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7 Signs You've Spent Way Too Much Time Working in Restaurants

Posted by Cameron Olshansky on 6/16/17 1:00 PM in Industry News & Trends

4 minute read Print

working in restaurants

You’ve been a barista, you’ve been a server, you’ve been a bartender, you may even have been a restaurant manager.

Your friends think you have it easy, but unless you've spent time working in a restaurant, these definitely won't apply to you.

I spoke with some of my co-workers who have experienced the joys and sorrows of working in a restaurant or acting as a restaurant manager. Based off of my chats with them, here are 7 relatable signs that you’ve spent too much time working in restaurants.

1. No One Ever Wants To Go Out To Eat With You

You aren’t boring. You’re actually really fun to be around! But for some reason, your friends and family avoid you like the plague when it comes to being a partner in food outings.

This is simply because you tend to pinpoint all the flaws at the restaurants you choose to eat at, rather than enjoy the food and your company during your restaurant experience.

  • Oh, the hostess didn’t smile when you walked in.
  • They're using *that* dinosaur for their POS?!
  • This restaurant doesn’t have nearly enough employees on the floor.
  • Why on Earth did the server split the check like that?

It’s likely that these are the last things your foodie cohort is thinking about while going out to eat, unless they too, have “restaurant manager brain.” 

2. The Word “Weekend” Has a Totally Different Meaning To You

While many people use Saturday and Sunday to take quick turnaround trips, do household chores, or run errands, you have embraced the life of having random Tuesday afternoons and Thursday nights to get your ducks in a row.

For you, this means shorter lines at the grocery store, you score all of the VIP parking spots, and you definitely don’t have to worry about being packed like sardines into a bar.

3. You Physically Cannot Leave Less Than a 20% Tip

Even when you get the worst service, you can’t even fathom giving less than a 20% tip.

Group of people paying for drinks at the bar and smiling-1-335143-edited.jpeg

You know how hard restaurant employees work, and you know that most of the time, poor service isn’t the server’s fault. There are lots of variables that the guest doesn’t see when when it comes to serving tables, so you can’t justify tipping less because the kitchen caught on fire and your food took an extra 10 minutes!

4. You Don't Associate the Term "Campers" With a Tent

The line at the host stand is out the door and around the corner. Table 12 has been sitting with their check paid, ready to go, and they’ve been finished with their food for almost an hour.

It’s at this point that you have to refrain from asking them if they need help setting up a tent so they can be more comfortable while they sit around at your busiest table for hours like it’s an actual camp site.

You might have even gone as far as taking the salt and pepper off of the table to give them a friendly hint that it’s time to turn their table.

5. You’re Basically a Professional Actor/Metaphorical Firefighter

You’ve coined the term “kill ‘em with kindness.” Even when you’re about ready to boil over with frustration, you still smile and put on your best game face because - let’s face it - the customer is always right.

Even when, you know, they're dead wrong.

Guests can smell the fear on you and so can your employees. Because of this, you’ve learned to keep your emotions off the clock - except for the one that makes people think that restaurant life is composed of sunshine, rainbows, and bubbles.

In fact, you’ve probably considered dropping everything and moving to Hollywood because you’re ready for your Oscar.   

6. You’re Best Friends With the Tellers at Your Restaurant’s Local Bank

You were unphased when you were invited to your bank teller’s sister’s baby shower. 

Of course you’ll go!


You take the deposit to the bank every day, which means you probably see the bank tellers more than you see your own family. These daily interactions are the bricks to building the foundation of an inevitable friendship!

Not to mention that taking the deposit to the bank means you get to leave the restaurant for a little.

7. Sitting Down For a Meal or a Break Just Doesn’t Feel Right

Yay! Finally, you're ready for your meal break.

The hostess just took off and the busser just finished cleaning the last of the dirty tables.

It’s 3 PM and there's one server on the floor, so you’ve decided that it’s probably safe to order your lunch. Right as you go to take the first bite, four tables walk in. Lunch will have to wait!

Because of the many surprise lunch rushes you’ve worked through, eating meals often consist of you running back and forth to your plate on the back counter, scarfing a few bites down, and then heading back out to help your team. You’ve probably gotten used to eating this way, so sitting down for a meal might not “sit” well with you (see what I did there?).

What other struggles can all restaurant employees relate to? Share your points in the comments below!


toast restaurant management blog

Written by: Cameron Olshansky

Cameron is a transplant from the West Coast who landed in technology mostly because of her love for pressing buttons. Buttons aside, she has a passion for innovation and finding ways to incorporate new technology into her work. When she's not busy writing documentation for Toast, she's probably writing other stuff...or at least thinking about writing other stuff.

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