I'm just going to start this article off by saying I've had the CRAZIEST past three days working as a waitress. No matter how drained I may be, however, and despite the struggles of having a line out of the door most of the day, the verdict still stands. Working as a server over the summer has definitely been and is a great way to earn your money. Let me tell you exactly why.
1. Interacting With Customers
If you're a people person (and even if you're not), customer service is a super great way to work on your communication skills. I can definitely say that over the past month alone, I've upped the ante on my reading of body language and connecting with those around me as a whole. I've learned exactly what to share in various situations, as well as things to do that would make them think more highly of me (and, on the other hand, exactly what NOT to do or say). This being said, person to person and table to table this changes. It keeps me on my toes, and teaches me to look for signs and pick up on verbal and nonverbal cues.
2. Learning To Function In A New Environment With New Challenges
Time management, communication, teamwork. So many situations in our daily lives depend on these factors. Being a college student, with every added assignment or activity I need to work around so many things in my schedule just to stay afloat. I was involved in sports in high school, and it didn't take very many losses at the beginning of every season to understand what was missing and how we can improve. Working as a server has provided me with an entirely new understanding of these three terms. In order to most effectively provide great service, these three things are consistently on mind. Working in such a close proximity with people that have much more experience in the field kept me silent when I needed help for a long time. I've learned so much from everyone that I work with since then, including the importance of asking questions early on, asking for help as soon as you need it, and lending a hand whenever you have it just to make someone else's life easier. With these three things, your pursuit in being the best you can be won't seem out of reach.
3. The Employee Discounts
If you're working at a place where you LOVE the food you serve, you've hit the jackpot. So many restaurants have not only standard discounts for when you come in whenever, but even HIGHER ones for when you're on duty and need a snack! This also gives me an opportunity to taste things all around the menu and provide guests with recommendations and insights they really, really want!
4. Incentives, Incentives, Incentives!
When you work as a server, you are, for the most part, in control of what you come home with at the end of the day. If you are as attentive as you can be, you will 90% of the time make more money than if you're only half-in. Also, when you know you've given 100%, it gives you a sense of peace and accomplishment knowing that you! did! that! Even if you didn't make a ton of money, there's a sort of relief that comes with knowing you did your all.
I'm not going to sugar coat it. The last three days have been, without a doubt, ROUGH. Nevertheless, as I sit here at my computer, even thinking about the guests that didn't tip, the unfortunate and untimely callouts of team members, and the running low of popular menu items, I know that all of the hardships have been worth it. I've gained so much so far from this experience, skills that will benefit me significantly wherever I end up next and the money that will help get me there. I wholeheartedly look forward to what's still yet to come and, as a result, where it will take me.