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 Post subject: [Informer] Reflections on being a Food Worker
PostPosted: June 25th, 2015, 10:42 pm 
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For the past eight months, I've been working in a fast casual food place. I never thought I'd ever hold a job like this coming out of college, yet here I am making food for hundreds of customers a day. Although it's not the most glamorous vocation, it's the kind of every person should work before going into their preferred career. There's a lot to be learned from working in the food industry not only about cooking and cleaning, but also about social interaction and patience. Here are some of the things I've learned so far.



Obviously, free/discounted food is a plus.

It never occurred to me before I started working at a food place, but getting free or discounted meals is a great benefit. With any other job, you have to pay to eat. Whether you go to the store, a fast food place, or a sit down restaurant, it costs money. This perk is invaluable if you don't have a lot of money to throw around or just want to save more money. Not only is it free or cheap, but usually you can eat whatever you want and as much as you want.

Making good food takes a lot of time and hard work.

Where I work, our opening shift of five people spends three hours getting the food and the store ready to go. This isn't easy work. In the fast casual food industry, it takes time to make food fresh every morning. Creating food from fresh ingredients takes more time and energy, the added quality and taste pay off in the long run.

Some customers can be a pain in the butt.

Dealing with customers is the most challenging part of most jobs. Nowhere else is this truer than in the food industry. This isn't to say every customer is bad. Most of the regular customers I see on a daily or weekly basis are pretty straightforward and courteous people. But other, infrequent customers are like children. They want their food a specific way and they want it now. They usually don't care about how they get it. They usually don't care about the people that get them their food. They just care about satisfying their hunger. That's just the way things are. For some of my coworkers, dealing with customers is the most difficult part of working in the food industry. However, it's not impossible. In my opinion, it's a great way to learn exercising patience and courteousness in any situation and with any individual.

It's a very repetitive and monotonous job.

If you are looking for thrills and excitement working at a food place, you won't find much if any. Although you are expected to provide a good experience for the customer, the job is still about getting people through quickly and efficiently. It only takes about a month or two to figure out how to do a job proficiently. After that, it all slows down and becomes a grind. Every day is going to be a repeat of the same tasks you've performed before. To this end, the job becomes tedious and annoying at times. However, this isn't unique only to the food industry and routine isn't always a bad thing.

You'll never look at the food service industry the same way again.

Although I said I never anticipated working at a food place, it's proven to be a valuable and eye-opening experience. For one thing, it's given me a better perspective and an appreciation for the work people put in to making and serving my food. Whether eating at a 5 star restaurant or McDonalds, food service is not easy work. It's easy to forget the people you can't see and the work they do to make a meal possible.

Your coworkers are what make your job enjoyable.

I know the adage goes "The customer comes first." Even so, your coworkers are a close second. The thing that makes working at a food place tolerable and even enjoyable isn't the free food or the money you get for working. It's the people you work with. For the most part, I've become friends with everyone at work. Sure, there are some people you'd rather not associate with, but for the most part, everyone is there to do a job. Why not have a little fun while you are there? It's simply too difficult to put your head down and only focus on your job. You won't last long that way. Either you will hate it, your coworkers will hate it, or both groups will hate it. Might as well make nice from the start and make as many friends as you can.



Overall, working in food service is difficult, especially if you aren't accustomed to food preparation or customer interaction. However, it's not hard to pick up and it's a very worthwhile experience in my opinion. It's not something I plan to stay with forever, but learning the skills and work ethic of the trade are easily applicable to any other career or job. Hard work and good customer skills are a plus in any field. There's no better place to learn both than in the food industry. If you never have to work in it, you aren't missing out. However, I hope you keep in mind that it's not an easy job. A lot more goes into that meal than you would think.

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 Post subject: Register and login to get these in-post ads to disappear
PostPosted: June 25th, 2015, 10:42 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: [Informer] Reflections on being a Food Worker
PostPosted: June 26th, 2015, 11:37 pm 
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Worked as a waiter for a while back in my high school days.
taught me now to make some simple things in the kitchen, and how to properly hold 2 spoons in 1 hand to grab food for serving.

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 Post subject: Re: [Informer] Reflections on being a Food Worker
PostPosted: June 27th, 2015, 1:27 am 
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I worked as a dishwasher at the university cafeteria for gas money. A LOT of wasted food gets through. People really don't bother to clean off their plates of food that they paid for. Anyways, in the back it was hot and messy, I wouldn't bother with foodservice again. It was an experience, but not one I'd want to have again.

Also I agree, my coworkers were the best <3

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 Post subject: Re: [Informer] Reflections on being a Food Worker
PostPosted: July 1st, 2015, 6:21 pm 
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I worked at a Chick-Fil-A and their customer service rating really doesn't surprise me. I got moved to the kitchen because my boss said I didn't smile enough. Luckily, I liked the kitchen a lot more.

I still go in there every once in a while when I'm at home. My managers don't recognize me but one of the guys I worked in the kitchen with does, so that's nice. Everything you said is spot on.

Unfortunately, I haven't escaped customers yet at the help desk, but hopefully I'll be moving away from that soon.

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 Post subject: Re: [Informer] Reflections on being a Food Worker
PostPosted: July 3rd, 2015, 3:11 pm 
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I work(ed) in a food service department of a grocery store, and every customer is stupider than the last. Surprisingly, I'm not so bothered by it. Most of them are clearly idiots so I'm not going to get worked up over what they say, want, or whatever their opinions are. I kind of developed a not-caring-about-them attitude over the years, but that's not to say I give bad customer service. For the customers that don't suck, or haven't shown that they suck yet, I'll do anything for them. Say the wrong thing though and good luck getting any standard of service. Unfortunately, I stand up for myself, which I think if most service people did, these kinds of customers wouldn't exist as much, because 90% of them back down quickly. Those kind of customers are the kind you don't need anyways. They certainly don't spend much money at your store and when they do, they're buying out the ridiculous-discount-where-the-store-loses-money-on-the-product-sales that are there to draw people into the store, and buying nothing else. And then they complain about how expensive what they just bought is the whole time at the check out. That's your cue to tell them how dumb they are in a creative way but blatant way. You probably lose money on the time spent catering to them regardless of what they are spending either way.
I feel for the small businesses who actually have something to lose if they don't keep those people happy.

Besides working in a huge national chain, I guess I'm also fortunate enough to work in a department that has the most work of all the service departments and yet gets the least amount of hours. That way if any customer actually complains about your service you can just blame it on the fact you're the only one on department and have been there for 6 hours without a break or lunch. It's usually true anyway.

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