What Skills Can You Gain from a Restaurant Job?


You’re thinking about taking a position in a restaurant but you are afraid that it will be a dead end job.  Before you turn it down, remember that any transferable skills that you attain can help you progress in your career and reach your goals.  The key is in identifying them.  Here are five transferable skills that you will get in almost any restaurant job:

Customer Service. Restaurants (and any successful business) are all about the customers.  When you are working in a restaurant, you will learn to become focused on the needs of your customers and how to address their complaints.  Since every job has a customer, strong customer service skills is an asset that will open up a lot of doors for you.

Problem Solving.  Whether you are out of ketchup, the stove has stopped working, or you don’t have a table big enough to seat the party that just walked through the door, there is always a problem to solve at a restaurant.  If you can master the art of staying calm, and being resourceful enough to find solutions, it will serve you well in your career.

Communication. Although we often take it for granted, many people find it difficult to understand others and to make themselves understood.  If you don’t already possess them, you will quickly develop effective communication skills if you are working in a restaurant.  The ability to get along with others is also necessary for your survival.  Communication and interpersonal skills are important in any job.

Multitasking.  The next time you are in a restaurant, take a moment to observe the staff.  You will quickly notice that they are usually doing about three things at the same time.  You may see a waitress processing a payment, and taking and order while wiping a counter.  Or you may see a cook grilling a hamburger, talking to the waitress, and checking on the cookies that are baking in the oven.  When you’re working at a restaurant, you quickly become accustomed to the fact that you don’t have the luxury of doing one thing at a time.

Teamwork.  A restaurant will operate as smoothly as the team that’s running it.  Have you ever been in a restaurant where the staff are fighting with each other?  How was the service?  How long did it take you to get your meal?  In a restaurant, the team needs to support each other and everyone has to do their part.  The ability to work well in a team is a skill that hiring managers are always seeking.

Even if working in a restaurant is not your dream job, it may be a valuable experience for you.  It’s not an easy job, but if you work hard and stick with it, you can gain skills that you will carry with you throughout your career.


(Written by Karen Bivand, Image Courtesy of Simon Howden at freedigitalphotos.net)


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