College is a very pivotal experience for most people. It is a time for many firsts, but also a time to mold into a successful professional. One of the best things you can do to achieve independence, responsibility, and build a great resume is to have a job while in school. And there really isn’t a better job to have than being a server at a restaurant.

Find out why waiting tables in college will help you achieve a successful future:

1. Make Great Money


Photo courtesy of April Moore-Harris

This is probably the most important and best part of all. If you work at a busy restaurant, you are destined to make great money. For the amount of hours you work, you will likely be bringing home a pretty decent average hourly wage.

In college, we all need money. So why not work at a place where you can make the most amount of money for the least amount of time? This can help slim down student loans which will be very beneficial for your future.

2. Learn Some Motivation

In order to make money and have your time at work be worthwhile, you must find motivation within yourself to turn your tables while providing the best service possible to make a great tip.

Hospitable motivation while working at a restaurant will definitely reward you with more money. This is the truth in anything that you will do later in life. No one is going to hand you a great job or a nice house. Your drive will ultimately determine the success of your future.

3. Diversify Your Mind


Photo courtesy of Jay Williams

When you work in a restaurant, you wait on all different kinds of people. Different ages, different needs, different cultures; you name it, you’ll experience it. Restaurants are a great place to gain exposure to the various kinds of people  in this world.

This is especially true if you grew up in a place where diversity was limited. Even if your hometown was diverse, actually dealing with people that are different than what you’re used to can be very humbling. Diversifying your mind will help prepare you for the world and how to handle different situations with different kinds of people.

4. Handle Stressful Situations

The restaurant business doesn’t call it being “in the weeds” for nothing. Friday and Saturday nights are notorious for stretching your brain beyond the limit. You’re dealing with guests, managers, the kitchen, and even other servers. Some nights nothing, and I mean nothing, will go your way.

But when it’s all said and done, you will leave work feeling accomplished (and hopefully compensated.) Life is full of stressful situations. A lot of high-demanding jobs out there require split decisions to be made and have unhappy people you need to make happy. Waiting tables will no doubt prepare you for these inevitable endeavors.

5. Resume Booster


Photo courtesy of Kathryn Decker

Unless you’re working at Hooters, any kind of restaurant experience during college will show future employers that you are a hard working individual. Waiting tables will teach you teamwork, work ethic, communication skills, as well as many other desirable traits.

Employers like to see some kind of work experience, and there’s not a better way to show this than one of the hardest jobs to have. This attribute will set you apart from your peers who are applying for the same job when you are a new college grad.

6. Deal with Disappointment

You can ask any server and most likely each one could give testimony to the time they gave the best service they ever gave and received a tip that reflected the opposite. Or were stiffed. Or had a table that no amount of money would ever make up for the fact that they had to take care of them.

Yes, these things happen and they are all a part of the job. Being a server definitely has its ups and downs, and this quality of the job will prepare you for the unexpected and uncontrollable event we call life.

7. Become a Great Diner


Photo Courtesy of Paul Davies

As a server, you will learn how to not only act properly when dining, but how not to act. You will likely experience many different scenarios when social meetings awkwardly fail. Etiquette can definitely go a long way, and when it comes to a business lunch or dinner, you will be the most experienced from all your observation.

Having a job in a restaurant can also provide you with food and wine knowledge, which will be very notable to business associates. Impressing your boss or a client can go a long way. These types of meetings can sometimes be intimidating. Knowing what to do will be one less thing to worry about and a great way to land that big deal.


Photo Courtesy of Michael E. Lee

I have no doubt that being a server is a great job to have while you’re in college. Restaurants are always hiring and many will even train those with no experience. You will be able to maintain your GPA, social life and make some extra cash. So, go ahead and try. You can thank me when you’re a successful professional.

Check out these articles about awesome restaurants in Knoxville to get you started: