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It’s hot, real hot. Written by Jack Hott.

hot

It’s hot. Real hot. It’s so hot that… no one will stop talking about how hot it is. Here’s how to beat the heat and survive the summer while working in a restaurant.

Everywhere you go it’s hot. New York City topped 100 degrees and Anchorage, Alaska topped 90. Europe stayed cool, however, with France only at 42 degrees (that’s a metric system joke.) While day-walker office workers are staying cool and making reddit comments instead of whatever it is they do, restaurant workers are bearing the brunt of the summer heat. If you’re among the proud legions of sweaty servers, cooks, bartenders and industry staff, here are a few tips to survive the next couple of months.

Tip 1: Make sure your HVAC is well-maintained and up to date.
Just kidding, summertime is HVAC hell. That odd whirring noise you’ve been hearing under the hood is coming home to roost the second the temperature gets north of 95 degrees. When you show up to work and there’s a white van with ladders on it parked outside the restaurant, you know you’re in for a sweaty shift.

Your future self will thank your past self for the tallboys you hid in the ice machine (unless of course the health inspector finds them first.)

Tip 2: Abandon all hope
You can pretend like the temperature doesn’t matter, but it won’t work. Summer heat is like an overdue student loan – patient and inescapable. Even if you manage a few moments of relief, the heat is waiting with the humidity ticking up like accrued interest.

The better approach is to assume the worst and prepare accordingly. Your future self will thank your past self for the tallboys you hid in the ice machine (unless of course the health inspector finds them first.)

Tip 3: Hydrate
Water is your friend, so drink as much as you can. Also the following things may contain trace amounts of water, but are not water:

Monster Energy Drinks
Red Bull
The tallboys you’ve stashed in the ice machine in flagrant disregard for the health code
Iced tea
Frappuccino

Keep in mind that even cold caffeinated drinks are diuretics – so you’ll end up pissing away much needed water instead of staying cool.

Tip 4: Keep clean damp towels in a cooler (not in the walk-in or reach-in)
Set up a cooler somewhere accessible stocked with cold packs and clean damp towels. As the temperature in the kitchen rises, you can wrap the cold towel over the back of your neck for some quick relief. Since there are some major arteries in your neck dedicated to keeping your brain alive, this strategy can cool off your whole body.

 

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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