A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Author Topic: Tips for working at a restaurant  (Read 927 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline stamina888

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 297
  • I Love Pizza!
Tips for working at a restaurant
« on: October 20, 2022, 05:43:21 PM »
I know many of the people here are older or managers rather than employees, but this may help a portion of people out there.  Tips for people who are new or want to be a prep cook, line cook or pizza cook.  But some of this applies to various jobs.

1) For anything you prep, write the food name, your name and the date on a label or tape on the side of a pan.

2) Don't leave messes behind.  Any mess you make, clean it up as soon as possible. 

3) Spend a few minutes each day checking the walk-in and freezers.  Make sure everything is wrapped, labeled and not spoiled.

4) Before you sit down or go on your phone, check if there's anything you can do during downtime.  Prep food.  Clean.  Check inventory. Make pizza boxes.

5) Continuing on the previous point, periodically ask coworkers if they need help with anything.

6) Spend the first week memorizing the menu.  And take notes of critical details your boss tells you (on paper or your phone), especially if you're new. 

7) If a superior criticizes something you do, don't try to justify it.  Don't even mention to them the fact that you usually do something correctly but the one time you did it wrong was when they looked.  The only thing your superior wants to hear is that you acknowledge their feedback and are working to improve it.

8 - Take some safety precautions, such as saying "behind" when you're behind someone, holding a knife downward when walking with it, saying "hot" when you're carrying a hot object, etc.

9) Be nice to all of your coworkers, even if they occasionally are irritable and take some of their anger out on you.  Arguing with them can escalate the problem, so just defuse the situation.  They'll eventually come back around to you once they know that you've been consistently nice to them.

10) Chain of command.  If two coworkers tell you conflicting ideas, take the word of the higher rank employee.  This way you're not liable if something goes wrong, because the higher-up made the decision.

11) Managers have cameras and microphones.  They can see what you're doing and hear what you're saying.

12) In some restaurants, there are specific people that handle inventory and you don't have to do anything.  But overall, it's a good idea to check inventory every day and inform whoever is responsible for inventory what they need.  Some restaurants use printed out excel sheets to keep track of inventory, but if yours doesn't, you can take initiative and print a spreadsheet yourself, or at least write lists.

13) If you receive a criticism from a boss, write that down as a note and spend the next week working on that to make sure you get that aspect right.

14) Tell your boss that you want to learn new things so you can do more for the business, and if there's anything they can help you with, let them know.

15) From time to time, ask your boss about your performance.  And things you can work on.  Work on those things, so that you have a strong case for evaluating your pay.  And if you have an evaluation interview with your boss to explain where you've improved.

16) Some of the social circles in the restaurant industry do cocaine during the day and then drink heavily at 2am in the morning.   Stay out of trouble and don't get into the wrong crowd.

17) Watch youtube videos to see if you can improve at cooking, prepping, how to hold a knife, etc.

18) Don't just think about today.  Think about if the restaurant is stocked and prepped to handle tomorrow or the day after also.

19) If you're trying to work as a server or bartender, before you take a job, take a peek at how busy the restaurant is on a Wednesday or Thursday night.  If it's slow, you don't want a tip-based job.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2022, 05:48:13 PM by stamina888 »

Offline foreplease

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9387
  • Age: 63
  • Location: St. Joseph, MI
Re: Tips for working at a restaurant
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2022, 06:33:57 PM »
Great post!
-Tony

Offline Pizza_Not_War

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3580
  • Location: Portland OR
Re: Tips for working at a restaurant
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2022, 10:03:47 PM »
I'd bet pretty much most of your points are not followed by most employees. I had many employees in several types of businesses and most of them just showed up and gave nothing more than the basics.

Offline scott r

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5870
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Boston
  • I Love Pizzafreaks!
Re: Tips for working at a restaurant
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2022, 11:15:17 PM »
great list! your hired! 

