By Lizzie Kipp
Staff writer

Restaurants are an essential part of life in today’s society. After all, who wants to cook every day?

However, many people have a love-hate relationship with restaurants, and for good reason. There’s the benefit of not having to cook your own meal, but it’s always a hassle when your order gets messed up or the service isn’t great.

However, working in a restaurant has similar benefits and drawbacks.

Like any job, working in the restaurant industry has its downsides. Annoying coworkers, rude guests, and those short-staffed shifts workers come to know and love. On top of that, many restaurant workers are college students working toward a better future.

But everyone experiences things differently, and there are also positive aspects to a restaurant job.

Paige Hill, an elementary education major from Hutchinson, is a server at a local chain restaurant.

Hill has been employed at her workplace for six years but has been serving for almost ten.

“I’ve enjoyed it over the years,” she said. “I think my favorite thing about serving is getting to interact with different people at every table you have, especially when you get to know them and have conversations with them.”

Hill enjoys the face-paced environment. She said it’s a different thing every day, and her coworkers are what make it enjoyable.

“The worst thing would have to be going home with not a lot of money,” she said. “It’s always a bummer to work and not really make much.”

Teagen Daerr, a sophomore from Garden Plain, works at a different chain restaurant in Hutchinson.

Daerr mostly works as a server but is also a certified trainer and catering specialist. He said he enjoys it overall, describing the face-paced work environment as “exciting” and “energetic.”

“As a server, you have more control over how much money you make compared to an hourly position,” he said. “The harder I work and the more friendly I am, the more money I tend to take home at the end of the day.”

Daerr admits the job can be rewarding, but has its stressful moments.

 “It can be tiring working around and serving people all day,” he said. “I am constantly trying to please everyone around me in order to make the most money possible. It can be overwhelming.”

Like many others, Daerr had horror stories, but said that his best serving anecdotes revolve around a common theme: teamwork.

“Serving is 80% an individualized task,” he said. “But without the help of other team members, the task would be that much more challenging.”

Daerr had a lot of good things to say about his coworkers.

“I love working in a place where I know everyone by name and I know that if I’m in a pinch, they have my back. We are all there for one another when someone needs help,” he said. “It is the only place I have worked where I feel like we all need each other and work together as a team.”

On the other side of things, in the back of house, Thad Butler works as a cook at a pizza chain. The Scott City freshman began working there in February of this year.

“The work environment is very relaxed,” he said. “Everybody cracks jokes and has fun.”

Butler likes his coworkers for the most part. The job gives you something in common with people you would have nothing in common with otherwise. Before you know it, you’re sharing jokes, exchanging random anecdotes and watching the Super Bowl together when it’s slow.

“As a cook, I really enjoy not having to work with customers,” Butler said. “I’m allowed to listen to my music/podcasts and work relatively quietly.”

Balancing 30-40 hours a week on top of school is a daunting task in itself. Butler admits work can definitely add to this stress, even without dealing with customers regularly.

“You really can’t get too comfortable as a cook because the orders come in the moment you get a chance to rest,” he said.

Views: 248

Share this story: