Working at a restaurant isn't the easy, glamorous summer job it seems like it is in movies or on TV. In reality, you spend most of your time complaining about sore feet, getting yelled at by customers, and spilling food all over yourself. Regardless, working at a restaurant is an unforgettable experience that you'll be telling stories about for years to come. 

It's a weird experience when you decide to eat at the restaurant where you work, or worked. When my friends or family suggest that we eat at my restaurant, I have a serious internal debate.

Sometimes it can be hard to drag myself to the place where I already spend 40+ hours per week working hard, but at the same time, it can be fun to show off your restaurant. There are pros and cons, but above all it makes for a dining experience unlike anywhere else. 


For starters, you actually get to enjoy the food that you're usually serving. I can't tell you how many times I've carried a huge plate of pasta to a table with my mouth watering, wishing I could have just one bite. As a customer, your olfactory dreams are fulfilled. 

After working in a restaurant, you also come to know the ins and outs of the menu. You know what to order because you're used to hearing the chef describe the best things on the menu each day, all of which you've tried. Your friends and family will love you for giving them prime recommendations. 

Best of all, you get outstanding service. My restaurant loves when one of its own comes in to eat, so we always try to give them the best service possible along with some other special treats. Plus, you're already best friends with most of the staff, so they sneak you extra bread and drinks.


On the other hand, it's not always fun to go eat at your place of employment. Eating at your restaurant isn't always the relaxing experience you crave when going out to dinner. You spend way too much time there anyways, so why would you want to go back there on your day off?

It's draining to spend so much time in the same place, especially when it's not by choice. And much of the time, it's hard to draw the line between work and life. For me, as soon as I walk in those doors I go into work mode. It can be hard to focus on enjoying my food when I'm thinking about seating customers and running food. 

The Takeaway

Overall, eating at the restaurant where you work is a lot different from eating at any random restaurant. You know the staff and the menu so it makes your dining experience significantly more enjoyable because you don't feel like a stranger. At the same time, it can be a little weird (and difficult) to relax at a place you typically associate with work mode. 

Personally, I plan to go to the restaurant where I work when I'm home for Christmas break to see my friends and eat some of that pasta I've been craving, but probably only once. I love to try new places, and I want to spend my time relaxing and not thinking about work.

If you haven't done so, try having a meal at the restaurant where you work. It's fun to pretend to be a customer, and it gives you an entirely new perspective on the dining out experience.