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Summertime Survival Tips for Restaurant Workers

Drink Water. 8 Glasses a day.

Summer is officially here! Some of us haven’t noticed, while others can’t escape the fact. While summer is full of fun, trips to various bodies of water, and passing out face down at Bonnaroo, it’s also a busy season for many restaurants. So we here at Poached wanted to pay forward our favorite summertime survival tips for restaurant workers.

Stay hydrated
Your mother was right – drink lots of water. You can drink from the tap in some places (fewer now) or you can avail yourself of La Croix, Polar or Topo Chico. As you cook in a hot kitchen, work the patio, or even just stand guard at the host station as the AC either eats up all the margins or fails outright, you’re going to want to be fully hydrated.

Stay Hydrated pt2: Campari and Soda
Day drinking is a game of attrition. Some of my fondest memories of falling in love involved the last person standing at 3am. And while “oh, are you still here” may have been my best pick up line, I wish I had known that Campari and soda could be consumed on their own. While the gin was always lovely, it made for earlier, sloppier evenings lying face down at Lollapalooza while wearing a Bonnaroo shirt.

Coordinate your schedule
Spontaneity is great, but it really helps to at least have a general outline of what you want to do over the summer. Even better, it’s wise to get together with your workfellows and figure out a loose summer schedule. You might want to go to some music festivals you’ll only retain foggy memories of – someone else might want to go camping. If you talk through your plans with the rest of your team, it’ll be much easier to cover shifts – nothing worse than having to swap shifts at the last minute.

Sunscreen + Tattoos
You put a lot of money and pain into those tattoos – and summer is the season to show them off. But sun will fade that dandelion puff turning into sparrows tattoo prematurely. Get suntan lotion and use it often. Once it’s a habit, it’ll feel natural.

Mentally prepare yourself for the patio
There’s really no good advice for dealing with a patio. You can mitigate the effects of adding a whole section to your floor plan without adding capacity to your kitchen through smart preparation, but the human toll is real. So try to focus on staying hydrated, making good cocktail choices, your upcoming trips and what your next tattoo is going to be. Patio season is just a shit-show of cranky customers, underfoot dogs and bees (lots and lots of bees,) so try to keep in a proper state of mind and you’ll be fine.

Happy summer!

Jack Hott

Jack Hott has more than 20 years experience in the hospitality industry. Along the way he’s flipped burgers, tossed pizzas and spilled a lot of wine on white table cloths.

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