The restaurant biz is like any other biz. There is just some s#!t that you should never try to get away with. It amazes me sometimes how foolish people can be. Just because we can and tend to have a lot of fun at work, that is no excuse for a lack of professionalism. And there is no age discrimination in this topic, either. Altho the younger, less-experienced staff are more likely to make stupid mistakes, this doesn’t preclude full-grown adults from doing stupid things. Really stupid things.
1) Don’t ever show up to your shift drunk or high. Seriously. Party time is party time, and work time is work time. It sucks trying to lead a cook thru a paced meal for a guest and he’s so stoned he can’t remember that you just came in and asked him to fire the main course. Or trying to break down a bar with a cohort who’s been guzzling and now can’t stay focused. Which leads me to…
2) Don’t party with minors. Duh. It can be hard to avoid those under 18 / 21 when working in certain restaurants. We fight the battles together, grow close together; but there needs to be a line of responsibility demarcated by we who know better. The minors don’t know better. Of course they want to “play with the big kids” but you’re leading them down a path they don’t need to be on yet. Party with people your own age. And not at work.
3) Managers, don’t get involved with your employees. And you know what I mean by involved, like having too much “access” to their personal information/situation. Creating an inappropriate relationship in the workplace is a recipe for disaster. Even if you’re able to keep it under wraps for a little while, eventually news leaks. We are a tight community, remember? Which leads me to…
4) Leave your attitude and drama at home…or in your car…or at your other job. I don’t care, just don’t bring it into the workplace where other’s are trying to be positive and successful. Sometimes it’s hard enough for me to get thru a shift, mentally. Dealing with guest drama and letting go of one’s own personal issues during a shift consumes enough energy; and it’s not fair for another to pile on their attitude and dramatic situations to another’s situation. Just zip it, get thru your shift, and take your attitude somewhere else where you can effectively deal with it and not destructively share it with your coworkers.
5) Don’t diss your team to or in front of guests. We are a team, and if one falls short we all fall short as we are intrinsically intermingled in each other’s guest service experience. If you talk smack about the hostess, or the busser, it does reflect back on to you. And the guests think it’s ok to have a lack of respect for those of us trying to do our job to the best of our ability. Remember that what comes around goes around.
I’d love to hear any other “never do’s” that anybody wants to add. I just may update this post in the near future!