Between 2006 and 2015, there was a dramatic increase in the number of British restaurant workers, which now hovers at around 900,000.
Clearly, the industry is doing something right, and while the idea of waiting on diners or working in the sweltering heat of a kitchen won’t be to everyone’s taste, those who have enjoyed a successful restaurant career will know how fulfilling it can be.
If a family member has inspired you to follow a career in hospitality, or you’ve long wondered whether or not a restaurant job will work for you personally, we’ve put together what we believe to be the six best things about working in this sector:
1. The customers
While there are plenty of frustrating diners out there, restaurant workers also get to serve and prepare food for some wonderful people.
It’s like any job; you’ll have to take the rough with the smooth and develop a relatively thick skin, but if you don’t mind dealing with the customers who make your blood boil, those who stop you in your tracks and thank you for a wonderful service will leave an indelible mark.
2. The dynamism
Working in a restaurant is unpredictable; wonderfully unpredictable.
Contrast that with sitting in the same office at the same desk five days a week for precisely the same period of time, and it isn’t hard to see why those who look for more variety in their careers opt for this sector.
There are downsides; namely an impact on your work-life balance, but the paybacks are significant. You’ll never be bored, and – providing you have a decent boss – should be able to ensure your career doesn’t eat too heavily into your personal life.
We’re living in a world where people are increasingly searching for dynamic, flexible working, and restaurants are best placed to offer just that.
3. Erm… free food?
It’s no secret that restaurant workers get to try their fair share of the goods.
Providing it’s allowed, the opportunity to feed yourself on the job and without dipping into your own pocket is something you won’t find in many other industries.
Despite staff turnover rates that continue to rise, you’ll probably discover some of your best friends while working in a restaurant.
There’s a great deal of camaraderie in this sector, given the long hours and intense working style, and while you’ll probably mix the odd heated exchange with post shift celebrations, you’ll always feel like part of an inclusive team.
If you don’t – you’re working in the wrong restaurant! Keep looking.
5. Bragging rights
Without naming professions, we’ve all got friends who work in industries and under job titles that possess the uncanny ability to make one’s eyes relentlessly heavy.
However, ask someone about how their week went at the restaurant and they’ll have oodles of fascinating stories. There are few better work bragging rights than those that come from positions which are generally interesting.
6. The opportunities
There are so many directions in which you can take your restaurant career.
It’s not uncommon for employees starting life at the front desk to make their way up to management level relatively quickly or even open their own restaurant.
This is an inspiring sector to work in, and there are opportunities in abundance to move upwards or sideways. The only thing that will limit your march through the restaurant industry is your imagination and ambition.
What have we missed? If you’re a restaurant worker and we haven’t covered one of your favourite aspects of the job, let us know in the comments!