13 Tips For Working In A Swanky Restaurant In NYC


1. Don’t tell any customer that they look like “_____”, the actor. The probability of them being an actor themselves is too high, in which case you look like the asshole.

2. Choose your words carefully when talking to co-workers about marriage. Don’t say, “I’m too young to be married.” New York is full of 30-year-old looking 19-year-olds. Your co-worker could be your age, married, and living in Brooklyn with a spouse and a French bulldog…Save yourself from the awkward recovery and instead say: “I’m not mature enough to be married.” WIN.

3. A British person is not necessarily visiting from Great Britain. Mostly likely they’ve lived in the city longer than you have.

4. Don’t seat people based on appearance. You could put a gazelle-looking jeans model in the best seat in the house even though the old guy in line before her was one NASA’s original seven astronauts picked for the first human spacecraft. Jeans model > American hero. Jeans model < American hero. Tall woman = old guy.

5. If Andy Dick walks in, you walk away.

6. Remember to breathe during your brunch shift. New Yorkers love brunch food, dammit, and they love it NOW. Periodically inhale and exhale.

7. Befriend the kitchen staff. Not for free food. They’re some of the most interesting people and come from all over the world.

8. If you see a cockroach: look up, smile, and step on it.

9. If you see a mouse: look up, smile, and…yeah…it’s New York.

10. *The customer is always right. *Unless, in the unlikely (but possible) event that you’re working a few days after a natural disaster without your normal delivery service running, and a customer comes in and cries about how he walked all the way from the Financial District to get prosciutto in his omelet; then yes, the customer is WRONG and you should have the right to give him some worldly perspective.

11. If the same person gets up to go to the bathroom at least five times during their stay, or if they ask specifically for the one stall bathroom and don’t come out for twenty minutes after, they are doing coke….in your bathroom…. I guess that’s not advice. It’s just good to know.

12. Don’t be afraid of babies. Especially babies that are better looking than you and have trendier clothes. Tell yourself they peaked early to make yourself feel better and get that kid a highchair, dammit.

13. Occasionally remind yourself that you even though you’re working in a restaurant in New York City, you’re working in a restaurant in New York City.

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thumbnail image – kevin dooley