Offline TXCraig1

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 29856
  • Location: Houston, TX
  • Pizza is not bread.
    • Craig's Neapolitan Garage
Re: Tips for working at a restaurant
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2022, 09:51:22 AM »
Great points - the only thing I'd add is that if your boss tells you to do something differently than you see in the list - do what you boss says.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Offline Bill/SFNM

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 7022
  • Location: Santa Fe, NM
Re: Tips for working at a restaurant
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2022, 10:29:10 AM »
Sorry to get a little negative here, but have all of your antennas up with regard to your coworkers. Some might not have your best interests at heart, even though outwardly friendly. If you follow all of the items on this list, you may be seen as a competitive threat for promotion. Or as a threat for those just coasting along for the paycheck who don't want to look bad. It is the responsibility of management to make sure politics like this don't intervene, but humans are human. There may not be much you can do about it, but know who your friends are and who your enemies are.

Offline stamina888

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 297
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Tips for working at a restaurant
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2022, 11:52:35 AM »
I'd bet pretty much most of your points are not followed by most employees. I had many employees in several types of businesses and most of them just showed up and gave nothing more than the basics.

To coworkers like this, I tell them:

Even if you don't like this job, you should do the job well so that you can build good habits for your next job.  Everything I do isn't just for my employer but to build my own skills so that I can make more money down the road.  Even if you don't get promoted at this job, you can apply to other places, take the improvements you've made here and get promoted there.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2022, 11:59:43 AM by stamina888 »

Offline stamina888

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 297
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Tips for working at a restaurant
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2022, 12:38:33 PM »
have all of your antennas up with regard to your coworkers.
Yes.  Assume that anything you say will be shared to other employees and there are no secrets.  Coworkers will gossip and bosses have mics/cameras.

Quote
Some might not have your best interests at heart, even though outwardly friendly.

Two factors I look for are maturity and genuine ability to express compassion/empathy.  Charisma and humor can fool people.  You can assume that because a person is outgoing and funny, that they're good.  But see past that.  See how they treat other people - not just you. 

Offline woodfiredandrew

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 407
  • Location: Houston
  • follow your passion!
Re: Tips for working at a restaurant
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2022, 01:44:26 PM »
Let's get real here,
how many employees can check 50% or more in that list? Especially when this list is produced for fairly new comers in the industry. that is very over the top for many...
People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered, love them anyway. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives, do good anyway. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable, Be honest and frank anyway. If you are successful , you will win false friends and true enemies, succeed anyway.

Offline sarahm

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 59
  • Location: chapel hill, nc
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Tips for working at a restaurant
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2022, 03:16:38 PM »
Let's get real here,
how many employees can check 50% or more in that list? Especially when this list is produced for fairly new comers in the industry. that is very over the top for many...

While the list is—admittedly—primarily directed at newcomers (as explicitly stated in the OP) and probably is over the top and impracticable as a whole, the stated point of the list is not for any one individual to do all of them:
Quote
But some of this applies to various jobs
but to identify areas that newcomers to the industry who desire to work their way up the ladder typically overlook.
 
So while we're "getting real," if you were going to promote an employee and one applicant was doing 3 or 4 of the items on the list that are appropriate to the position and another applicant wasn't doing any of them, which one would you promote?
« Last Edit: October 21, 2022, 03:19:25 PM by sarahm »

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Offline stamina888

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 297
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Tips for working at a restaurant
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2022, 07:22:47 PM »
Let's get real here,
how many employees can check 50% or more in that list? Especially when this list is produced for fairly new comers in the industry. that is very over the top for many...

Depends who we're comparing ourselved to.  Compared to entry level line cooks or maybe the average person, thats a lot.

But if we compare ourselves to people who actually take their career seriously.  The people who become head chefs or move on to better restuarants.  And even people who dont want to stay in the restaurant industry long term but want to excel in another one; those habits will help them too.  Why are we comparing ourselves to $13/hr line cooks when we should be comparing ourselves to professionals.  Compared to professionals, or aspiring professionals, this list isn't excessive; it's the baseline.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2022, 12:29:31 PM by stamina888 »

Offline stamina888

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 297
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Tips for working at a restaurant
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2022, 12:28:22 PM »
probably is over the top and impracticable as a whole, the stated point of the list is not for any one individual to do all of them but to identify areas that newcomers to the industry who desire to work their way up the ladder typically overlook.
 
