The Benefits to a Job in Food Service
According to the National Restaurant Association’s forward-looking “Restaurant Industry 2030,” an estimated 17 million people will be employed in the restaurant industry in the next ten years. For many teenagers, a job in food service is like a rite of passage. It may be the first job they’ve ever had, but it’s unlikely that it will be their last. They may find foodservice to be the perfect fit for them as they rise through the ranks from bussing tables or working the host/hostess stand to service or kitchen work to management to becoming a restaurateur or chef one day. Or they may take the lessons learned from their time in the kitchen or out on the floor and apply them to future careers. Either way, foodservice is a great platform for both career and character development.
A Terrific Lesson in Time Management
Whether working the front of the house – greeting customers, filling water glasses, taking orders and delivering food – or the back of the house – fulfilling orders, prepping and cooking the food, creating an appetizing presentation and placing the order in the window for pickup, a lot of what you do relies upon the fine art of good time management. Between working multiple tables, filling special requests, grabbing drink refills and getting the food to the tables before it gets cold, it’s all too easy to get “lost in the weeds” as a server. The same holds true for kitchen staff – there may have been a miscommunication between the customer, server and the back of the house, which means you may have to prepare the same meal more than one time to please the customer and when supplies run low from your earlier prep work, it’s necessary to find the time to prep more of what you’ll need to fulfill orders. And let’s not forget when someone calls out sick and you’re short staffed on a busy night! No matter where you are in the restaurant, virtually every day offers a new lesson in how to become a better time manager. Excellent time management skills are broadly beneficial and highly transferable.
Becoming a Social Butterfly
If you work the front of the house – whether as a hostess, server or bartender – it’s important to realize that you are the FACE of the restaurant where you work. Your uniform is not complete if you aren’t wearing your best asset – your SMILE. If you’re relatively shy or introverted, a job in foodservice is a great way to become more comfortable around people. With the proper training, you could even be one of the servers people ask for when they visit your restaurant. Touch each of your tables as often as you can, without being obtrusive. It’s amazing how far the simple questions “How’s it going?” “Is everybody happy with their meal?” or “Is there anything I can get you?” will go towards scoring a couple of regulars, a good review or even a great tip.
Learning to Deal with People of Differing Personalities
A job in food service grants you the opportunity to meet people of varying personalities. From fellow staff members to customers, the likelihood of liking every single person you come across is relatively slim – unless you’re a saint. Still, it’s a great practice in learning to adjust your own behavior in order to get the response you desire. The ability to manage relationships with people of differing personalities and backgrounds is an important skill for both your professional and personal life. In the restaurant business, it’s critical to the success of the restaurant to be a team player AND people pleaser.
Brushing Up on Basic Skills
A job in foodservice often means you need to employ a variety of skills. On any given day, you could handle money, communicate well with others, memorize orders, cook a new recipe, upsell a menu item, effectively manage more than one table and appropriately clean your zone. If you have a management role, you could potentially add setting a schedule, overseeing your team members’ stations/zones, placing inventory orders, balancing the books and diffusing a possibly negative situation with a customer or team member. All of these skills can be applied to a variety of jobs – so spending your time learning how to do each one well will no doubt go a long way towards your future.
A Chance to Find Your Passion
For many, a rewarding career in foodservice is the pinnacle. And – even if it isn’t – you could still find a skill that paves the way to a career you might be passionate about. Working the back of the house, , you may find that you have a love of and skill for preparing recipes – leading to a future as a chef, possibly launching your own restaurant one day. At front of the house, you may find you have an affinity for serving others and tending to their needs. As a manager, you could learn that you are terrifically suited for motivating a team – another incredibly transferrable skill across a number of industries. Of course, you could also work your way up the ladder to owning your own franchise or creating your own unique brand.
And Let’s Not Forget About the FOOD
Most people are drawn into the foodservice industry for their love of food. Whether preparing, serving or – our personal favorite – EATING, food brings people together. Many restaurants offer their staff members significant discounts and sometimes even free food as an added perk of the job.
About Woody’s Bar-B-Q: About Woody’s Bar-B-Q®: After opening their first Woody’s Bar-B-Q in 1980, partners Woody Mills and Yolanda Mills-Mawman have spent nearly four decades setting the “bar” higher for classic Southern barbecue. From the humble beginnings of just one location in Jacksonville, Florida, a shared passion for barbecue, and a dog-eared collection of recipes, Mills and Mawman have grown the Woody’s Bar-B-Q brand to locations reaching from the Deep South where barbecue is king to the Northeast and Midwestern fronts. Perhaps best known for their legendary melt-in-your-mouth slow-smoked Signature Baby Back Ribs, Woody’s has also built quite a following among patrons with their secret recipe barbecue sauces and meats, as well as their freshly prepared comfort food-inspired side dishes. To view the menu or find the closest Woody’s Bar-B-Q, prospective patrons and future staff members are encouraged to visit www.woodys.com. Our locations are often hiring for a variety of positions. Individuals who wish to learn more about becoming a Woody’s Bar-B-Q franchisee are encouraged to visit https://www.woodys.com/franchise/.