Saturday, July 5, 2014

Lessons From Working In Food Service

        I have been working at the local bakery/coffee shop for almost a year now. I make customers' espresso drinks, get them  their pastries and cakes, and make soups, salads, and sandwiches. Over the past 10 months, though, I've learned a lot more than just how to make a marbled mocha and the proper order for sandwich ingredients to go on the bread. Here are a few rules to make life easier for the people who work in these types of small businesses. Just because, well, that's nice. And yes, this is meant to be slightly humorous, although it's not one bit exaggerated. Keep in mind this only applies to small, non-chain, family-run restaurants.
  1. Be polite. If you are rude, the people serving you will will grudge their job. Just be nice, and it makes everyone happy. After standing up non-stop during an eight-hour shift, a polite smile can go miles. And don't come in and tell me for five minutes straight how awful my donuts look. You're not obligated to like or buy anything.
  2. Don't come in less than fifteen minutes before closing. At this point, we (the people working) are exhausted. We've probably already cleaned up most machines in anticipation of hopefully going home early. Please PLEASE PLEASE don't come in a few minutes before we lock the doors and ask for a panini, a bowl of soup, and a hot chocolate with whipped cream. Even if it's to go, that doesn't help much. We still have to clean up. Again. P.S. It's okay if you just want a few of the pastries left in the case or a cup of coffee. Just PLEASE nothing else. We'll tell you 'It's okay, I can make it for you'. Don't be fooled. We're lying. What we want to say is 'Leave now, and NEVER come back!' But we don't 'cause then we'd get fired.
  3. Some cafes have a policy that requires the workers to clear the tables - so you, the customer, can just leave them there. Many, however, don't. If you see a bin with a sign that reads 'PLATES', do us a favor and put them in when you're done. It only takes a few seconds, and makes things easier for us. :)
  4. Never EVER put a disposable cup into the trash can if it still has liquid in it. You may think that one small quarter of a cup of hot coffee won't do much damage, but trust me, that's what everyone thinks. It adds up, and by the end of the day a little person like me can't even lift the bag out of the can because it's so full of liquid. That's not the worst of it, either. If it's hot enough, it melts a hole in the bag and that's one more thing we find right as we're going out the door - we have to scrub the can as well.
  5. Enjoy your short stay at our little shop! We love our customers! As long as you are considerate and follow the above rules. :)


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