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Transferable Skills From Working In The Restaurant Industry

Restaurant jobs help you develop critical, transferable skills that are applicable to so many other positions and life situations. Working in a restaurant requires you to interact with dozens of customers and work closely with fellow team members all while balancing, literally and figuratively, a bunch of orders. We know you’ve got skills, but it’s how you explain those skills to others that matters.

Here are 5 transferable skills from working in the restaurant industry that you can add to your Industry profile, resume, or interview repertoire.

1. Sales

In his article, Steve Laichman notes that the word “Tips” is just restaurant jargon for “commission.” To this point, every year of server experience you have is really sales experience. People in the restaurant industry know what it feels like to be paid almost entirely based on performance. Unlike other people, they don’t feel overwhelmed by the challenge but instead they use it as motivation to thrive on a daily basis – just like the most successful salespeople.

2. Teamwork

If you aren’t excellent at being part of a team there is no way you would have made it in the industry for even the shortest of time spans. A restaurant depends on the cooperation and coordination of every member of the team at all times. Trust us, teamwork does not come naturally for all. A good team member works well with others and is truly accountable.

3. Customer Service and Building Relationships

This is arguably the most important skill learned while working in a restaurant. Providing excellent customer service means fostering relationships with customers and being an excellent communicator. People who have worked in a restaurant know the importance of memorizing loyal customer’s names and usual orders. They also truly understand the value of having a “customer is always right” attitude every day. When you understand this concept, you are quick to solve your customer’s problems and you do it with a smile on your face.

Many professions require interaction with customers or clients on a daily basis. Those who have worked in the service industry are pros at nurturing clientele. They can manage an array of personalities, they are conditioned to be nice, anticipate their clients’ needs and build and develop relationships with them.

4. Attention to Detail

There isn’t a single role in a restaurant that could be performed successfully without a meticulous attention to detail. In the BOH, each role is individually responsible for creating each aspect of the plate, noticing for small adjustments to the dish and doing it all as quickly as possible. In the FOH, servers, bussers, expos and hosts need to anticipate the customer’s wants and needs and remember each request no matter how small. It is this attention to detail that turns the first time visitor into a loyal customer.

5. Crisis management

Speaking of high stress… people who work in a restaurant need to deal with cancellations, overbooking, spilled entrees, mixed up orders and even forgotten orders…there probably isn’t a shift that goes by without a single crisis but what does a service industry pro do? They shift gears, manage the problem, make the clients happy in any way they know how and move on. There is no time to wallow, only time figure it out.

Experience in the restaurant industry helps you develop unique skills that are extremely valuable. When it comes to working with people in a fast-paced environment, you couldn’t be better prepared. We hope we’ve helped you articulate some of the many transferable skills you have accumulated and we can’t wait to see them on your Industry profile!