... if an applicant doing 3 or 4 of the items on the list


I don't understand why some people view my list as a lofty standard.  The majority of them are basic things that you'd expect people to do in any restaurant job.  If it's okay to only 4-5 of these, which of the other 10+ would you be okay with compromising on?

Labeling what you prep and cleaning up your messes are standard must-have rules in any restaurant.
Checking the walk-in for spoiled food only take a few minutes.  I get that some days are busy, but overall, it's not that hard to do it at least 2-3 days per week.

Other things on this list are standard across all jobs: Using downtime constructively.  Accepting criticism.  Being friendly.  Respecting the chain of command.  Being mindful of cameras,

A lot of these things don't even take much time. 
#13, does it really take much time to write a few notes and take 1 minute to look at it before you work.
and #15, the performance review, you only have to do that like once a year

Preparing for tomorrow, I get that this isn't feasible if it's busy, but on slow days, it is feasible.  For most restaurants, Monday/Tues are slow, and the 2-5 PM gap between lunch and dinner has downtime.

Watching videos online, of course that's totally optional, but there are a lot of shorter videos out there.   But taking some time outside of work to learn skills is worth it.  If it helps you get a raise or promotion, that could make you an extra few thousand dollars a year, it's totally worth it.  Think about the free time people spend looking for deals, discounts or other ways to save money when that same time could be used to make more money.

Offline TXCraig1

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 29856
  • Location: Houston, TX
  • Pizza is not bread.
    • Craig's Neapolitan Garage
Re: Tips for working at a restaurant
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2022, 12:38:54 PM »
I don't understand why some people view my list as a lofty standard. 

It's not, but work ethic is on life support in America.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline stamina888

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 297
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Tips for working at a restaurant
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2022, 02:46:04 PM »
That's a good thing.  Less competition.  If you're at 95-100% while everyone else is giving 50-60%, that's an advantage.

Offline waltertore

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4514
  • Location: Reno, Nevada
  • HANDMADE SICILIAN/GRANDMA PANS
    • Smiling With Hope Pizza
Re: Tips for working at a restaurant
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2022, 02:48:11 PM »
Great list and if owner is present most of it will get done but if they are not on site you can throw a lot of it away.
PURCHASE OUR HANDMADE 22 GAUGE COLD ROLLED STEEL SICILIAN/GRANDMA PANS
https://www.swhenterprises.com/

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Offline stamina888

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 297
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Tips for working at a restaurant
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2022, 01:36:18 PM »
Yes.  Even though owners have cameras and microphones.  They're not stupid.  They know that you're proactive when they're there and see you on camera sitting around when they leave.

I can't say that I've never done that.  But at least I get all my work done, clean up and prep everything for the next 2 days and help other coworkers with their work before I sit down.

Offline 9slicePie

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1087
Re: Tips for working at a restaurant
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2022, 01:58:44 PM »
I understand security cameras,,, but I thought [hidden] microphones were not allowed  ???

Offline scott r

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5870
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Boston
  • I Love Pizzafreaks!
Re: Tips for working at a restaurant
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2022, 02:26:49 PM »
No microphones at my restaurants, I would fell like a dirtbag!

If I didnt have cameras to watch dough (not employees) I wouldn't be able to have 2 successful pizzerias.  It allows me to have/see my family.

Offline TXCraig1

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 29856
  • Location: Houston, TX
  • Pizza is not bread.
    • Craig's Neapolitan Garage
Re: Tips for working at a restaurant
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2022, 02:27:59 PM »
No microphones at my restaurants, I would fell like a dirtbag!

Many, if not most, security cameras have built-in microphones.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline scott r

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5870
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Boston
  • I Love Pizzafreaks!
Re: Tips for working at a restaurant
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2022, 02:29:24 PM »
Im not surprised, maybe mine do but I have never accessed that feature.  I dont think they do though.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T