Thursday, August 8, 2013

3 Things I Hate About The Restaurant Business

This post doesn't even need all this text really. Anyone could just read the title and figure it all out. Restaurants suck to work in. It's a fact. However, they are awesome to be fat in, and spend money. Chinese restaurants are great bang for your buck.

In more ways than one.
You can spend about 15 bucks and eat until you're fatter than fat, until they start asking you to work there to be Buddha. Then you might want to consider a different career path than eating like a slob.

If they offer you an actual job, by all means take it if you absolutely have to. Otherwise, I don't recommend it. In any restaurant for that matter. AT ALL.

This is funnier if you are a chef.
Not every restaurant is bad. Chain restaurants are much more stable and steady. I work in a little family owned restaurant and these are 3 reasons I dread it sometimes.

3. Your boss is usually an asshole.

You could argue this about every job, but in the restaurant business this is usually what you deal with, especially in little mom and pop joints. Not only do their moods swing on a dime, but they are also always looking to save as many as possible. (C WAT I DID THER??)

For example, my boss would insist on paying me under the table, because fuck waiting for payday. Sure it's convenient because you get your money now, but not when he fucks you for some of it. If you work 5 hours for $7.25, you should make about $36. Not if he fucks you over. I've been shorted as much as $30, which I might have well have just worked for free.

Its overcooked! You're fired!
I'm not saying every boss is like this, but in the places I've worked in, that's how they roll. They care more about saving a couple bucks by selling 3 year old hotdogs (true story by the way) than buying new ones. Or by sorting through rotten long hot peppers and saving any good parts of it, then serving them to customers (also a true story).

Is that not fucking horrifying? I could go on and on but I'd be typing here all day and I can only waste my awesome talents on you people sparingly. Not that I would ever run out, but I don't want to take the chances.

2. Your customers are usually assholes too!

Wow! Everybody is an asshole! Well, again, like the boss thing, customers can be incredibly rude for what I believe is the stupidest reason. It's like when they walk into the place they get this assumption that because we are waiting on your every demand that it gives them reason to act like they are your master or something.

Fuck that. That's not what that means, in any way, shape, or form. Yes, we are here to serve you a nice dinner. That does not mean we are robots that you can bark orders at.

I asked for a white zinfandel. YOU HAD ONE JOB.
Yet, there seems to be this ignorance barrier as soon as that asshole comes in. "Oh, were in a restaurant. These people serve for a living, so might as well treat them like servants." It's people like that that should work just one week in the restaurant business and see how it is to deal with asshole fuck head pricks.

The worst thing about these types of customers is that they often leave you nothing after the bill is payed. If you wait tables for a living, then you know that tips are your fucking life bread. Your actual pay rate might as well get donated to starving children because it's jack shit compared to making tips. So say you serve 10 asshole customers out of 40 and all 10 leave you a shitty tip. Congratulations, you've made almost nothing and worked your ass off to please a stranger who could care less.

And the best part? You have to split those tips. If you work with 3 other wait staff, you can dwindle that money right down. It really doesn't seem like a big deal, but the contrast between a good night and a bad experience is so great it borders on morbid depression. If you add to that the horrible days business is slow, you have a really shitty job.

1. There is no room for growth.

There's a slight room for growth, but it's nothing too contrasting. For example I used to wash dishes and finally I worked my way up to head chef. Oh, yeah, I forgot the part where I did both at the same time for $7 an hour by myself with no training.

Basically, my boss thought we would be slow, so he got rid of the dishwasher and told me I could handle both jobs at the same time. Let's get one thing straight here: I'm now in charge of a full dining room, which could easily fill up faster than you can work. I have to keep track of a broad range of inventory, and wash every dish that comes back.

For someone like me to start that fast cooking and having that much more responsibility than "wash this dish, put it away" it's pretty fucking daunting. I'm also 1 of 2 people who's had to do that at my work. That's the only growth you get. There is no management position. You can do dishes, bus tables, wait, or cook. Each pay exceptionally shitty, especially in mom and pop joints like my work, and each have their own headaches.

Also, be prepared to do a lot of things out of your job description. As a dishwasher for 2 years, I also helped prep a bunch of shit you don't even realize. It's cool to some extent because you get to learn a lot of new things, but in the end you don't get anything for it. So what you prepped food and desserts for a party of 150 people. So what you got it down like the back of your hand. You don't get any credit! The boss does, even when he didn't do a damn thing. The best part is the whole time you were making it happen  he was ordering you around like you've never done it before.

This happens regularly where I work. Say we serve a party and they want for example, chicken, sausage and peppers, and pasta on a buffet. I can do that all day long like it's nothing. Does that mean I get to do it and ensure it goes the way I want? Not at all. Every little fucking detail, right down to boiling the fucking pasta will be OKAYED by my boss first.

"Make sure that pasta goes in the water in about a half hour, because the party is eating at 5." NO FUCKING SHIT. It makes me feel like a retard, like I'm incapable of handling my job, and it happens all the time.

THIS. Someone out there shares this exact pain...
It's probably more personal angst than anything, but these are my reasons I hate the restaurant business. Don't get me wrong, I love cooking and I'm glad I got to learn it as a trade, but there's better places to use it. At least I have a job I guess...

I hope my boss doesn't know how to read a blog.


  1. As a chef getting ready to finally leave the business for sales instead, I completely agree!~

  2. As a chef getting ready to finally leave the business for sales instead, I completely agree!~