaurant, but it's not the kind of restaurant you'd go to for a fancy dinner. It's the kind of restaurant you stop for a quick bite when you want some greasy or easy food. You might've heard some crazy story from a friend about working in fast food. You might just be familiar with the negative stereotypical food service job that we seem to picture when we see that sign outside of Subway or McDonald's.
I've been on the other side of that counter and I've been back in the kitchen. I have worked at a couple of different food service establishments, and I do not regret it. No horror stories here, just straight up facts about why everyone should slip on their no-slip shoes and get cooking.
1. You earn some cash
This is the most obvious reason to get any job. Food service is always looking to hire, so it's a great place to start. As a college kid, a little extra cash can go a long way.
2. You gain independence
With a little extra cash comes a little extra independence. You are making money and you can feel better about spending it how you want (let's be honest, it'll be on food).
3. Can you say employee discount?
Most, if not all, food service establishments offer an employee discount. This is a great way to get a cheap meal that's satisfying without breaking the already crippled bank. You gain experience, get paid, and get a reasonably priced meal out of it. Win, win, win.
4. You practice team work
Team work is a must. I had some previous experience in this area before I worked at a restaurant, but if you don't you'll learn that everything you get done helps the whole kitchen finish the day on time. Every customer can get what they ordered in a timely manner and every employee can get out on time if everyone does their job.
You really appreciate it when your coworkers get done with not only their share of the work, but also help to get ahead of schedule, especially if you're the one closing that night. You can help them out when they close. It all goes around.
5. You get to second base with your kitchen
You will be getting hands on in a job like this. I am definitely more comfortable in the kitchen and I am pretty confident in my sandwich making abilities (that's the kind of food establishment I worked at). I even enjoy the chance to make food at home. I can take my time if I want or if I want something quick, I can do that like it's second nature.
6. You learn to prioritize
There is always something to be done, and when it's lunch time and everybody wants their food now, you've got to learn when to do what. There's more to food service than just assembling food. You've got to clean, prep food, do dishes, and clean again.
It's a lot of work, but it's actually really nice. I personally like to stay busy, and it makes the time go by so much faster. And it's a pretty great feeling to look back on a shift and think "I did all that!" (see #8). Anyways, you learn what to do first and then if you get a little time between all the orders, you really need to get sh*t done.
7. You get some perspective
See how others work and learn. See how you like to work and put those skills from class to the test (yeah, the ones from professors who talk a little faster than they flip through slides). After a job like this, you'll see what it takes for your food to get to you, and you'll appreciate it that much more.
8. You get in a mini workout
Not gonna lie to you, standing for a couple of hours the first few shifts can be a little rough, but there's nothing like flopping on your bed after work with a big ol' plate of food (that you bought at a discount, an employee discount woop woop!).
Overall, it is a good experience. In a world of fast/semi fast food culture, get behind the counter and see what it's like. If it turns out to be horrible, at least you'll have some awesome stories to tell and a couple extra bucks.