So quite awhile ago I posted the article: Waiting Tables in Los Angeles: and Why it Sucks. It got a ton of attention and I began to realize that although waiting tables can be a difficult job, it has A LOT of perks. I decided to take the time to write the other side of the story, because although I complain, it truly is a great job to have. I mean, who could blame me anyway? I’m pretty sure everyone complains about their job at one time or another…
So without further adieu, here are the 10 reasons why waiting tables could be the best job you will EVER have.
1. The Flexibility is Unmatched
The amount of flexibility usually depends on the type of place you’re working. If you work in a super corporate restaurant that wants “professional servers” good luck. But working in the industry for 5 years has made me realize one thing… I never want to work a 9-5 again. You can work around school, acting, parenting, and more. The only thing to remember is holidays are normally not given off in this industry. But, put in your requests off a year in advance, and you should be fine. But ultimately, you can swap shifts, get shifts picked up, and pick up shifts if you need some extra cash. There is no other job like that.
2. You Make A Lot of Money
Making money is the only reason we work, so if you want a job where you can make some quick money, be a waitress. I advocate this job to EVERYONE. It’s the only job where I’m paid to chit chat with customers, try good food and drinks, and walk out $250 dollars richer. Sometimes my shifts are as short as 4 HOURS, and I make 200 bucks. Can’t beat that.
3. You Get Paid to Have Fun
This one also depends on the type of place you work, but all of the places I’ve been employed as a server whether they be corporate, bars, casual restaurants, burger joints, overpriced sushi place, french bistros… they all have one thing in common: I had a lot of fun working at them. Whether it be the fact that I was allowed to take shots with my tables (as long as they were buying), or delving into the script we’re given like a true actress… I always had fun!
4. You Will Make Friends
Unless you’re the kind of person that comes into a new place and talks shit about everyone before you even know them…you will make friends working in a restaurant. One thing I always enjoy is heading to work knowing that even if there isn’t any money to be made, I will have a good time with my coworkers. You can talk about how crappy the shift is, or how badly you want to order nachos but know that you shouldn’t, or talk about how excited you are to grab a drink after your shift… it’s always a good time with work friends!
5. You Can Eat Good Food for Cheap
Most restaurants give employees 50% off during their shift, and 30% off when you come in on a day you weren’t working. Either way, it’s probably less than you would spend at another restaurant. AND, if you make nice with the managers they might let you come in with friends and family on your days off and get the first round for free!
6. It Teaches You How to Work Under Pressure
Aside from all of the social, monetary and food related perks…you do learn how to work quickly and efficiently under immense amounts of pressure. On a busy night, you might get 4 tables at once. You need to be able to relax and think clearly in order to give good service, and this is a tool you can use in almost any job that requires working towards deadlines or working under pressure.
7. Your Communication Skills Improve
Having to communicate 24/7 and be present and understand what others are saying is a great skill to learn. Working in a restaurant, you deal with people from different cultures, backgrounds, and who speak different languages. You must be able to understand, relay back, and communicate effectively to your customers. Not only that, but the more witty, kind, and funny you are…the better tips you’ll get.
8. Your Customer Service Skills Improve
You deal with some of the most ignorant customers on the planet who think you, the server, controls the entire restaurant. From inventory, the way their food is cooked, and the section the hostess seated you…you must be able to communicate and give good service even if you get shit for doing nothing wrong. After working in a restaurant, you can deal with practically any personality on the planet.
9. Your Memory Gets Better
Sometimes I’m running around busy as ever, when three or four different tables need something from me. Sometimes I don’t have time to take out my paper and pen, or have something else in my hands. This tests my memory, meaning I have to remember which table, which item, etc they need. This is a huge thing for life, because having a good memory makes life easier, and also helps fight back against dementia with aging.
10. You are Forced to Watch What You Spend
Due to the uncertain nature of working in a restaurant and how quickly the volume can change during season changes, you have to budget based on the lowest possible amount. This causes you to be careful when you make 200 bucks, while your budget is based on making 100 per shift. This helps you save because you are able to pay your bills based on the lowest possible income, and everything else is extra!
So as you can see, there are many perks to waiting tables, whether they be social, monetary, or if you’re looking to improve some job related skills. Either way think about it, it might be the extra job you need!