As summer comes to a close, many young people may not realize just how much they have learned from their summer seasonal job. Summer jobs teach workers valuable skills that they can carry forward into every job they land for the rest of their career, whether they remain in the restaurant business or take another path, such as business or healthcare.
One category of summer jobs that presents young people with challenges that give them skills so many employers desire is food service. Whether you are waiting tables at a fancy Italian restaurant or bartending at a groovy night club, it takes a strong and talented person to give customers good food and beverage service. As Ryan, a waiter that works for a popular upscale chain restaurant in Trumbull, Connecticut puts it, “Our entire wait staff could easily be stockbrokers.” Here are some of the most valuable skills gained from summer seasonal jobs in food service:
In order to perform their jobs successfully, servers and bartenders need to be on top of multiple tasks at once. These include taking orders, bringing out food, refilling drinks, and collecting cash and credit cards. Mistakes such as forgetting to enter an order or losing a credit card can really put a damper on the night for a food service worker, so multitasking is a critical skill that is gained and mastered in the restaurant business.
Since many food service workers rely on tips for their income, they learn very quickly the importance of selling. This includes pushing specials to dinner guests, suggesting another cocktail to happy hour customers, and if all else fails, there’s always the signature statement “Would you like fries with that?” So if you hire a worker that has held a summer seasonal job in food service, it is almost a guarantee that their sales skills will be top notch.
In any job, you want things done right, but also as quickly as possible. Efficiency and time management are skills that become second nature for food service workers. With so many different duties to complete during a given shift, severs and bartenders develop a keen eye for what work can be taken care of during any downtime they have, such as wiping down tables, refilling condiments, closing out checks, or making sure the drinks are full at every table.
Anyone that has worked in the restaurant business for a period of time has encountered rude and unpleasant clientele. But since many of these servers, bartenders and bussers rely on tips, they become very gifted at being pleasant with all customers, even the most difficult ones. This level of patience is a valuable skill gained by working in food service that will come in handy to any future employer.
5) Results-Oriented Mentality
When you work in food service, it’s not about looking at the clock and getting through the next couple of hours. It’s about making the most of every minute of your shift, selling as many food and drink specials, and making as many customers as possible satisfied. This is a very valuable asset that makes any employer that hires someone with restaurant experience very lucky.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.