Issue 29

Food Service Warrior: Behind the Scenes

Food Service Warrior: Behind the Scenes

A lot goes on behind the scenes of every restaurant. There are many hard working people who put your dinner together, from the chef to the server to the dishwasher. It can be difficult and thankless, but for us food service warriors, there’s no job we’d rather do. Really, the goal of our job is to help others enjoy what the food & spirits world has to offer all of us.

So what’s it like in the trenches? I hit the streets and talked to some of the people who choose to do this for a living. It’s not all free food and wine, but it’s not all bad tippers and long hours either.

First I’ll tell you a little bit about me. My name is Jeremy and I’m 35 years old. I’ve been in the industry for 16 years. I am a bartender and server, but I’ve also been a dock clerk, painter and restaurant owner. What I enjoy most about my job is making people happy, and I love playing practical jokes on people.

Melissa is a 28 year old assistant manager. She has been a food service warrior for 12 years. She said what she loves about the industry is the fast pace of the business and getting to meet new people. She does not like dealing with unhappy people and morning shifts. Who can blame her?

Scott is a 43 year old server with 23 years of experience. He enjoys the freedom of his job and the constantly changing world of food & drinks. He feels that the food service warriors are taken for granted here in the Midwest. On the West coast, they are held in much higher regard.

Tammi is 32 and has been in the industry for 4 years. She loves the time with her regular customers and the anticipation of not knowing what the next table might bring. She does not like poor tippers and staff members who don’t take their job seriously and cause more work for the rest of them.

Ryan is 30 years old and has been a bartender for the past 6 ½ years. He likes his job, because he goes home with cash every day and that it’s always a challenge. He had the same dislikes as Tammi – poor tippers, bad employees.

With the differing levels of experience, background and ages, there were a few things everyone seemed to agree on. Nobody likes the long hours, and working on holidays is no fun. The upside of holidays is that you typically make more money, but it’s a general consensus that holidays should be spent with friends and family.

Talking to Melissa, Scott, Tammi and Ryan, I found that the pros definitely outweigh the cons for us. Everyone could easily come up with what they loved about their job, but had to think a little while about what they disliked. We are doing this because we love it, and it’s what we want to do. It takes a special kind of person to do our job, and all we want to do is make sure your dining experience is unforgettable.

So remember, mistakes will happen and things don’t always go as planned. It might be something such as a spotted fork, under or overcooked food. We don’t control as much as our guests think we do, but we do orchestrate the experience, and we all have to work together to make your dinner fantastic.

Jeremy Hunter

Jeremy Hunter

Jeremy Hunter has lived off and on in Nebraska for 18 years. He has been in the industry for nearly 20 years. His experience as a food service warrior spans from starting out as a dishwasher to owning his own pizza restaurant. He has been a part of every aspect of the industry, but loves being a server and bartender above all. When he is not behind the bar or helping customers, he can be found with a nice microbrew and a glass of Grand Marnier.

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